I received a Republican Strategy Ballot in the mail today.  It is allegedly a way to ensure that the “RNC is staying focused on issues you believe are most important, using the strategies you think will help us reach the most voters.”

The day after Obama won the Presidency, his campaign team sent out a detailed, nuanced questionnaire via email. Email and electronic processing tends to be less expensive than mailings.

Beyond the waste of money involved in a mailing, let’s focus on how absolutely asinine this mailing is.  The ballot contains five questions and a request for a donation.  Two of those questions are lame push-polling queries:

Question 3: “Democrats think taxes should go up so Barack Obama can ‘spread the wealth around.’ Republicans support tax relief for families, businesses, and seniors.  Whom do you support?”

Question 4: “Republicans support responsible judges who will follow the U.S. Constitution, and NOT legislate from the bench.  President Obama and the Democrats want to confirm ‘activist judges’ who will use America’s judicial system to promote liberal policies and strike down policies they view as ‘too conservative.” Whom do you support?”

Both questions had three answers: Republicans, Democrats, Not Sure/Undecided.  Did I mention that the RNC is paying money to send these questions to registered Republicans?

Questions 1 and 2 ask about the issues that Republicans should highlight in the 2013 policy debates, and which of the Democrats liberal policies that [I] oppose the most.  Neither question included ObamaCare as an answer; Question 2 said nothing of immigration or amnesty.  Question 1 had “Immigration reform” as an answer.  It did not specify if “immigration reform” meant amnesty, or conservative reforms like securing the borders, requiring e-Verify and cracking down on businesses that hire illegals, taking a hard look at birthright citizenship, increasing immigration for highly skilled professionals, and increasing deportation.  “Immigration reform” means damn near anything you want it to mean, which does not seem particularly helpful if the RNC is attempting to understand the viewpoints of the average Republican.

Neither answer had anything of health care reform or ObamaCare in it.  Once those costs kick in in 2014, ObamaCare will be an epic nightmare; we should be laying the groundwork now, telling people what will happen, and offering concrete solutions to fix the problem.  (“Repeal and replace” needs to be our mantra, with as much emphasis on “replace” as “repeal”.)  Why are we giving up this issue?

Guess what else didn’t make the list?  The assault on religion, the fight for conscience protections, abortion, and gun rights. Apparently, if you’re a pro-life, pro-gun, Christian conservative who doesn’t want to be forced to buy health care that pays for abortions, you’re going to have to find a different political party.  And I bet Reince is wondering why almost ten million people who voted in 2008 chose to stay home on Election Day 2012 rather than vote (R).

And now, onto Question 5, the final one, the one that will make my co-blogger Peter laugh or cry, or maybe laugh while crying:

“Question 5: What do you believe are the most effective ways for Republicans to counter the Democrats’ attacks against our policies, and reach voters with facts about our Republican Agenda?”

Of the thirteen responses, none of them included blogs.  (There was a generic “internet websites,” but that’s right up there with “immigration reform” in terms of specificity.)  The RNC has yet to figure out the value of the blogosphere.  The Democrats control almost every major media outlet save FoxNews and the WSJ and have an extensive network of blogs, and they kicked our butts in November.  Apparently, the RNC hasn’t learned a lesson from that.

The RNC should be using the blogosphere to explain conservative policies, expose Democrat scandals (e.g. Benghazi, the Gosnell trial), drum up support and excitement in special elections, hone the skills of normal people in their pj’s, and do some voter outreach.  I’m no tech expert, but I’m pretty sure that the RNC could figure out a way to monitor the top 100 conservative blogs, figure out what resonates with people, track the stories that make it to the mainstream, and see what gets independents/low information voters/moderates on our side.  They can also use those blogs and comment sections to figure out what ordinary conservatives think of everything from Rand Paul’s filibuster to “immigration reform” and act accordingly.

But nooo.  We have to do a lame paper-pencil ballot that asks us if we want to increase taxes on senior citizens.  Congrats, Reince and friends!  You wasted a lot of money on a totally useless survey!

If you do Everything, you’ll win

Lyndon Johnson

The Collector: I am noting your work rate!

Doctor Who The Sunmakers 1977

Well Sc-1 has come and gone and despite a million dollars of national money and no help from the National GOP (or me) Mark Sanford has regained his old seat in SC-1.

There are plenty of lessons to learn, here are the ones that come to mind

1.  Money doesn’t always win.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch had a great cash advantage  1 million dollars of national money and a 5-1 advantage.  If the prospect of facing a seemingly flawed candidate wasn’t appealing enough for the Democrats to go all in the idea of electing the sister of a darling of the left like Stephen Colbert’s was.

It was to no avail 1 million dollars of advertising bought the left 45% of the vote meaning money can’t buy you a seat without a candidate capable of winning .

2. Hard Work Pays Off:

Mark Sanford had plenty of faults as a candidate but laziness was not among them.

While Sanford is best known nationally for the lady from youth America in South Carolina in general and SC-1 in particular he was known as both a Governor & as the former Congressman.  Yet he went out there every day fighting to get the votes of individuals.

