Monday, November 26, 2012

How Much Longer Can Nevada GOP Continue Its Self-destruction?

So the election has been over for nearly three weeks. And here in Nevada, all the races have been called. So why is there still so much drama brewing in the Nevada Republican Party?

Yesterday, the local "newspaper" had a(nother) story on the Nevada GOP's latest episode of soul searching, finger pointing, and primal screaming. Apparently, they're just starting to get the memo that Nevada is (still) a Blue State. And they have to figure out a way to avoid losing relevancy.

Earlier in the month, Ralston called them out on their epic dysfunction this cycle.

The Republicans were left with presenting fantasy math that the Flat Earth Society would have rejected and claiming they had made billions of voter contacts (I think that was the number) that would counteract the vaunted Democratic machine, an amazing integration of OFA and Team Reid.

Gentlemen, you should be embarrassed.

The Republican Party is irrelevant: Perhaps irrelevant is too mild. They may as well put up a “vacancy” sign outside the party’s headquarters. His father’s illness notwithstanding, Chairman Michael McDonald was an absentee landlord – nearly every release from the party was from Vice-Chairman James Smack.

The Romney campaign and the RNC tried a workaround, but the Ron Paul folks nipping at their heels, a Clark County GOP run by loons and a Washoe party that seceded and became a subset of the National Republican Senatorial Committee were too much to bear. When mailers started appearing from the Idaho and Colorado Republican parties in mailboxes here, the comedy show had devolved to pure farce.

They either adopt a long-term plan or even Sandoval should be worried.

And he's correct. Back in September, we noticed Nevada Republicans' glaring lack of field. The "power player" consultants ultimately opted to spend more on media advertising while "the real Nevada Republican Party" continued its increasingly time-honored tradition of extraordinary infighting. The few victories Republicans enjoyed on November 6 were more despite the party, not because of it.

So what will Nevada Republicans do to move forward? The above mentioned consultants are floating around the idea of some sort of "permanent Team Nevada" to circumvent the real state party. Others want to continue plotting a plan to finally wrest control from the Ron Paul acolytes who have been spinning the party out of control (perhaps because they're ideologically opposed to any kind of central control?). Meanwhile, the Ron Paul acolytes and their teabagger allies are already threatening primary challenges to Brian Sandoval and all other Republicans they deem "impure". So basically, get ready for another cycle full of G-O-TEA mayhem.

Of course, this is no reason for Democrats to become complacent. After all, Dean Heller was able to eke out his legendary 46% win by mostly keeping his distance from the Nevada GOP FAIL-o-rama. But on the other hand, he only managed to net 46% despite smearing his opponent in mud on the airwaves. Still, this may be a model for other prominent Republican politicians looking to circumvent "Dysfunction Junction" and overcome "The Reid Machine" at Nevada Democrats' disposal.

But can Republicans ultimately remain relevant with this level of chaos continuing indefinitely? I have my doubts. It's just not sustainable to set up a "shadow party" to get out the vote, outsource other party functions (like sending mailers and producing yard signs) out of state, and allow "top of the ticket" candidates to continue running their own operations completely separated from the party while avoiding the actual party like the plague. Something's got to give. We'll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming months as the Nevada Republican Party nears its final implosion (and first chance of actual rebuilding).

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