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Jim Fossel: It’s time for the GOP to move on

Well, that was definitely… a selection.

Much like the sloppy sport the New England Patriots gained towards the Indianapolis Colts final Sunday, the Democrats — each nationally and right here in Maine — have gained lower than prevented a loss. While Democrats might have woken up to celebration Wednesday, they should not be celebrating. Instead, you must really feel a way of reduction. They averted catastrophe (by a comparatively small margin) by dampening Republican positive aspects statewide and retaining management of the Maine legislature. Last week’s outcomes comprise comparable classes for each events in Maine and nationally, lots of which had been evident effectively earlier than the election.

One of the classes is that it is time for each events to move ahead fairly than renegotiate previous battles. The Maine GOP particularly wants to utterly move away from the Paul LePage period. LePage has dominated the celebration since he was first elected to Blaine House. This is just not to say that giving the incumbent governor the keys to the state celebration headquarters whereas in workplace was a mistake; that is typical of Maine and plenty of different states when your celebration controls the governorship. At the federal stage, so does the Republican National Committee when the celebration has the White House. Now, nonetheless, the manner the Maine Republican Party handles elections wants critical scrutiny.

To put it bluntly, which means the Maine GOP wants no less than one new celebration chief. It’s time for Demi Kouzounas to step apart and provides another person an opportunity on this place. While it is probably not completely her fault that Republicans did not make a win in Maine this 12 months, it is time she (lastly) took duty for it anyway. If that does not appear truthful to you, keep in mind that it is an integral a part of management in any group—or no less than it needs to be.

Nationally, Republicans ought to flip their backs on Donald Trump; This week’s outcomes present that permitting him to choose candidates in each race is just not a profitable system.

It additionally implies that each events ought to cease nominating previous candidates who should not incumbents. Maine Republicans would in all probability have been higher served discovering new candidates for each governor and the second congressional district.

That does not imply that both Paul LePage or Bruce Poliquin had been doomed, nor that anybody else was sure of victory, but it surely definitely would have been extra possible that they’d have completed issues in another way. Part of the downside with the identical particular person operating once more is that they have a tendency to simply run the identical marketing campaign as final time. That’s comprehensible — the system has labored for them in the previous. But it is about as dependable a tactic in politics as it’s in sports activities. Just as Bill Belichick does not use the very same technique towards each opponent each week, operating the identical campaigns with the identical candidates each cycle is not a silver bullet. One has to notice that not solely does the time, themes and circumstances change annually; If you do not, you will find yourself with precisely the outcomes that Republicans acquired in Maine this cycle.

Maine Republicans want to discover not solely new candidates, however a brand new strategy, and quick.

That does not imply they’ve to reinvent politics from scratch; There are profitable fashions that they’ll undertake in Maine. One instance of a technique each they and nationwide Republicans should abandon instantly is avoiding points they’re uncomfortable with. This was notably evident in Maine on abortion: LePage and different Republicans largely tried to ignore it. Mills and different Democrats made it very clear the place they stood. This resulted in single legislative races the place Democratic candidates had been greater than keen to advance their place on the concern whereas Republicans tried to advance none in any respect. It wasn’t simply abortion. Maine Republicans have by no means set a complete agenda of what they’d do in the event that they acquired the majority, and neither have Washington Republicans.

It is just not sufficient to repeat previous campaigns and keep away from the controversial points; that’s dusty, previous proverbial knowledge that has clearly had its day. Instead, Republicans should discover new candidates to deal with the tough points which might be worrying voters. That’s final Tuesday’s precise snack, and I hope it is one that will not fall on deaf ears in Washington or Augusta.

Jim Fossel, a conservative activist from Gardiner, labored for Senator Susan Collins. He might be reached at:
[email protected]
Twitter: @jimfossel

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