As the results of the 2010 election are placed into the book of history (remaining absentee voting counts notwithstanding) it’s obvious that the GOP received a smashing victory in most places with significant help from a vocal TEA Party movement.
But for almost every situation there is some kind of sports analogy, and this is no exception.
In 2001, the Carolina Panthers played well enough to win their first game of the season over the Minnesota Vikings. Obviously they were patting themselves on the back and figured that they had just as good of (or perhaps slightly better) chance of getting to the Super Bowl as the other 14 NFC teams (at the time.) But they lost their next game, and the next…until they lost 15 in a row to wrap up the season 1-15.
Undoubtedly it’s not the perfect analogy, but the lesson is that we can’t stop working hard for the cause of freedom based on the election results from a week ago. It’s only one victory in a long-term process.
Conservatives managed to win one house of Congress and control of a number of state legislatures (sadly, none in Maryland or Delaware.) It’s a victory we should be proud of but the other side is already laying the groundwork to make it our last victory, much like Carolina’s next opponent figured out the Panthers’ weaknesses and allowed the next fourteen opponents to see how they could be beaten.
As we saw in the time span from the initial TEA Parties to last Tuesday we lost some notable battles on the way, most prominently Obamacare. Certainly a number of those voting for the bill were bounced out (as were some Democrats who didn’t) but we are still stuck with the process of defunding and/or repealing the bill – assuming, of course, the new majority has the stones to try. Speaking as a loyal Republican, for the sake of our party’s future they damn well better lay everything on the line to stop the Obama agenda. After all, if a populace can be fooled once into believing “hope and change” they might just be gullible enough to fall for a similar ploy again.
I suppose the strategy now won’t necessarily involve the large gatherings like we had over the last two years (although they may well have their place; I understand there’s an effort afoot to have an opening night rally in Annapolis again like we did earlier this year) but instead may consist of more individual and small-group efforts like speaking out at the local City Council meeting or running up to Annapolis to testify on an onerous job-killing bill. The difference is that we have a little bit more of a bully pulpit and aware public; however, we have to keep them aware and not let them get discouraged when we do suffer defeats. Indeed, we may see our effort be thrown for a loss at times.
I’ve been doing this blogging thing for over 5 1/2 years now, and at times I felt like I was the lone voice in the wilderness. But this most recent campaign has instilled some confidence in me that we are moving in the right direction because people have began to stand up and take notice.
Obviously our neck of the woods is taking a little longer than most to get with the program, but I’m confident we will be pulling in the right direction no matter how those forces against us try to stack the deck in their favor. Daily we pull more people to our side, and if you figure we’ve gone from a state where Obama got 62% just two years ago to a state where his approval is only 56% and half the voters want his signature program repealed, we are making slow but steady progress.
We don’t have to win every single issue every time, but we need to win enough to become the most formidable foe out there; a group where those who oppose us do so at their own electoral peril. In Maryland we can help change the White House, wipe out some or all of the six entrenched Democrats remaining in Congress, and flip a Senate seat in two years (while keeping the two Republicans we have despite the certain redistricting to their disadvantage we’ll have to endure,) This is a tall task and most likely we can’t succeed at all ten portions; I’d settle for the ten electoral votes, flipping the Senate seat and a 4-4 split in our Congressional delegation.
On a state level, perhaps we need to take the attitude exhibited by Rush Limbaugh. I’ll say it right now: I hope Martin O’Malley fails. We may need a little chaos to shake up the establishment, and while we’re not to the point California is quite yet we may well be on our way if O’Malley continues down the path he’s on.
Too bad we don’t have a midterm election to thwart him…unfortunately we have to suffer for four more long years with the hand we’re dealt. But it sets up the chance for a strong conservative candidate to secure total victory for the GOP in 2014.
Now for Maryland Republicans who are used to the 1-15 sort of election cycle that sort of success, where we at last free the state from the shackles of total Democrat control and break a 160-year losing streak in the General Assembly, would be like winning the Super Bowl. Let’s do it!