Concede Nothing: Every Race Counts

A year ago, or more, the Houston area folks got together under Rob Willington’s excellently conceived Rebuild the Party banner. This core group of folks ended up starting the Houston Tea Party. The Houston Tea Party is primarily based in Harris County, the biggest county in the nation, and very representative of the nation as a whole. It’s mixed racially and politically. And it can be a harbinger of how the nation will vote. Additionally, there are parts of Harris County that the Republican party has conceded. Just like there are parts of red and blue states and states generally, that have been conceded.

The Republicans conceding in between elections as well as races, themselves, has been a tremendous source of irritation. It is one thing to microtarget and write off a district because it’s “unwinnable”. The problem is that too many areas were written off that could, in this election, be won. And now, with no foundation there, it makes the task of winning more difficult. Texas isn’t the only place this has happened. In fact, this is a problem nationwide for Republicans. With a lack of organization and get out the vote effort and the lack of relationship building, many potentially winnable races will be lost simply because there is no there, there. It’s been conceded.

For a concrete example: Ray McKinney in the Georgia 12 election. Ray McKinney is running there. He’s a good man. He’d be a great asset to the Republican party. He would be good for Georgia. And this year, there is a perfect storm that could help roll Ray to victory in a district that normally votes Democrat.

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There are a couple problems in the district, though. His primary opponent, Carl Smith, shouldn’t be running. He is likely violating the Hatch Act because he was a firefighter for 18 months of campaigning. In addition, he lost his firefighting job amid credible ethical complaints. All in all, he’s a damaged candidate.

So, a toughly fought primary is happening where one candidate should step out and one good candidate should get funding and neither is happening. Ray McKinney is a great candidate and deserves money and he can win. He can win in a district that usually votes Democrat. He can be part of a sweeping win that clears out the Democrat riff-raff and is part of the remaking of Georgia.

Ray McKinney’s race is but one around the country. It’s an important one for both Georgia and the nation because it’s so emblematic of the America Republicans should be fighting for.

Republicans have conceded too much. They’ve conceded too much politically. They have conceded too much in education. They’ve conceded too much in the arts and Hollywood. They’ve conceded too much in the arena of ideas. They’ve conceded states. They’ve conceded cities. They’ve districts like Ray McKinney’s in Georgia 12.

All of these concessions have resulted in a country that leans center-right but is pushed further and further left. Too many battles go unfought because there is no guarantee they can be won. The result is a guaranteed loss. Add up the losses and we have Obama’s America.

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