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    The GOP's Statehouse Advantage

    It has been four months since the election and Republicans are still in a funk. Whether hanging out at CPAC, in the local GOP office or on social media, wherever two or more are gathered in the Elephant’s name, the mood is downright dark. If Dr. Roget released his thesaurus today, under “conservative” you’d find blue, bummed, crestfallen, dejected, despondent, disconsolate, glum, lugubrious, morose, pessimistic and woebegone.

    Yes, November sucked, but there are several signs of life if you know where to look. While the press and pundits train their eyes on D.C., conservatism is booming outside of the Beltway. And even Democrats are getting nervous.

    CNN’s Roland Martin set down his embroidered Obama throw pillow to warn liberals of the barbarians at the gate.

    If you listen to the groupthink echo-chamber know-it-alls in Washington, the Republican Party has been decimated, destroyed, discombobulated and utterly distressed to the point of putting a "going out of business" sign out front and closing up shop for good.

    Reality says that's ridiculous.

    On the national level, the GOP controls the U.S. House of Representatives while Democrats control the U.S. Senate and the Oval Office. But the real power for the Republicans is on the state level, and there they are dominating Democrats…

    Maybe more of my brothers and sisters in Washington need to get outside the Beltway, hit the road and discover the far more expansive America that is happening outside Washington, Maryland, Virginia, New York and New Jersey. If they do, they'll find out that the conventional wisdom is pretty much worthless.

    This is a big change for Martin, whose standard columns are nothing but “Mrs. Roland Obama” written repeatedly in flowery cursive. Here are the facts that have rightly rattled him:

    Republican governors outnumber Democrats 30 to 19. (Rhode Island's governor is an independent.) GOP state legislatures outnumber Dems 26 to 18. Every day, battles are being won on school choice, taxes, spending, workplace freedom, even the fate of Obamacare — all outside of the media glare.

    As our federal government grows ever more dysfunctional, states need to create their own success. Our future is too important to be left up to Washington politicians.

    Understanding this, a network of state-based groups are uniting behind the concept of “competitive federalism.” To date, 29 organizations from Maine to Hawaii have signed on to the Liberty Foundation’s effort to use the power of the states the balance the power of DC. Michael C. Carnuccio and Matt A. Mayer explained their effort in the Washington Times:

    We must move the discussion from fiscal gamesmanship in Washington to the real issue—where do Americans want the focus of government power over their lives to reside?

    Given the disdain citizens have for the federal government and its poor track record of success, we believe Americans would prefer to deal with their state and local governments. Those governments, while certainly not perfect, are much closer to us and, therefore, far more transparent and accountable…

    Politics aside, it is far more preferable to place more power and funding into the hands of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin than it is to leave it with President Barack Obama or House Speaker John Boehner… Fixing our country won’t start in Washington, it will end there.

    We might not hold the advantage inside the Beltway, but we do hold the advantage outside of it. Conservatives who want to make a difference aren’t resting in their La-Z-Boys counting the days until 2016. They are changing their world right now in places like Lansing, Boise and Baton Rouge.

    Shake off your blues and let’s get to work.

    Follow me on twitter @ExJon