3) The new media needs more donor help: No one should get the idea that all the popular blogs and activist groups on the Left are being funded by big pocket donors. However, there is a world of difference between how much money is flowing into the left and right sides of the blogosphere.
You often hear people complain that the Right doesn't do as much reporting as the Left. Well, unlike the Left, we don't have the money to do it with. Meanwhile, there are sparsely read think tank blogs, print magazines, pointless ad campaigns for losing candidates, and other minimally useful endeavors soaking up tens of millions of dollars that could utterly transform the new media landscape on the Right. There are a lot of people starting to talk about this behind-the-scenes and we may be on the cusp of seeing something start to happen in this area. Faster, please!
4) Fight!: One of the reasons Joe Wilson created such a seismic reaction on the Right is because the GOP usually comes off like such a bunch of wimps. While Republicans in Congress do deserve a lot of credit for hanging together and voting against Obama's agenda, there's a missing sense of urgency.
The Democrats are methodically destroying the future of this country. They're running up an astronomical debt, they're taking over huge segments of the economy, and they're going to annihilate the quality of medical care in this country with this health care bill. Meanwhile, most of the Republicans in Congress are playing pattycake and Senate "leaders" like Mitch McConnell are talking about how wonderful the bleeping TARP program turned out to be. There is a complete and utter disconnect between the gravity of the situation and what we're hearing from most Republican "leaders." Joe Wilson may have been rude, but at least there is a sense that he understands what's at stake.
5) The D.C. Bubble will smother you: That's not a put-down; it's just a statement of fact. I don't care how smart you are, the longer anyone, whether he is a politician, consultant, staffer, columnist, you-name-it, stays inside the Beltway, the more he loses touch with reality.
That's not to say that D.C. Republicans are off-target. They're right much more often than they're wrong. But, on some issues, the groupthink inside of D.C. makes them unable to see things that people who barely follow politics can articulate almost by feel.
Don't think you can just listen to a bunch of staffers and consultants and read the Washington Post and have a good understanding of what's going on. Get out of D.C., find some people who don't know who you are and don't care about politics. Then, ask them what they think about the hot issue of the day. Read some blogs -- and not just the posts, but go into the comments sections. Listen to some talk radio and pay attention not just to the hosts, but to the callers. Invite some bloggers and talk radio guys to just talk with you about the issues behind-the-scenes. Get their perspective on what's going on. They will respect you more for doing it and it will give you a whole new perspective on the political landscape.