What must the state GOP do to regain any semblance of relevance?
Not gonna happen, not for a long time.
Here's what I would try to do if I was the MassGOP. Recruit top-notch candidates for Treasurer and Auditor -- preferably from well outside of Boston -- and begin putting them forward as critics of the governor and the legislature on budget/tax/administrative issues -- not as candidates yet, but to build up their name recognition, to show the GOP's seriousness on fiscal issues, and to generate some media attention. They would speak seriously about why they disagree with the policies, and what they think should be done -- no quick, snappy, snarky insults. Then, have those candidates, along with the party chair and a couple of top fundraisers, go around the state with this message: Our goal is to win seats in the districts. We want good, hard-working candidates to run for state rep and state senate, as moderate conservatives ready to help restore integrity and fiscal discipline to Beacon Hill. Those who come forward to do that, and are willing to work hard, we will support by bringing our state-wide candidates and our state-level funding to help you -- even at the expense of winning our state-wide races. Individual state-wide office victories are not how we're going to build the party -- we are thinking of our state-wide candidates and operation as a marketing campaign for your district races. We are not going to dictate your campaign -- you know the district best -- but we will NOT waste any effort in support anyone who's running on a hard-right platform: nobody who supported the Q1 elimination of income taxes; nobody who has written letters to the editor calling Obama a communist; nobody who wants to make homosexuals the centerpiece of the election.
That's what I would recommend. I don't know if it would work, but just maybe it would allow the state GOP to ride the anti-Beacon Hill sentiment to a pickup of several seats in both chambers, reinvigorating the party and putting it on a course toward relevance.