So I have been mentioning several plans for Republicans and Democrats that might be helpful for this election season. November might seem far away, but now it must become a big issue. What are the two sets of plans that the parties should follow:
Democrats: Tout your agenda. You have passed sweeping healthcare reform and financial reform. You have also been on schedule by getting most combat troops out of Iraq. What is needed now is a strong PR campaign to sell your advantages. Better yet, run with that for a solution narrative for working on solving the Israel/Palestine crisis. Say look we passed all this historic legislation let’s do it again. My statement would be the future is now. Use it as a mandate for social security reform and energy reform as well.
Republicans: It’s Karl Rove wedge issue time. The ground zero mosque is a perfect start. That will lead to the court plan that I talked about last time because they feel their values are being destroyed. On the economy, use the distortion method on the Bush tax cuts by saying its current policy. Do everyday average Americans want their taxes raised? Hell no! With the court and tax strategy you have now won your base of the religious right, the Tea Party crowd, and the senior citizens.
These are not all the issues, but these are good ones to form narratives to help voters understand how everything connects, even when doesn’t.
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Right now Republicans have been using the ground zero mosque as the big divider issue. This makes sense since they can plug how “patriotic” they are, but what conservatives need is a plan. The just say no doctrine might work for anti-drug commercials, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty without offering a plan the Democrats might be able to say that the GOP plans to return to the Bush policies.
Without having a solution narrative this might hurt Republicans. A solution narrative are the promises that politicans say they plan to do while in Washington, without much success. The problem is that it takes a long time to pass legislation in congress. Repealing legislation is even harder. So saying that they plan to repeal Obamacare is probably not realistic. What Republicans can do is use the court solution.
This involves saying that if elected they will use the judicial system to repeal the radical Obama agenda. A federal court recently let the lawsuit against the healthcare bill go through. Another federal judge also just struck down the Obama plan to extend stem cell research funding because it violates a federal statute.
Yes, the Arizona case and the Prop 8 case were losses, but that does not mean that Republicans can’t say they will take them all the way to the Supreme Court. With a right tilt to the Supreme Court Republicans have a shot
Better yet, poll numbers are on their side. 59% believe stem cell research is morally wrong, 61% believe the Supreme Court has the best balance, and the country is generally moving to the right. The public usually has liked the Supreme Court’s recent rulings. 59% believe that corporations giving money to campaigns are protected under the 1st Amendment, like the Court just ruled. Also, only 63% of people think that handgun control laws should be stricter like the court just ruled in the Chicago hand gun case that it should be.
There could even be a cool narrative like “It’s time for America to gets its freedoms back by using our own version of the Warren Court.” Maybe a more catchy slogan could be thought of by the GOP.
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Keith Olbermann does a pretty hilarious look at Obama’s secret Muslim heritage.
I know that I quote David Brooks quite a bit on my blog, but I find many of his comments insightful and helpful for navigating the field of political discourse. In today’s column, he discusses the necessity to think for ourselves. Elegantly he puts it like this:
In this atmosphere, we’re all less conscious of our severe mental shortcomings and less inclined to be skeptical of our own opinions. Occasionally you surf around the Web and find someone who takes mental limitations seriously. For example, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway once gave a speech called “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment.” He and others list our natural weaknesses: We have confirmation bias; we pick out evidence that supports our views. We are cognitive misers; we try to think as little as possible. We are herd thinkers and conform our perceptions to fit in with the group.
But, in general, the culture places less emphasis on the need to struggle against one’s own mental feebleness. Today’s culture is better in most ways, but in this way it is worse.
The ensuing mental flabbiness is most evident in politics. Many conservatives declare that Barack Obama is a Muslim because it feels so good to say so. Many liberals would never ask themselves why they were so wrong about the surge in Iraq while George Bush was so right. The question is too uncomfortable.
There’s a seller’s market in ideologies that gives people a chance to feel victimized. There’s a rigidity to political debate. Issues like tax cuts and the size of government, which should be shaped by circumstances (often it’s good to cut taxes; sometimes it’s necessary to raise them), are now treated as inflexible tests of tribal purity.
We are all guilty of this, myself included. Getting passed our cultural biases is a necessity in today’s world, but sadly it is quite impossible.
NYT – Brook’s Column