Saturday, September 17, 2005

What We Stand For

The left is going to have a ball with Saturday's events at the Republican Party of Kentucky. They should enjoy it while it lasts.

Governor Fletcher had asked the GOP Executive Committee to fire Chairman Darrell Brock. The fact that the Committee didn't comply on Saturday is ultimately meaningless, but that won't stop the crowing from Democrats counting their unearned good fortune.

Governor Fletcher had his reasons for asking for Brock's head and party leadership had good reason not to go along with that plan. Much will be made of the "divide" or "internal friction" but that is just noise that real people don't care anything about. A governor is an elected official, not a royal figure whose every decree must be quickly obeyed. There is meaning, however, in what happens next. The onus is on both men to produce positive results and to do it quickly and publicly. Brock's job is to raise money. If he is successful there, little else matters. As the Democrats understand by now, no one is going to change party allegiance because of fuzzy ethical concerns about a party chairman. Governor Fletcher is a different story, but he can still be effective. Remember that the 2006 legislative session requires a budget agreement. How that shakes out will far surpass the admitted seriousness of the merit system situation.

Rank and file conservative people care about having a government that functions efficiently and will not insert itself where it doesn't belong. The Republican party is far from perfect. It should come as no surprise that its candidates and elected officials aren't either. Fortunately for the GOP, like the old story about the two hunters running from a bear when one stops to change into his running shoes, we don't have to outrun the bear, just the Democrats. Compare the two party platforms. That should make it abundantly clear why the Dems will be unable to capitalize on this opportunity.

Political conventional wisdom states that you ignore your base and spend your efforts wooing the persuadable portion of your opponents' base. Governor Fletcher needs to turn that old saw upside down and tend to the issues of the people who want to support him the most. Remember what we stand for, Governor. The rest may, in time, take care of itself.

Make the hard choices on Medicaid. Those who will blast you for stemming the tide of red ink would blast you anyway.