Abandonment is a strategy

( – promoted by Patrick)

So I was reviewing my notes from over the years as to how to turnaround an organization.  I thought there must be some gem in my notes that would help the GOP in Massachusetts.  Here we are the day after the 2008 Presidential election and once again the Massachusetts GOP has been beaten like a rented mule.  What few challengers the party presented were crushed and the GOP brand has been further tarnished.  So how does the Massachusetts GOP stage a turnaround?

Well, my notes first suggest a management change.  But, what I know of the current state GOP leadership suggests they are good.  Torkildson and his team are relatively new and they have great ideas.

My second thought is a thorough situation analysis.  I usually refer to this as SWOT analsyis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats.  This could take a while and with the weakened state of the GOP there may be no consensus as to what those things are.  The party seems fractured enough that nobody could agree on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

A third option is Cost reduction and/or Acquisitions.  This hardly seems likely for the state GOP.

Then I came across the final set of notes and realized that there is one more option – abandonment.  Some organizations were not meant to succeed.  Business directories are full to overflowing with detailed hierarchies and business plans of organizations that failed miserably and simply were not meant to be.  Could this be the best option for the GOP in Massachusetts right now?

Perhaps it might be for this reason – we keep throwing millions of dollars at losing races.  The GOP simply can not win in Massachusetts right now.  The timing is wrong and the resources are too few.  It has become apparant that the customers (voting public) do not want what the GOP is selling.  Perhaps the GOP should close up shop and work elsewhere for a year or two?

Think about that for a moment – have the GOP stop representing the people.  No more contested races – no more challenges to lazy, criminal incumbents.  Let the Democrats raise taxes as much as they want.  Let them vote in gay marriage, marijuana use, outlaw transfats, regulate Fluffernutter use, and every other crazy freakin idea that comes down the pike.  Anyone that sends in money to the GOP gets the check back in the mail with a note saying “Sorry, closed for business – you’re on your own”.  Have the GOP just walk away.  What would happen?

I think what would happen is that voters would suddenly realize how much they appreciated the GOP once it was gone.  No longer would anyone scream and yell when the liberals raised taxes on the middle class.  I think a groundswell would occur and people would say to themselves that they now have to get involved or risk losing everything.  They would realize all the blocking and tackling that went on by the good, hard-working underdogs in the GOP.

The GOP works way too hard for the people of Massachusetts.  The people of Massachusetts don’t deserve GOP representation.  They send in an occassional $5 check and expect miracles.  It doesn’t work that way.  Party politics is a team sport and everyone needs to either step up to the plate or the game is over.  Right now in Massachusetts it appears the game is over.  

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  • The Angelic One

    I’ve been thinking about a similar scenario. So have other activists that I’ve spoken to who have independently thought about the same radical idea.

    What you’re contemplating is no longer wanting the GOP to fight on the terrain – the paradigm – created, sustained, & obviously clearly advantageous to the Democrats. I partially agree. However, the party would have to have a discussion with its membership about executing such a strategy. Such a discussion would have to include the creation of a practical ideology (as I’ve discussed innumerable times). I wouldn’t advocate a wholesale abandonment of politics per se; I would have the party place its focus exclusively on local races & tell the public the GOP won’t challenge Democrat hegemony on Beacon Hill nor for statewide offices since the public seems to prefer said paradigm. This tactic thus forces the public to live with the consequences of their (in)actions. Meanwhile, Republicans holding local office (& bonded together with a shared practical ideology) can use their local positions to highlight to their respective communities how the current Democrat paradigm (top-down state control) is going to inevitably bankrupt them. Some voters won’t care either because they & their relatives/friends are connected to the state’s political mafia or because they’ve become so corrupted that they’re content to be wards of the state. However, other voters will care & will demand that SOMEONE fight back & DO something. The state GOP, revitalized through its experience in local affairs, would be ready to return with a more committed public behind it.

    These ideas are still in the developmental stages. The fact that you, me, & other activists are thinking along the same lines bodes well for some fruitful discussions & extended brainstorming. Maybe the thrust of this idea should be an agenda item at the next state committee meeting. Agree? Disagree?

  • I recall suggesting that McCain should not have been a focus for Republicans in MA (that his rising tide would not lift all boats).  It would have been interesting if instead of funneling people to McCain’s campaign and generally showing lockstep support, that an austere attitude was taken to our nominee.  He can do his thing here, but not with explicit help.  Concerning the GOP Convention, the third or so of delegates that were Paulians who didn’t want to vote McCain, should have been allowed to do so.  It is important for the Mass GOP to show that it is different from the National GOP.

  • Seaworthy

    Remember that western Massachusetts and Plymouth County will elect a Republican. Wouldn’t it seem an obvious tactic for all Republicans to concentrate on these two areas of the state. Fight your battles where you can win. Funnel all or 90% of the available dollars to candidates where it is feasible, possible, realistic to be

    elected. In the remaining areas of Masschusetts Jesus Christ couldn’t be elected if it was intimated that he was a Republican. Point being—why fight a battle you cannot win? What’s the point? Go out and sustain casualties for the sake of expending money, blood, and sweat—for what? What Community minded conservative wants to go out and expend his/her time, money  and time away from the family to get laughed at the polls. Time to smarten up. Pinpoint areas where it is realistic to run and screw the rest of the state. Let the democrats assume 100% of the responsibility for the ship going down—and —it is most asuredly going down.

    The voters spoke yesterday. They don’t mind getting back thirty cents on the dollar and the organized criminals on Beacon Hill taking their fifteen percent cut. Henceforth I’m going to send money to the individual candidate in areas of the state where a Republican is given sincere consideration for his/her abilities, honesty, integrity

    and willingness to serve. I will no longer contribute to the state GOP. I no longer have faith in their ability to expand the donated money in a prudent fashion.

    This state is going to have to go down the drain before it gets the message. Right off hand—I think we are headed that way in an expedited fashion.

    Many military genius’s many centuries ago understood that sometimes to take down a formidable standing army you can do it through small hit and run attacks or kill it from within.

  • Give Up? Seriously?

    People who give up are worse than losers.

    A loser who doesn’t want to lose just gives up.

    But then they become a quitter.

    -VE

    PS Anyone who wants to quit, ther eis the door, I will personally make sure it hits you on your ass on the way out, and don’t be surprised if my foot is behind it.

    Quitters are pathetic and not Republicans anyway.  

  • The people of Massachusetts don’t deserve GOP representation.

    So, the GOP is too good for the people of Massachusetts… seems to be a rather elitist view to me. Because, I thought it’s all about the “government of the people, for the people”. If the GOP does not represent the people, then who does it represent? Some “know-it-betters”, “for-your-own-good” preselected party leaders? There seems to be a flaw in the thinking here.

    In fact, one could argue the GOP has effectively been abandoned by the people of Massachusetts. You should ask the question why.

    Could it be that the GOP does not represent the values of the voters in Mass? The market and the product are in disconnect. As the GOP becomes a regional southern evangelical party, you will have an increasingly difficult market for the GOP product.

    So what would one do if the product does not sell? How about offering the product people want? Say, a new brew of fiscally conservative/social moderate/with a touch of green.

    Considering that we live in a political duopoly with national media markets, your options are limited. You could go with a new 3rd/independent party separate from the GOP (see Jesse Ventura). Or you could try changing the national party to be more reflective of Yankee views.

    However, if you are unwilling to invest in a new product, then bankruptcy (abandonment) may be the only way. In that case, realize it’s your fault that the product sucks, not the fault of the people of Massachusetts that they do not buy it.

    Anything else would be elitist.