Monday, December 29, 2008

Loseritis: The Hangover Continues

No I am not talking about the fact that the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Bucs and my beloved Denver Broncos all blew it in the last four weeks of the NFL season and all will be sitting it out in the land of "hangover" with a time for some serious reflection. New York wasted little time in firing its coach, as if the coach is systemic of the problems.

You see there are alot of similarities between the NFL and politics. The above mentioned teams, supposed to make the playoffs, can now join the others who will be sitting it out in the coming weeks, but as fans and owners reflect will there really be any true changes. I mean replacing a coach matters very little if the front office and management is absolutely clueless on how to attract or draft talent via the draft or free agency. Not unlike the current political problems facing the Republican Party.

The Republicans lost in November, though have rebounded with some other elections since, and in true football fashion seek to cure the hangover by simply changing the principles but not the management. Afterall, there are those so entrenched that they think the Party belongs to to them not unlike the owners in the NFL, but fail to release without the people/fans your product as in your team is worthless. Replacing your coach does very little if the management corrdinating the organization is inept at addressing the needs on the field.

There is a reason why in politics we call it the "ground game". Its taken literally from fottball. If you can't effectively run the ball (message) on the ground come the playoffs (election day) you haven't a chance of winning. In the end the players on the ground have to execute the direction of the coaching staff in order to be effective. No matter the challenger, you still must play the game.

Just like alot of NFL teams, the Republican Party is questioning just what direction it shall undertake in 2009 and beyond. It has countless issues it must address, but the biggest one is Loseritis. Too many conservatives in the Blogosphere look to blame the poor performance in November on the usual and easy suspects. Ie. Sarah Palin. failing to identify the fact that within the Party you have the Dallas Cowboy-like interfamily turmoil between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives who each feel they are not getting the ball enough.

The fail to recognize they had a melting of both at the top of the ticket in McCain/Palin and still lost. Much has been made about Colin Powell post election and his impact on the election. While respecting Powell greatly, Powell is no conservative nor has he ever been. If there was a single candidate on the stage in the Republican Primary that Powell would have been able to endorse across the board it was McCain---and he did not. Powell opted to vote and support the most liberal leaning Democrat from the U.S. Senate. The shocking "Powell Moment" was shocking because McCain should have been just the kind of Republican a Powell could support if any; moderate on most issues and even closer to the left on things like immigration and the like. Powell will now be that star the team let get away who will forver haunt them as he works to undermine the team that either would not give him enough or at the very least failed to protect his reputation. Newsflash Mr. Powell-Republicans did not tarnish your reputation; the administration you chose to work with did.

The Republicans, and its aging team both potentially in actual age and message, must take a look at the entire team and analzye just what players need to be on the field and which ones need to be relegated to the sidelines. The RNC now has an opportunity to retool the entire Party with a fresh new approach and direction to build a foundation to face not the issues of today, but those of tomorrow.

There is a new team being formed. New leaders. New ideas and fresh visions for the Party. The key to this paradigm shift in direction will constitute a better organization and a more effcient one that will implement a strategy that does not dismiss any voting blocks. A young and aggressive team will fight for the future and not be hindered or disabled by the baggage of the past. Afterall, lets face it folks the ultra conservative voting block is an aging block, It is true that those older voters do vote, but take a thirty year view out and where will the country be. What then will be the demographic of the country? You do not build an organization overnight, but you can retool it and lay the groundwork and plant the seeds for the future by going after all demographics and regions.

Who better to lead this change than a Michael Steele and a Bobby Jindal? Steele, an African-American who is a former Lt. Gov. of a Maryland where Republican rarely carry office let alone electoral votes and Jindal, of Indian descent currently the Governor of Louisiana. These two figures fail to fit YOUR GRANDADS OR EVEN YOUR DADS REPUBLICAN ERA STEREOTYPE--and thank goodness. The time has come to dismiss the liberal contention that the GOP is the white mans Party or the bigots Party or the Southern Party. Its time we have leaders that are willing to go into the Northeast where apparently life is so great for liberals that they want to continue to relocate to the South in droves every year and take the fight and ask the hard questions regarding just what the Democrats are doing for voters.

Republicans like Steele and Jindal represent voices in the Party that can easily articulate the issues and identify the issues facing every American. Do you really think that Democrats will attempt to wage the kind of war against a Jindal or a Steele in the manner in which they did a Sarah Palin? Jindal, a Rhodes scholar, with pedigree that rivals if not surpasses an Obama background and now his demonstrated Executive experience I think would welcome such tactic. The Democrats and their media machine will remind us at every opportunity just how much the GOP is in turmoil for no other reason than to keep piling on to present a situation in the minds of folks that the Party is dead at the same time they build up the hopes of the next administration.
Meanwhile, the GOP will be formulating a new plan just as the Dems did beginning in 2004.

Last season the Dolphins were 1-15 and could closely be compared to the GOP in 2006 and 2008, but then this year with a new organization picking free agents and making draft picks and hiring of a new coach to captain the execution they have turned themselves in AFC East Champions. How? By leaving it all on the field and by leaving no one out of the process. Everyone on that team contributes. The GOP needs to take a lesson and so do those in the blogoshere who want to blame people as fans of the NFL always do when the team loses and start calling for peoples heads like they have Jeff Frederick here in Virginia's RPV. Will the new coach of Lions in 2009 lead that team to rebound from a 0-16 2008 campaign? Not without significant changes in the back managment. There are systemic problems in losing organizations, not just losing candidates or coaches. The candidate or coach is often the "face" of an organization iot seems and gets the heat for losing campaigns, but in reality in runs very deeper than the face. Republicans should not lose sight of that fact.

Afterall, if we were to get the owners and GM's of all the NFL teams together I wonder how many of us would know who the heck they are. Sure we would get the Jerry Jones, the Syndor of course here in Virginia and maybe Kraft but what about the others? That said, I bet we know all the coaches though don't we?

Maybe we need to begin in 2009 to stop focusing our agenda solely on candidate reflection and more on the way in which we bring up candidates from the ranks and how we get them on the ballot. If anything, I think the Jim Gilmore convention in Virginia proved that for us. We need to look at the mechanisms and the people running them behind the scenes to begin to diagnose the problems, especially in Virginia. The McDonnell campaign for Governor in 2009 will give the RPV the first opportunity to implement the changes required to lay further groundwork for the future. Hopefully, given Jindal's recent appearance here in Virginia he is lending some direction to the RPV along with Steele. The best thing for the RNC in 2009 would be for Virginia to return the Executive Mansion to the GOP.

In the end, the GOP must stop suffering from Loseritis and the in 2009 put the hangover behind them and focus on the future of the Party. Afterall, one difference between the Politics and the NFL is the season never ends!!!


SkinsFan said...

Yeah its been a rough Fall season. The redskins started out so well and fell off a cliff and the GOP was swept. We have seen betetr days but the rebuilding will happen. Thats the beauty of all of it. You roll the dice. Obama may just turn up snake eyes.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. Not so much for the GOP but for Favre and the JETS!!
No worries though, new coach will get them motivated hopefully and the GOP will rebound here in VA and beat the heck out of Moran. Deeds would make it closer though I think.

AlterofFreedom said...

Great. Now Denver fires the coach. ARE THEY INSANE!!!!
With an average team and half the offense on Injured Reserve YOU FIRE THE COACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!