Skip to comments.Are Republicans Fooling Themselves?
Posted on 09/08/2012 11:10:15 AM PDT by Qbert
Overall, the Democrats put on an effective show. With the possible exception of the McGovern convention, this was the most left-leaning Democratic gathering in memory. Some of that may have been counterproductive, particularly on social issues. To the extent that Republicans dismiss this convention as either a failure or relatively meaningless, however, I think were fooling ourselves.
This election could go either way. If Obama squeaks by, he will have done so with the help of a Democratic party that has taken a large, open, and disturbingly leftist turn. I think were missing the significance of that. It is completely accurate to say that the Democrats are pushing a bogus reformulation of the American way of life slapping a bunch of flags on their Julia ad and turning classic conceptions of civic and religious community into covers for a cradle-to-grave welfare state. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is becoming the new normal in this country, and Obama and his convention have only helped to cement the change.
Conservatives can puncture these arguments all we like, but we cant cut through the media filter. More than that, the conservative case cant break through the left-controlled education system that has profoundly shaped the Millennials. True, youth unemployment is giving many second thoughts about Obama, yet its been more a matter of sapping Millennial enthusiasm than of changing attitudes and ideas.
Do demographics doom the expansive liberal welfare state, regardless? In some sense, they do. Yet if Obama is in the drivers seat as our fiscal woes mount, he will use the crisis to further his restructuring. California is our advance guard our Greece yet their budget crisis is two months away from prompting one of the boldest redistributionist transformations this country has seen in years (even if barely anyone knows it yet).
Only the Romney campaign can cut through the cultural, educational, and media filters and force a debate over the Obama Democrats bogus redefinition of the American dream. The media can ignore what conservatives say, but they still have to cover the candidate. With the exception of his welfare ads, however, the Romney campaign has avoided an assault on Obamas ideology. Romneys entirely plausible strategy is to downplay the ideological battle (Ryan nomination notwithstanding).
As the Romney campaign sees it, the tiny sliver of remaining undecided voters consists of mildly disillusioned former Obama supporters, or at least voters who personally like Obama. Coaxing these folks to break up with their erstwhile beau means not making them feel like they were fools to buy into Obamas vision to begin with. That cuts against any effort to unmask the presidents overweening leftist ambitions. Lets just say that the presidents a nice guy whos in over his head instead.
Okay, but Michelle Obama did a very effective job of pressing undecideds to give her nice-guy another try. And the convention as a whole did a better job of redefining government as nice-guyism writ large than Republicans would like to admit. Charles Krauthammer says that the counter to all this is exposing Obama as a deeply committed social democrat using his presidential power to enact the same ambitious left-wing agenda he developed in his youth. Well, yes. So far as I can tell, however, this sort of argument is the last thing the Romney campaign wants to make right now. Dont want to drive away that tiny sliver of Obamas wavering admirers.
I cant say for certain that Romneys strategy is wrong. But I do think its far riskier than we realize. Treating Obama as a nice guy in over his head, rather than a smart leftist who knows exactly what hes doing, leaves the Democrats bogus narrative about government unanswered. America is changing, and Republicans are naive to rely on the public to simply recognize the problems in the Democrats claims without significant help from our nominee.
Republicans won big in 2010 by defining Obama as an overweening ideologue. Yet that was the Tea Partys doing, not the Republican establishment. In those days, Romney even jumped on the tea-party bandwagon with some surprisingly cutting observations about Obamas leftism. Obama may not have pivoted after the 2010 election, but Republicans did. They toned down their attacks on the presidents ideology, and to some extent helped to build up the very wall of likeability they now fear to scale, even as the president rejected the Clintonian way and stayed to the left. Were Republicans smart to hold their fire? Romney did try out the argument that Obama is moving us toward European-style social democracy during the primaries, but hes dropped that now in favor of the kinder and gentler break up approach.
Republican reticence on these issues has been going on for a while. Beginning with John McCain in 2008, the party establishment has done a weak job of challenging the core Democratic narrative of the causes of the financial crisis. Clinton laid the foundations of the subprime meltdown, and Obama himself was in on the ground floor of the fiasco. If the public is willing to cut Obama some slack for the economic problems he inherited, that is partly because weve allowed him to define the problem to begin with.
