Monday, November 10, 2008

Whither the state Republican Party?

The state Republican Party has been decimated by decades of bad advice proffered by those who do not have the party’s interests in mind. That is why it is a small, negligible party.

During the Weicker years, in a moment of rare candor, Weicker was heard to say, “Why doesn’t somebody take it [the state party] over; it’s so small.” To this end, Weicker the maverick managed to convince the Republican state party machinery to appoint his chief aide, Tom D’Amore, as party chairman. D’Amore lately was advising the Ned Lamont campaign in its struggle to unhorse Sen. Joe Lieberman. Ned Lamont, one must suppose, is D’Amore’s idea of a boffo senator; but he is not a Republican, not a moderate and not – no thanks to D’Amore – not a senator.

Now, are we permitted to reason from the present back to the past? If D’Amore was comfortable supporting Ned Lamont, have his political preferences changed in any significant respect from the time when he was Republican Party chairman? The truthful answer is “No.” D’Amore is now what he was then. What was he then? Answer: like Weicker, a Rockefeller, Jacob Javitts kind of Republican -- and he was Republican Party chairman.

Next question: What was it that moved the leaders of the Republican Party to nominate as their party chairman a Ned Lamont Democrat? We can only speculate. Was it ungovernable suicidal tendencies? This would not be far off the mark; the road to suicide is paved with bad advice. Party central was moved by two things: 1) Weicker’s success as a “maverick” Republican and 2) an importunate state media, which admired Weicker because he was not a loathsome conservative.

Since that time, the political landscape has changed dramatically. In Massachusetts Republicans hold a mere 17 of 160 House seats, and in Rhode Island, where Weicker counterpart Lincoln Chaffee was booted from office, Republicans hold only 6 of 75 seats.

Since the Weicker era, the Republican party in Connecticut has become more negligible; Weicker and D’Amore have been put out to pasture; Connecticut has just bid goodbye to former Rep. Chris Shays, the last Republican “moderate” standing in New England, though Shays, like Weicker, preferred to think of himself as a maverick; and those who do not have the interests of the Republican Party at heart have become even more importunate.

The chatter now is that Republicans in the state must become even more moderate to survive. One is tempted to ask: More like Chris Shays do you mean? More like Weicker? More like Chaffee?

The Obama tsunami has just washed over light-as-air Republicans, moderates all, blowing them out to sea. And now here comes the avalanche of bad advice, most of it centered on the theme of moderation, pragmatism and compromise, code words signifying a spinal collapse.

It will not be long before the Obamacrats in Connecticut begin to attempt to scatter the loyal opposition by stamping their feet and calling for the resignation of the present party chairman, Chris Healy – who most certainly is not Tom D’Amore.

When that happens, Republicans should take courage from the title of an Evelyn Waugh novel: “Put out more flags.”

6 comments:

mccommas said...

"The state Republican Party has been decimated by decades of bad advice proffered by those who do not have the party’s interests in mind. That is why it is a small, negligible party."

Hell yeah buddy! I am so sick of reading that advice in the Norwich Bulletin. BTW – why don’t I read you there anymore?

The lesson learned from 2008 is that the CT Republican Party should NOT be a mirror reflection of the Democrat Party. Good riddance to Chris Shays. He probably voted for Obama.

I have warmed to Rell a bit but I still would like to see someone challenge her in 2010. I think we can do better but whom? On so many issues she muddles things up.

I don't blame unaffiliated voters for saying ‘there is not a dimes worth of difference’ between the two parties in the state. If you look at who we have in office, they are largely correct.

We must present to the voters a different path. To do otherwise is simply a waste of time and effort.

I would rather go down in a blaze of glory on election night than compromise my values to the point of prostitution.

Don Pesci said...

"..why don’t I read you there anymore?"

Don't know. I send the column out to them regularly. Maybe it was something I said.

mccommas said...

Well to answer my own question: Like Mona Charen and Thomas Sowell I think your problem is that you make your points a little to well.

Thomas Sowell had been one of the few real conservatives regularly in the Bulletin. However he mysteriously disappeared over last summer! Do you think it could have been the Editor (Ray Hackett) did not want a smart conservative Black guy making persuasive arguments against a Black liberal? I looked them up on line. Sowell calls the new President-elect a con-man and backs it up with good evidence such is the case.

I have seen Sowell reappear only once since the election.

Kathleen -- Benedict Arnold -- Parker is still featured but she always is bashing Palin. She has become a once subject columnist. She has figured out how to please liberal editors.

I might write a letter asking wy I don't see you anymore since they chose not to print the one I sent in recently. OH! Do you think I might write to well someday and get similiarly banned? That's something to work hard toward.

I would be in very good company.

Speaking of, check out this guy. He's great.

http://dowdmuska.com/

Don Pesci said...

I saw Dowd two days ago. He's affiliated with the Yankee Institute. They asked me to talk to their group about a year ago and since have been sending me regular invitations to their gatherings. But I haven’t been able to go because, unlike most journalists in CT, I actually work for a living. Addressing the group when I finally went -- I had a day off -- was the masterful Donald Poland, executive director of the Connecticut Partnership for Balanced Growth, the obverse of those nasty Smart Growth folk we've been hearing so much of in the HC. He’s one of the good guys. I honestly don’t know what’s the matter with the paper you mention. I know they printed some stuff I wrote about Michael Ross, possibly because the slew of young girls he murdered were from the area. I would encourage you to keep writing. I know you’ll keep the faith.

mccommas said...

Oh, I will keep the faith. If you read my bio you find that "lost causes" is amoung my interests.

Don Pesci said...

Well, there's no future in chamioning causes that have no need of you; those would be the winning ones.

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