Roll Call has an article that will be making the rounds. According to some people from around the Republican firmamanet…
The Granite State’s political infrastructure is “a mess,” complain out-of-state GOP consultants, and the state has become an increasingly difficult place to run campaigns.
The article goes on to observe some coincidences with problems in the national party, problems with turnover in the party structure itself, and in the control of the legislature. It then quotes “Tea Party Critic” Fergus Cullen, which I suppose makes sense because he happens to be one of the GOP “experts” at standing idly by while New Hampshire turned Purple, or is it Blue?
Cullen thinks 2010 was an outlier that can’t be duplicated. While Jack Kimball, whom I suppose we could identify as a ‘Fergus Cullen Critic,’ believes those voters could be inspired to turn out for the GOP again.
Meanwhile, top recruits are waiting for a better sense of the national political landscape before jumping into a 2014 race for House or Senate. New Hampshire Republicans struggle as the local party out of power — with fundraising, and most of all, with the chasm between the tea party and the more traditional GOP establishment in the state.
Longtime Granite State Republicans blame the tea party for hurting the GOP’s brand with independents. And the tea party activists blame the party elders for exclusion.
This factionalism led to upheaval at the party’s helm. Party chairmen and executive directors come and go (or are sometimes outright ousted), which means various officials and operatives are pitted against each other about once a year.
The state party, as defined by its platform, is a pro-liberty, Conservative vehicle. It is the establishment that has chosen to ignore that in pursuit of other things. And one of those things is the affection of the national party, which has wandered even further off the reservation. So the conservative and Libertarian arms of the party differ primarily because the establishment Republicans are behaving more like Democrats.
The article then visits the challenge Jennifer Horn faces in sorting this all out, with observations about whether Senator Kelly Ayotte will provide some much needed foundation, then finally arrives at what I happen to think is the biggest issue we face as a party.
The First in the Nation Primary.
Roll Call observes…
Aside from these internal clashes, what hurts the party most is what the state fights so hard to keep: its first-in-the-nation primary placement on the presidential nominating calendar.
In 2016, national Republicans will host their third nomination battle for the White House in as many presidential cycles. As a result, the local GOP’s most talented political staff spends at least two years of every cycle working against one another on presidential campaigns.
I have suggested that the internal clashes are a feature, not a bug of the FITN primary, when it comes to Republicans.
I will tell you that I think the obsession with New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary is a debilitating albatross that keeps the well heeled backroom establishment folks (and their rising camp followers) on the invite lists to all the best parties with all the right people, but does little or nothing to help us raise more money to elect Republicans in New Hampshire–which, if I am not mistaken, is the actual point of the state party in the first place.
Sure, we get to fill hotel rooms with campaign staffers and media hacks for a few months, and the sunlight shines a little brighter on the words of every political pundit or diner occupant with two thoughts to rub together (including myself), but if that doesn’t help us raise more money or elect more Republicans in New Hampshire, we are nothing more than quadrennial reality show rejects chasing photo-ops and hand shakes for our scrap-books and Facebook pages, for no tangible long term advantage.
The FITN is like the Oscars for the consultants and experts who launder money for the National Party and who stand guard at the gated community where all the big check writers reside, except that the after parties come before the awards, and you need to know people to get taken seriously. None of which consistently adds money to the party coffers or results in more Republicans getting elected down ticket.
So the chasm between real Republicans and the modern establishment or Progressive Republicans is a matter of party before principle. The party wants to win regardless of principle so it is all about connections, control, influence, and even acting like a Democrat if that is what is required to win elections, even though it doesn’t win elections.
Platform Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, (The so called Tea Party folks), view that as detrimental to the idea of Republicanism, liberty and personal responsibility–Freedom.
You want to bring us together? Stop acting like you would trade your country (or your state) for a few pieces of silver.
You are reading "Roll Call Examines Why The NH-GOP is Such a Mess" by Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home)
Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012