Tuesday, February 19, 2013

PIss-Poor Performance

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled in the last three months about the Republican Party’s lackluster performance and piss-poor candidates, and the GOP has publicly wrung its hands about its poor job in getting the message out that all of their positions are amazingly beneficial for all mankind.  Beyond yer Legitimate Rapists and God’s-Willers, the party offered up a presidential candidate with loads of flaws and self-made impediments.  Its struggles are understandable and earned – and I’m pretty plainly not a cheerleader for the Democratic Party, so of course you can take it from me.

But I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t also just a big ol’ crop of crappy politicians.  After years and years of criticism of the GOP as master pitchmen, spinners, and manipulators of the press, I see a bunch’a lousy pols who can’t even get the reflexive political moves right.  Take the upcoming sequester, for example. On a day where the Prez again presses that “the GOP threatens our nation’s economy by risking meat-cleaver cuts in defense of the wealthy,” I don’t see any articulate GOP spokesman arguing that Obama threatens the nation’s economy by tolerating meat-cleaver cuts in pursuit of tax hikes. Agree or disagree with the underlying policy implications, it’s a pretty well-understood political tactic to yell about higher taxes in order to get some traction.  Haven’t heard anyone even really try.  At best, you get a convoluted argument that spending cuts offset by tax increases doesn’t address blah blah blah snooze snooze.

Sure, the Prez has a louder megaphone – by magnitudes of ten or a hunnert – than legislators.  And there is no face of the GOP to deliver the salesman message.  But aspiring faces should be lining up to do it, and to do it well –that’s­ how you become the face of the party, or a household name.

The party is unlikely to want to take on the Imperial President – after all, they want their guy to get in to be an Imperial President.  Imperial president’s take the heat off legislators in a lotta instances, freeing House guys up to suck off their base at home rather than make any tough decisions.  But I see them swinging wiffle bats – and still whiffing – on lots of easier stuff.

1 comment:

Mister Parker said...

There's no question that the Republicans are miles behind in terms of how to get the message out, but I think their biggest problem is the same one faced by the 1966 (or possibly 2013) New York Yankees -- they were victims of their own success. Success breeds a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality without recognizing that just because it ain't broke don't mean that it ain't old, stale and increasingly tied to a world that no longer exists. Mickey Mantle was arguably the greatest player of his generation, certainly up there with Mays and Aaron, but that didn't mean his knees didn't wear out. Likewise, Romney ran a winning campaign -- if demographically it were still 1988 in America. But it isn't and isn't ever going to be again. And Republican positions on gay rights, immigration, abortion and health care are long-term losers.

Adapt or die.

And I'd say there are more disincentives to compromise built into the system than at any time since the Civil War, but I'm not actually sure that's true. We here in America tend to eat our young, politically-speaking, every ten years or so. That said, there's no reward for cooperating to solve problems at the moment. Without it, there won't be much problem solving in evidence any time soon.