Saturday, July 17, 2010

Running on Empty: GOP Candidates Avoid the Issues

The AltTulsa team has a really easy task. We make fun of conservative double-talk and silliness—and the Right always obliges.

In our years on this beat, there's never been a shortage of material. If anything, the conservative movement is more moronic—and more extreme—than ever.

Witness the national GOP's campaign plan for the 2010 midterm elections: Avoid the issues.

That's right, Sooner fans, the Republicans don't want to have a serious discussion of anything substantive—a strategy that could blow up in their faces. 

The Washington Post has been looking into this strategy. The full story here.


Man of the West said...

As God is my witness, you folks never cease to amaze me. You link to an article that talks about division in the Republican Party, division between those who, like Boehner and Gingrich, want Republicans to run on a specific legislative program and those who--"consultants," in Gingrich's words--have concluded that Democrats have made themselves such a stench in the nostrils of likely voters that a platform of "I'm not a Democrat!" might very well be all that's needed to put a Republican candidate over the top, that not being a Democrat might very well be the main thing that voters care about. And your conclusions?

Amazingly, you don't notice that a fundamental premise of the whole article is that the Democratic Party is self-immolating to the point where simply getting out of their way whilst they do it is seen by some as a viable campaign strategy.

Equally amazingly, you decide that the "consultants'" opinion has already carried the day, has become, in your words, "the national GOP's campaign plan for the 2010 midterm elections," even though the article you linked to says nothing of the sort, does not, in fact, even hint at any such thing.

Truly, you give new meaning to the words "blindly partisan." I don't believe you see anything in your reading material you don't wish to see.

Tulsan said...

The article asks:

Will an explicit platform of ideas aid or harm the GOP cause of getting back into power?

in combination with:

What might work better politically for the GOP: active or passive aggression?

From the article:

"House Republican leaders are passing around an old Time magazine story about Emanuel's 2006 election strategy. His formula was for candidates to spend 80 percent of their time on the attack and 20 percent on the issues.

"Republicans in the Senate, with dimmer prospects of gaining control, are plotting a much simpler course. Their platform, to the degree they have one, is to offer themselves as an even bigger roadblock to the Democrats than they are now."

Are the Democrats self-immolating? Well, they did manage to win the last couple of election cycles. But they aren't going for the GOP's very vulnerable throat as they should.

The GOP strategy discussion is also about the degree to which they should avoid talking about their own disastrous turn in power.

From the article:

"Though poll numbers suggest a political climate very much like that of 1994, Republicans recognize they face a different kind of challenge.

"Back then, it had been four decades since the GOP had run the House, which meant that few Americans knew what Republican rule would look like. Now, as party leaders themselves have acknowledged, they need to convince voters they have learned from the mistakes that cost them the majority only four years ago."

Tulsan said...

By the way, what in the article supports YOUR contention that:

"...a fundamental premise of the whole article is that the Democratic Party is self-immolating to the point where simply getting out of their way whilst they do it is seen by some as a viable campaign strategy."

Answer: nothing. Completely oblivious to the irony, you then conclude:

"Truly, you give new meaning to the words 'blindly partisan.' I don't believe you see anything in your reading material you don't wish to see."

Man of the West said...

Why am I not surprised?

Tulsan, not one of your quotes even comes close to saying that avoiding the issues is "the national GOP's campaign plan for the 2010 midterm elections," which is what Alt said, and what drew my criticism. I would have said not a word if they had said anything along the lines of "some Republicans," or "many Republicans." But no, they had to go far beyond the facts and paint a picture which is not, according the source cited, true. I doubt that they would deliberately lie, but I am completely ready to believe that they only see the parts of the story that they want to see.

As far as your question is concerned, understanding that premise required a modest--very modest--amount of discernment and deductive capacity on the part of the reader. It is true that the story does not say in so many words that Democrats have made a stench of themselves, but it does make it clear that some Republicans see running on "I'm not a Democrat" as a viable campaign strategy! It is fairly obvious that one does not run on "I'm not a Democrat" unless people have to come to perceive being a Democrat as less a glorious thing than you and Alt do. I will not give you the quotes that make this clear. You should have easily been able to see them for yourself, which only makes me think that you suffer from the same willful blindness that Alt does.

Nothing personal. I don't hate you, am not mad at you, just convinced that you and Alt are so rabidly partisan that you can't see what's right in front of you.

Tulsan said...

Obviously you won't cite quotes, because nothing in the story supports your reading of it. It's about as straight a political horse race story as you will find.

Why don't you demonstrate your "discernment and deductive capacity" by citing the passages you believe support your statements, then explicitly explaining your inferences for all to see, rather than hand-waving it away as an exercise for the student?

If you you can't or won't do that, I'll consider the topic closed, professor.

Man of the West said...

Ah, Grasshopper, if I give you three of the corners, you are supposed to be able to find the fourth yourself...


Tulsan said...

Levitate once again, then, Po' Master! Waft thee back to thine private and wondrous world, rich with the sound of one hand clapping... your own.

Tulsan said...


Right-wing blogger accuses liberal blogger of wildly partisan reading.

It is pointed out that he glaringly just committed selfsame offense.

He tries waving it away by appeal to his own authority.

Asked to put up or shut up, he retreats behind wearisome air of superiority.

In his mind alone, this is clever.