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The Latest from “Bear in the Woods”

Sunday, December 13, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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First we hear from Banker Guy (see below) and now a missive from our anonymous ad exec, Bear in the Woods. Both are favorites of HughHewitt.com readers, so consider it an end-of-year Christmas reading bonus:

In the midst of my usual end-of-the-year rush, around Thanksgiving, I, as did most of us, started really contemplating what I’m thankful for. As I’ve grown older, and become less concerned with what the Jolly Old Elf will leave for me under the tree, I’ve found this period of reflection and thankfulness makes Christmas and New Year’s that much more special — and I try to hold onto it, and extend it as far into the new year as possible. It makes it further and further every year. So, this year, in addition to being thankful for Grace, health, family and freedom, I want to point out a few other things I’m truly thankful for. Some of them might surprise you.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for the Democrats. Yep, that’s right: The Democrats. Not just any old Democrats, mind you, but the really special ones: Nancy, Harry, Rahm, and most definitely Barack — there are others, too, but I’m just hitting the highlights.

Here’s the way I see it: It’s human nature to take the things you have, and cherish, for granted — until those things are threatened. I think conservatives did that. I know Republicans did. But thanks to the Democrats — conservatives, independents, and even most Republicans, have ignited with passion to defend the basic liberties we cherish in this country, and the constitutionally-mandated limitations on government that are being threatened. It’s not that we couldn’t have ignited without the Democrats. It’s that we wouldn’t have. Liberty is precious, but it requires vigilance. The Democrats reawakened our vigilance, and for that, and for them, I’m thankful.

The second thing I’m thankful for is the citizen army that has raised its voice loud and clear — at Tea Parties and townhalls, on Twitter and Facebook, on blogs and talk radio, with bumper stickers and t-shirts and homemade signs. You knew that Republican and conservative leadership was in the mode of passive pontification, and nuanced DC-speak. So you shouted. And you kept shouting. And I pray you will continue to shout, because the fight isn’t even close to over. For you, and for your voice, I’m thankful.

Finally, I’m thankful that the GOP has at least begun to take baby steps toward recognizing both the power of conservatives, and the potential of decent communications. I say baby steps, because that’s all I see at the moment, and some of those baby steps have been a forced march. But still, steps have been taken. The redesign of gop.org is exactly as RedState commented: Neither as good as the GOP thinks it is, nor as bad as the tech-marketing world thinks it is. Regardless, it’s better than what was there. It’s going to live or die based on the content it was created to hold, and whether credibility can be built for the site as a go-to for important conservative content and action that’s not available, better, elsewhere. Reversethevote.org is a good baby step. It could have used a stronger push. They’re learning.

They seem to be hearing, too. One has to believe they heard the vote in upstate New York (the forced march I spoke of.) One has to believe they’ve heard townhallers and Tea Partiers who care about principles and conviction, rather than affiliation. One has to believe they read polls. One can only pray they know it’s not them. Because it’s not. It’s all of us. Shouting.

Conservatives are speaking, but the nature of all grassroots movements, whether in marketing or politics, is that in order to be sustained, they need leadership and focus. New media teaches us that leadership, however, doesn’t work as well from the top down, and messaging’s focus resonates when it comes up the ranks. Not like we used to think. I truly believe that the GOP, as dense as they have proven themselves to be, is beginning to get the idea that they cannot claim leadership of this movement without overhauling an antiquated battle plan, and listening — at least a little — to the voices that are shouting, all around them. They’re beginning to get the idea. I’m thankful for that. Now, all I want for Christmas is to believe they’ll truly get it — before it gets away from them.

Merry Christmas. bearinthewoods84@gmail.com

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