Last month we took a major hit. Our opposition and their wellplanned and organized attack caught us seemingly unawares. We knew something was coming, but we were not sure how badly it would hit us. The onslaught pushed us to the brink and nearly gave the Democrats complete control of the two elected branches of government, a situation designed to help them gain the third as well.
With the party in shambles, disorganized, and questioning itself, the momentum of the Democrats carried forward. Media figures swooned over the expanding circle of Obama. As President Bush continued to tend to crises inside and outside the country, journalists hung on every possible appointment made by the president-elect. Condoleeza Rice travels to India to confer over terrorism while Obama selects a secretary of state, causing writers to trumpet "co-presidency!"
All seemed to be swept aside until December 2nd. The opposition marched on Georgia, determined to win a stronghold Senate seat that would render their domination complete. Obama, the great political conqueror, allowed his underlings to take on this mop up action. Like a Japanese emperor, his voice is too sacred to be heard live, but he did allow it to be recorded for robocalls.
One of the last leaders standing after the deluge was Governor Sarah Palin who tirelessly campaigned in Georgia on behalf of Chambliss. He could not muster fifty percent of the vote in November, but won by ten percentage points in the runoff.
Our strategy should be clear. Chambliss' win must mark the turning point where the GOP says "you have come this far, but no farther." Palin's leadership helped a vulnerable Republican incumbent achieve a major victory. We must dust ourselves off, rally behind a proven and effective leader, and march forward, slicing away at the Democrats like Nimitz and Macarthur engaged Japan. We did not get it all back at once, but picked the right battles, used resources wisely, and never retreated because we had confidence in the plan and the leadership.
We also saw Palin showing a strong commitment towards being a Republican Party leader. Conversely, Obama has shown either a discomfort or a distaste for helping his fellow Democrats during and after the election. This should win him few real friends on Capitol Hill.
The time is now to plan and organize. Time to reorient our vision and move forward.
Party of the Common Man Update
Meanwhile the party of the common man says that you stink.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid laughed when he expressed his distaste for the "smell" of people moving through long lines in the summer to tour one of the most important buildings in the country. He said "you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol."
Now a Republican probably would not have said that, at least in earshot of a reporter, but if he or she did it would have been MSNBC's lead story for a week complete with endless discussion of the ramifications for Election 2010.
Obama says we are bitter. Reid says we stink. Great. I love the sympathy of the party of the common man.