Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Like a Bridge Over Poisoned Waters

Here is what far-left, lefty loon Frank Rich has to say about Rand Paul, and I am in rare agreement with him:
He is a godsend for the tea party—the presentable leader the movement kept trying to find during the 2012 Republican freak show but never did. Next to Paul, that parade of hotheads, with their overweening Obama hatred and their dog whistles to racists, nativists, and homophobes, looks like a relic from a passing era. For that matter, he may prove equally capable of making the two top Democratic presidential prospects for 2016, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, look like a nostalgia act.
This leaves Paul—for the moment at least—a man with a future. If in the end he and his ideas are too out-there to be a majority taste anytime soon, he is nonetheless performing an invaluable service. Whatever else may come from it, his speedy rise illuminates just how big an opening there might be for other independent and iconoclastic politicians willing to challenge the sclerosis of both parties in the post-Obama age. (Frank Rich)
New York Times Latte Leftist Frank Rich hates Rand Paul's message and excoriates it, but is uncomfortable with how much he is charmed and intrigued by the messenger.

The Messenger Matters

Do you get what Frank Rich is saying? He’s afraid someone like Rand Paul can rob ‘sensible’ voters from the Democrat party. That is what we are looking for in a conservative on the national stage. The kind of conservative that attracts people to us instead of repelling them.

Many in the GOP who pine for the second coming of Reagan, forget his greatest asset:  His ability to expand the party base and draw people to his ideas.  Love them or hate them, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did the same and became two-term presidents.

Chris Christie has the mojo, but he's an ideological squish. McCain and the other old crabs who trash everything to the right of Gerald Ford have neither the ideology nor the personality. They're yesterday's news anyway. 

Politics is about Addition, not Subtraction

Rand Paul is the kind of conservative who can expand the base, because he works within the system and he's not afraid to buck party dogma. But when he does commit party heresy, he doesn't tweak the grandees' noses and attempt to set fire to the place. Equally, when he criticizes the opposition, he does so in a courtly manner. That's a man who people will work with.

Ted Cruz and so many other darlings of the far right detract from their message with childish antics and a twisting of their opponents' tails that sends the rightwing fanboys and fangirls into a tremulous tizzy, but leaves would-be allies rolling their eyes and tuning out. And the ideological opponents you may need to work with later? Forget it. They are simmering and seething, sharpening their daggers, and they won't forget.

Cruz appeals to those who harbor fantasies of a finger-wagging Sarah Palin in a sexy school marm costume spanking the opposition with a nail-studded paddle. It may get you all giddy inside, but you don't make friends and influence people that way. And you certainly won't bring people over to your way of thinking. And politics is all about winning friends and influencing people. That is how you implement your ideas.

This, from pollster Charlie Cook, is encouraging for the GOP, so it will be interesting to see how they end up blowing it:
Something that might be of concern to Democrats, however, is that in this year’s data, independents are tilting Republican by 18 points, 43 percent to 25 percent. This is even more than the 14-point edge that the GOP had in the 2010 polling (40 percent to 26 percent) and dramatically different from the 1-point Democratic edge in 2012 (35 percent to 34 percent).  (Charlie Cook)
Cook goes on to say that this cohort of independents put the democrats over the top in 2008 and 2012. They can do the same for the GOP, if the GOP can ditch the pie throwing and the pull-my-finger games and instead deliver a coherent message to the American people.

Independents come from all over the spectrum, but they usually have one thing in common. Childish tantrums and smirking shit-slingers turns them off. They are there for the taking. The GOP doesn't need to moderate the message. They need to change the tone.

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