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Archives for January 22, 2010
The more I follow politics, the more I realize that the secret to electoral success is simple: motivate your base while appealing to independent voters.
It is why social issues are not the winning ticket for the GOP. They may motivate the base, but they won’t appeal to independent voters more concerned about bread-and-butter issues.
Obama did that in 2008. He was able to motivate his party’s base by presenting himself as the antithesis of their bogeyman, the then-incumbent president of the United States. Not just that, many on the left, aware of his radical associations and liberal voting record, were particularly excited by his candidacy. In the fall campaign, he was able to appeal to independent voters by promising fiscal policies more restrained than those of the then-current team. The mantra of “change” held together these constituencies with discordant concerns.
This past week in Massachusetts, Scott Brown appealed to the Republican base by opposing the big government initiatives put forward by the Obama Administration and championed by Democrats in Congress. It just so happened that independents were also concerned by this vast expansion of government. In this case, the issues which motivated Brown’s base also appealed to independent voters.
It’s not just Democrats who have much to learn from Brown’s victory. Republicans can also take a lesson from his campaign. If they wish to regain and retain the majority , they need to focus on that aspects of our platform which appeal to a broader segment of the population. They did that in 1994 by drawing up the Contract with America which included those core conservative concerns which most resonated with independent voters.
In elections across the country–and not just in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, Republicans are winning back those independent voters. In “open revolt against an urban-centric regime“, suburban voters are returning to the GOP in droves. And if the Democrats keep trying to pick out pockets and the Republicans stay out of people’s bedrooms (to borrow an idea from a recent post on Pajamas), then those voters with remain on the right and with the GOP.
Perhaps had the Democrats not taken too seriously all those glowing editorials and books about the 2008 election ushered in a new era of liberalism, telling us how their party would rule the next generation — and beyond, how conservatism was dead and Republicans a dying breed, they might have developed a different strategy on health care. They saw the tea parties as either the products of corporate shenanigans or the last breath of the Reagan Revolution. Instead, they represented the first awkward steps of a reinvigorated Reagan coalition.
In short, had Democrats not been so condescending to their critics, they might have been better prepared to answer their challenges. So, when the president bemoaned today about the difficulty of passing health care reform, that he was “running headlong into special interests, and armies of lobbyists, and partisan politics that’s aimed at exploiting fears instead of getting things done“, you’ve gotta wonder why a candidate who ran so successfully against special interests in the fall of 2008 claims he was so ill-prepared to face an opposition that they supposedly ginned up.
That said, the president’s complaint just doesn’t wash. Yes, there’s been a vocal opposition, but he has had unprecedented access to the media from whom he has received unprecedented amounts of glowing coverage. He has had the means to get his message across and to answer his critics.
Can’t he recognize that that on health care at least, he’s lost. The people just aren’t buying what he’s selling?
Imagining that because they’re so smart and have so rarely faced criticism save from those whose credibility they question, Democrats find it difficult to imagine, polls and election returns notwithstanding, that the people don’t like what they’re doing in Washington. Maybe they need first measure Obama’s actions in office against his rhetoric on the campaign trail. He’ll add more (much more) to the national debt in his first term than W did in both of his,* yet he ran against Bush’s government for living beyond its means while he promised a net spending cut.
The health care bill was negotiated behind closed doors while he had promised negotiations on C-SPAN. It included payoffs to special interests when he ran against them in his campaign. And yet, Obama still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that voters in Massachusetts were voicing not the rage that catapulted him into the White House, but a rage at what he’s being doing since he got there.
Charles Krauthammer helps explain why his (and other liberal’s awakening was so rude:
The reason both wings of American liberalism — congressional and mainstream media — were so surprised at the force of anti-Democratic sentiment is that they’d spent Obama’s first year either ignoring or disdaining the clear early signs of resistance: the tea-party movement of the spring and the town-hall meetings of the summer. With characteristic condescension, they contemptuously dismissed the protests as the mere excrescences of a redneck, retrograde, probably racist rabble.
It’s Krauthammer, read the whole thing.
