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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No Instinct for the Jugular

If there is one thing that has become clear to me after almost 50 years in Republican politics, it is that Republicans have no instinct for the jugular. Professional Democrats always play hardball and do not take prisoners. Most Republican politicians, especially those in leadership positions, have some need to be loved or if not loved at least to be approved of. These types just cannot handle rejection and this causes them to roll over and be complete wusses rather than be labeled by Democrats and the media as anything negative.

Democrats pros do not play nice in the sandbox but Republicans seem to be determined to play under some sort of Marquis of Queensbury rules. They insist on operating in politics with one hand tied behind their backs and then seem surprised and hurt when the Democrat operatives hand them their heads. Strangely enough, there is a total reversal of the two parties in attitudes when it comes to foreign affairs. Here Republicans know that needing to be loved is a losing proposition and that respect is required. Democrats, on the other hand, cozy up to leftist and Islamo-Fascists because they recognize a kindred spirit who believes in the power of the mailed fist.

When I first got elected to public office, it was at a time in Arizona politics when enough Republicans had moved into the Phoenix area to allow the Republicans to gain control of local offices. On taking office as the first Republican to ever have held that office, I soon discovered that the majority of my employees were Democrat precinct committeemen. This did not provide an optimum situation. So what was the first thing the other Republicans wanted to do? They wanted to form a civil service system and lock all those committeemen in place before I could ascertain which ones I could live with.

Needless to say, I protested vehemently but they insisted that eliminating political patronage was the "right" thing to do. I pointed out that there was no danger of our being accused of political patronage like the Democrats had been doing for the last 100 years since where could we find any Republicans to work for the lousy wages the County was paying? They paid no attention and went right ahead and put a civil service system into place to the approval of editorials from the media who had never said boo about the Democrat political patronage.

Fortunately the really rabid Democrats quit right away and I won over the remaining ones by creating a new series of job classifications at significantly higher wages using the savings from not replacing the ones that had quit. However, that is beside the point. Paying decent wages was the right thing to do but installing a civil service was a politically stupid thing to do at least until we had weeded out the bad apples. All a civil service system does is lock bad employees into place.

Under the new rules, it took 3 bad employee reviews to fire an employee. This forced me to go to a system of quarterly employee reviews over the the screams of my supervising employees who hated evaluating other employees. That allowed me to get rid of an employee that did not work out in 9 months instead of three years. My other problem was that some of my employees were unionized but not all of them since Arizona is a right to work state. I went to the AFL/CIO seeking their support since I was treating my employees better than the Democrats had. They refused because I was a Republican and opposed me at every turn. Doing the "right" thing does not mean beans to Democrat activists.

That was only the beginning of a continuous barrage of my fellow Republicans not wanting to play hardball to even out the playing field. Thanks to me and three legislative reapportionment plans I had drafted and helped get approved by the federal courts, the Republicans controlled both houses of the legislature. I drafted a bill to overhaul the elections laws and to remove their bias towards the Democrats in them. While I got it introduced, the Republican House leadership did not want to move the bill because it was too "partisan". They only agreed to move the bill after all the language was removed that eliminated that bias towards the Democrats so in that form it passed the House.

Over in the Senate, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee was not a wuss and put all the language the House had deleted back into the bill over the screams of the Democrats. That was when the Democrat minority leader made the mistake of making it a party issue and getting unanimous agreement in the Democrat caucus to oppose the revised bill. I immediately went back to the House leadership and asked what they were going to do now that it was a partisan issue. My parentage was questioned but they also said that they would pass the amended bill since they now had no choice. That was just the beginning of the Republican leadership at all levels trying to get me to be a "team player" (translation: roll over and let the Democrats have their way). After three trips to the U.S. Supreme Court and umpteen sit-ins in my office by the great unwashed, they finally got rid of me, but that is another story.

Believe me when I tell you that this was the first of a long string of such cases when the Republican leaders refused to stand up and be Republicans instead of go along and get along Democrat lites. One other incident will suffice to make the point I am trying to make and that was lowering the voting age (and adulthood) to eighteen which the other Republicans were all for. I showed them an analysis of the voter registration rolls by party and age using a computer program I had written for that purpose. It demonstrated that voters under 30 were much more inclined to register Democrat than Republican so why did they want to add more Democrats to the rolls to vote against us?

I got the usual answer of it being the right thing to do and would garner all this supposed approval. All it did was elect more Democrats to the state legislature. Is it a coincidence that the three congressional districts in Arizona that went Democrat in 2006 or 2008 have huge state universities in them with those folks voting at the urging of their professors including hordes of out of state students? The Republicans kept pushing to make voting easier just like the Democrats wanted them to do by easing voter registration requirements and going to the motor voter method of registering voters. They felt it was more democratic to have more people voting. Maybe so but the Republicans were already registering to vote and voting at twice the rate of the Democrat inclined groups. I pointed out that these new voters would be much less informed and the most easily swayed by demagogues.

In vain I kept pointing out that all these new voters would be predominately Democrats so why were the Republicans so anxious to help the Democrats by making things easier for them? Well, you know what happened not only in Arizona but all over the country. Just where do you suppose all those new voters who ordinarily would not have bothered to register let alone vote and who elected Obama came from? I have gotten used to the Republicans committing political suicide by doing what Democrat operatives want them to do after being convinced by them that it was the "right" thing to do. It is this tendency among Republicans that prevents me from projecting a massive landslide for the Republicans in November.

I just witnessed John McCain lose an election that should have been a piece of cake because he did not want to be too partisan and say not nice things about Obama when there were a boatload of things (or lack thereof) that cried out in Obama's background to be made an issue. I protested in vain as the McCain bozos sat on Sarah Palin when her selection was the only thing the campaign had done right. They kept her muzzled and threw away the one thing they had going for them. It was not until the night before the election that I realized that the McCain campaign had totally blown the election when I saw hordes of young people out in force to taunt him at his last campaign stop and knew they would turnout and vote for Obama when they never had bothered to vote before.

There is no way the Democrats can win this fall but the Republicans will always try to lose an election that should be a cakewalk. They just threw away a potential 53rd Senate seat when Pataki decided he would not run because a Republican cannot win in New York. Gee, that was what everyone said about Massachusetts, too. Even there, I had to write a non-stop series of articles about how Scott Brown could win to get any support for him. Now I have to keep pounding on the clear fact that some so-called "experts" are hopelessly biased in favor of the Democrats.

The Republicans did not bother to even do battle in FL-19 because the Democrats convinced them that it would be a lost cause. The same thing can be said about not fielding candidates in marginal districts in New York like NY-21, NY-27 and NY-28. The Republicans need to wake up and smell the coffee. They could win as many as 100 seats in the House and as many as 11 in the Senate (instead of 12 thanks to Pataki) but you have to field good candidates who can win and then support them fully. The easiest way to lose a sure thing election is to concede defeat before the election is even held. In my personal experience, Republicans are very good at doing just that.