Ace talks about how Mitch McConnell is looking for just a few, good, bland Republicans. Ace of Spades generally have good insights into the political process, so if you like that kind of thing they are worth a read. If I had to pick which major internal factors are causing the GOP’s woes, I’d put them in this order.
The DC-based consulting firms and think tanks that the GOP has come to rely on are more concerned about milking the movement for their livelihoods than they are about actually winning hearts and minds (and thus elections). They are also completely out of touch with the mood of the American People.
Conservatives pay too much attention to money changers in the temple; people who tell the grassroots soothing things they want to hear rather than preaching reality and helping grassroots conservatives be more effective. I’m not one who thinks talk radio is necessarily good for the conservative movement. I’m noticing more conspiratorial nonsense turning up locally, and it can almost be guaranteed once you look it up, it’s being spread by a talk radio personality. I don’t mean Alex Jones and the dark corners of talk radio, I mean people like Glenn Beck. Helping people “connect the dots” as he sees them might make Beck a lot of money, but it’s not doing any favors for the conservative movement. When local politicos see a bunch of people showing up at meetings yammering about “Agenda 21″ and other UN conspiracy BS, those local politicos get scared, and rightfully so. Because to anyone who isn’t wrapped up in the world of the money changers, it sounds nuts.
Our movement just recruits some awful political talent. Part of that problem is that the angry grassroots have more outrage than experience, and have no idea what qualities you need in someone who can, say, win and hold a senate seat. That someone holds similar views to you, or even popular views, does not translate into electability. Sam Rohrer was the popular conservative heart throb in Pennsylvania for a while, but he was always a lousy fundraiser, and couldn’t really seem to get a statewide campaign going. I don’t care what your beliefs are, if you can’t raise money you’re toast.
I am no fan of the GOP status quo. If I didn’t think it would put McConnell’s seat at risk, I’d be enthusiastic about a primary challenge. McConnell loves feeding at the pork barrel, and I’ve had about enough of that. But what I’ve seen, again and again, are these grassroots primary challenges that essentially surrender the seat to the Democrats because the grassroots candidate was completely unelectable. Having a candidate that believes a lot of the same things you do won’t do a lick of good if you can’t get them elected.