Monday, June 9, 2008

What failed leadership looks like

Michelle Malkin links a Houston Chronicle article on the woeful condition of the Texas GOP:
Former Republican Chairman Tom Pauken said politicians and party leaders need to reassure the Republican grass-roots workers that their efforts matter for conservative causes.
"The grass roots has withered up and died," Pauken said.
This problem can be traced to exactly two addresses in Washington, DC: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and 310 First Street. As soon as Team Bush took over the White House and the RNC, the whole vibe of the GOP was transformed. What had been a grassroots-inspired, bottom-up conservative movement suddenly became an elite-controlled, top-down organization dedicated entirely to advancing the interests of DC-based party insiders.

The disaster in 2006 hasn't changed this. The GOP is still about the party bosses, corporate donors and professional consultants ramming their agenda and their strategy down the throats of the rank-and-file.

Pauken's complaint about the "withered up" grassroots reflects the organizational dynamics of the situation. Why should ordinary people at the grassroots become actively involved -- donating their time and money -- when it becomes plainly evident that (a) the people in charge of the party don't give a damn what ordinary Republicans think, and (b) any electoral success achieved by the party will only serve to enrich and empower an elite class of professional political operatives, rather than to advance a conservative agenda?

The GOP today is like the dysfunctional office in "Dilbert," where the idiot boss runs things to suit himself, discourages employee initiative, ignores feedback, and then blames his subordinates for everything that goes wrong because of his stupid decisions.

The unwillingness of grassroots conservatives to become involved in Republican Party politics is entirely rational, given that the party leadership is now openly hostile to conservatives.

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