Newt Gingrich met with Republican leaders the other day to discuss their systemic problems going into the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. Someone sent Hot Air a copy of Gingrich's briefing paper. It is well worth reprinting in full. I will comment on it in future posts:
THE CURRENT SITUATION:
Someone playing chess will always beat someone playing tic tac toe. Strategy beats tactics.
THE OBAMA STRATEGY FOR 2014 and 2016
It is clear President Obama has decided that he can win a decisive realignment in 2014 and then consolidate his party in power in 2016. To achieve that he will implement six specific strategies:
1. There will be a permanent 24/7 campaign to dominate the media.
2. There will be a constant issue focus shifting to topics which isolate Republicans andarouse the President's allies at the grassroots.
3. Relentless cynicism will characterize the manipulation of facts, the choice of issuesand the willingness to harm the American people and American institutions ("maximum pain for political gain" is the underlying system).
4. The entire coalition of left wing allies will be mobilized over and over to overmatchthe Republicans ( think Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, unions, gay rights groups,etc etc).
5. The Republican Party will be relentlessly attacked and defined in extremist language ( anti-immigrant, homophobic, racist, waging war on women, etc) so the collapse and isolation of the brand makes candidates unacceptable and unelected with no regard for their personal characteristics.
6. The 2012 turnout mechanisms will be modernized, improved and strengthened to try to make 2014 turnout resemble 2012 rather than 2010.
FACED WITH THIS REALITY THE CURRENT GOP IS HOPELESSLY OVER-MATCHED.
1. The GOP has to admit that it is currently incapable of moving at the speed and intensity of the Obama system, with the scale of the Obama system, or with depth and technological capabilities of the Obama system. Until Republicans understand how big the gap is they will continue to lose ground.
2. A new model Republican doctrine and system has to be developed capable of matching the Obama strategy and system.
3. Virtually every element of the GOP, party leaders, incumbents, staffs, candidates,consultants, pollsters, need to be trained into the 21st century new model GOP.
4. Metrics have to be developed for measuring performance.
SOME KEY PRINCIPLES
1. The system of planning has to be:
2. There has to be a vision focusing on a better American future not on an anti-Obamamessage.
3. There is no red and blue. There are 311,000,000 Americans who deserve a better life than the Obama big government redistributionist model can give them. This will require an even bigger, better data system than the Obama machine built.
4. The GOP has to match or surpass the combination of data and behavioral science which the Democrats have developed since 2004.
5. Republicans have to build a system for a permanent campaign with a 24/7 strategy and media capability.
6. If you aren't on offense you are on defense. There are no time outs. Every morning you know your status. If you aren't on offense you are on defense. If you don't win the argument you won't win the vote (a Margaret Thatcher rule).
7. Republicans simply must learn to communicate effectively, emotionally and in a compelling human way.
8. Republicans have to learn to compete in the entire media culture including entertainment media and Internet based media. Republicans have to go where the voters go.
9. Including minorities is a key to success. This will be challenging, at times confusing,and fraught with frustration. Every Republican incumbent, leader and candidate should allocate one third of their time meeting with minority Americans. The first goal has to be to practice listen-learn-help-lead as a model. As Jack Kemp used to say "they have to know that you care before they care that you know". This one principle is an absolute key to any Republican hope to be a majority party.
10. This scale of change requires systematic leadership, metrics for achievement, and encouragement for those willing to take the risks, spend the energy and lead the way. It is a direction not a structure and it will inevitably have some chaotic, imperfect and even confusing moments.
11. Every Republican activist would do well to read California Lieutenant Governor (and former Mayor of San Francisco)' s new book Citizenville. While we will disagree with some parts of it, it is the best description I have found of the potential for a citizen-centric model of civil society to replace the Washington centered bureaucratic model which is currently serving a so badly.
12. Humor can be an enormous advantage, especially at a time when people are anxious about the economy, tired of the political fighting, etc. Note Reagan and Lincoln used media constantly.
Ed Morrissey ads:
Demographics are a big concern with Gingrich, and the only path to success is broadening the GOP’s brand to minority voters. “Every Republican incumbent, leader and candidate,” Gingrich advises, “should allocate one third of their time meeting with minority Americans,” and be accountable to that in measurable data. That doesn’t just mean face time, either, but a “listen-learn-help-lead” model that requires real engagement and long-term commitment to constituencies on which the GOP gave up years ago.
This isn’t new, of course; Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan have urged the Republican Party to start going back to the urban centers that Democrats have had by default for decades, and I wrote after the election about the need to provide real solutions based on conservative principles that will actually help ordinary voters in these communities and address their concerns. That’s the “listen-learn-help-lead” model; if all we ever do is the first stage, it’s not much of a mystery why we fall behind. Gingrich put this into a concrete model for the GOP to follow in his briefing yesterday, and we will see whether anyone chooses to put this into action.