Less than a week after former Governor Mitt Romney lost the election and President Barack Obama secured 56% of the vote in Maine, some in the Republican Party are preparing for a witch-hunt. The historic gains made in 2010 by the Maine Republican Party have been erased as the legislative majority has fallen, with uncertainty lingering about Governor Paul LePage’s re-election in two years. This moment should be for unity and preparation for the future, as what is left is in danger of being destroyed. If the Republican Party fails to secure Governor LePage’s re-election in 2014, the world for them becomes much darker. But none of this matters. Why? Because it’s time to attack the fragmented 44% that could have beaten President Obama’s 56%.
There has been indications by multiple mainstream Republicans across the state that those who voted for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson or Congressman Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney should have to answer. Your vote, your personal freedom, should be made according to party line. What is the point of voting, if this is the case? If the belief is that every individual in America owes their party establishment their say in how America is run, what is the point in elections anyway? There should be a cut off. Come November, whatever party you’re enrolled in, they have your vote. Makes sense? This is what is implied.
Internal sources suggest that at least one county Republican committee could consider confronting this issue and question those members who did not tow the party line. But is it really selling out your party to vote your conscience, or is it your party selling out it’s members for not nominating according to principles? What was it Ronald Reagan said about his departure from the Democratic Party? The party left us.
Math is math however. 56% was President Obama’s final total in Maine. Rework the numbers every way possible, but no combination of numbers totaling 44% defeats 56%. So why the witch-hunt?
Clearly the establishment is insecure. There has been increasing resistance within the party for some time now and it’s not just a Ron Paul thing. 2008 was a disappointment for the party members who viewed Senator John McCain as a weak and uninspiring candidate, with many people either going third party or voting for the ticket only because of Sarah Palin. After the huge loss to then-Senator Barack Obama, the party entered a phase of soul-searching that led to the rise of the Tea Party movement. Eventually, the libertarians would become major players through the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign, and strengthen the challenge to the entrenched establishment. The establishment has every reason to get worried.
The establishment then could take two paths. The first and the logical path, would be to listen to the grassroots in an attempt to draw together everyone, including the youth that Congressman Paul inspired to join the party. A strengthened and united front would make 2014 a viable battleground for success. The path some in the bitter mainstream are opting for, instead, is a public flogging.
One thing is clear however, that everyone can agree on, is that this is a critical moment in the future of the Republican Party. The 2012 election is behind everyone. No amount of quarreling and pointing of the fingers will restore the days of the election cycle back for one last fight. It’s over. The next stage is to continue on, preparing candidates and raising the standards of those the party nominates, as to ensure more confidence from the voters who rejected them this year. Furthermore, there needs to be a great refocus. A lot needs to be re-evaluated. Instead of looking to a victory in 2014, a witch-hunt will commence. As the infighting continues and Republicans seek to eat their own, the Maine Democratic Party will smile as they look forward to the next election cycle. As in 2012, the Maine Republican establishment looks to be the Democrats’ hardest working volunteer base going into 2014.