The GOP is still trying trying to figure out why they did much worse than they had anticipated in November’s election, and their newest answer, writes Eugene Robinson today in a column that got 3000 comments, isn’t going to help them. “President Obama is on a mission to destroy the Republican party” isn’t any more convincing as a reason than bad messaging was for the past few months, he says. To Robinson, it is that majorities of America no longer like GOP ideas — the problems are coming from inside the House.
Commenters found this a fairly self-serving argument for a lefty writer to make, though also pretty hard to refute. The comments were heavily triumphant for the Democrats and in-denial for the Republicans; the most common counter-argument was, basically, that the GOP didn’t really lose.
Obama is simply very good at scaring voters and demonizing his opponents. Obama’s team did this with Ryan’s budget plan, even going so far as to literally depict grandma thrown off a cliff, which was a gross distortion of the plan’s effects. And this was in spite of the fact that most Americans concede that entitlement reform is necessary to deal with the current budget problem.
The GOP is missing the voters’ message. What the voters are saying (or at least what a small group of all-important swing voters is saying) is that they are too-easily swayed by scare tactics and smears, and that the GOP needs to get better at this and at defending against this if the party wants to remain remotely relevant in presidential races.
Meanwhile, of course, the GOP will continue to win races at the House level, which is the other message that voters sent and that Democrats seem not to have gotten. Your candidate won re-election to the White House, but voters were very much against giving him unfettered power. Either start compromising with the GOP or suffer two more years of gridlock. So far, Obama seems to be choosing the latter.
Are you saying that minority voters will never care about economic growth as long as Democrats continue to mouth politically correct platitudes? Look, Gene, voters gave obama a mulligan on the economy in 2012. That doesn’t mean that democrats will always get a pass for lousy economic performance by the voters, even minority ones.
As for Democratic posters, the election meant that the Republican Party is dead.
The American people want strict regulation of business, protection of our environment, strong consumer protection, and effective public services like education and health care. What we DON’T want is “Big Brother” watching our every move, able to seize our property for minor offenses, listening in on our conversations, fighting pointless wars, interfering with family planning options, telling us who we can and cannot love, and restricting our travel.
Mr. Robinson is quite right that it is neither the medium nor the message, but it is the very philosophy of the Republican Party it espouses that impedes their success.
When Republicans win, it is a failure of democracy itself.
So that’s where we are.
But some of our debaters here think the public GOP explanations for their performance are doing even worse damage.
patriot17 finds the “messaging” explanation condescending:
“Messaging” is a particularly squirmy concept. The idea seems to be that “we’re just not explaining this right to you.” Or, as many conservatives living in my home state of NC would say “Yew jest don’t understayund.” So, the GOPs “it’s a messaging problem” explanation really means “You’re too stupid to understand us but we will avoid saying THAT and instead say that it’s our communication problem. We must work to explain ourselves better to idiots like you.”
But this isn’t a messaging problem or a communication problem, it’s a disagreement. We don’t misunderstand the GOP, we don’t like their ideas.
ThinkThink2 is unimpressed with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s recent comment that “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party” and what it means about his strategy:
I’ve known a great number of people with varying degrees of intelligence. However, I have never met a single one who was able to stop being stupid even if they commanded themselves to do so. Stupid is as stupid does, after all.
And Awake thinks Obama can still ruin things for lefties all by himself, GOP or no:
Don’t be too smug. Obama is very resistant to progressive action. We still haven’t heard his proposals to “reform” Social Security in full. I suspect the smugness will turn to disgust when he begins his “bipartisanship” blather once again. He has a penchant for dropping the ball near the touchdown line.