Senator Angus King has been sworn in. President Barack Obama is preparing for a second term which has been boosted by a fiscal cliff deal where House Republicans caved. The legislative majorities in Augusta are gone.
Republicans have a problem.
The result of endless infighting and internal resistance to the rising grassroots is a broken party.
It could have been Senator Scott D’Amboise sworn in as the successor to Senator Olympia Snowe. Although many in the Republican Party are still weary of the Tea Party movement or any freethinking grassroots movement, he would have been better than what we have now. Instead of a United States Senator willing to slash spending and audit the Federal Reserve, we have a Senator who endorses the increased debt for our children. Furthermore as noted in Undercover Porcupine in the past, Angus King opposes transparency when it comes to the Federal Reserve.
Instead of a Republican to help maintain the minority, another Democrat has joined to strengthen the opposing majority. What’s worse is Senator King is a closet Democrat, only caucusing with the party, while posing as an independent individual.
Things could have been different however.
President Barack Obama is in for a second term, after delivering a beating to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in November. This result could have been prevented as well in two scenarios.
Republicans could have chosen a stronger candidate. Romney was weak, wooden, uninspiring, and flimsy on principles. Having a weak backbone is nothing new in either party, but when the growing grassroots demand it, it’s time for that change to be made.
The likelihood of a different candidate being chosen was slim though. It became apparent early on that Romney was the chosen one, leaving the grassroots and everyday Republicans with no voice. This is another problem. Under the leadership of Reince Preibus, grassroots Republicans have been stripped of their future involvement. This all comes after a brutal presidential primary where the establishment regularly resorted to shady tactics to maintain control.
The Tea Party movement in 2010 and Ron Paul grassroots in 2012 both showed a strong ability to get things done. Although former party chairman Charlie Webster took an excess of credit in 2010 for what the Tea Party and everyday Republican grassroots did, it was the regular Mainers who sought change that put the party at the top. In 2012, the Ron Paul movement also showed a sophisticated and effective ability to accomplish their goals.
Now imagine if those entities had been embraced as opposed to being rejected?
Webster and Priebus, as well as every other leader in the county, made a serious tactical error when they focused more on control than the “big tent.”
The power of the Republican Party is weakening, but the potential for greater strength is still there. New State Chairman Rich Cebra can create a powerful force by doing as his predecessor did not, and embracing the grassroots. Reince Preibus needs to be removed at the national level and replaced with someone like Cebra, as well.
The results so far are rough for any true conservative or libertarian. Senator King, two-term President Barack Obama, the weak House Republicans, and Democratic State Legislature are what our reality consists of. Republicans have no one else to blame but themselves though.
All of this can be changed for the better next time. It’s time for the Republican establishment to step back and allow for the “big tent” to open.