My theme for these series of posts is going to be a simple one. And it may seem a bit hard but my perspective is very different. Their are two kinds of folks in this party those who view the party as their province and are part of its aristocracy and those of us who found ourselves at home in the GOP. The former is like some vestigial reptilian appendage to the days when a rich and privileged few ran this party and ran it without an ideological focus or purpose.
And the next person I want to thank for screwing this up for us is part of that establishment, part of that privileged elite of the party. Liddy Dole was part of the K-Street mob and worked her way up using her husband. She led one of the most moral branches of the most immoral organizations (The Red Cross). Liddy was not a person I liked, but Liddy is part of why we are where we are today. And like the President conventional wisdom will spare her.
With a party war chest all about the small to medium donors do we get an intellectual white knight? Do we get a passionate true believer? We get the wife of the boring, dogged… and pretty tied former leader of the Senate. We get a man who lost when he was on the national ticket twice, and lost a third time. Is this how you reach out to those folks who give you 20, 30, 50, or 100 dollars? Is this how you get to the people who can give just the legal limit and afford no more? Of course its not but the fire of the party had been overthrown in the senate so the leadership of Ice needed to try to bear its abominable fruit.
I will get to Bill Frist a bit later… but this is where I rake Liddy dole over the coals.
The truth came down to it that walking into the Pre-Election cycle at the end of 04 the Party had plenty of opportunities. I will focus on the one that I feel was most squandered as a very emblematic problem of where opportunities were blown and that’s here in Florida.
Katherine Harris has quite simply a horrendous track record here in Florida. Long histories of Political corruption, long ties to dirty money… But Harris had a pass called the election of 2000….. And *Allegedly* a pass called her staying out of the Senate race for hand picked “Friend of George” Mel Martinez. Harris would have lost to Mel in 2004 and lost handily and if she did we would not be where we are today. But the President I don’t know out of a sense of “owing” here or out of a sense of wanting a quiet anointing of Mel gave her a “06 is your year promise.” Under the regime of Brother Lott I doubt that would have happened… but this was with the Eunuch guarding the harem of Bill Frist and his little pillow warmer liddy dole.
So because the Brahmin’s had to have one of their own Harris came into the fray. It was clear some one needed to recruit some one to beat her. But Liddy did not have the ties to the money men that George Allen had or heck even George Allen’s street cred with the average republican. She wasn’t one of us so what she got was well…. a bit sub par.
You look at the elections and we darn near had another Democrat shut out (the CFO race is a unique matter which didn’t prove the rule) Harris had lots of negative baggage and that was before she said word one. If a competent republican was standing up for the Senate Seat the Democrats would have had to dump money into the Nelson campaign…. lots of money. That would be lots of money that couldn’t crack the Nut in Virginia. Lots of money that couldn’t kill some of the gains that were starting in Maryland. and that’s without a pickup.
The entire Dynamic of the race would have changed if Chuck Schummer had to fight it out on the airwaves of Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. The lack of a credible Primary opponent for Harris meant that money could be used in better places. And we see with West Virginia and Nebraska a similar failure to get people on the board who can win.
They weren’t playing to win… they were playing to keep the other guy from winning and that’s why they failed.
But if that was her only fatal flaw I could almost forgive her but things got worse. We have the fact she did (for good reasons) the detriment of our party in the Rhode Island Primary. I am not going to fight the case that Laffey could have won. But what I am going to roll out is this… when the Senate Campaign needed all its people ready to fight early and fight often Liddy Dole ordered these people to get a black eye. And we look at the Missing Link and we see the deepest Irony of all. A man whose wife bought in hook line and sinker to the Presidents foreign policy agenda says we have to remove one of the people who stood up to it to punish him. Link ran away from Bush and it was going to damn him. But by trying to save him from his damnation the party lost its money and lost some of the fire it needed in its belly.
The Senate ran to the left end of its own and some other issues I will lay out a bit later on. But when we needed a good Offensive Co-Ordinator we instead got a green rookie with no fire and no skills to fall back on
Thanks Liddy…. at least this means I won’t see you waste your time running for President ever in my lifetime