The Republican Messaging Problem

We find it amazing that the Democrats and the mass media are not making a big deal out of how much trouble the Republicans are in at the moment. Even liberal leaning pundits seem to think that the Bin Laden bounce for Obama has run its course. We do not know where they get this idea because we cannot find one poll that is not positive for Obama and they actually are getting stronger for Obama with every passing day. If the presidential election were to be held now, Obama would be a shoo-in.

Now it is true that the Democrats and the media tried to convince the public that the special election held in New York's district 26 showed that the Ryan budget plan is the kiss of death for the Republicans in 2012 and most pundits did not buy that. The problem is not with the Ryan budget plan but rather with the Republican messaging. They are trying to sell it as as a necessary reform to balance the budget. They keep pushing that line and not only will they not gain control of the Senate in 2012, but they will not defeat Obama and will come close to losing the House of Representatives as well.

At the time of the 2010 elections, the generic congressional ballot was running from 7 to 15 points in favor of the Republicans depending upon which poll you looked at. Right now our average of those polls is actually slightly in favor of the Democrats. Clearly the Republicans have a gigantic messaging problem. How about a message that proclaims they are try to SAVE Medicare before it goes bankrupt? Is that too much to ask of the Republican leadership? The voters voted for Republicans in 2010 in hopes that the Republicans would jam the brakes on all that the Democrats had done in the previous two years.

What have they gotten in exchange for this vain hope? They have gotten Democrat-lite from the Republicans instead. As Obama has said, Democrats bring a gun to a knife fight. The Republicans do not bring a knife or even martial arts to the fight. The Republicans are wimps and they have no clue on how to go for the Democrat jugular. The Democrats run ads proclaiming that the Republicans are trying to destroy Medicare and kill granny. How do the Republicans respond? They point to charts and figures that there is a problem with the financing of Medicare. How about proclaiming that the Democrats are sitting idly by while Medicare goes broke and that this is what will kill granny?

Republicans seem to think that the baby steps they have taken towards controlling government spending are all it takes to win public approval. How about wielding a meat axe instead? Whole departments need to be axed as they are doing more harm than good. Polls showed that a majority of the likely voters did not have a problem with shutting down all but the essential parts of the federal government if that was what it took to get the Democrat's attention to their habit of spending other people's money like a whole carrier group of druken sailors. What did the Republicans give them instead? They gave them cuts that did not even come to the amount the government borrowed while they were arguing about it.

The debt ceiling hike is the last chance the Republicans have to make good on their promises for the 2010 elections. They have just one chance to make believers out of the voting public that they are serious about cutting government spending. They need to refuse to raise the debt limit no matter what cuts the Democrats agree to. The public will support this stand. The folks in Congress need to learn to live within their means just like everyone else has had to do. The Republican leadership (and that means you, Mitch McConnell) need to get in the Democrats' face and stay there no matter how much the media beats up on them for doing that. Frankly, we doubt that the Republicans have the guts to do this and that means that we get four more years of Obama and continued Democrat control of the Senate and perhaps the Democrats regaining control of the House to boot.

Comments :

daniel noe said...

You might be interested to look up Drew Westen and keep track of what he is up to. I read his book, The Political Brain, and it makes the EXACT OPPOSITE argument to the one you make here. He claims that dems are the ones who bring out the charts and get lost in abstract numbers and rationality while republicans are the ones that appeal to people's emotions. He claims that dems have a messaging problem. His solution? He advises Democrats to go after any opposition not by answering the arguments but by calling out its supposedly hidden motives, which usually involve racism, homophobia, class warfare, and the like.