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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Can the GOP Regroup in Arkansas?

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Hastings Wyman, Southern Political Report, asked the question "Arkansas: Can the GOP Regroup?" After detailing past years' successes: a Republican held US Senate seat, a US Congressional seat, Governor (10 years) and Lt Governor (8 yrs), Wyman correctly identifies the key reason for the GOP's decline in Arkansas " the party became top-heavy and bottom-light."

But then Wayman fumbles the ball by focusing on the top of the ticket instead of the rebuilding of the grassroots base of the party - the "bottom of the ticket." As follows, Wayman ends by focusing on the top and in usual reporter fashion, does some "name dropping": [potential candidate names are edited out, if interested read his post]:
Can Arkansas Republicans stage a come-back? A political party can’t prosper, even as the minority party, if it doesn’t compete for the top offices. So will the Arkansas GOP’s plans for 2010 include nominating candidates for governor and US Senator? “Absolutely,” says [RPA Executive Director] Ray.

That means tackling Gov. Mike Beebe (D), who will be seeking a second term and so far looks like a strong bet for re-election, as well as running against popular moderate US Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D). [Lincoln is not a moderate, she is a liberal progressive; whereas, Sen. Pryor (D) might be labeled a moderate.] That’s a tall order. Indeed, SPR’s Little Rock insider (R) believes in 2010 the party should not “get bogged down in many campaigns they can’t win, like [against] Beebe. . . . Lincoln, however "is vulnerable," he says, especially if she votes for such measures as the union-boosting bill that would abolish the secret ballot in unionization elections.

In any case, the party started recruiting 2010 candidates about two weeks after the 2008 election -- for both statewide and local offices. While GOP headquarters wouldn’t name names, potential candidates -- especially for Lincoln’s US Senate seat . . . . There’s even GOP talk of running a strong campaign for the 2nd District (Little Rock, etc.) congressional seat currently held by seven-term US Rep. Vic Snyder (D). . . . While it is far too early to guesstimate the political climate in 2010, it may be another disappointing year for Arkansas Republicans, at least on the statewide and congressional level. Then again, they might add to their farm team for 2012, if you want to look that far down the road.
The answer to Wayman's first question is "Yes, the Arkansas GOP can regroup!" But as alluded to, the work is at the bottom and not at the top of the ticket. The burden rests on the new RPA Chairman Doyle Webb to bring a voice to the party and to encourage the people at the grassroots. It appears he has begun and has scheduled trips to varied GOP events in the state. In addition, within Arkansas there are numerous grassroots party members and new media activists working to stir up and to motivate the base. It should be noted again that Arkansans by a majority voted for McCain (R) over Obama (D) for president. However, much of the enthusiasm may have been for the second person on the Republican ticket, rising star, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

Grassroots republicans will work to add more than just to the farm team. They will continue to share their conservative values across the state and will work together to rebuild the party. Thus they will win more county races, state senate and house seats. From discussions with elected conservative democrats and republicans, it is not Republicans who wish to be Democrats, but many Democrats who know they should be Republicans but are hesitant of changing brands based on family and family histories. Traditional values reign in many legislators' hearts even when being restricted or controlled in Little Rock by big government, limited rights liberals (progressives).

It will not be a Phoenix that rises to save the GOP, but it will be conservative Arkansas men and women who come forward to be the leaders that win local races and eventually State Constitutional offices and positions in the US Congress. It will be people representing Arkansas basic values that fires transformation verses the stink of death based in the liberal values of the East and West coasts. It will be "mislabeled" conservative democrats accepting, like their fellow brothers and sisters in other Southern states, that they are Republicans both in principle and now in name.

At that time, Arkansas will be transformed into a prosperous state not based on the present false tenets of liberalism (expanded government, taxing friends, neighbors and ourselves into slavery, and restricting rights and choices) but instead based on expanded personal freedom and choices, free markets, free trade, traditional values and hard work (the values of our ancestors before the word Democrat was corrupted by liberals / progressives). Yes, the GOP can and will regroup in Arkansas, because at heart, most Arkansans are republicans in principles and beliefs even if not presently in name.

Tags: Arkansas, ARRA, Bill Smith, GOP, grassroots, Republican Party of Arkansas, Republicans, RPA, values To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:10 AM - Post Link

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