, Newburyport, MA

November 13, 2012

Republicans let others define them

Newburyport Daily News

---- — 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.

Scott Brown never clearly defined himself. Great, he’s an independent thinker. Loves the women’s rights movement and put as much space between himself and the conservatives as possible. He wasn’t going to get the Democrats’ vote. Period. Scott Brown and Mitt Romney not only didn’t solidify

their base supporters but in some cases went out of their way to push them away. I know we all know the old saying, the fox that chases two rabbits catches neither.

No, for the Republican Party to regain the White House, we need leadership that will proudly stand up and say, this is who I am. Leadership that will excite and energize: willing people to follow them. Not leadership that needs to be pushed along reluctantly. Leaders like Marco Rubio and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

The Grand Old Party took one on the nose, but unless we acquiesce to the wishes of the liberals, will again be successful. Obama, contrary to what the media is saying, did not get a mandate. He won by a very low margin. He would have lost if the 3 million Republicans had made it to the polls. Fifty-two percent of Americans still want Obamacare repealed. Most Americans don’t want the United Nations dictating to us what is good or bad about our Constitution. We just need to get past the liberal rhetoric and not be distracted by people who don’t have our best interests at heart. Failure is only failure if one doesn’t get back up and fight again. I guess I’m feeling better now.

Marshall Maguire