The RNC Needs Change, Not Another Round of Mediocrity

The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.

The 2022 Red Wave turned out to be a ripple, and as tempting as it is to pin the demotion on the shenanigans of Democrats, the burden lies squarely with Republican party governing bodies, from the state level to the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The Dobbs decision understandably turned some of the headwinds against Republican candidates this cycle. Even so, 2022 was one of the most winnable election cycles for Republicans in recent memory. Lingering COVID restrictions, massive inflation, soaring gas prices, international turmoil, a massive border crisis, and rampant crime in blue cities across the nation were not only key, persuasive topics for the party to run on, but they were all issues that have been affecting the American voter in real-time. The data was there, and the dire consequences are being lived out by all of us. Coupled with an unprecedented focus on public education and parental rights, these issues gave Republicans a once-in-a-lifetime cycle to message party values and persuade the middle.

Though Republicans were able to narrowly win the House, they still failed miserably. The Senate races were plagued with weak candidates, backed by big dollars – dollars that were ultimately put to poor use. The Republican platform is on the right side of all these issues. Money plus messaging should have been enough. It was not, and at some point, we have to look around and ask ourselves what needs to change to properly capitalize on the governing weaknesses of Democrats.

In the private sector, when a CEO presides over years’ worth of weak results, that person is soon enough replaced. Headship creates direction, and the direction of a successful company should always be trending upward. When it doesn’t, it is not the workers who are to blame; it is always considered a leadership issue.

In the political sector, the elites can just continue to fail upward, and that is what current RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has been doing for years. Pulling the party’s mission along during the Trump era may have presented unique challenges, but that is no longer an excuse. McDaniel has no more grace period. Her time in this position has been a costly disappointment. My RedState colleague Bonchie put it well in a recent article:

Ronna McDaniel has been an unmitigated disaster as RNC chair and it’s astonishing she hasn’t resigned in disgrace. Since she’s taken over, Republicans have gotten mowed down in the blue wave of 2018, lost the White House and the Senate in 2020, and squandered perhaps the best electoral environment in decades in 2022, only barely taking the House of Representatives in what should have been a red wave year.

To add insult to injury, McDaniel then made the media rounds bragging about how great she and the party did when it was obvious to anyone with a pulse how huge of a screwup the election was. Someone who is willing to gaslight their own voters like that has no business being anywhere near power. Whatever qualities she possessed when Donald Trump hand-picked her for RNC chair, they haven’t led to electoral wins. At some point, putting skins on the wall matters, and doing the same thing over and over while continuing to lose is the definition of insanity.

McDaniel has failed, and if she were truly dedicated to Republican victory, she would step aside to let the party hit the refresh button.

Undoubtedly, the job of RNC Chair is a thankless position. The duties are broad – messaging, strategizing, and fundraising, to name a few. In a party that represents 50 states, it is most certainly difficult to please all the people all the time. Obviously, there are also insider politics in the swamp to consider as well. A lot goes on behind the scenes that the unwashed masses will never be privy to. I thank McDaniel for her time and effort, but I cannot, in good conscience, support her latest bid for another stab at the job.

Two other names have come up in the discussion as challengers to the current Chairwoman: Lee Zeldin and Harmeet Dhillon. Frankly, either would represent a welcome change for the party, but my money is on Dhillon.

As a constitutional lawyer and former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, she has been on the front lines of pushing back on Democrat overreaches in private life, particularly throughout the pandemic. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but America is currently enduring a moment of constitutional crisis, and so far, only SCOTUS is standing between us and a complete constitutional breakdown. It would be nice to know the Republican chair is someone who not only takes the crisis seriously but has been taking action to quell it.

Dhillon has been intimately involved with some of the biggest constitutional cases in the nation, and most recently she headed to Arizona to consult on election fraud concerns there. We all know Maricopa County is going to continue to be a problem for the electoral college. Dhillon brings the chops to confront that head-on.

There is one more area in which I believe the California-based lawyer will be a key asset as chair. Our state is becoming a vital political battleground. Yes, we are a true-blue state at the moment and of course, that is discouraging. But don’t forget that old adage, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Many people might feel morally superior to mock our ridiculous progressivism but take a look around you before you snark. We’ve successfully exported some of our most insane policies. Green energy scams; egregious sexual education policies and pro-grooming public-school curriculum; mail-in ballots; COVID restrictions; crime and homelessness; border chaos. The list goes on and I don’t have to explain it. You know it because you’re complaining about it in your states too.

And now you may be in for the worst export of all – Governor Gavin Newsom.

California is fertile ground, and naysayers would do well to remember that California congressional wins in races that were on the bubble helped secure the House for Republicans. Our state party has chosen to put a heavy focus on the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) vote. We have a huge population in this state, and they are becoming a powerful voting bloc. It’s a sensible strategy if executed with care. Dhillon is an Indian immigrant who has become the embodiment of the American dream. She has the inside track on California politics, represents an increasingly influential voting bloc, and can be an invaluable player in stopping the political perversion seeping out of the Golden State.

And yes, she can raise funds. She’s a lawyer, she’s used to getting money out of people.

The GOP is failing, even with a House win this cycle. Winning in the next election cycle is vital to its survival. America will be digging out of another round of the Biden administration for the next thirty years, should he survive long enough to mount another challenge. We’ll need strong leadership to support and cultivate a culture of winning in the RNC. Dhillon can deliver that. She at least deserves the chance.

Ronna McDaniel has had her chance and has proven herself to be a merchant of mediocrity. It’s time to move on.

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