Monday, September 08, 2008

The Republicans Running Against Themselves

It is clear that the Republican Party has settled on a message: "Washington is not working." The phrase is included in virtually every speech and every statement at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

We agree completely that Washington is in desperate need of renewal and reform. We're not even going to quibble about the fact that Barack Obama said it first. The problem is that American voters have yet to hear - from John McCain or his warm-up acts - any serious ideas on what, exactly, is wrong with Washington, apart from the fact that a Democrat might win the White House, never mind how to truly fix it.

The difficulty for the Republican ticket in talking about change and reform and acting like insurgents is that they have been running Washington - the White House and Congress - for most of the last eight years.

Full article at the International Herald Tribune


Liberal Arts Dude said...

The bizarre part of the entire thing is that their re-branding strategy seems to be working! Despite the horrible record the Republicans have had for the past eight years they are still attracting voters in droves -- the Sarah Palin spike and "drill baby drill" are just symptoms of it.

The matter of running against McCain and Palin should have been very simple for the Obama/Biden team. Just point out that McCain and Palin are still very much card-carrying members of the Republican Party and that should be enough.

Unfortunately, in an election where the field of battle is NOT in ideas or issues but, of all things, personalities, the Democratic ticket seems to have fallen victim to the marketing hocus-pocus of the Repulicans.

A message to fellow voters: electing a President and a new administration isn't like buying soap or your favorite soda. It has to be about issues and the respective records of the people running. If you think of the entire Republican strategy as a re-branding marketing effort then good for them. But these aren't the types of smokes and mirrors tricks that makes for effectively running the world's largest economy and a country with a population of 300 million.

The Angry Independent said...


This is why I emphasize voter education so much... it should be a key part of the Democratic Party/Progressive strategy.

But in order to do this, they must establish a media infrastructure that can compete with what the Conservatives/Republicans have. I have been screaming this for at least a decade.

But the Dems don't seem to get it.

The Republicans innovate, are aggressive, control the game (control the debate, control information, and use their huge media power), and go on the attack. The dems, on the other hand, are using a playbook that is at least 20 years old...and obsolete.

Yes.. the Republicans are controlling the game because they have a better understanding of the American voter and what makes them tick. They take advantage of an uninformed, poorly informed American electorate...and they use their huge media infrastructure (Talk radio, Fox News, ABC/NBC/CBS, Their surrogates who double as major News pundits) to dumb down American voters, making sure they stay vulnerable to whatever misinformation campaign that the Rovian strategists want to run. And it seems to work more often than not.

Dems have been chasing their tails for years unable to figure out how to deal with this Republican strategic superiority...not understanding why they keep losing big elections.

Dems should have started building their own media infrastructure 15 years ago... But here we sit...
on the verge of a 4 year extension of one of the worst Presidencies in this nations history.

I thought extensions for service were supposed to go to those who have done a good job????

The Republicans are so good that they not only create their own reality... (turning the sky red, making the bottom the top and the top the bottom, making the earth flat if they want... telling you that what you are seeing isn't really happening, etc) but they are also able to get American voters to buy into their version of reality. That's the scary part.

Liberal Arts Dude said...

Hello AI

I am in total agreement with you on the importance of building a solid media and public relations infrastructure for the Democrats and the Progressive movement -- the opposition. Early on in my political education it was a real treat to subscribe to and read opposition newspapers and newsletters and get their take on the issues of the day.

But now there is no coordinated, unified opposition effort among Progressives. There are magazines like Mother Jones, The Nation, etc. But nothing that rivals the strength and sheer breadth of the conservative movement's infrastructure.

Until the opposition splinter groups learn to be a unified force with the task of interpreting the issues and realities of the world in opposition terms, the Republicans and conservatives will continue to mow them down election after election.

One can hope that average Americans will sooner or later wake up to the smoke and mirrors of the conservatives. But when that happens there has to be an existing alternative for them to go to.

The Angry Independent said...

And Republicans never have to explain what they plan to do... they never have to go into any details. The burden of proof is always on the Democrats, even when the White House has been in Republican hands the last 8 years, and with Congress in Republican hands for 6 of the last 8 years.

The only thing Republicans are required to do is put enough doubt in the minds of voters regarding the Democratic opponent. Republicans have this default built in advantage. And this is especially true and effective when you have a Black Male as the Democratic opponent. The "doubt" strategy is a big part of the Republican plan this Fall.

This doubt, particularly about Blacks, is inherent in the minds of White Americans... it's already there... all Republicans are required to do is make that seed activate it. Therefore the Republicans have a much smaller Hill to climb with voters... even when the evidence is against them.

And the dems have made this especially easy for Republicans this time around, in an election year that should be a landslide for Democrats.

This election will be historic... and it will be equally historic either way it turns out. If the Democrats win, we will see the first Black American president. And If the Democrats lose, it will go down as the most colossal & most unthinkable political failure in American history, bar none.. And it will confirm the racial wounds and divisions that still persist in this Country... it will confirm the nations true lack of social & political progress. Such a failire would make the John Kerry loss in 2004 look very small by comparison.