Friday, June 02, 2006

Public Displays of Critique

Matt from Lincoln Logs has a great piece about this OpinionJournal article about the political situation in Pennsylvannia.

Go read Matt and the OJ piece and then come back.

Done? Okay...

Matt says this at his conclusion:
I often condemn folks for public displays of critique. It isn’t that I don’t like critique, it’s that I don’t like the “public” part. This discussions are vital, but I will never be one to put it out on the internet on a blog - that isn’t the place for it. Anyway, the PA situation is a good example of the need for constant reflection and change - a hard thing in politics.
I don't know if Matt was thinking about anybody in particular, but I will say that the reason why I will put these discussions out there in the "public" is that it has been proven that the only way to get reform is to make it happen. Talking in closed door sessions doesn't get it done.

When Jason Mauk was blogging at State of the Union, the Ohio GOP's blog, a number of us were hammering the idea that reform was needed. I went so far as to suggest that the Ohio Republican Party needed to have a platform that codified our values and principles. Jason wrote back something to me that I have remembered ever since. He suggested that if I felt that way, I should get involved and encourage others to do so as well. Since that time, my WMD co-blogger has gotten involved in Brown County and I went to work on the formation of the Alliance and establishing a relationship with the GOP at all levels.

It is about influence. If you don't have influence, you can't get your ideas advanced. Along the way, I have settled in on a philosophy about how to get the job done...it is so simple, I put it on a t-shirt...





Well, it is a start anyway... Actually, it is a work in progress... Anyway...

The point is that we have to have this conversation here in Ohio. The reason why that discussion is going to take place in public is that those who really feel this way are not the people who wield power in this party. One of my biggest criticisms of the Ohio GOP is that I think the powerbrokers have lost touch with the average Republican voter. I illustrate this point by pointing out that the party elite wanted Jim Petro; the electorate chose Ken Blackwell. There is a reason for that.

I'm in the camp that says it is important to have a vigorous primary in every race. The power of incumbency should never get in the way of that debate. All things being equal, the best candidate should win. The party should stay out of primaries altogether. The party should not fear party challengers; in fact, I believe they should embrace them as the future of the party.

But I am also in the camp that believes that elections have consequences. Those who win primaries deserve our support. Maintaining majorities matter...

That doesn't mean that our Republican candidates are exempt from criticism just because there is an election coming up. There is ALWAYS an election coming up... To suggest that people shouldn't engage in this debate is, in my opinion, not appropriate. But I certainly understand why the party and folks like Matt from Lincoln Logs feel the way they do...

They think that the criticism makes the candidate look bad...and it does...but if you look at the sorts of things that we're criticizing, you will find that the Democrats are even worse on these issues. By having the debate, we're providing an opportunity for liberals to stick their foot in their mouths.....

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