MAINstream Coalition: Devastating Primary wasn't that bad.

In Dave Kranz's column in the Argus Leader this morning, State Senator Ed Olson (who was in Pierre yesterday) explains in his opinion why he thinks the election which threw three of it's founders out of office was not a repudiation of the organization:
The poorly attended primary was not an indicator of strength or weakness of the group, he said.

"It's onward and upward," Olson said. "I know there was a tremendous amount of work done by those who staunchly oppose us, but the premise was we wanted to be a group people were comfortable with, Republican, Democrats, pro or anti-abortion, whatever. I look at that turnout and say now more than ever, something has to change."
Respectfully, I'll disagree with Ed. When he was in town yesterday, I waved at him as I walked by at the Capitol because I like Ed. He's a good guy, despite the fact I don't agree with the MAINstream thing. And similarly, I don't know that I concur with his assessment of things.

I think at this past primary election, Republican voters across the state decided they wanted their Republican legislators to start acting like Republicans, not be more like Democrats.

Within Republican circles, Ed is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. And that's ok. He brings another view to the table in the party. What the majority of Republican voters didn't like (with Sutton, Duniphan and Adelstein) is being told that there was something wrong with them because they disagreed. That, and their opponents worked their tails off.

I was having the conversation with a couple of Republicans recently that the views of the GOP are set by those who show up and do the work. If those who might be more socially moderate think they aren't adequately represented by the GOP, then why aren't they out doing the work to make sure they are?

Where are they going to be at the upcoming convention this next week in Watertown? Where are they when it's time to be precinct committemen and women? Because there are certainly precinct slots just waiting to be filled.

Where are they when it's time to decide what policy statements comprise the platform? People with conservative views are going to be there. Where are these people who don't like the way things are going? The party's views are decided by those who show up. If you don't show up and volunteer when it's time to go to work, then you don't have much to complain about when somebody else is out there setting policies you don't agree with.

And I think that lesson is borne out by the spanking of the MAINstream founders this past election. Their message was that if you don't like the way the GOP is going, take your toys and go play with them. A lot of good that did. What they should have been doing instead of courting Democrats is a simple task of solidifying their base within the Republican party, and recruiting the like-minded to go to work for the GOP. Instead, the voters sent them packing.

What will be telling about their continue prospects? Count how many of the MAINstream members you see at the GOP convention.

Are you a Republican who doesn't like the way things are going? Or are you a Republican who wants things to continue the way they are? Either way, I'd tell you to go volunteer for the GOP, by clicking here and by filling out the form.

The party's destiny is determined by those who show up and do the hard work. Not by those who take their toys and go somewhere else.

That's a lesson I think the MAINstream coalition members can take from the election.

Comments

Anonymous said…
4:48 AM? Pat, stop!
Anonymous said…
There is more than one type of moderate. One is a Rudy Guiliani type, who acknowledges that he different views than conservatives, but who still works with and works for conservatives (he has campaigned for Rick Santorum).

And then there are liberal Republicans who embrace the "party left me" concept.
David Newquist said…
There are a lot of South Dakotans in both parties who do not like the way things are going. Politics in South Dakota has devolved from differences on issues to seeing who can gain the most power by maligning the most personalities. Just look at the kind of rhetoric on the blogs, and you can see what kind of nasty, petty, and irrelevant business politics in the state has become. There is fertile ground for planting a third party in this state, so do not dismiss the image that the Mainstream Coalition has erected for people.
Anonymous said…
I think the vast majority of the electorate is moderate and would vote for the more moderate candidate every time. But that vast majority of moderate people who voted for Bill Janklow and Tom Daschle all those years are not the people who volunteer for political parties.

They are moderates because they see both sides of an issue and not the black and white of the extreme conservatives and liberals. They want to work with others, not divide and conquer. But again, it’s the passionate/extreme person who volunteers and get involved with the election process. This constant divide and lack of cooperation between parties is driving this county to ruin, there is so much disdain for anyone that disagrees with your opposing view that the average citizen doesn’t want to participate or make their voice heard in public.

