Since his appointment as Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2007, Mike Duncan has led the Republican Party to the most spectacular national political defeat in Modern American History. To call the Republican National Committee campaign efforts under his leadership disastrously inept is to be charitable to him.
The party’s 2008 Presidential nominee, John McCain, was thoroughly trounced by a Democratic opposition that was agile, well organized, focused, and technologically savvy. We also lost a significant number of seats in both the Senate and the House, where we were already a minority.
Inexplicably, Mr. Duncan apparently seems to believe that his dismal performance of failed leadership in the 2008 election recommends him for another term as RNC chair. Let's face it, his DNC counterpart, the maniacally screechy Howard Dean, just knocked his block off, and Mr. Duncan apparently still fails to realize his own culpability in this debacle.
How else can you explain Mr. Duncan’s recent announcement that he is declaring himself a candidate for another term as RNC Chair, despite the fact that there are already five other candidates in the race, all of whom are eminently more qualified than him to lead the party out of its recent failures?
There are a few who defend Duncan’s leadership. They claim he is a good manager of resources. This argument sounds to me like recommending the captain of the Titanic, had he survived the tragedy, to captain the very next transatlantic passenger ship voyage on the grounds that the kitchen of the Titanic did not once run out of rolls during the entire voyage... at least, until the ship sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
Immediately after the election losses, a spate of grass roots efforts grew up, literally almost overnight, to resurrect the Republican Party, this time around based on true principles of conservatism and an understanding and skill in the use of technology to communicate the conservative message. The first, and arguably the most recognized of these efforts, the Rebuild the Party movement, was launched by Patrick Ruffini, who set forward a detailed action plan for the party just days after the election loss.
Other movements, such as Smart Girl Politics, and the #dontgo movement, and the New Republicans, are also spurring the growth of grass roots movements, as well as the group of which I am the co-founder, Top Conservatives on Twitter, which at this moment has over 1,500 members and is growing fast.
There are tens of thousands of netizen warriors working to rebuild the conservative movement and Republican Party this very moment.
I personally set forward a Plan to Rebuild the Republican Party, but I am but one among thousands.
Energy abounds within the conservative grass roots movement. Our organization, which goes by the Twitter search acronym #TCOT, has already set forward a plan to reclaim Congress for Conservative Republicans in 2010.
The awful truth of the matter, which we must acknowledge plainly and honestly, is that Mike Duncan is the #1 technological laggard, and it is time for him to get out of the way so the grass roots conservative movement can now lead the Republican party back to victory.
We’ve been tracking Mr. Duncan's committment to technology here, and the truth is, he's not even making an effort, unlike his five opponents.
Therefore, this evening I am calling on Mike Duncan to immediately withdraw his candidacy for the position of Chairman of the Republican National Committee. I know that he is committed to conservative principles, and I am telling him plainly and directly that the very best thing he can do to advance the cause of conservatism and the Republican Party is to take this personally uncomfortable step right now.
I am making this call for his withdrawal as an individual grass roots conservative Republican activist, who was elected statewide as a Tennessee Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008. I speak only for myself, but as co-founder of #TCOT I can say with complete certainty that my views represent the vast majority of the #TCOT community. With the exception of a few of his announced supporters who have recently joined our group, I would hazard to guess that my view may well be unanimously supported by the rapidly growing group of 1,500 conservative activist “netizen warriors”
The 168 members of the Republican National Committee will be voting on January 28-29, 2009 to select a Chairman for the next two years, and I am asking every member of the #TCOT organization who agrees with my views on the necessity of Mr. Duncan's withdrawal to communicate directly and through the use of their blogs with these 168 members.
You can contact these 168 members here.
In addition, you can tell me if you agree with my call for Mike Duncan to withdraw immediately from the RNC Chair Race by taking the online poll on this topic, which you can find now at the #TCOT Report.
I am publicly calling for Mr. Duncan's immediate withdrawal from the RNC race for 2 reasons:
1. The mere fact he has announced his candidacy, in light of two years of the most spectacular failure in American political history indicates how utterly disconnected he is from the real world of technology and engagement in which the rest of us live.
2. Apparently, some RNC members – among those 168 who will be able to vote for Chair Jan 28 are equally disconnected from reality and may be considering a vote for Duncan. This is hard to believe, and points to the importance of immediate corrective action.
The conservative and Republican grass roots movement are likely to ignore the RNC if Mr. Duncan is elected Chairman in January. Frankly, it will sound the death knell of irrelevancy for the RNC. The old guard at the RNC blew it big time. It's time for the failed old guard to step out of the way and let us in the grass roots movement lead now.
I note that Mr. Duncan apparently has recently and belatedly endorsed the Rebuild the Party Platform, but based on his performance of the past two years, I am convinced that he does not comprehend how to implement this platform. It looks to me like he is just checking the box.
Others in the press have recently noted that Mr. Duncan isn't up for the job. Here’s what Shawn Steel had to say in Politico yesterday:
“Duncan has been the Invisible Chairman, installed in January 2007 by Karl Rove to be unobtrusive — a mission he has carried out brilliantly. Many, if not most, Republican leaders and activists don’t know who he is. For example, when Duncan was a guest recently on the Hugh Hewitt Show, the radio host asked Duncan why this was the first time this RNC chairman had ever asked to come on the show and address millions of his fellow Republicans.
Duncan couldn’t give an answer other than he’d been busy for the past year. I suppose that’s one way to look at it. Another way is he hasn’t provided the kind of leadership the Republican National Committee needs in this day and age.
Despite his wraithlike RNC chairman, Duncan is slightly favored for reelection as chairman at the end of January. It should be cause for alarm when the chairmanship front-runner is a “Mike Who?” under who’s watch the GOP suffered its worst drubbing in decades.”
You can read the rest of the article here.
The opposition, also, apparently, is gleeful at the possibility of Mr. Duncan maintaining the Chairmanship of the RNC. Here’s what Yuna Shin recently said at the Huffington Post.
“This morning, NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed the chairman of the Republican party, Mike Duncan, who is trying to hold on to his chairmanship despite the massive GOP loss in November. The most interesting part of the interview wasn't anything Duncan said.
Rather, it was Duncan's long silence when asked about the perception of the GOP as the party of exclusion. His silence spoke louder than anything that he had said in terms of how incapable the Republican Party still is of recognizing what it did wrong and what it needs to do in order to gain Americans' trust.”
The rest of that article can be found here.
In light of this overwhelming evidence, I humbly request that Mr. Duncan honor my suggestion that he withdraw his candidacy immediately. At #TCOT, all our actions are based on the concept of servant-leadership, a concept that is well articulated
here by James Dickey, the #1 Top Conservative on Twitter.
I believe that after Mr. Duncan has read this article, and thoughtfully reflected on how he can best serve the Republican Party and the conservative movement, he will recognize it is his duty to withdraw from the race for the Chairmanship of the RNC immediately.