I dont have access to the Romney campaigns focus-group and survey data. Maybe theyre right to try to pry away those erstwhile Obama supporters in only the gentlest of ways. Yet I worry that the Romneyites are fooling themselves. Technocrats and fixers from a state where liberals dominate, they are neither inclined or prepared to show how the Obama Democrats are slowly redefining American exceptionalism into the European social democratic dream. Romney may squeak by on bad unemployment numbers and gentle coaxing of undecideds, but patriotic veneer the Democrats have managed to slap on their leftism is worrisome. If Obama wins, it will be because we allowed him to get away with it.
"Republicans won big in 2010 by defining Obama as an overweening ideologue. Yet that was the Tea Partys doing, not the Republican establishment....Romney may squeak by on bad unemployment numbers and gentle coaxing of undecideds, but patriotic veneer the Democrats have managed to slap on their leftism is worrisome. If Obama wins, it will be because we allowed him to get away with it."...
Exactly as I was saying in the Reuters poll thread. You can attack his ideology (i.e. hard left liberal) without attacking him personally.
The country is center-right, and it’s about to re-elect the most radical leftwing prez in history, with the worst economic record in history. It does not jive.
Matt Rhoades will forever be known as the clown who lost a gimmee. He’s making the nitwit Schmidt look good at this point.
Response: Yes, especially conservative Republicans. We are a decided minority in the process of being successfully marginalized. Long ago the left successfully captured control of important institutions such as schools, the press, churches etc. etc.
This is extremely true. The group of GOP choices has been poor for years. Virginia went with a worthless George Allen. Picking phony conservatives is not the answer.
Stanley Kurtz was one of the few journalists to expose Zero for what he was in 2008. He's now laid out the ideological fault lines of this campaign for all to see.
I hope the Romney people are paying attention. But I doubt it.
"The country is center-right, and its about to re-elect the most radical leftwing prez in history, with the worst economic record in history. It does not jive."
Yep. When we run Conservative campaigns (1980, 1984, 1994, 2010), we win in landslides- when we don't we either lose, or barely squeak by. Not that difficult...
Yes you might be right, they have everything we don’t BUT they don’t have the most important element....GOD! They have rejected God, and we have opened our arms to Him...God is our only source and he will help us.....MARK IT!! Romney WILL WIN and the evil RATS will be STUNNED and SHOCK! God WILL NEVER turn it’s back of Israel or His children....NEVER! I believe with all my heart and I’m putting my faith on Jesus on the line here by saying....ROMNEY IS GOING TO WIN...believe me!!
"Response: Yes, especially conservative Republicans. We are a decided minority in the process of being successfully marginalized. Long ago the left successfully captured control of important institutions such as schools, the press, churches etc. etc."
That's a myth. If that were true, then why did the Tea Party win in the biggest landslide in eighty years?
I hope you are right!
I’m sure we’re in for two months of BS on top of BS and it all boils down to the old adage. “It’s the economy stupid.” He’s toast. Period.
You’re going wobbly. “About to re-elect” . . . ???
Snap out of it-it’s contagious.
The majority of Americans think the country is going the wrong direction.
It’s up to Romney to tell them, clearly, why: The democratic party platform will enslave current and future generations to debt and economic destruction.
Ronald Regan never hesitated for a moment to challenge his opponents’ ideologies. In his mind, every speech was an opportunity to teach the American people, and he did it with charm, grace, humor, and nuclear strength reasoning, which exposed his opponents as the collectivist clowns they were.
Luntz: Ads about disappointed Obama voters work best with swing voters.
Americans for Prosperity may be cutting through the clutter most effectively with its relatively low-key attacks on President Obama.
Almost everyone in the group said they voted for Obama in 2008, but they were about evenly split between Obama and Mitt Romney in the 2012 race, with several still undecided.
This approach may also have the benefit of closing the Romney-Obama likeability gap. A Gallup poll on attack ads this week found that 44 percent of Americans think Obamas attacking Romney unfairly while only 40 percent believe Romneys attacking Obama unfairly. Among independents, the number who think Obamas attacking unfairly rises to 46 percent while Romneys number falls to 38 percent. Up against a guy with Obamas charisma cachet and media protection, this is an encouraging sign.