On Election Day Dave Weigel noted the difference:

That Colbert-Busch in a district so overwhelmingly republican might not feel the need to work as hard as Sanford is simply amazing and ignores a story from one of the giants of the Democrat Party in the last 50 years about one of the first elections he ever ran in.

When O’Neill protested that he had known her since he was a child, had shoveled her walk and cut her grass, and didn’t think he had to ask for her vote, she replied, “Tom, let me tell you something. People like to be asked.”

As the daily caller put it:

Are all red-district Democrats this screwed headed into 2014 or just the ones who are as lazy as Colbert Busch?

If you aren’t willing to work for that seat why should you expect voters to come out and vote for you, particularly in a special election with nothing else going on.
That’s how a democrat manages to lose every single country in a district, even the ones where they should be strongest.

3.  2013 is not 1970

There is an old joke in politics concerning candidates that are so strong it would take a dead girl or a live boy to bring them down.

While Ted Kennedy & Gerry Studds amply demonstrated these rules don’t apply to democrats and did so decades ago it’s been thought for a long time that they still apply to republicans.

Times have changed and while I thought and still to a degree think Sanford will be a long term liability to the GOP to the voters just didn’t see it that way.

Sanford approached this in the exact right way politically.  Not ducking or dodging but charging straight forward on the issue and then pivoting to the actual issues in the race.  (Jobs & Spending) His willingness to face the issue made it difficult for his opponent to gain traction on it.

Of course it’s kinda hard to make the case for infidelity against your opponent as an issue when Bill Clinton is the rock star of your party.

Sanford will undoubtedly be talked about in DCCC fundraising letter and the MSM will do their best to play him against the party but we’ve (unfortunately) reached the stage in our society where Sanford foibles are just another dog bites man story.

4.  The political company you keep

Colbert Busch got a ton of funding from National Democrats & Sanford got none from the NRCC.  This was a perfect backdrop for a campaign against Washington by Mark Sanford.

>Sanford was able to (correctly) paint Colbert Busch as just another liberal Democrat in the Nancy Pelosi mold, meanwhile it’s tough to link Sanford to a party that did it’s best to pretend he’s not there.

Given the popularity of congress or lack thereof, the ability of Mark Sanford to distance himself while linking his opponent to their failures was priceless and Sanford’s , his previous clashes over spending in he house gave him credibility.

5.  He’s an SOB but he’s OUR SOB

I recall during the primary I got a fair amount of pushback for my support of Curtis Bostic & my opposition on the ground of:  Who are you to tell us who to elect?

After the primary I recall making a joke along the line saying the GOP voters electing Sanford was the worst decision by SC voters since Democrats decided shooting at Ft. Sumter was a good move that brought even more.

We’ve already know people like to be asked we also know they don’t like to be TOLD and nobody was going to tell the people of South Carolina’s 1st district who to elect.  Not me, not Stacy McCain and certainly not a bunch of media & left wing money people trying to push their candidate on the electorate.

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Either way the election is over, what effect it has on the House GOP and how they should handle Rep Sanford’s presence? Well that’s a question for another day, but if the chamber can survive Cynthia McKinney’s presence it can certainly survive his.

4th Doctor: “Only in mathematics will we find truth.” Borusa used to say that during my time at the Academy – and now he’s setting out to prove it.

Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin 1977

Last week’s election In England the Tories have been introduced to the new math political math:

This:

“We are saying ‘have you really consulted these people?’”

He added that disquiet among ethnic minority communities could prove devastating for the Conservatives in the main cities – on top of dissatisfaction among Tory activists in rural areas.

“When you are middle class and Oxford educated you don’t necessarily understand what the grassroots are all about: you rely on what your pundits are telling you,” he said.

plus this

The BBC projected that Ukip was on course to come third in voting share, with 23% of the vote. Labour is projected to have come first with 29%, with the Tories second on 25%. The Lib Dems are projected to have won 14%, with other parties on 9%.

equals this: :

Peter Bone, the Wellingborough MP, said Mr Cameron should halt the gay marriage Bill, currently going through Parliament, and cut overseas aid. “Those are things that Conservatives want and that’s what Ukip voters want.”

The Tories should be allowed to stand as “Conservative and Ukip” candidates if they could win the endorsement of Mr Farage’s party, he added.

It all adds up, you ignore your base, they eventually rebel and suddenly you have to win them back if you want your party to survive. otherwise

Tory sources suggested that the changed political landscape would result in Ukip winning a by-election in anything but a safe Labour seat and that Mr Farage’s party would top the polls in next year’s European elections.

In England the “conservative” Tory party has learned this lesson the hard way. Will the GOP figure this out before they reach this point or will it take hard mathematics to teach them the same lesson?

Update: Somehow I mixed up the 2nd appearance of Borusa (The invasion of Time) with the first (The Deadly Assassin) corrected

Olimometer 2.52

While on a personal level yesterday was less than pleasant thanks to the readers we come into Wednesday with this week’s paycheck already made and we are nearly half way to the monthly goal.

Because of those readers who kicked in this will be the last you see of DaTipJar pitch for the week until Sunday when we start all over again.