Tactics and Strategy: 2014 and Beyond

*Promoted from the Diaries – Aaron*

What some people confuse when it comes to talk about strategy and tactics is that they are two different things. At the simplest level, tactics are the building blocks of the strategy. Strategy is the goal, tactics are how you get there.


The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is currently focusing only on tactics that get a Republican majority for the Senate in 2014. And, in a sense, that is most certainly their job, considering they are the NRSC, as opposed to the NRCC or just the GOP in general. They have a very specific goal, and their job is to make that happen. It is a short-term strategy, but a strategy nonetheless.

However, what they ignore, and what the conservative base is largely clamoring for, is a long-term strategy that conforms to the party platform and sets the stage for an actual policy debate, rather than an anti-Democratic policy debate. As a result, the NRSC pushes candidates that the base abhors simply because they have the virtue of already being in office. As a result, we get Mitch McConnell.

There are two primary arguments in favor of Mitch McConnell. The first is that we want candidates who can actually win, and McConnell is a proven winner. Just ignore recent polling. RealClearPolitics has the average up to date, with Alison Grimes ahead of McConnell by .5%… but the RCP average for Matt Bevin vs. Grimes has Bevin up by .6%.

The other argument in favor of McConnell is that we want to focus on beating Democrats, which in itself is a fine argument, but McConnell has been capitulating on every issue rather than fight the Democrats in the Senate. This is the bigger issue, and one that we, as conservatives, have to address, and soon.


If we just decide to go with McConnell, we are condemning the Senate GOP to six more years with him in charge. Effectively, we as conservatives are going to have to punt our strategy of pushing for a more conservative Senate at the very least two years, but realistically, more like 4-6 years. By then, the pendulum of public opinion could swing toward the Democrats, and we could be settling for McConnell again just to hold a tenuous seat.

The idea that someone is right for the seat just because they already hold the seat is what creates an Establishment that later spits in the face of the voters and still gets elected. The Mitch McConnells and the John Boehners and their ilk seek only power, and will do whatever they can to hold onto it. They have no interest now in fighting – many of them are too old to fight.

There needs to be a strategy larger than “Win 2014.” That needs to be the tactic, and the strategy has to be a big change in the way D.C. is run.


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