As Democrats, we cannot assume that the Virginia and National Republican Parties will continue down the path of self-destruction. At some point The Opposition will adopt its version of the 50-state strategy, update its technology, encourage its grassroots, and improve its fundraising. But will it present a sound, results-oriented approach to issues that has broad appeal? Will it nominate quality candidates? Can it expand its base? Can it modernize its organization? And can we as Democrats meet that challenge?
At the Virginia level, the GOP recently held its “retreat” and decided to stick with its current pathetic chair, soon-to-be-former Delegate Jeff Frederick. See liveblog report. But check out the proposal of GOP blogger (and former party spokesperson) Shaun Kenney (attached). Mr. Kenney strongly advocates the incorporation of New Media into the GOP structure, reorganization of “unit” (i.e. city and county party) committees (suggesting that they be “liberated from the rules and regulations” and adopt grassroots mobilization approaches), and improvement of GOP voter lists. The proposal cites the Ron Paul campaign as a paradigm, much the same way that Democrats might cite . . . The Obama campaign. (I’ll let you make your own comparisons.) He also recommends adoption of a Joint Republican Caucus to address conflicts between House and Senate Republicans, conceding the relative unimportance of State Party in legislative races and issues. (One may detect faint echoes of some of the challenges Virginia Democrats have faced.)
KenneyOpenLettertoVirginiaGOP.pdf (230.2 KiB, 696 hits)
Moreover, some Virginia Republicans recently set up a social networking (e.g. Facebook)-type site, “sanctioned by the GOP Chairman,” which is called RPV Network and/or Red Dog Express. Many Virginia Democrats already use facebook (and more should), but a party-specific site makes good sense.
At the national level, the Republican National Commitee is electing a new Chair in late January. Politico recently posted a good summary of the six unimpressive guys running for the job.
One thing is clear — the GOP is committed to sending a message that it is still a viable political party by electing a Governor in Virginia this year. Once we have a nominee, Democrats Democrats need to rally and stand like a stone wall. In the meantime (i.e. now), the DPVA should be getting out the truth about GOP Governor candidate Bob McDonnell.
VA DNC Member
I was proud to represent Virginia on the Democratic National Committee for 12 years. I am in DC now, but still active in voter protection and Democratic Party rules. More about me, click here.
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