Is This The Right's MoveOn? Really?
by Todd Beeton, Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:47:39 PM EST
It wasn't long ago that I was attending gatherings of frustrated liberals wondering when oh when we would be delivered from the wilderness and how we could possibly emulate what the Republicans did best: messaging, defining their brand, riling up (and embracing) the base and, well, winning. It sounds funny now but just a few years ago Republicans were at the top of their game. Now the roles are reversed and it's the Republicans doing the soul searching.
Take for example Dick Morris's new column, which, on its face is a call to action to Republicans to save the Georgia Senate seat and hence block Barack Obama's "radical agenda," but really is the sort of Republican Party reformist manifesto that so many of us used to write about the Democratic Party (pre-Dean.)
If there is one lesson that is plain from the election, it is that conservatism is too important to trust to the Republican Party! A runoff election is a get-out-the-vote contest, and the Republican Party has proven woefully inept at such matters. In the election, the proportion of the vote cast by Republicans dropped from 1.3 percent above the Democrats to 2.6 percent below them.
The Democrats won the election of 2008 because they got their vote out and the Republicans lost it because they did not.
The same thing can happen in Georgia.
Morris also takes what the opposition did right and suggests they emulate it:
The Obama victory really started with the organization of Moveon.org in the bitter climate of Clinton's impeachment. Since then, the left-wing cyber-roots groups have amassed millions of e-names, piled up hundreds of millions in contributions, and mobilized and expanded their base. It is through groups like GOPTrust.com that we, conservatives, must go through the same process if we are to take our country back.
"Cyber-roots" and "e-names"? Okaaay. But you take my point. Morris is promoting GOPTrust.org (aka The Republican Trust PAC) as their version of MoveOn. And who are they exactly?
Only a group like this one, The National Republican Trust PAC, which sponsored the Rev. Wright ads that delivered all the undecided vote to McCain in the election, has the flexibility and focus to do what the Republican Party should be doing on its own. And we cannot sit back and let complaisance and over confidence lead us to another election day debacle.
You see, those Reverend Wright ads are where true conservatism is at.
I don't know what the saddest thing about this organization is. The fact that they brand themselves using the very name of the entity that they claim to want to reform, the fact that their website features a tab labeled "TV Videos" or the fact that the organizing principles laid out on their About page are the very things repudiated in dramatic fashion just 8 days ago by the American people.
But as scary as it is, as I read Morris's column, I felt a sense of empathy with his goal. I'm fairly confident that this organization has about zero chance of achieving the success of Moveon.org but it's worth tracking the GOP's attempts to come out of the wilderness as the effort enters its nascent stages as we don't want to write them off as quickly as they did ours.