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2012 Election Richard Falknor on 09 Sep 2012 05:50 pm

UPDATED! Andy McCarthy Decries The GOP Leadership’s Near Fatal Course

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 11! Last Friday Jonah Golberg through his “The Campaign of Wrong Ideas vs. No Ideas” (NRO) explained – – “Meanwhile, the Republicans seem to have become Dukakified. It was Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, who insisted that the election should be entirely about ‘competence, not ideology.’ Romney has avoided saying that in so many words, but it’s certainly how he’s campaigning. After running to the right in the primaries and boldly picking Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney bizarrely seems to have retreated to an ideological and even intellectual crouch. Though he doesn’t say it explicitly, the tone and tenor of Romney’s convention speech suggested that Obama failed because didn’t have the right resume, not because he has the wrong ideas. Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top strategist, has dismayed many on the right by operating according to the theory that Romney mustn’t do anything to offend the delicate sensibilities of some statistical abstraction of a female voter in the Ohio suburbs.” * * * * * But yesterday morning Ben Domenech (The Transom) has a different take – -“The likeliest explanation for Obama’s standing in the polls and his continued slight sub-50 percent edge is also the simplest one: Republicans chose to nominate a candidate who is disliked by voters to an unprecedented historical degree who has continued to be disliked by voters. Making him even slightly less disliked is hard. Making him slightly more disliked is easy. http://vlt.tc/gk2  Whether voters will swallow their dislike given the state of the economy is an assumption of a rationale that we can’t predict on such a large scale. It’s a roll of the dice that the Republicans took, convinced it was the safer path. Perhaps it was! But we won’t know that til November.” .” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
* * * * *
“It’s like the Obamacare debate in Congress: They’re [the Democrats] not worried about what it looks like; they’re worried about winning. Today’s Republicans are worried about what it looks like. Winning is secondary. What matters most is that they not appear too mean on a stage they’ve allowed their bare-knuckles opponents to set. Their consultants tell them: ‘It’s not what you stand for; it’s how you get to 50 percent plus one. So soften your edges, drop the philosophy crap, and if you need to show the media some backbone, find a conservative to bash.’” –Andrew McCarthy

We want to emphasize what we said Friday about the necessity for the Romney campaign to drop the flawed Rove Strategy:

This is no political game, no sporting contest. As Rush Limbaugh points out, “these are real people’s lives that are being affected here.” The Republican candidate (and perhaps even the Rove crowd) likely have resources enough to ride out the next four years of Obama and several terms of his successors, and to shield themselves from the growing intrusions of government power.  Most Americans do not.

We suspect that the McCain and Romney handlers also drew back, and now draw back from a full bore attack on Mr. Obama as a socialist because they might create an environment unsympathetic even to their own vanilla brand of governmentalism.  

A nationwide mandate for rightsizing government would be much more complicating for this crowd than a nationwide mandate purely for administrative competence.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy in his “Double-Minded Republicans” (NRO) made some crucial points along similar lines —

  • “We have lost a third of the country and, as if that weren’t bad enough, Republicans act as if it were two-thirds.”
  • “The lost third cannot be recovered overnight. For now, it is gone. You cannot cede the campus and the culture to the progressive, post-American Left for two generations and expect a different outcome. “
  • “ The people coming of age in our country today have been reared very differently from those who were just beginning to take the wheel in the early 1980s. They have marinated in an unapologetically progressive system that prizes group discipline and narrative over free will and critical thought.”
  • “In America, at least until now, the avant-garde has never been able to tame the public. It has always been possible to run against elite opinion and win — if you make a compelling counter-case.Today’s Republicans do not. Indeed, they cannot, because they have accepted the progressive framework. Their argument is not that the welfare state, deficit spending, federalized education, sharia-democracy promotion, and the rest are bad policies. Their argument is not that Washington needs to be dramatically downsized. It is that progressive governance is fine but needs to be better executed.
  • “There is a big conservative base out there — bigger than the third of the country we’ve lost. But they’re left to scratch their heads and say, ‘I’m supporting this guy . . . why?’ The response comes a little less quickly after each fit of pique: ‘Oh, right, because he’s not Obama.’That’s a lot, but will it be enough?” (Underscoring and highlighting throughout are Forum’s.)

As always, we urge you to consider the entire Andrew McCarthy post here.

Do you find McCarthy’s and similar diagnoses both accurate and troubling?

Then get together with like-minded activists to try to help put the Romney Campaign right, very quickly. 

There will be no consolation prizes in any coming Obama years because we respected GOP ‘group discipline’ — nor stayed, docile, ‘in our place’ limiting ourselves to uncritical campaign cheering. 


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