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The Internet is Not The GOP’s Problem, Miss McCain

Just passing on a few comments I left in reply to this post at HotAir Headlines, where Meghan McCain seems to think that the problem with the GOP is “shortcomings online”.

First, here is an excerpt from Miss McCain:

“I wanted to ask some of the people who have been doing online work for the Republican party if they could somehow explain — or even admit — what has gone so wrong. But when I started calling around asking for people to comment, I discovered most did not want to talk to me. Instead, they told me that not having enough money was a huge factor in our loss — not our misuse of the Internet. Others were just plain angry, blaming the liberal media, and not the party’s shortcomings online. Of course, there is truth in some of this. But denial only amplifies the stereotypes about Republicans being disconnected.

Yeah, speaking of denial, Miss McCain, you are participating in that yourself. Geez.

Now for my comments…

*****

Conservatives are busy working.

blatantblue on February 19, 2009 at 11:34 AM

BINGO. Conservatives are busy working and living their lives away from a computer. Not our fault the Left has a bunch of people who seem to have no lives and LOTS of time on their hands to dominate everything on the internet from smear campaigns to DOS attacks to voting up every Leftist story on every website to voting down every right-of-center story on every website, etc.

Michael in MI on February 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM

*****

ActBlue raises an average of $17.5 million per year. SlateCard, our closest version, launched last year and raised a total of $650,000.

amerpundit on February 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM

I understand your point, but where are the donations coming from? I thought the Democrats were a party of young college age students with either no money or money they would rather spend on beer and sex or a constituency of poor and unemployed people. So who is donating to the Left’s websites and PACs? My guess is that most of the donations are coming from rich Leftists, not from some great mass supportive group of millions.

Something to keep in mind though. I don’t remember the numbers, but Obama outspent McCain by an ungodly amount of money and all it earned him was a 53%-47% victory. He also had the mass media on his side spreading his propaganda, covering for him and working OT to smear Sarah Palin and distort everything about McCain’s campaign (not that he needed any help in his rotten campaign). He also had a massive GOTV effort with ACORN, campaign donation fraud, campaign voting fraud, massive internet campaign, etc etc etc.

And, in the end, despite all this, he only garnered 53% of the vote and the percentage of the voting population inspired to vote was not too much more than any other election in recent history.

All this tells me that it is not money or internet savvy that is keeping the GOP from victory, but rather just putting up a good, competent candidate who articulate principles and values which the base of the Party believes in. President Bush was not all that great in 2004, but despite a massive ABB campaign and facing the same smears from the mass media that McCain-Palin faced, he still won by about the same margin over Kerry that Obama won over McCain. The only thing that really changed from 2004 was that McCain was a dud compared to President Bush and Obama was a rockstar compared to Kerry. The mass media didn’t change, the internet efforts were not much different and the GOTV efforts were probably similar as well. But the difference was that Obama inspired people more than Kerry (gave them someone to vote FOR instead of just getting out to vote AGAINST Bush) and McCain didn’t inspire anyone and probably would have given Obama a Reaganesque landslide victory were it not for Sarah Palin inspiring the base.

All that tells me is that the problem is not money, it’s not the internet and it’s not the mass media or the GOTV effort. The problem is the candidate. Period. Get a decent candidate up there who will inspire the base even half as much as they were inspired for Sarah Palin and the GOP will win again.

To see people focusing on nonsense like money, internet savvy, etc instead of focusing on the core problem — candidate and values and principles — shows that many people in the GOP still just don’t get it.

Michael in MI on February 19, 2009 at 12:00 PM

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I’d bet a significant chunk of the funds not raised by the GOP via the internet has far more to do with the disenchantment of the base for the GOP’s abandonment of conservatism than it does with technological competence or lack thereof.

Besides, it didn’t seem like the McCain campaign had any problems whatsoever raising funds via the internet in the days after he nominated Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Lesson: The MESSAGE matters.

thirteen28 on February 19, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Absolutely. Completely agree.

Michael in MI on February 19, 2009 at 12:02 PM

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Not if that big tent includes bailout supporters, global warming alarmists, shamnesty shills, and free speech opponents.

Especially those who are all of the above.

MadisonConservative on February 19, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Exactly. When people talk about “Big Tent”, it simply tells me that the people don’t want to educate and inform and teach voters about the validity of certain values and principles and just want to give in to the ignorance of blocks of voters.

“Hmmm, we keep losing elections, because a great deal of Americans believe in global warming, believe in socialism/communism/Marxism and class warfare, believe in Amnesty and believe in silencing their political opponents. Hmmm, what should we do? (1) Try to better this nation by teaching Americans why their beliefs are misguided and gently persuade them with the facts about why our beliefs are the right way… or should we (2) just give up our beliefs and pander to the ignorant, misinformed and stupid in order to get elected again. Hmmm, I’m too lazy to do the first one, so let’s do #2 and call it ‘big tent’. Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

Michael in MI on February 19, 2009 at 12:07 PM

*****

I blame the idiots in the primaries. The Fred would have mopped the floor with Hopey McChange.

TheBlueSite on February 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM

I agree. It would have been nice to have an actual debate on the merits of opposite policies and ideas, from two people who actually believed in what they were saying — Obama and his class warfare and socialism vs Fred and his conservatism and federalism — instead of Obama getting away with all his empty rhetoric and misguided nonsense, because McCain either agreed with him or couldn’t speak well to conservative principles, because he didn’t believe in them himself.

Sure, Thompson was a ‘boring old White guy’, but at least he was focusing on policy and values and knew how to explain them, instead of just speaking in empty platitudes and such. Plus, imagine a ticket of Thompson-Palin. The base would have been as fired up as ever. Oh well now though…

Michael in MI on February 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM

*****

amerpundit on February 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I must not be getting my point across very well.

The point of Meghan McCain and some others seems to be that had the GOP’s internet savvy been better, had their campaign donations been better, etc etc, then McCain and the GOP would have won.

My point is that those things are a byproduct of the core problem: the candidate.

Donations will come with a good candidate, no matter what the internet campaign is like. Do you honestly think that Obama’s success was due to some brilliant internet campaign? His internet campaign had to do with Obama Girl and Will.I.Am and stupid, ignorant celebrities talking about Hope and Change and chanting Obama for 2 years. That’s not a brilliant campaign, that’s a result of a bunch of ignorant fools joining a cult.

The problem was that the GOP could not break through that cult message, because they did not have a good enough message of their own. And many of the GOP lost their credibility based on their past performance. McCain had no credibility on basically anything except for military matters. I would bet that 80% of his support came from people who were either voting for Sarah Palin or those who were voting against Obama.

Now, if the GOP puts up a candidate who actually has some credibility based on past experience and success AND who knows how to express those principles and values AND can back them up when challenged, THEN the GOP will win again.

But that is the point many of us are making: the candidate is the core problem, and things like donations and internet savvy and GOTV, etc are all byproducts of the goodness or badness of the candidate. Put up a good candidate, and everything else will work itself out, because people will be volunteering in droves.

Michael in MI on February 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM

February 19, 2009 , 12:50PM - Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatism, John McCain, Meghan McCain, Republicans

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