Saturday, June 11, 2011
The republican strategy
I have to admit the republican plan has me scratching my head. Why would a party go after Medicare, see the negative results of doing that, double down with a plan to privatize Social Security? Representative Pete Sessions (R -TX) is introducing the "Savings Account for every American Act" which will allow people to immediately opt out of Social Security in favor of a private account. It would take another blog to explain why taking away revenues from Social Security would lead to its eventual demise.
Last night, Bill Maher and Rachel Maddow discussed the republican strategy on their respective shows. The republican are still drunk from their victory in the 2010 elections. The GOP thinks it has a mandate for right wing policies and they are now going to stretch those limits. Republican governors immediately went after the labor unions and collective bargaining. They also took advantage of their majorities to overturn old abortion laws and replace them with new more intrusive ones. On a national front, the republican house tried to defund their longtime nemesis, NPR, along with Planned Parenthood after they finally realized that they didn't have the numbers to repeal the Health Care law. They did all this,and still had the audacity to say that the Obama administration was not paying attention to the economy.
The Republican Party are the masters at the art of deception and going for the jugular. Lee Altwater was a master at making opponents defend made up allegations, rather than the issues. Mr. Altwater groomed his eventual replacement, Karl Rowe, to perfection. The game plan is simple enough. Voters can be pumped up into thinking that government is the enemy, while the party gives government contracts to its biggest donors. They will entice their constituents with tax cuts and convince them that it's only fair that the GOP's wealthy donors get theirs. I've got to admit the GOP does a great job of convincing their constituency that the way and out of our economic doldrums is to keep giving the corporations' money. The GOP will have their first debate Tuesday night, where you will hear every candidate invoked the name of Ronald Reagan many times, but they will seldom mention the middle class and never the poor. It will be a mantra of "drill baby drill" but no talk of alternative energy initiatives. Last week, Mitt Romney said he believed that the earth was getting warmer and man made greenhouse emissions played a part, but he didn't know how much. The next day Rush Limbaugh wrote him off because he was repeating "the liberal hoax." Last night, Bill Maher said that it's hard to believe that the Mormon would be the sane one in the Republican Party. I'm beginning to see Herman Cain rising up the polls by using words of deception. Mr. Cain told a Tea Party crowd that he would make a Muslim sign a loyalty pledge, but he wouldn't do the same for any other religion. The rhetoric won him over with that crowd, but he told Jon King of CNN, that he would analyze the Muslim's loyalty in a job interview, as he does for any one he hires. The master of deception, "give the people what they want to hear." This is straight out of the Atwater playbook, if you don't have a good economic message; you still have the Muslim, illegal alien, and gay- marriage issue to keep them out on your side.
So what's behind their losing strategy? They think that the weaker democrats will play right into their hands, even though it might cost them some seats. They'll throw out vouchers for Medicare and privatizing Social Security knowing that it doesn't have a chance of passing, but it will make the democrats come a little closer to their side, to make a deal. That was the strategy that was used to get Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts. The GOP has already convinced about 47% of America that the "debt ceiling" does not need to be increased, and they're working on convincing the voters that all we need to do is cut spending without increasing taxes. That’s a dangerous gamble but that doesn't matter. If that strategy derails a slow recovery,so what, it's easy to convince low information voters that it's the other guys fault. The voters are not going read a book on economics' to see which side is right, but if you can give them a slogan and a small sound bite, that's enough to get their vote.