"Yeah, we all need someone we can cream on.
And if you want to, well, you can cream on me."
(Mick Jagger & Keith Richard)
from "Let It Bleed" (1969)
Yesterday's electoral debacle for the Massachusetts Republican Party can be rationalized in a variety of ways. Apologists can whip out the usual excuses from "poor crop of GOP candidates" to the "stupid lemmings in this state" who chose to re-elect Democrats over & over again. But the root cause of the 11/2/10 blowout lies within the state GOP itself. As I've mentioned many times in the past, the Massachusetts Republican Party suffers from an identity crisis. A third of the party wants to be Democrat-Lite, another third wants to be Libertarian-Lite, while the remaining third prefers to remain Conservative-Lite. It's no wonder that, when given the choice between a political party unsure of what it is versus a party confident in continuing to promulgate its practical ideology, voters will always choose the "strong horse."
The development of a practical ideology will go a long way towards helping the GOP find its identity in this bluest of Blue States. A sub-committee within the Republican Party can dedicate the time, personnel, & resources necessary to formulate both a fusionistic structure for itself as well as a public policy blueprint for the Bay State (which would posit an approach that differs dramatically from the practical ideology successfully promulgated by today's Democrats & their fellow travelers). Yes, the process involves a lot of hard work. It also requires the party members to make unpleasant choices that will determine the future of the GOP - the type of choices similarly made by William F. Buckley in his day when he anathematized the Objectivists & Birchers from the conservative movement & from that point on made the movement's future successes possible. Failure to act upon this form of mission statement will be interpreted by any serious student of politics as a form of suicidal indifference to the party's slide towards irrelevance.