"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

GOP Success–Attack, Attack, Attack

Most liberals and ‘progressives’ are incensed by what they see as Republicans’ unfounded, virulent, and intemperate attacks on the President for derelictions of duty regarding Benghazi, the IRS, and AP snooping. Nixon was far worse. There is nothing there, they say, and these new attacks are nothing more than a continuation of GOP single-minded attempts to discredit, damage, and defeat Obama regardless of the veracity or importance of their charges.  The Republican reign in the House has been nothing more than a unified, unwavering campaign to bring him down, regardless of the cost to the American people. Even the affairs of state – the economic recovery, unemployment, immigration, North Korea, and Syria – are addressed with the same animus. Screed, obstruction, and invective have replaced reasonable discourse and collaborate decisions.

All true.  The Republicans have played a political hardball not seen in American politics for some time, and despite their electoral losses last November, they feel they have a winning strategy.  By the time they finish with him, they say, Obama will be a bleeding mess; and even his die-hard followers – blacks, Hispanics, and women – will be disgusted with the failure of a weak, vacillating, and spineless President.

On the other hand, where are the Democrats?  Why are the Republicans the only ones who launch savage, scurrilous attacks?  Why don’t we see rabid, drooling Democratic attack dogs? Why have Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity no liberal counterparts?  Al Franken’s Air America was a total disaster, and Bill Maher – the most outspoken and outrageous critic of what he sees as the sanctimonious, duplicitous, and morally bankrupt Right – reaches relatively few households.

Liberals find all this right-wing bombast distasteful.  In their on-the-one-hand-on-the-other world, there is no room for absolute judgment.  Lower taxes?  Well, not really, especially when you consider the dollar, QE2, and the Euro….Slashing spending?  Certainly some cutting is called for….Health care? Yes, the tangle of red tape, predatory insurance companies, and small business concerns are issues, but…..

Republicans are uniquely and resolutely on message – on every issue, all the time, and in orchestrated unison.  A lock-step that rivals any jackbooted military high-stepping. They understand the American public far better than Democrats do.  Fundamentalist Christians make up over half the population.  The Bible is the only reference book they need to guide their political decisions.  Huge swaths of the country are poor, barely literate, and awash in conspiracy theories.  Rage against Obama, Washington, and the unnamed, faceless international socialist cabals is everywhere. These marginalized, illogical, and desperate voters don’t want to hear reasoned, logical arguments.  They already bloody know what the problem is, and want action - not another round of pointy-headed think-tank deliberation.

When Republican demagogues hammer away at Obama just as Baptist preachers bang on every Sunday about sin, vice, and moral corruption, they have a ready-made, receptive audience.  ‘Red meat’ is a tepid metaphor for the crazed demands of this Republican constituency.  They want blood – Obama’s blood – and they salivate over the slashing, merciless attacks of their politicians.  Obama is Beelzebub, the Devil incarnate, a rider of the Apocalypse ready to bring down America.

Can anyone imagine the new darlings of the Left like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) launching into a wild-eyed, spittle-spewed tirade against anyone?  Or the inveterately reasonable Bill Moyers, another ‘progressive’ darling, going nuclear and raging like a demented street-corner preacher against the depredations of Republicans?  Of course not.

Take Obamacare, now thought by many to contribute to rather than to solve America’s health problems.  It is the perfect storm of bad characters – the rapacious, predatory, and greedy insurance industry; the self-serving, venal, and hopelessly incompetent federal bureaucracy; and narrow-minded Southern governors and their lackey legislators. Presented in reams of incomprehensible pages of guidelines and instructions, Obamacare becomes more of a liability every time a loyalist stands up and tries to defend it.

The Republican response?  Simple.  Socialized medicine, government gone wild, deprivation of individual choice, and a neutering of the private sector.  Who do you think will win this debate?

Pundits reflecting on the results of the last election say that the new demographics of America will force the Republicans’ hand.  There are simply more Democratic core voters in the country, deployed in electorally important states, so no matter how angry and aggressive Republicans can be, they are being outnumbered.  Thoughtful, rational, ‘progressive’ ideas and policies will rule the day.

I don’t think so. The time is over for automatic constituencies; and the time when black and Latino voters start thinking before they pull the Democratic lever is well nigh. The days of entitlement, government largesse, and political patronage are ending in poor neighborhoods; and sooner rather than later marginalized inner-city families are going to wake up and realize that far from helping them, decades of patronizing liberal programs have done them a disservice.  As more and more individuals emerge from the ghetto and begin to make it in mainstream America, they will vote more in line with majority norms and ideals, and will be more susceptible to arguments about individualism, opportunity, and patriotism.

These new entrants into middle America may not become red meat Republicans, but they will increasingly subscribe to the conservative values that have always been the bedrock of American society.

In other words, the Republicans have only to devise a second script – one less strident and accusatory in tone than the red meat version, and more upbeat and patriotic. Hispanics are the future of America, Republicans will say, because they subscribe to the American principles of family, hard work, religions, and righteousness; and their path to wealth and success will be thwarted by retrograde Democratic policies. 

These new Republicans will be no different from their redneck cousins – they will not be satisfied with liberal doubletalk, cant, and prevarication.  They want the truth in five simple phrases…And they will get it.

So, more power to the Republicans for having devised a winning strategy, for having gotten Obama on the ropes, and for forging ahead with the same cavalry that has won previous battles.  There were a few weeks of hand-wringing by the sissies of the Party after the election, but the macho males dispelled any doubts about their agenda. They are winning on gun control, health care, deficit reduction, and immigration.  They may not be right, but they are winning; and in American politics that is all that matters. 

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