Archive for the ‘National Republicans’ Category


Sunday, October 20th, 2013

There is a cancer growing on the Republican Party.  Extremism.  Extremism does not win national elections.  Senator Barry Goldwater only won 6 states and 52 electoral votes in the 1964 presidential election.

Winning the nomination was one serious fight in the GOP.  Despite that Goldwater’s allies led by F. Clifton White started early and were organized at the precinct level.  There may be a lesson here for main stream conservative thinking about the 2016 nomination.  Teddy White in his national bestseller “Making of the President 1964” provided an excellent account of the battles.

Even before the outcome of that election Goldwater set the stage in his Cow Palace convention acceptance speech for continuing the fight.  He made the infamous statement, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”  The battle continued between extreme elements of the Party and the more moderate thinking.

Fortunately, former Vice President Richard Nixon still loved by most Republicans got into the 1968 campaign early, won the nomination and the extremist went under cover.  In subsequent presidential elections responsible conservatives like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were nominated and elected.

Our party faces significant decisions if it is to win another presidential election, let alone in 2014, hold the U. S. House of Representative and take over the Senate in Washington.

Those decisions include rejection of the Tea Party’s scorched earth strategy, strengthening the hand of moderate leaders and finding a presidential nominee who knows the importance of working with others.

This is not something which can wait.  Republican activists on a national, state and local level need to begin to think about the consequences of their actions.

“As the founder of modern Republicanism Barry Goldwater found out, extremism in the pursuit of one’s goals isn’t popular with the American public.” (1)

(1) Brandt Ayers, publisher Anniston Star in Alabama

Gool Ole Days

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Anyone who follows the happenings in Washington sees a place where it seems no one can get along, find solutions or enjoy themselves after hours.  That was not always the case when Ronald Reagan was President, Tip O’Neill served as House Speaker and Howard Baker lead Republicans in the Senate.

Back in my days in Washington we all worked together.  A longtime friend who happens to be a Democrat sent me a video that portrays what it was like back then.  It sets an example which should be followed today.

Trust me you will enjoy this video and as my friend said “this is laugh out loud fun.”  Click here you will not regret it even if like what goes on in the nation’s capital today.

College YR’s Offer Repairs

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has taken issue with former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole who last week said the GOP should put a sign on the door “closed for repairs”.   Chairman Priebus said on Fox News Sunday “we are open for repairs.”   Priebus should take seriously a look at a just issued College Republican National Committee study.  “The Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation” paints a grim picture of the partyPOLITICO has a piece which provides a quick overview.  Serious Republican leaders will want to read the full document.  Read it here.

“Closed for Repairs”

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Sage advice was offered to Republicans by former presidential candidate and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole over the weekend.  “I think they ought to put a sign on the National Committee doors that says closed for repairs until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agenda.”

A recipe to address the current bad state of needed repairs may be the one used after the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater then.  The Party was even more divided by ideological bickering – and a fix was needed.

The big names in the GOP were able to agree on the Party’s senior state chairman Ray Bliss to run the Republican National Committee.  He was known for his “nuts and bolts” approach to politics.

As luck would have it after Nixon’s presidential defeat in 1960 Bliss was asked by national chairman Senator Thruston Morton to conduct a survey of Republican organizations in the big cities and metropolitan areas where Nixon lost.  The Bliss Big City Task Force findings came down to one word – “Pitiful.”  That came in handy.

As Bliss took over in 1965 he already knew the sad state of affairs.  His initial efforts to repair the 1964 damage were not glamorous.  He held workshops with state chairman, county chairs, small, big and suburban chairman across the country.  It was reported twenty thousand party workers participated (including the writer) in the seminars.

The message was “nuts & bolts”:  recruit qualified candidates; put programs in place that are meaningful to the constituency; strengthen the women’s organizations; reach out to a larger financial base; look for young voters; open conversations with the educational community; leave no one unregistered; establish doable vote quotas and insist that precinct captains meet them; and do not work independently of elected Republicans.

These same efforts are mandatory now if there is not to be a repeat of 2008 and 2012.   The GOP Growth & Opportunity Project outlined many worthwhile ideas.  However, the Bliss approach of workshops, seminars and bringing the party workers together at the local level may need to be repeated 48 years later.

After an election like 1964 where GOP leaders in state after state did not agree with the platform – something needed done even though Bliss found dealing with issues and ideology difficult.

The answer came from Rep. Melvin Laird the number-two in House minority leadership, chairman of the Republican Conference.  He proposed a Republican Coordinating Committee.  They put out bland position papers but that was expected from such a diverse and large group.  In some cases they moved the Party away from 1964 platform positions.  Since it appears an ideological fight is in the making not unlike 1964 – maybe even worse – such an effort might help bridge the differences until the Party gets a presidential nominee in 2016.

Ray Bliss message was “There are no push button methods for victory…The Republican is out manned, out-organized, out-spent and outworked.  We need more full-time staff people at all levels.  We need more precinct workers.  We need to realize on all levels that politics is a full-time job not a three-month fling.”

Think about it my fellow Republicans.





Required Reading for Republicans

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

We were present for the Reagan Revolution.  Jenny and I served in the presidency of Ronald Reagan.  Often over dinner we recall the Reagan approach to government and issues.  Likewise, we discuss that the “conservatives” in today’s world must engage in redefining the Republican Party not just hold on to Reagan.

As the 2012 presidential campaign unfolded we talked about how most GOP candidates wanted to be like Reagan.  That was not the answer to defeating Obama nor is it the answer in the future.  If we continue down this path it will lead to more defeats at the presidential level.  That approach may work in some congressional elections but not in a changing America.

An analysis that fits this discussion has been written in the Right Turn blog by Jennifer Rubin.   All those engaged in the Republican Party regardless of political philosophy would be well served to read this piece in its entirety.  It is long but on target.  Click here to read.

Republicans, Advice From Across the Pond

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The World Needs a Strong GOP

Mr. David Davis, a Conservative, is a member of the British Parliament.  His Wall Street Jounal opinion piece is worth a read and thought.

Worst Year or Worst Leader?

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Weekly there is a person named as having the worst week in Washington.  Now as we near the end of 2010 Chris Cillizza editor of “The Fix”, a Washington Post political blog, presents “Who had the worst year in Washington?”

The honor goes to Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee.  I would nominate him as the Worst Leader ever put at the head of the Republican Party. 

Regular readers of  phillipsbillboard know last March I wrote “Michael It’s Time to Go.”  He has never gotten the message.  Steele has even declared he wants a second term as Chairman.

Members of the Republican National Committee had better show him the door.

Confirmed: It’s Time to Go Michael

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Last March said “It’s Time to Go Michael.”  As each day passes it is even clearer this guy has to leave.  The election of 2012 is at our doorstep.  His own staff is revealing why he must depart.  More important than Michael Steele departing is the role Republican National Committee will play in removing Obama from The White House.  The NYT has the story today about the last staffer who outlines a case against Steele.  Read the five page letter in the New York Times link.

Republicans Take Note

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

When George Allen was coach of the Washington Redskins he coined the phrase “the future is now.”  In government the past should not be forgotten but  “the future is now.” David Brooks in today’s NYT offers Republicans a thoughtful view about the future.

Michael Steele A Continual Drag

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The Republican National Committee convenes this week for its summer meeting.  With all the attention on the mid-term election the national press will be out in full force.  The last thing needed is another Michael Steele story as the GOP finalizes plans for the fall battle.

It has already happened.  Last evening  POLITICO reported Steele is now courting diplomats.

What is this guy up too?  Maybe he is after a job – let’s hope he gets an offer.