by Eileen | 3:00 pm, January 9, 2013 | Comments Off
If the Republican Party were a private company, it would be in need of a bailout and Republican politicians would be calling for the state to allow it to fail.
Here’s my final edition of five tactical improvements the right needs to be making. You’ll notice I’m posting it just in times for the Republican delegation to the legislature, diminished as it is, to promptly ignore.
So far, I’ve shared my thoughts on targeting spending to the most important things, on our shameful treatment of the rank-and-file in the movement, on the need to do the granular work, and on the value of embracing technology.
Today, I sum it up with this: the center-right, or at least the glitterati, need a damn work ethic. Given how little a lot of these people actually do, our electoral returns are quite reasonable. I think I’ve already made my point about buffoons who announce they are now consultants and take hefty paychecks to do nothing, about non-profit pashas whose work life consists of getting drunk at invitation-only conferences, and at people who are inexcusably pleased with their contributions when they haven’t won so much as a door prize in four cycles.
That’s only human. Most of us, put in a position where we enjoyed income and power regardless of how hard we worked and how much we produced, would rapidly become lazy oafs. Shame on those of us lower down the center-right totem pole for letting this go on. This goes on because the donors keeps writing checks to outfits that don’t deserve to exist and because too many of us allow ourselves to be suckered into doing the real work for free. It is in our power to force the monkeys to go to work or get out.
My points about our cringe-worthy failure to build infrastructure and to work with technology are also redolent of layabouts. Every even-numbered year, just after the election, my FB feed lights up with acquaintances announcing they are soon to depart for R&R on tropical shores, usually with some cheesy line about having “earned a break” after all that exhausting work during the campaign season. What work? And it’s not like you accomplished anything. The left is more likely to take a three-day weekend and get back to work. Incidentally, they’re winning (duh).
Allow me to relate a story. On election night, while watching Karl Rove throw that legendary hissy fit, a consultant (what other title do these people ever give themselves?) said all the right things about the need for serious reform on the center-right. The planning meeting would be right after the election and PPC was invited. Then the new date was early December. Then it was mid-December. That got canceled at the last minute because the organizers didn’t want to miss Christmas parties. Now, we may be go for launch at some point in January…or maybe not. This series originally began as notes I prepared for that planning meeting. Anyway, my point is that, woeful as our situation is, we still procrastinate. When the bar is open and the mood is good, everyone is full of ideas. But follow-through is work and we don’t do enough of that around here.
In every cycle, we wait until a few months before E-Day before we really start working at all. Kids, if you don’t want to be dealing with politics outside of the high campaign season, get a job in a different field. The man who designs Christmas cards has Christmas every day. In our field, it’s always election time. That’s just it.
Our infrastructure is so deplorable because we don’t want to do the day-in and day-out hard work to build and maintain a network. Ground games are tough and we keep thinking there’s a way around that. The left pretends they can ignore human nature and economic reality. Our preferred delusion is that great achievements can be had without really trying.
Well, a work ethic happens when you’re serious about things. If the problem of the right is to be boiled down to one statement, it’s this: The Center-Right in America in 2013 is overwhelmingly not serious.
They talk markets and behave like cronies. They tout the bootstrap philosophy and display as much entitlement as the most stereotypical Welfare Queen. The sing the praises of individualism only to treat individuals like cattle. Entrepreneurial spirit gets lip service and company men get paid. Beneath the skin of a meritocrat lurks the greasy, larcenous heart of a simoniac. They want to run the nation but not if it means working through lunch.
These aren’t ambitious people with inadequate skills. These are people whose ambition goes no further than an expense account and a title. Bully for them, but their impersonation of potted plants in the sun keeps talent from rising and means we peons aren’t having the impact we could. There’s real talent in the grassroots. Only we’re in the shade.
What should you do? Like I said, it is in our power to make the monkeys work or make them get out of the way for people who will. Stop giving your time, money, and talent to those who squander it and creep back for more. Whatever issue drives you, attaching yourself to the RNC machine isn’t a winning path. Politics isn’t a happy life and you won’t like the person you have to become to succeed. Find a job that makes you happy and pays you what you’re worth. I don’t pretend to have figured out how to affect the forum without having to tolerate the reptiles therein. My own first principles prevent me from recommending that we just kill the entire political class and start fresh. But I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that it’s pointless to worry over policy when we’re getting everything wrong on tactics.
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
- "Zany-ass bombast-entertainment...Hackneyed weirdo communist pseudo-nostalgia" --Alan Franklin, ProgressNow
- PPC Training for Activists
UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
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