Friday, September 03, 2004

What, me worry?

Ok, so close to two months have passed since my last post. This week saw the Republican National Convention, and let me just say, that the President is finally playing ball. The Repubs showed what we're capable of, and we've finally started defending our position with vigour. Zell Miller's critique of the modern leftists is spot on - they're uselessly trying to fight old wars in order to prove some kind of street cred that is completely counter-productive to our current mission. I'm a lot more heartened now, and am finally beginning to feel like the good guys have got this election in the bag. Of course, it ain't over yet (some charming southernisms in honor of our President!), and the Bush campaign needs to continue fighting this one. But, from the way they ran the convention (especially when compared with the Democrats) it looks like the Republican party officials intend to continue with the intense fighting all the way to November.

An interesting point is the grass-roots efforts. I've been reading a little bit about the Republican strategy, and what I gather is that the lesson George W. Bush took away from the 2000 campaign is that grass-roots mobilization is absolutely critical. Apparently his campaign has been spending a lot of time building that infrastructure, and according to Ralph Reed (who I saw on CNN), that is going to be the key to electoral victory this year. I certainly hope so. I still feel that we should be taking this fight to where the Democrats are safe. California and New York have some extremely popular Republican politicians (as was show-cased this past week), and there's no reason we shouldn't try to rebuild our party in these extremely important states. The Republican ascendancy of the 80s relied heavily on the support of California, and it's silly to think that we can continue with Republican dominance in the country without the largest state or the largest city behind us.

I recently read The Right Nation by a couple of writers for The Economist, and they argue that a victory this year can seal the deal for Republican domination of American politics for at least another decade. I don't disagree, but of the four largest states in the country (think electoral votes) the Dems have two in the bag (CA and NY), we have one (TX) and the fourth is a complete toss-up (FL). Sure, the Carolinas, Dakotas and the rest of the slew of small states makes up for this, but I don't see a successful long-term electoral strategy without at least two of the big four squarely in our column. In fact, until recently both Texas and Florida were solidly Republican, and the fight was in places like CA. The tables have turned, and not in a way that's beneficial to Republicans. We need to change that.

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