During that period the party had some success. There were several US senators and a number of congressmen that were well respected in DC. Those days are gone. Still, even to this day the state is fairly close to being 50/50 overall when votes are tallied. In recent years we've had a number of recounts and spectacularly close contests, but the likelihood of today's Republican party holding a major office or controlling anything in the near term is dicey at best. The last election saw a clean sweep of all statewide offices for the DFL.
The point is the Republican brand is toast in Minnesota and probably the rest of the country too. Most of it is of their own doing, but of course the major media is glad to pile on. Re-branding is not likely to happen for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the complete arrogance of the entrenched party system. There are plenty of conservatives and constitutionalists who have a brand name they often like to use - the Stupid Party. It's an apt name. As Michael Walsh has said "any party that can't sell liberty and freedom doesn't deserve to be in power". He's right! To say the party has a communication problem is an understatement.
To rise above the berm of the media wall and reframe the policies the New York Times, Time magazine and all the alphabet TV networks mischaracterize for the benefit of the Democrats is fundamental, but a seemingly insurmountable task for the Stupid Party. While Democrats literally sell dependency and envy they are treated as serious, caring intellectuals, whereas the Republicans who peddle silly things like lower taxes and personal responsibility are treated in the media as imbecilic and of course that old standby pejorative mean-spirited.
Five years ago along comes a movement that came to be called the Tea Party. It is not nor was it ever a political party. It was movement that felt more at home in the Republican Party than with the Democrats. I was there when it started here in Minnesota. It was a call to return government, the Federal government back to it's constitutional mandates. It was not anything like what the major media came to portray it in the subsequent five years. Still, the tar and feathers stuck in the minds of the unwashed masses, therefore I doubt it will sustain. Not that the Republican Party - the establishment party - embraced it anyway. I feel it could have been a winning strategy had the party took it up and refused to let the left turn it into a code word for racist.
The establishment party known as the GOP is in deed if not word a "lite" version of the Democratic party. Both party's are responsible for the state the country is in. Both are tied lock, stock and barrel to the crony capitalism of the DC lobbying establishment for the benefit of corporations, foreign trade and, of course, above all else themselves. I have concluded a long ago that the Democrats are a lost cause for actual positive change, and believe them to be the Dangerous Party. The Stupid Party has a slim, microscopically thin chance of redemption. Will it happen? Not likely.
It seems a shame that right now we have a whole generation of young people raised on the bunk the liberals have been selling that are now stepping into the grown-up world with such dim prospects. They watched their own parents struggle to achieve or remain in the middle class and can't even see themselves with a life as good as that. They do all the right things, but find that only a few of them ever crawl out from under a mountain of college debt to find their own success - while their still young. There is no indication that things are going to get better for them anytime soon.
There is hope. I like what I hear from Rand Paul and a few other Republicans. In a recent speech he takes a shot at the notion that the Republicans should cede anything to the Democrats particularly when the they are failing their "constituents" so miserably...
Paul suggested that Republicans should decide if they are going to “go bold” on fiscal issues or become “Democrat light.”
“We need to talk about how when you borrow and spend money, you steal the value of the dollar. Who does it hurt? Not the wealthy. It hurts the working class,” Paul said at the event, hosted by political commentator Erick Erickson.
“These are issues that we shouldn’t give up and say, ‘oh, issues of poverty, Democrats care more.’ Not only do they not care more, their policies don’t work and aren’t working so we shouldn’t give them the high moral ground,” Paul added.
Paul recalled a letter that he wrote to President Obama when sequestration started to take effect.
“Why don’t we look for the $100 billion that is missing – we don’t know where $100 billion is. It was spent, but every year within a $3.8 trillion budget there’s $100 billion not accounted for, a little more than $100 billion,” Paul said he wrote in the letter. “Why don’t we look for it?”One hundred billion dollars lost every year. Lost? That's larger than the annual budgets of 48 states. It's just pocket change to the Federal government, apparently it's not even worth looking in the Federal couch cushions. Let's say $20 billion is the military's famous "black budget" that's still $80 billion lost. It boggles the mind. I'm getting sidetracked...
There is hope, right? Can the Republican party finally stand up proudly, re-frame itself and articulate a message in a way that those aligned against them in the major media can't easily nullify? Can anyone on the center/right crush the notion that government dependency is the hope and change we need. That's what the other guys are selling and America is lapping it up. How sad.