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Groundhog Day for the GOP

You really can’t make this stuff up. Evidently the establishment believes that choosing Jeb Bush for our candidate in 2016 is a good idea. RNC leaders have chosen Karl Rove to head up the database creation. Karl could use a little help so he drafted Mike Duncan, former RNC Chair. And we can’t win without the Christians, so let’s bring in Ralph Reed to mobilize the faithful.
Honest to goodness, the same players who have been around since the ‘90’s are still in charge.
What’s wrong with that, you might ask? As a new RNC member in 2000, I thought Karl Rove was very smart, and he is. But after two presidential elections have been lost, it may be time for change. I know, you may say, but they’ve brought in a guy from Facebook. That is progress, but to have the same people running the national campaign following two consecutive losses does not seem wise.
When I read that Mike Duncan was working alongside Karl, I had to laugh. Mike is a wealthy banker from Kentucky who is a super nice guy and who means well. When he ran for reelection for RNC Chair in 2008, he famously said, “We need to use the Facebook and the Twitter.” He epitomized the out-of-touch Republican. But Mike did help raise some serious cash, as did Rove. You can’t win without it. And where did all of this cash go? It didn’t go to field offices in battleground states. It didn’t go to create an updated national database. It went to political consultants, the same ones who have lost the last two presidential elections.
Then there’s Ralph Reed. Ralph is a very talented speaker with an earnest, baby-faced appeal. But he’s also a scandal-tainted gun-for-hire. If you pay him, he will consult. And Jack Abramoff is quoted in an email as saying, “Ralph is a bad version of ourselves.” Ralph took money from casinos, but tried to hide that fact, so his payments were laundered through Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Yes, Grover was also involved heavily with Abramoff. Ralph and Grover and Jack and Karl were all college Republicans together.
Most recently it was reported that Ralph Reed is on the payroll of the Boy Scouts of America. In the recent controversy over allowing homosexuals into the BSA, Reed arranged meetings and conference calls between Christian leaders and Boy Scout officials. From an article in World, John Stemberger, founder of OnMyHonor.net, said that during these calls, “…the BSA officials try to convince these top conservative evangelical leaders to support the resolution by finding friendly media venues to discuss it.” Although Reed stated that he opposed the policy change, Stemberger called Reed’s comment “doubletalk.”
Ralph Reed is hired to get Christians to fall in line. And it’s all about the money. He ran the Christian Coalition into the ground and then started his political consulting firm, and he has made millions. There’s nothing wrong with that, in itself. But if anyone holds him up as a leader who can be trusted on principle, they are mistaken.
As Christians, we are admonished in Matthew 10:16 to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” Christians, and Republicans, need to wise up. The 2008 and 2012 elections were huge losses. Both candidates were moderates. The same characters ran the campaigns. And we lost. What’s scary, though, is that the Romney loss was a surprise.
While Obama has been a terrible President, he won by putting together two impressive presidential campaigns. Obama has taken community organizing to a national level. He had help from Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, and executives from DreamWorks, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. The Obama campaign’s Jim Messina ran a metric-driven campaign from a “cave” in Chicago. The methods for the state-of-the-art data crunching were a closely-held secret. “They are our nuclear codes,” campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. The mysterious data-mining experiments obviously paid off. According to Representative Maxine Waters, “The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life.” Forget Romney’s “binder full of women.” Obama’s campaign had a binder of “Cyber-Warriors.” These “assets” were paid to infiltrate web forums, collect screen names, identify actual identities, and generally spy on America. They evidently passed their findings on to the IRS.
Can the RNC, Rove and company rival this kind of operation? The Democrats are way ahead of us. And they have opened up new fronts, including Battleground Texas.
Patrick Ruffini, formerly with the RNC and now president of the consulting firm Engage, infiltrated the annual Democratic digital, data and grassroots strategists’ boot camp known as RootsCamp. He is leading an effort to set up GOP infrastructure to rival the Dems. “We are not going to start a single group that is going to solve all the problems,” said Ruffini. “What it is going to involve is an ecosystem.”
Amidst the growing hew and cry that the GOP must change its principles,
our leaders must instead focus on competence, technology and efficiency.

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