1 day to go. It's all about tomorrow.
And what are we going to do about the elections after that?

I've got to stop and take a breath. Tomorrow's the big day.

I was going to write that it was 2 days out, but then I looked at the clock, and noticed that I was into the next day already. 2 or 3 liters of diet coke on the way back to Pierre will to that to my sleep cycle, so I spent the time on last minute stuff.

I did a last minute ad, gave advice, made phone calls, and all the frenetic activity that usually occurs in the last hours of an election. And in the midst of all of that, it really has me thinking about the deep divisions in the GOP and what the future holds.

Before you DEMS start going "Aha!", look in the mirror. It's not like the Dems are immune, either, having read the Sunday Rapid City paper. But I'm not concerned about them. I'm concerned about us. (so Dems, you can quit reading)

This primary season has been as competitive as primary seasons can be. In fact, some of these races have been tooth and nail. It's a bunch of people who want to win. And that's ok, there's no big cookie for second place in many of the races. You'll find I'm as comeptitive as they come, and in a primary race, I neither give nor expect any quarter.

But at this point, I'm less concerned about the outcome as much as I am about our ability to pull back together for the fall elections.

With the GOP, we're not divided just along lines of the abortion issue. We're divided on moderates versus conservatives. We're divided along lines of fiscal conservatives versus social conservatives. We're divided on East River versus West River, etc, and so on. There's lots of opposing forces, but few attractive forces to balance them.

It's been building for a while. The early warning signs seemed evident when there were rumblings of a conservative coalition meeting and making plans. It went into heavy overdrive when "a certain senator" spent thousands of dollars in 2004 funding races against incumbents and those that would be his colleagues. That further snowballed with moderate legislators forming the MAINstream Coalition. And in retaliation dozens upon dozens of high profile Republicans have criticized them openly and publicly. And it has continued to snowball, almost ad nauseum.

And I'm concerned. When I first became politically active over 18 years ago now, I identified myself with the Republican Party and worked to help it's candidates win. I didn't sign up for the abortion party or the conservative party or any other factional or fractional group. I identified my beliefs with that of the Republican party, and have worked to further it and it's candidates.

I think that's the experience of many people who work in the party, and its about time we remembered that. Don't get me wrong - it's ok to disagree and argue - but we need to come back to the dinner table and sit down in fellowship.

I know it's going to be tough, but starting Wednesday, we Republicans need to put our differences behind. Or we might lose some races we shouldn't be losing.

Political races take cooperation, structure, volunteers, money, and everything else. And those things can be best accomplished by people working together, as opposed to being at each other's throats.

We need to realize that it's better to stand together united as South Dakota Republicans, than to fall down in fractionalized little groups. It's not abandoning one's own core beliefs as much as being pragmatic. Winning is better than losing. It's easier to win when you work together.

I'm going to sit down in the coming weeks as we have a little down time after the primary, and try to promote that mindset, and hopefully we can make that idea catch on.

And don't forget to vote tomorrow.


Anonymous said…
The republican party is leaderless right now. As a republican I'm disgusted by the whole thing. Rounds has shown NO leadership. Frederick is a joke. Larry Rhoden as leader appeared to be the most ineffective house majority leader we have had in the House in years. Schoenbeck was only slightly better and was so busy promoting his own causes that he took his eye off the ball as well. Bogue has yet to realize there is a part of SD east of the river and you pick the river James or Missourt. The republicans have forgotten what the republican party stands for. They are to busy trying to catch the latest poll and adjust thier thinking to what they think the public wants to hear regardless of principles. Now if the dems had any leadership on thier side they could take advantage of what the republicans have bungled but they seem to be stuck with infighting as well. The days of Janklow, Barnett (JOE not MARK) Herseth, Symens, seem to be long gone and nobody to step up and make a difference.
Unknown said…
"2 or 3 liters of diet coke on the way back to Pierre..."

Cute. You blithely admit (brag about?) having a jones for sugar water laced with caffeine, that you are well aware will rot your teeth, add empty calories to your diet, and speed you up to the tune of the equivalent of a half-gallon or so of coffee.

But you can not bring yourself to endorse the idea that sick, disabled and dying people should not be imprisoned for using a SAFE, EFFECTIVE medicine that makes them feel better.

But it's all for the children, right?
PP said…
Bob - Since your mantra is tired and boring, let me liven up my response by utilizing song (to the tune of camptown ladies):

One is legal, one is not. Doo Dah, Doo Dah.

Go somewhere else to peddle pot. All the doo dah day.
Anonymous said…
It's probably inconsequential, PP, but you missed something that Bob wrote, "...sugar water laced with caffeine...", Diet Coke has no sugar in it so his first paragraph is actually meaningless.

Your message handled the 2nd very well, "go somewhere else to peddle the pot."
Anonymous said…
Wow, have to totally agree that the Republican Party is leaderless!!! (and I am Republican.) Most of the problem has to be with Sen. Adelstein and his PAC money given to those he considers to be with him on his agenda issues. This is not what any of us want in the Party. We can only pray that the voters will be able to understand what is going on. Vote him out of office. He is obsolete! He is ineffective and the Republican Party should be able to see this. Time for Adlestein to go.
Anonymous said…
Several things. The Republican party is leaderless, but things have certainly been brought to the surface concerning rinos and dinos.

Several things about Newland. I don't know why I should be so upset about abortion. Newland is a perfect example that abortion does not affect the fetus. And long-term drug use has really affected what few brain cells God blessed him with.

I think PP ought to go into the music business. Between the Battle of New Orleans and Doo Dah we could have a hit CD on our hands.

I love this blog, I just don't get enough time to weigh in on these weighty issues.

P.S. I can't seem to find any listings in the phone book for anonymous. Are all you anon's related???
Unknown said…
All that is legal is good. All that is illegal is bad. That seems to be the message from SDWC.

South Dakotans for Safe Access is attempting to change the law so sick, disabled and dying people will be able to use a safe, effective medicine to alleviate their conditions without being imprisoned for it. That's bad, according to SDWC (and, apparently, Napoli).

Napoli and SDWC are trying to change the law so that people who find themselves in an adverse medical condition can no longer avail themselves of a safe, effective remedy. That's good.

Some might find a contradiction in the philosophy of SDWC and Napoli. Not me, though. Doo-Dah. Hoo-Hah.

Nope, it's just authoritarian politics as usual.
Unknown said…
Anyone who follows this blogsite knows that I think PP is chickenhearted and of ambiguous principle.

However, this is the best blog in So. Dak., next to Mt. Blogmore (which is better because of all the action on it, and because the moderators don't run from a fight, and because the moderators don't usually posit unsupportable arguments to support their positions).

Today I sent PP $25 to help defray the expenses he incurs (in time and money) to post the stuff he posts and, mostly , for not muzzling my speech, most of which he apparently finds distasteful.

How much have you given him, Napoli?

And with a cheerful GFY (God Forgives You), PP, I sign off for the moment.

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