NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 13, 2012

Republicans let others define them

To the editor:

As an active member of the Grand Old Party, many of my friends and associates wanted to know how I was feeling the day after the presidential election. As Salisbury Republican Town Committee chairman and town captain for both Brown and Tisei, you can say I was pretty active in the elections.

As I thought about it, though, you could say I didn’t really feel anything. No remorse, no anger, no real surprise. I guess I was somewhat surprised by the Tierney/Tisei outcome. Richard Tisei ran a great campaign and is unquestionably qualified and is a real likeable guy. But then this is Massachusetts.

Now a few days later I can honestly say that I’m beginning to feel the anger. But I’m not angry at the election outcome or the Democrats. Already, everyone from Democratic pundits to the talking heads

to even the U.S. House leadership (a Republican) is saying we, the Republican Party, must accept the beliefs and policies of the Democrats. We’ll never win the White House again if we don’t “smarten up.” I say the opposite is true.

So why did Scott Brown and Mitt Romney lose? Because we allowed the other side to define the argument. Instead of the economy, we were dragged into a discussion about birth control. Instead of the unemployment rate, which by the way, according to the U6 number on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, is 14.6 percent, not 7.9 percent. And my favorite, even though the Democrats have already cut $750,000,000 out of the Medicaid program, we, the Republicans, were going to take it all away. People really believed that?

No, Scott Brown and Mitt Romney lost because they either forgot or chose to ignore why the Republicans were so successful in 2010. It was a country-wide backlash against liberal ideas and Obamacare that allowed the Tea Party and other conservative thinkers to be so successful. It’s what elected Scott Brown in the first place. And if you look around the country at this election, the candidates who won were conservative, not somewhat left-leaning moderates. Mitt Romney got fewer votes from Mormons than John McCain. Three million Republicans stayed home rather than voting for leadership that didn’t or wouldn’t embrace conservative values.

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