On the CBS morning show "This Morning" Dick Armey suggested that much of the Republican plight in the November election stemmed from candidates who "said some dumb things." He believes the Republican Party needs to educate candidates on how to avoid saying such dumb things. With due respect to former Leader Armey, this is hogwash. No one should need to be "educated" so that they don't say that the body has rape-sensing hormones that prevent pregnancy, or that rape is "a blessing." In fact, no one did say the latter, and the former was at least based on a scientific hypothesis. The hypothesis has been soundly debunked, but it was an actually proffered hypothesis once.
No, the Republican Party needs to figure out that the Tea Party isn't going anywhere, and join forces. If the Republican party would partner with local tea party groups to help vet candidates, and put forward candidates who are both acceptable to grass-roots conservatives and unlikely to say "dumb things" in the first place, then we'd be in a better position. The problem with that is that the Tea Party represents opposition to much of what is wrong with the Republican Party, and the Republican Party doesn't like to admit that it has things wrong with it.
Until the local Tea Parties are accepted as legitimate partners with the Republicans, the two will work to cross purposes and Democrats will continue to be elected. In those instances when Republicans have embraced the Tea Party, they have experience success. Take a look at the Texas Congressional Delegation, for instance. Scott Brown was elected on Tea Party sentiment. He was not re-elected because he tried to out-Democrat the Democrat.
Communication is, indeed, an issue. It probably did cost us a couple of otherwise safe seats. But rather than focus on the window-dressing, the Republican Party needs to partner with grass-roots groups to help select men and women who are already able purveyors of the Conservative Message.