I agree with Mr. Newquist, the county and state is ripe for a moderate independent that is actually a “Uniter” and not just a catchy buzz word created by some sleazy Dick Morris or Karl Rove.
Anonymous said…
"say, now more than ever, something has to change." What does Ed mean by that? That it's obvious the conservative Republicans are totally whacked out of their minds and everyone else should follow him? I think Ed is dillusional and won't admit the majority of Republicans disagree with him. It's really too bad he didn't have a conservative primary opponent.
lexrex said…
not sure why you call ed olson a "fiscal conservative."
Anonymous said…
Wow. This is amazing. Well, PP, you've made yourself known now. I mean, seriously, a "devastating" primary?

You are so desperate to call it a victory that you can't even see that this thing might have actually HELPED democrats.

You've just outed people with longtime name recognition, with records, with years of service. What you have now are candidates that are simply republicans. And, this year, thats going to matter to a lot less people than you think.

You can't see it because you're a part of it.

Truth is, people generally vote republican because, all playing fields leveled, they consider themsevles republican. But, this time around, you have republicans that went to the extreme, that are getting sued for not providing money to schools.

Hell, what's gonna happen when people find out that over the past four years, state government has hired more people than the public school system has.

People will find out.
Anonymous said…
If a third party DOES develop in the next 50 years, it will because of an issue, or a set of issues. And if the third party is a winning party, these issues will be good ones.

Currently, many who put down conservatives and call themselves moderate are often described as "fiscally conservative" and "socially moderate." What that really means is spending more (how much is not defined) on education (and without accountability), maintaining current abortion-on-demand policies, and the redefinition of the family. If this is your party, you're a Democrat.
PP said…
Anon 4:22 - so a primary where 3 of your 7 founders (plus one ally) get thrown out of office isn't devastating to a cause?

Sorry, next time I'll label it as happy or some other inoffensive term.

And I'm part of it? If I'm so much a part of it, why aren't I making any damn money off it.

I'm entitled to my views and my opinions. And at least I have the courage of my convictions enough to not say such things anonymously.
Anonymous said…
anonymously? PP can you get rid of that option or is that beyond your omnipotent control? The reason a lot of us, knowing several besides myself, like this blog is we can say things anonymously. No I could just go register as Larry Russell and post accordingly but that would be dishonest.
Anonymous said…
Leave Larry Russell alone. He is a close friend of mine, and I am not going to allow others to take cheap shots at him. Why was his name brought up anyway?
PP said…
Settle down guys.

Every time I consider removing the anonymous posting (and I can) my wife reminds me that it's part of what makes this blog good.

So, I'll allow it as long as it doesn't get slanderous, or go into people's bedrooms. Then I reserve the right to kill those postings.
Anonymous said…
I thought republicans like going into peoples bedrooms, PP. Gay marriage, abortion... those are personal choices that republicans don't want people to have.

Seriously, lose the white-knuckled grip on the moral issues and move forward with real issues.

See, there are alot of registered republicans in this state. But, those that I talk to, they are much more moderate than you would think.

Where you have them, and the only place you have them, is supposedly keeping taxes low. Once they realize, though, that the increased TAXES they have been paying have been going to fund numerous government programs, and not into the places where South Dakotans need it, then I think that will be pervasive.

Oh, by the way, I wonder if there is any correlation to this governor's refusal to tackle rising costs of health insurance and his "blind trust" he operates for his INSURANCE company??
lexrex said…
i love it when libs say "move forward with real issues." that's so phony. if abortion wasn't a real issue to adelstein and the rest of them, they wouldn't have spent all the time and money on referring 1215 to the ballot and trying to unseat its supporters.

if education, taxes, health insurance, etc. are the "real issues," then why don't we ever see the libs refer stuff on that to the ballot? when was the last time they challenged a health care law they didn't like to a ballot vote? where are the 38,000 signatures to refer an education issue to the ballot?

okay, the food tax. that's one. but did stevie hildebrand collect money to unseat food tax proponents? no. where was this level of uproar, then?
Anonymous said…
Adelstein, et al's, activity to oppose 1215 were a reaction, more than an action. If you get my drift.

These people introduced at least eight pieces of legislation this year that did nothing but interfere with personal medical decisions. I mean, what do you expect people who are not completely insane to do, just let that law pass that would have required psychological evaluations before a woman could have an abortion? Fighting this ridiculous legislation leaves less time to deal with, you know, actual issues.

You all are the ones who politicize this, lexrex.

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