Yes, we Republicans have a pretty sad lot going into the '12 elections. For the first time that I can remember, even though I follow the process closely, I have no real excitement for it. Didn't think it was possible. I've finally decided that Romney is my candidate- but really, there's no love there. As for everyone else the names are all over the map..Bachmann, Perry vs Romney, Romney vs Cain, and...Gingrich? *sigh* But there is one point most conservatives seem to agree on: Obama’s time is done. The 2012 election is in the bag.
Stop. Rewind. Reality check. It’s when we start thinking this way that things start going south and instead of clinching victory, jaws drop and we wonder what just happened. When it comes to taking advantage of positive outcomes and making gains from sinking Democrat ratings, this year party leaders seem intent on sabotaging opportunity and turning the tables against themselves. Really, true story.
If it weren’t for Obama’s toilet ratings, we wouldn’t have a chance.
The election process signals an opportunity for a changing of the guards. Its an opportunity for parties to show the people what they can offer and why it's better than the competition. Right now, I'm thinking Canada might be a nice place to live in 2013.
Image is Key
Fragmentation, religious extremism, overstepping, the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, and sheer stupidity in front of the camera is wreaking havoc on our party image not to mention our end game. It’s not loyal Republicans or religious extremists the party needs to win over- it’s everyone else and that requires creating (and maintaining) positive public perception of what we can and are doing. On that front-Fail.
Case(s) in point…
- A dumbed-down decade? Bachmann kills us with her gift of knowledge for economic policy and US history..over and over again. Bachmann, Perry, Romney..engaging in foreign policy debates without bringing foreign policy knowledge, or facts, to the table. The televised debates- just painful. What happened to preparation? Someone should show these peeps a job posting for the position they're applying. Fact checker anyone? I'll work for cheap.
- Religion as politics: Religion has always had a place in the party platform and, in small subtle doses, can enhance the presidential presentation. After all, this country wasn’t founded by a bunch of non-believers. But fundamentalists with political ambitions? Hard right wingers don’t represent the party majority (or the national majority) and yet we’ve been seeing them too much in press and hearing too much from their representatives.
*Remember the end game; remember the audience* Solution: Stop giving these people a microphone.
- 2011 budget: We stood firm on total cuts needed and I applauded those efforts; in the end we got most of what we asked for. Hoorah. And then we overstepped with Planned Parenthood funding using the premise of spend reduction. Really. Inconsequential to the total budget and one of the few government spends producing long term saves. Threatening a shutdown is one thing but stepping dangerously close to letting it happen is called sabotaging a good thing. Supremely bad press. Think Big Picture. Obviously this was about other agendas. We had an opportunity to come out on top and we came out looking ready and willing to undermine progress simply to open doors for overturning Roe v Wade. Seriously? Score 1 for the Democrats.
- Debt ceiling agreement: holding up the process in the final stretch demanding the exclusion of provisions that ultimately ended up in the final package anyway (i.e., tax hikes, defense cuts). The point? Democrats got what they wanted and we looked like the Grinch who nearly stole Christmas. *maybe we need better press people* Surprisingly, a lot of Republicans think we got a huge win. Apparently they skipped over the fine print details of the role of the super committee. clap-clap-clap for the asses; boot in the rear for Republicans.
United we stand
Or not. What’s Prince Reibus been doing these days anyway…
Public bickering between leaders, dissension of core ideas, Republican party Republicans versus Tea Party Republicans, no strong frontrunner... Romney may be leading the pack but the ongoing fluctuation of top frontrunners, begging for Chris Christie's candidacy, the fact that Gingrich is still in..clear indications that mainstream Republicans do not have a strong allegiance to Romney or the other candidates and in general, feel we're pretty much at a low point with the candidate pool. Who to pick, who to pick. And oh yes, only one has a real shot of beating Obama anyway.
So, in the bag? At the end of 2010 that outcome seemed a real possibility. Now we have to fight even harder to make it reality. Time to change our tune and do it smartly or the direness of the last four years will end with "another 4 years"..