No doubt. Obama will be re-elected and only re-elected if unemployment is 4% on election day, gasoline is 1.70/gal and home prices recover to 1998 levels. The deficit is halved. Gov’t spending is 18% of GDP.
I don’t think he can do it but he has 60 days to make the above happen. If not, he’s retired.
Maybe the Romney campaign can, certainly Ryan can... but not Romney. He does not have conservatism in his bones, and cannot articulate that he is (as much as he severely states that he is). Without an effective and articulate conservative voice, the indies cannot be educated about what made this country great at least from Romney himself. I can only hope and pray that the campaign recognizes Romney's shortfalls, and makes up for it with alternate effective speakers.
"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, J
Once Bill started adding syllables he just couldn't stop, LOL!
I think we have to toss away the premise that America is a center-right country. Center-right countries would not let the likes of Barack Obama near the White House in the first go-round, much less the second one. Unemployment rages along at >8% for the 43rd month in a row, and record numbers of people are on food stamps and other forms of government aid. Three decades ago, these conditions would`ve pushed people into the streets demanding change, and that change would`ve come. Nowadays Americans by ever increasing numbers, view these conditions as “the new normal.”
We conservatives view the DNC as a laughably disorganized exercise in tired and empty rhetoric. It makes me sick to have to admit it, but much of the electorate renewed its bond (and let`s not deny it`s a very tight emotional one) with 0bama when they watched the speeches by Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, and Obama himself. We can pan them all day long and for good reason, but Americans somehow heard something in those speeches they liked.
America was center-right during the Reagan Administration. It isn`t now. Roughly center with a slight leftward tilt is a more apt description. It`s time we come to grips with that reality.
Oh, horse feathers.
The election is about the economy. And as was re-confirmed yesterday with the jobs report, the economy sucks. It’s not getting better, and is more than likely getting worse.
How is Michelle Obama’s “touching” speech going to sway undecided voters? So what if Obama had to pick through dumpsters to find his furniture? He rides in a limo now - and meanwhile, there are 22 million people out of work, and probably even more worried about losing their jobs.
There was a striking difference between Michelle Obama’s speech and the one Ann Romney gave. Michelle’s speech talked about what Obama did for Obama - pulling himself up. Ann’s speech talked about what Mitt did for others.
All we need is a big turnout, because I believe the independents are with us.
Don’t know if you’re being a smart ass or not, but, there are real people suffering since this clown took office and much of it is directly due to his policies and they know it. That will cost him big time on November 6th.
At minimum, the country is 50% Socialist.
The only - and temporary - advantage that Conservatives have left is that our voter participation rate is higher than the Socialists.
Blacks vote 90% Democrat.
Jewish Americans vote 75% Democrat.
New immigrant citizens vote 75% Democrat.
Hispanics (excluding Cubans) vote 65% Democrat.
White women vote almost 50% Democrat.
Conservatives have lost the “Battle of Demography.”
When “Immigration Amnesty” arrives - and it will arrive - Texas will vote “Blue.”
And that will be game, set, and match.
"Im sure were in for two months of BS on top of BS and it all boils down to the old adage. Its the economy stupid. Hes toast. Period."
I hope you're right, but I have the feeling that this is closer than it really needs to be.
Close games are great to watch in baseball, football, etc... not so much here. I would rather make it a foregone conclusion that we will prevail, like we did two years ago by this point in the race.
The GOP wasn’t going to win the presidency in 2008, no matter who they nominated. The first reason is because historically, the party that’s in the White House for two terms rarely gets a third one in a row. That was especially true in 2008, because George W. Bush was extremely unpopular.
The second reason was the September meltdown - the GOP largely got the blame for that, fair or unfair.
But 2010 should have been a good indication that we do indeed live in a center-right country. Obama’s policies were rejected across the board. We all need to work hard, and get our conservative friends to vote, but momentum is with us.
They might be fooling themselves, but they sure as heck aren’t fooling the rest of us!
So, did we know at this point in 2008 how well it was going to turn out?
With all due respect, what if Obama is re-elected? Does that mean God has thrown America under the (divine) bus?
