Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Have You Stopped Pinching Yourself?

It was great night, so filled with gratitude and hope at the Kentucky Republican Victory Party. I am so happy for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for his stunning reelection.  At 15 points, it is more than I could have asked for or imagined. I am still shocked at how quickly the race was called. It happened almost too fast to comprehend.

Allison Lundergan-Grimes so-called "concession" speech -- in which she could not bring herself to mention McConnell by name -- was tasteless and ill-mannered, whereas McConnell was gracious to her in his victory.  She confirmed what many women had grown to suspect over the course of the campaign: she is a mean girl.

Sure, it was disappointing that Republicans did not flip the Kentucky House. This was not a surprise, unfortunately, to most who follow the House races closely. Even with three Super PACs pouring money into flipping the House, these are inherently local races. Money cannot buy elections, contrary to Democrat sour grapes.  Money is necessary, but not sufficient.  I suspect Republicans could do a better job recruiting and training candidates.  GOP state party leaders need to look closely and honestly at what could have been done differently to achieve a better outcome in the House races. We have come close for several cycles, but it feels like we're stuck.  Let's determine what needs to change so that we can get un-stuck.

 My only suggestion on the Victory Celebration is that next time, let's hold it downtown, not in the East End.  Nate Haney and Sen. Rand Paul are making real inroads, competing for votes in the West End.  So let's hold the victory party in a location that is easier for people who rely on public transportation to get to. We have to change the way we think as Republicans.  If we are going to compete for votes everywhere, this has to be reflected in all aspects of the organization, and that includes the celebration.  Let's keep that in mind next November when we celebrate electing Kentucky's next governor.

It was wonderful to see so many local high school students in attendance.  There was a good showing from St. Xavier and from Sacred Heart and from Oldham County.  This bodes well for the future of the party; these teenagers understand that they will get stuck with the bill for the Democrats' profligate spending.  They have a keener appreciation for the financial implication of the national debt than many adults.

All in all, I am grateful for the opportunity to end the dysfunction in  the U.S. Senate.  It's time to vote on the 200-plus bills that the House of Representatives passed, that Harry Reid refused to bring to the Senate floor.  If Obama wants to veto him, let him.

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