Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trying to Call "PARADE!"

We've known for some time that these hard times were generating mucho public dissatisfaction. Politically, that's manifesting as serious anti-incumbent sentiment. Since there are so many more democratic incumbents right now, the GOP is poised to benefit greatly from "sweep these bums out!"

Unable to simply enjoy this good fortune. GOP party leaders are eager to grab a baton, run to the front of the onrolling crowd, and call "PARADE."

GOP Readies Agenda Rollout
Just weeks before House Republican leaders are set to announce the contents of a proposed governing agenda if they retake the majority, some GOP politicians and grasstops activists are growing nervous about those plans....

 Earlier this year, a team of leading House Republicans and their staffs devised a program called America Speaking Out which allows any visitor to the program's Web site to enter ideas about what issues Congress should be legislating. Next, Republicans in the lower chamber were encouraged at the beginning of this August's congressional recess to discuss ideas laid out in a 22-page packet provided to RealClearPolitics, and then return to Washington this month with feedback from their constituents...
The 22-page recess packet of trial balloons does include an explicit ban on all federal funding for abortion. That's one item on Dannenfelser's list, but she has two more: requiring parental notification for abortion-seeking minors, and requiring physicians who perform abortions to notify women who are at least 20 weeks into their pregnancies that fetuses can feel pain in the process. Said Dannenfelser, "The conservative base of the Republican Party is so strong at this moment, the most divisive thing that could happen would be to leave out the family values third of the issue base." Her group has undertaken its own small media blitz, "Life Speaking Out," to lobby the House GOP on abortion issues and prevent the omission.
 Even leaving aside the prospect of featuring pro-life rhetoric and policy prescriptions, this feels like screwing up a free lunch to me. Here's the thing. IMO it's substantively true that the GOP has thus far failed to outline many positive policy prescriptions, aside from chanting "jobs, jobs, jobs."  [duh, btw] Mostly they've focused on negative painting of  Obama as, well, a socialist muslim antichrist.

 But sitting pretty as they are, why answer that criticism if it'll cost votes? Nationally, they need to stick to the real short list of things everyone agrees on: more jobs sooner, and goring someone else's ox. 

 What I expect to see is that most of the trial balloons cause dissent. IFf they are wise, GOP party leaders will decide to keep the national party mouth mostly shut. Let individual candidates look as independent as possible. Let candidates tailor their own platforms to local constituencies. Don't burden them with national platform components that could drag them under in a close race.

Are party leaders ever that wise? I kinda doubt it. As an independent I have no real dog in the hunt. But it would be pretty entertaining if the national party puts some brakes on what looks to be a substantial swing to the right.


  1. Verily. The seeds of a future GOP comeuppance are being planted as we watch. I just hope they don't blow it in the next seven weeks and secure a majority in at least one house. Then I'm fine with whatever batshit insanity they want to put on display. It might even be enough to get Obama re-elected. God knows he is going to need all the help he can get.

  2. A lot has been made of Obama's low popularity, but I think it must be seen in the context of his popularity as compared to some unnamed opponent. No identity means no negatives.

    I continue to think that Obama's re-election chances are very good unless a serious candidate emerges who can counter Obama's substantial campaign strengths and who doesn't have high negatives.

    I haven't done any sort of comprehensive survey of possible opponents. But my sense is that the folks [that I am aware of!!!] who might have the best chance to beat Obama should they manage to make the general election would be Doug Christie, Scott Brown, or Mitt Romney. Maybe Huckabee because he's a better populist than Palin. I think Gingrich or Palin are at best useful seatwarmers.