I’m not trying to argue with you; I’m simply saying that when it comes to politics and elections, one should not invest too much of one’s emotional and spiritual well-being into any one candidate.
Such is a recipe for disaster.
Obviously I meant 2010.
I’m not sure that whichever of the two wins the presidential election will be the real winner, as in 1928, the Hoover-Smith race. Bernanke and his associates in Europe have been temporarily propping up the world financial system until after the election; that is when the deluge of truly bad news will emerge, the true unemployment rate will be identified, and the issue will be forced that there while there is plenty of money left to print, there will be precious little to borrow. Consequences? A severe recession for years, perhaps a depression; the component groups of the Dem party will be at each other’s throats (the platform “debate” last week is a pale sign of what’s to come - we can already see what the majority of the delegates think, and these views will only strengthen as the demographics change.
"I think we have to toss away the premise that America is a center-right country...America was center-right during the Reagan Administration. It isn`t now. Roughly center with a slight leftward tilt is a more apt description. It`s time we come to grips with that reality."
Then why is Republican affiliation at an all-time high?...
Let me suggest that if you can stomach Romney and his Mittbots you can easily handle Allen!
Oh he could lie his butt off and have the MSM promote it as being the truth even though they would be bald faced lies. That’s his forte.
I got four good article out of the links and links within links.
I believe that, despite the cheering crowds at the Democrat convention, which was quite expected, after all, Americans are sick of Obamanomics and it's attendant misery along with the endless excuse-making from 'The Won'. Rank-and file Democrats are low on enthusiasm for Obama and he has lost about a third of his 2008 'youth vote' (18-29). Obama will get the black vote but, thanks his finally coming out of the closet on his support for 'gay marriage', that vote will be much smaller than in '08. Disaffected blacks won't vote for Romney - they just won't vote. Republicans, especially conservatives like me, will. Not 'for' Romney but against Obama.
I think most of the polls are bogus. No way half the country wants Obama again when less than 25% of Americans call themselves 'liberal' and Republicans hold a slight lead in national voter registrations. Even those voters who are essentially apathetic about the election and oblivious regarding Obama's socialist ideology realize that America is in an economic mess, Obama has made things worse and has no real plan to fix anything. Neck-and neck? I think not, unless Americans are happy to commit economic suicide by handing the immense power of the presidency back to community organizer Barack Hussein Obama and the radically left-wing Democrats. Obama is going down on November 6th and I guarantee two things: the pollsters will be shocked, shocked! and the Democrats will be screaming 'racism' loud enough to be picked up by the Mars Rover.
Yes, I think most people knew by this point in 2010 that there was serious troubling brewing for the Dems. Dems started avoiding Obama like the plague, money dried up, and the polls weren’t looking good for them.
The thing is, a lot of those aspects are present now- but I think Romney needs to really tap into the frustrations that hundreds of millions of people are feeling out there.
What we have going into this race is a quite radical situation. The Democrat has utterly failed to get improved economic or social conditions for his peeps. They are unlikely to vote for him again. At the same time they are unlikely to vote for a Republican.
Then we have the Republicans. Like the decision of the Iroquois in 1776, the council fires at the shodaks were covered and the confederation broken ~ each individual was then cut loose to fight his own war.
Our coalition was destroyed when the GOP-e invited 85% of the rest of the GOP coalition to take a hike. It will take years to fix the damage. Doesn't mean Romney won't become President, but he and his associates probably won't enjoy it nearly as much as they imagined they would. Think of it as a political charge of the light brigade!
I expect he'll have the same problem getting quality personnel to work for him as did the hapless Obama.
Why not call him a liberal over and over until it sinks in. Avoid the talk of whether he is a nice guy or not or that he is a socialist or not or that he is a muslim or not or that he is a Kenyan or not.The media is only going to run interference for him.He is a liberal period and as such represents only a small contingency of our society. This is a center right country. The liberal label does not sell well. Ask Mike “Yes I admit I am a liberal” Dukakis.