*UPDATE: Jax Dancer reminds me that instead of going for rhetorical parallelism, I should have been more specific:
from the day Mr. Obama took office last year to the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.
And as per ILC, I fixed the link above.
With the state facing bankruptcy, with voters having (just eight months ago) shown an aversion to tax hikes, even in San Francisco, a state Senator from that city, Jay Leno, er, sorry, thinking this story was a joke, I thought of another guy with the same last name, Mark Leno introduced a bill to create “a single-payer” health system which “would cost California an estimated $210 billion in its first year.”
And get this, Leno doesn’t know how we’re going to pay for this, so his “bill would create a commission to decide how to pay for the system, at a cost this year of more than $1 million.” No, I’m not kidding you. This is not material from the monologue of the other Leno. It’s from an actual news article.
So, we’ve got a state facing a financial crisis. A public turning against big-government initiatives, particularly on health care. And a California Democrat introduces legislation to move full-speed ahead on such a boondoggle. And Leno’s not alone: “The [California] Senate Appropriations Committee voted 6-3 along party lines, with Democrats in favor of the proposal, which will be considered by the full Senate next week.”
Maybe those Democrats are Rovian plants, voting this way in order to create a better atmosphere for Republicans in the Golden State. After all, just such a strategy worked so well in Massachusetts.
Or maybe it’s something else. “Old socialist habits,” writes Michelle Malkin, alerting us to this article, “die hard.”
One of the most obnoxious Democratic partisans in the Senate may draw a challenger this fall. While even an optimistic like me thinks ol’ Chuckie Schumer (along with Hawai’i’s Daniel Inouye and Vermont’s Patrick Leahy) remain the three safest incumbent Democrats, CNBC host and columnist Larry Kudlow is weighing a run, well, actually according to the Daily Caller, he’s declining to rule out a bid to unseat the big-spending New Yorker.
He did point out that “defeating Senator Schumer would be a noble cause.” Yes, it would be.
There’s already a Draft Kudlow website.
Statist health care reform is headed where the goblins go.
According to Gallup, In U.S., Majority Favors Suspending Work on Healthcare Bill. Only 39% want to continue works. Guess that’s why the Politico reports that Democratic health care talks are collapsing:
Health care reform teetered on the brink of collapse Thursday as House and Senate leaders struggled to coalesce around a strategy to rescue the plan, in the face of growing pessimism among lawmakers that the president’s top priority can survive.
Sorry, but I just can’t stop laughing about the fact that John Edwards was secretly screwing around on his wife, his mistress and the millions of doe-eyed liberals who thought he was the Second Coming of Robert Kennedy.
Aren’t you people just stupid? ROFL.
You are the same people who think that Al Gore is a man of principle who truly wants to save the planet. (Normal human beings already know that Al Gore is a snake oil salesman who is making hundreds of millions of dollars off the Global Warming Ponzi Scheme).
Once again, liberals’ love for Edwards show that they see the world as they wish it was — not as it truly is.
Oh and by the way — John Edwards is the most disgusting, slimeball of a politician in my lifetime. He wins the Nobel Prize for Manwhoreness.
Well, anyone with one iota of “gaydar” could have figured that out on their own. Just look around Hartsfield Airport if you are passing through.
According to The Advocate magazine, Atlanta rates as the nation’s gayest city, followed by Burlington, Vt., Iowa City, Bloomington and Madison, Wis. Don’t bother looking for San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles — those supposed gay meccas don’t even place in the rankings compiled by the nation’s oldest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender publication.
Though their research was admittedly unscientific, it’s not without merit. Correspondent Mike Albo awarded points based on same-sex households per capita, statewide marriage equality, gay elected officials, gay dating and “hookup” profiles per single male population, gay bars per capita, cruising spots per capita, and gay films in Netflix favorites.
Atlanta: Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay. Great food, too! But Charlotte is still a better place to live! 🙂
Oh and by the way — there are a LOT of cities in RED STATES on the list. Including the #1 city being in one of the most Republican states in the USA.