Project ORCA, Lee Atwater
Gripes of a GOP Grunt
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During the presidential campaign I served as a lowly foot soldier for Romney. In the battleground of Northern Virginia I knocked on doors, made telephone calls, handed out literature. Election Day I participated in the fiasco named Project ORCA.
ORCA sounded great. In real time GOP poll watchers would inform Romney headquarters who had voted in a precinct—and who had not. As the day wore on HQ would contact the laggards and urge they get to the polls.
If poll watchers owned a smart phone then real time was possible. If like me they owned a dumb phone, real time didn’t happen. I fell hours behind. Obviously none of the geniuses at HQ had dry run the second way of reporting.
Nor had the geniuses performed stress testing. On the small scale a system may work perfectly. On the grand scale, it can easily overload. Around 4 p.m. on game day ORCA crashed and burned, with three critical hours left before the polls closed.
Crash or not, the ORCA method of getting out the vote is fatally flawed. During early voting as I handed out sample ballots, a Democrat counterpart declared that Project ORCA wouldn’t work. The method was reactive, he said, not proactive like theirs. He was right. His side did not wait until afternoon of game day to identify and get out laggards.
Does anyone remember Lee Atwater? In 1988 Atwater ran Bush the Elder’s campaign. Atwater approved the great (Dems labeled it racist) Willie Horton political ad. The ad seared into the minds of voters that Bush’s opponent, Michael Dukakis, had allowed furloughs for convicted murderers. On furlough Willie Horton kidnapped a couple, tortured the husband and raped his wife. The ad put a world of hurt on Dukakis and certainly helped Bush win. Atwater became the embodiment of what the Dems decried as the Great Republican Attack Machine.
Brain cancer felled Lee Atwater in 1991. The Machine died with him. Had Atwater lived Bush well might have won in 1992. Think what fun Atwater would have had with the likes of Bill Clinton. What greater fun would have waited with the even more odious Barack Obama.
Sadly the Democrats now wield the Attack Machine. Look how they flayed Sarah Palin. Look how they demonized the Tea Party. Look how they turned a thoroughly decent man like Mitt Romney into a pitiless ogre, a man who among other crimes caused the death of a steelworker’s wife.
Why did the RNC, the Super PACs, and the Romney geniuses counterpunch with pap? Why could they conjure up only the blandest of campaign commercials? Why, when sledgehammer blows were needed?
Where were the ads blasting Obamacare? Ads showing patients before the IPAB (the death panel) as its members give thumbs up or down. Ads showing patients called from a mobbed waiting room into rushed consultations with their doctor. Ads showing IRS agents in SWAT garb dragging people from homes for refusal to buy health insurance.
Where were the ads hammering Obama’s insane energy policies? The ads laying out the Fast and Furious scandal? The ads screaming the sodomy and murder of Chris Stevens in Banghazi? The ads linking Obama with radicals Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Edward Said? The ads lampooning Obama’s substitution of golf for work, his serial gaffes, the First Family’s outrageous vacations?
Where oh where were they?
Miscellaneous. Why did the Romney geniuses agree to debate moderators selected by the leftist media? Why was not holy hell raised about the delay of ballots to our troops overseas? Why did the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida not challenge voter fraud?
These gripes reluctantly bring this foot soldier to one conclusion: the opposition wanted it more than we did. Beforehand I did not think this possible. We had truth, justice, and the American way on our side. But Dems hungered more for victory. And they got it.
Next time let us hunger as if we haven’t eaten for four years.