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With bankrupt ideas, GOP goes broke

August 25, 2007|By JOHNATHAN R. BURRS

The news regarding the Maryland Republican Party's financial woes should be no surprise to Republican leaders, particularly considering the undaunted support for Bush administration policy at home and abroad. At this point, Republicans only have loyal leaders, who lack strength, humility and genuine honesty.

These are major problems having a direct impact on how much donors provide in financial support to the GOP. Instead of dealing with the root cause of these problems, they remain loyal to failed Bush administration policy and choose to make pointless changes to telemarketing staff and meaningless changes to chairs of GOP organizations.

Without presenting a new message, all other efforts to attract support are in vain.

For example, considering the lack of political enthusiasm among Republicans, a person such as myself would expect to see some sort of extra effort by party leaders to appeal to people such as me, Joe Blow citizen. What we actually receive in terms of GOP courting are mailers and e-mails begging and groveling for financial support. The message usually has something to do with a reason why I should support the Bush strategy in Iraq or Bush's immigration reform policy.

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The problem is, no one in their right frame of mind is going to support any policy of the Bush administration, mostly due to lack of credibility, government abuses by high-ranking members of the Bush administration as well as GOP members of Congress and the nonexistence of punishment and accountability for such transgressions.

In spite of low support from party members in the last election, GOP state and national committees have done very little to change the Republican message, so the end result was inevitable. No new message, no support. No support, no money.

In essence, the GOP has provided no reason for party members to support them. Stay the course in Iraq and we'll eventually be successful fighting the global war on terrorism. This is the message, which does not resonate, given the Middle East debacle four years after Bush declared an end to major fighting in Iraq.

I guess we should be thankful, huh Mr. Bush? Good thing we stayed the course - who knows what would have happened in Iraq if we actually used guerrilla tactics in a guerilla war versus the conventional tactics associated with major military buildups that consequently provide ample targets for the unconventional tactics of al Qaeda and other insurgent groups.

Business as usual is the message of the GOP, and, in my opinion, is the main reason for lack of enthusiasm and support in the Republican party.

Take Maryland's 6th Congressional District for example. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, although well-respected with a firm support base - the reality is, at 81 years of age, it is impossible for him to perform at the same mental and physical level as his 40-year-old equivalent. Additionally, a younger GOP candidate with a new and fresh message would have a significantly better chance to excite voters to support the GOP financially and at the polls.

Unfortunately, the GOP remains in denial about voting trends as related to the present day political scheme of things, so much so, that it might very well take another shellacking in 2008 for party leaders to consider a new strategy, new message, and new direction for the Republican Party.

Jonathan R. Burrs is a Hagerstown resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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