So I’m sitting on a folding chair last week in an undisclosed location of a mid-sized Michigan county and a small Michigan downtown with 40 fellow Michigan republicans, and what do I hear? Enough harsh words that I thought my ears might start bleeding… …ok, it wasn’t that bad. After all, we’re republicans, not democrats! 🙂 Most folks there were true-blue red-state-ers; equal parts surly, contemplative, and dispirited in the wake of Tuesday’s election results.
After spending much of this year holding the keys for the McCainiacs and my Democrat friends who drank the Obama Kool-Aid, I was thrilled just to be in the same room with other designated drivers conservatives. Unfortunately, most folks’ candles of conservatism were at such a low ebb that the guttering flames threatened to go out entirely….
Here are a few snippets of the conversation:
- “The Democratic tsunami was larger in Michigan because the Michigan Republican Party wasn’t ‘there.'”
- “25% of the people in the room are Ron Paul ‘true believers’. The Party leadership deliberately ignored Ron Paul – remember, he’s been right about everything he said.”
- (of course, a non-Paulite in the crowd pointedly noted that Ron Paul himself supported a third-party candidate in the general election instead of the Republican standard-bearers!)
- “The Republican candidates that were successful in the last election did so despite, not because of, our party.”
- “You cannot be successful if you’re telling your (volunteers) to start fighting now and we’ll tell you what you’re fighting for later!”
- The reason Republicans stayed home and only 20% percent of precinct delegates actually volunteered is because we didn’t have an actual Republican at the head of the national ticket!
- “The Party needs to teach Econ 101 – socialism removes checks and balances from government and leads to corruption.”
- “Fight with everything you have not to become Canada (so said a Canadian expatriate and local businessman); the government makes money disappear!”
…and what about Sarah Palin? Flying in the face of conventional wisdom as expressed by MSNBC, no one spoke ill of VP candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. On the contrary, several noted that she was the main/only reason they voted for McCain! (I’m shocked that one simply cannot believe everything they read in the papers/hear on cable news any longer…..)
What must the Michigan Republican Party and its designated conservatives do to recover in 2010 and beyond? That’s the $700 Billion Question.