Thursday, October 17, 2013

Many More Americans Feel Politically Homeless Today--- But Should They?

Washington is back to work! In other words,  Michael Moore ends 11 second hunger strike...Dave Burge Tweet

  • I recall my visit to Poland in 1990. They were just coming out from under Communist rule and elections were taking place. As an American, there was a phenomena I found fascinating. There must have been at least 8-10 political parties engaged during their campaign period. And it was understandable considering they had been living under one political party for over 40 years. After the last two weeks of our own government shutdown, it should surprise no one that there are many voices proclaiming the need for another major American third party. We hear this same voices after every election. But I would urge caution considering the historical failure rate of American third parties.
  • Last night, after the government was re-opened, I Tweeted something to this effect: "Boehner can now use ObamaCare to get a pair of balls." In other words, it was clear that the Republicans---largely the progressive and moderate Republicans---caved into the demands of Obama and the Democrats yet again---and they wonder why they've lost the presidency twice in the last 8 years. They allowed Obama to get away with this basic strategy: I get what I want---then I'll negotiate with you. There's an autocratic ring to using that type of strategy. Yet, as we've seen all too often with this president, it can work. But it only works---when you allow it to work.

  •  It's  been clear Republicans don't know how to message.  It's also been clear it's because most of the media will not report their message. For example, the Media Research Center reviewed the evening news broadcasts from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. Of the 124 full stories and brief items about the shutdown, 41 blamed Republicans for the impasse, 17 blamed both sides and NONE blamed the Democrats. Keep in mind. During this entire week, it was Democrats + Obama who were using incendiary language like ransom, hostage, gun to our heads, etc. not Republicans.
  • Also, the infighting in the Republican ranks left many scratching their heads on the sidelines.
  • So where does this leave many Americans? I believe they feel like their politically homeless today, especially conservatives.  In fact many have felt that way for a long time. And the manner in which these shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations took place probably reinforced that perception.
  • I want to tell those who feel abandoned, there were some victories that resulted from this shutdown. You won't hear it from most in the media. It's because it does not fit their agenda; namely, to provide cover for Obama and Democrats.
  • For example, most in the main stream media are reporting that Ted Cruz and the Tea Party were losers. If that's the case, why then did CNN immediately cut away from Mitch McConnell preparing to deliver a speech to cover a speech given by Cruz  yesterday? In other words, while many of the progressive Republicans had a hard time messaging, Cruz dominated the airwaves for several weeks. In addition, he was able to get his base excited and involved.  In fact, within the Tea Party ranks, Cruz's poll numbers---according to Pew---shot up from 47% to 74%.
  • Just as important, the failures of ObamaCare were highlighted during this period. Yes, many Americans already knew ObamaCare was horrific law, they just didn't realize how bad it sucked until Cruz and company focused a more direct laser beam on the problems. Cruz, during that period, was also using social media very well something the Old Guard Republicans don't do well at all (if you recall, the Obama campaign smoked the Republicans when it came to using social media).
  • There's something else I learned a long time ago in observing politics. When it comes to government failures, most people don't recall who a certain Senator or Congressman was during that period. But they remember who was president. For example, Pres. Carter's legacy is poor. But how many Americans recall who the House Speaker was then? Or who Carter's political opposition was in the Senate and House? They don't. But they remember Jimmy Carter.
  • I bring this to your attention---especially those who feel politically homeless---after eight years of a failed Obama administration, he will be remembered and will be held responsible. And that will leave other Americans saying: Who the hell was Boehner?