In his latest column for The Federalist our friend Ben Weingarten, Editor at Large for RealClearInvestigations, senior contributor to The Federalist, columnist at Newsweek, and
all-around political savant, has joined the battle to get the Republican presidential candidates to focus on the one, most important, step to regaining the White House their consultants have so far studiously ignored: How will you win the general election under the present voting system?
We addressed this question in our columns “Are Trump And DeSantis Fighting Over A Worthless GOP Nomination For President?” and “Trump And DeSantis Have Just Two Jobs, And They’re Not Doing Either Of Them” but in an article for the Federalist Mr. Weingarten put a finer point on the issue:
Over the last two election cycles, Republicans lost in historically aberrant if not unprecedented ways. That, or they underachieved relative to what conditions on the ground would have suggested. Political analysts have pointed to numerous factors to explain why the results broke the way they did, but perhaps the one constant in the presidential and midterm elections was that they were both held under a radically transformed voting system.
Democrats are so well-positioned to thrive under this system that even under the most favorable political circumstances, and with a “perfect” Republican presidential candidate, it is not at all clear that such a candidate would prevail. At least that is the prudent assumption under which Republicans serious about winning the presidency should be operating.
Democrats, Weingarten explained, largely developed, and long fought for this system, willing it into existence under the cover of Covid-19. Naturally, they have successfully manipulated and exploited the voting regime they made.
And, even though Republicans on some intellectual level recognize the disadvantages this Democrat-created system imposes upon them, as Mr. Weingarten explains, they have done little to return the system to pre-COVID, 2016 norms.
“Zuckerbucks” continue to loom over our contests as well, despite bans in many states. The left is doing everything it can to steer private money toward public election administration — administration done in conjunction with left-wing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seemingly targeting the Democrat ballots needed to win.
The Biden administration is working to leverage federal agencies to mobilize presumed Democrat voters as well — also potentially in conjunction with the same NGOs — under a March 2021 executive order, “Promoting Access to Voting,” that has remained shrouded in mystery as the bureaucracy stonewalls over inquiries about its implementation.
The Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives could haul Cabinet members and department heads in to explain what they are doing to implement Biden’s executive order and defund it, but so far, the GOP leadership has shown little appetite to do so.
What’s more, Democrats have mounted a sustained campaign to take some of the GOP’s most effective players off the field.
As Ben Weingarten explained, “Democrats have engaged in efforts to ruin the lives of Republican election lawyers — in their own words to “make them toxic in their communities and in their firms” — seeking to kneecap their competition before it ever reaches the courtroom.”
So, what’s the bottom line?
What Ben Weingarten urges, and we wholeheartedly agree, is that Republicans need a plan that recognizes the new realities:
Beyond a legislative effort to ensure end-to-end election integrity from delivery of ballot to vote-counting, candidates must lay out a realistic roadmap for success...
...candidates should seek to identify: Democrats’ most effective and decisive strategies and tactics in recent election cycles; what Democrats will do to improve upon these efforts; Republicans’ greatest strategic and tactical failures and successes in recent election cycles; Republican advantages yet to be exploited; and the most significant election integrity-eroding laws, policies, and practices on a state-by-state basis in recent election cycles.
Such an analysis would help the candidates determine which strategies and tactics to replicate, improve upon, experiment with, and totally discard. It would also help them anticipate the strategies and tactics they should combat using whatever means available, and, relatedly, discern what rules and features of the game they must relentlessly litigate over — as Democrats will no doubt be doing.
Then, candidates could develop a precinct-level plan to find and maximize turnout among voters in the most pivotal locales while building as strong and aggressive an on-the-ground poll challenging/fraud detection operation as possible to deter illegal or unethical Democrat behavior; develop a related lawfare plan; and determine how much money they must raise to implement the plans, when and where to allocate the funds, and to whom.
In an ideal world much of this would be done by the Republican National Committee and the Republican state party committees, but as things stand now it is just not in their DNA to take on any of the crucial tasks Ben Weingarten outlined above, so it falls to the candidates to shoulder the responsibility for doing what is needed to get themselves elected President.
You can read more by Ben Weingarten by subscribing to his Substack https://substack.com/@weingarten
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