Sunday, September 29, 2013

No Son, Let's Walk Down, and Get Them All

Job One for any politician is to not look crazy, and the GOP is failing miserably. Perception is everything in politics, and their 'optics' are terrible:

Moralistic lectures, imbecilic pronouncement on rape, calling half the country deadbeat moochers, and now actively promoting the image of wild-eyed lunatics threatening the country with bombs and flamethrowers.

Obamacare is the law of the land. Congress passed it and the president signed it into law. This is a direct result of the GOP failing to win enough elections. Here's another shocker:  They don't have enough votes to defund it or repeal it.  Am I the only one who understands this?

Charge of the Lightweight Brigade

I agree with much of what the small band of conservatives is trying to accomplish, but I hate their tactics. As George Bush would say, their strategery sucks. The GOP should be challenging Obama's imperial exemptions and delay decrees at every turn, not leading Charges of the Lightweight Brigade off the Cliff to Nowhere. Beyond that, they should be talking to the American people about viable alternatives as the Obamacare monstrosity sags and groans under its own weight. That would be the smart thing to do, hence, the GOP will never do it.

All Barker, No Bite

Cruz's stunt was an ego-driven political calculation to play to the peanut gallery and fire up the base. Here's the problem. The base is already fired up. What we need is serious leadership that results in policies and legislation we believe will drag this Obama economy out of the ditch. Political stunts and headline-grabbing provocations are sometimes useful if they focus the public's attention on a political plan or public policy gambit, but there's no substance behind the GOP carnival barkers. It's nothing but a circus with clowns shooting seltzer down their clown pants, lighting their farts on fire, and crashing their little cars into one another, while periodically throwing a pie at democrats, but pathetically missing every time. 

Where's the Beef?"

I quote Walter Mondale quoting that little lady from the hamburger commercial: "Where's the beef?" Mr. Mondale may have been a lefty, but he was a serious lefty who loved this country and crafted serious policy.

In contrast, we have Ted Cruz, who enhances his stature with the Sarah Palin types, hoping the religious nuts will power him to early 2016 primary prominence. But if he gets the nomination, he can't win. No way. Why? Because people hate him.

Why do they hate him? Because he's an all-scorched-earth-all-the-time politician, whether he is dealing with Democrats or Republicans, and people don't like having their earth scorched. His image is one of a detestable smart-ass in the mold of Newt Gingrich or the contemptible and sleazy Florida congressman Alan Grayson. At best, he's a self-promoting Sarah Palin with more brains but without the sexy frisson.

Politics is a Game of Addition, not Subtraction

Despite legend, President Reagan and Speaker O'Neill probably never really sat down to beers after a long day of legislative wrangling (Indeed, contemporary accounts have O'Neill saying hateful things about Reagan in private), but the record shows that they fought, debated and, in the end, compromised. That's what politicians do. When you have various competing factions, a pure win with everything you want and a cherry on top is a fairy tale, a chimera, and only a fool chases it.

To be effective in politics, you've got to craft policy and get people on board. Here's a tip: If you smashed a pie in someone's face last week, or last year, he won't get on board with you. Instead, he will try to saw your board in half, because he wants to see you fall on your arrogant ass. That is why Ted Cruz is ultimately an impotent politician. He has alienated everyone on Capitol Hill, left, right and center. Because of this, no one will work with him, and so he will never accomplish anything beyond self-promotion, and we don't need politicians like that. We need people who can get the public on their side and then roll up their sleeves and work with the team to implement conservative, small-government ideas.

The Road Not Taken

A broad swath of America, beyond the GOP, indeed, beyond left or right, is concerned about real-world issues like out of control government, public schools, college costs, jobs, infrastructure, pensions and debt. This is fertile political ground for those willing to come up with practical ideas and then go out there and sell them, retail, to the American people. And the way you sell them is to be friendly as you engage citizens, politicians, pundits and special interest groups in some civil back and forth, showing them that you are a worthy and honest interlocutor. Only a handful of GOP politicians appear to understand this, and Ted "Look at me!" Cruz is not one of them.

George Will - Republicans Get in their own Way on Obamacare
Ted Cruz and the Conservatism of Illusion and Deception

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