With the House firmly in their grasp and the Senate still a possibility, the Republicans face a rough two years thwarting a mainstream media bent on painting them as obstructionists. Nevertheless, obstructionists are what they must be if they are to reverse the worst of the damage this President has caused.
Personally, I think the GOP is in dire need of new leadership. I completely understood Laura Ingraham when she took on Eric Cantor last August on the O’Reilly Factor for parsing words on healthcare repeal. When Cantor told Politico that total repeal was “ambitious” it sent exactly the wrong signal to wary voters.
Trust is at issue here and conservatives inside and outside of the GOP have reason to be squeamish about sending many of these guys back to Washington.
Still, we do have a common enemy, whose address next month will be any one of 537 rooms of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. Just say, “Give me Barack.” The hotel operator will know who you mean.
The real mission here should be simple. It should be a long-term strategy not to regain power in 2012, but to derail the left wing of the Democratic Party for decades to come. And this can only be accomplished by a complete reversal of old-school Washington politics on the GOP’s part. Standard old-school talking points will simply not do anymore.
This is why I’ve been heralding the praises of Tea Party firebrands like Christine O’Donnell for the past several months. If nothing else, O’Donnell, Palin and Bachmann continue to keep the fire to Republican feet.
O’Donnell is likely to go down in Delaware but the message wins the day. We will not see RINO Mike Castle in the U.S. Senate because of her courage. And screw Michael Steele if he doesn’t get it.
Let’s not forget, the Beltway Republicans wanted Castle and actively supported him, even though he is to the extreme left of their avowed platform. Which of course leads one to wonder if the GOP platform is a charade to begin with.
Perhaps the biggest impediment for the GOP, whether they retake both houses or not, is that they just do not play hip ball. To retreat to a slightly outdated stock phrase, they are squares. Democrats are not. But the only way to win this game is to get hip and get hip fast, something the GOP at large seems wont to do.
I have said for years that the GOP should read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and develop a strategy to defeat it. I mean, Democrats who have never read the book use its methodology; it has been so ingrained into the left’s culture. They skip to it every time they have a loss like a broken record, and Republicans have never developed a strategy against it.
The media has been the Republican Party’s historic enemy almost since the days of Lincoln. They will begin immediately to lambast the party after the election under the color of journalism. The media no longer tries to hide its bias, so there is no excuse for Republicans not to have a plan to defeat them at their own game.
The central focus must be Barack Obama’s failures as President and it should be surrounded with every conservative pundit smashing away at his foredeck to draw attention of Obama’s excesses in office. It should be abundantly clear to most Americans by now that this President has not grown into the office, and it must be pointed out, again and again.
One way to do this is to use Obama’s own words against him.
Secondly, Democrats, after the Tuesday Night Massacre next month will try desperately to distance themselves from the President. The GOP must not allow them to do it; they are every bit as responsible as Obama in creating this mess. The Democrats are masters at rewriting history to dismantle the Republican’s agenda, and if the GOP leadership doesn’t keep a tight rein on its members they will do it again.
Lastly—and this is the clincher—they must live up to their word. The temptation will be enormous to compromise on heath care repeal and accept something less than total destruction of the law. Defunding it is not enough; it must be squashed.
You may say that is not possible while Obama is in the White House, and that is true, but (again using Alinsky) he must be painted as the obstructionist. In short, the Republicans must use Alinsky’s Rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Here is a quick primer on Rules for Radicals:
Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power has always derived from two main sources, people and money. Lacking money, the Have-Nots must always build power from their own flesh and blood. A mass movement expresses itself with mass tactics. Against the finesse and sophistication of the status quo, the Have-Nots have always had to club their way.
Rule 2: Never go outside the expertise of your people. It results in confusion, fear and retreat. It also leads to a collapse in communications.
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Here you want to cause, fear, confusion, and retreat.
Rule 4: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian Church can live up to Christianity.
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. It also infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, then there is something very wrong with the tactic.
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after that it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday mornings.
Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Never let up, with different tactics and actions.
Rule 9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
Rule 10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
Rule 11: If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
Rule 12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy by his sudden agreement with your demand and saying “You’re right, we don’t know what to do about this issue, now you tell us.”
Rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. As soon as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all of the “others” come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target.