No, I know that it will takes REAL hard work to win this election, BUT it doesn’t hurt to include God in the mix. My prayer is that God REMOVE the blinders of the American people and that they will see this EVIL man for who he really is. I pray for R&R to excel in the debates and I don’t believe everything that is written by the EVIL media. THE so called journalists who were caught buying obama junk at the convention center, C’MON! Sorry but I don’t believe any poll...btw, the pollster told us that WALKER was going to lose his recall re-election.. HOW SOON WE FORGET!! This convention stunk to high heaven and the mediaWHORES want us to believe he got a HUGE bounce from his message and bubba?...C’MON who are they kidding. THIS WAS SO EXPECTED...I’m not shock one bit, nope not one iota!
It boils down to when the economy is good, the Republicans get the credit. When the economy is bad, Republicans get the blame. People need work to live. If industry does not supply jobs, people turn to the government. They don’t give a crap if that is called capitalism or socialism.
Romney is bearing out all that we believed about him before his coronation by the Rep power brokers. He’s a lib at heart and a horrid standard bearer for conservative principles. The Dems have to love their chances.
We’re stuck with another dud. It’s sickening.
"America the stupid elected Jimmy Carter. America the stupid elected Bill Clinton. America the stupid elected Obama."
And in every one of those elections, the Republican that ran against them was a mush-mouthed, reach-across-the-aisle RINO.
The whole debacle at the DNC wasn’t seen by many and they won’t hear about it from the DNC MSM
While I agree with you, I also see Kurtz’s point. And it is one I share. While I understand the strategy behind the softer Romney approach to the shrinking number of undecideds, I still don’t like being dependent upon a subtlety which can be missed by the unaware. We all agree the stakes are pretty high, no?
One thing I would like to see is this ........the Tea Party finally organize itself into the non GOPe wing of the Republican Party. First, finding a spokesperson who is as savvy and articulate as Newt. Someone without the baggage, who is a powerful communicator and who is comfortable explaining our apologetics.
I’m a bit more sanguine about Obama’s chances for re-election, for the simple fact that the US economy being what it is, with unemployment officially at +8% (and likely much higher real unemployment), the fact that he’s still polling around 40 to 45% is quite amazing.
For me, it’s too early to really look at polls; I don’t start taking them seriously until the second week of October. That being said, whoever is ahead at that point, be it Romney or Obama, is most likely going to win. Unless it’s a statistical tie (that is: separated by one or two percentage points within the statistical margin of error), in which case it becomes too close to call, and very much a ground game (GOTV).
Living here as a long-term expat, it provides me some small measure of comfort to know at least this nice little country has Vaclav Klaus as President. So, at least, I have that.
Labor Force Participation Rate
Reagan Recession & Recovery
Bush, Sr., Recession & Clinton Recovery
“I think we have to toss away the premise that America is a center-right country. Center-right countries would not let the likes of Barack Obama near the White House in the first go-round, much less the second one.”
The country is still slightly center-right. However, there is no center-right political party. We have a socialist/Marxist hard left party (Democrat) and its alternative a corporatist/liberal party (Republican). Both support the welfare state. The liberal to socialist elites control the media, academia, the entertainment industry, the government bureaucracy, the mainstream Protestant religions, the large multinational corporations and the two major political parties. Since Reagan, the Democrats have consistently run liberal (Clinton) to hard left (Dukakis, Obama, Kerry, Gore) candidates. The Republicans have consistently offered moderate to liberal crony capitalists (Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney). Until the conservatives either take over the Republican Party, or form their own, the welfare state will continue to grow.
(1) The Republicans managed some (SOME) respectable turnout.
(2)IMNSVHO, more Important: Many of Obama's People (Blacks, Hispanics and other Minorities, The Utes, Queers, Women) couldn't be bothered to show up for a Congressional Bi-Election. In those districts in which the more intelligent and politically literate of Obama's rock-solid constituencies have the majority, namely academia and the Jewish vote, The Demons still won. Face it. In media-ized, dumbed-down America, most people have no idea who their Congressman even is. Many is the local election in which the turnout is 35-30%.
It is most unlikely that those of Obama's People who slept through the 2010 midterm will remain abed for the Big Show.
This election is about the preservation of the Republic, and someone in the GOPe better start telling the people that this administration is overrun with Communists. There is only one logical reason why they don't, maybe they belong to the same club.
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