Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thoughts on strategy

Over the weekend, I did a post whacking Rick Moran for his plays-well-with-others advice to Repuublicans. Tuesday night, I did Rick's Internet radio show with Stephen "VodkaPundit" Green and Fausta "Rule 5" Wertz.

We talked about a lot of things, including Republican strategy -- to the extent that "Republican strategy" is not a contradiction in terms. One of the points I made was that it is always good politics to be right.

I pointed out that, in 2003-04, the Democratic grassroots who supported Howard Dean were essentially betting that the Iraq war would prove a policy failure and thus a political liability for Republicans. Dean flamed out, but his grassroots supporters installed him at the DNC, and the party continued to double-down on its anti-war bet -- which paid off big-time in 2006.

The challenge Republicans confront now is Barack Obama's enormous popularity. However, as I have argued, the Obama/Reid/Pelosi economic plan won't work. Republicans seem afraid to bet against that plan -- that is, to stake their near-term political fortune on the probability that, on Labor Day 2010, the recession will be far worse than what we've experienced so far.

Studying the basic economics of the situation, it seems certain to me that Obamanomics won't work. We might get a dead-cat bounce late this year, but the pressure on the bond market from all this deficit spending will be unsustainable. Everybody keeps look at the Dow Jones, but if the bond market goes wobbly -- hello, Weimar America. At a very minimum, the path we're on now will lead to a Gerald Ford/Jimmy Carter stagflation trap.

So, if Republicans know the economy's going down the toilet, how about they hang that disaster around the Democrats' necks? All this namby-pamby crap about how the GOP needs a "positive agenda" is about policy; I'm talking politics. Negative politics works. Scapegoat the Democrats for the economy without mercy or scruple.

Stephen argued that it is unlikely the GOP can recapture Congress before 2014, saying of the 2010-12 time-frame: "Brace yourselves for failure." That's defeatism or, as my late father always said, "Can't never could."

Forget what Obama's poll ratings are in February 2009. Forget about "Big Picture" questions of grand strategy. What counts is what the generic ballot question shows on Labor Day 2010. Republicans need to raise money, organize and identify at least 50 seats currently held by Democrats that the GOP can win in 2010. Do that basic stuff, and the "Big Picture" will take care of itself.

Bet against Obamanomics, do the basic work of organizing for 2010, forget all the distracting chatter and -- above all else -- quit the hang-wringing and whining. A great opportunity beckons, if only Republicans will buckle down and focus on the task at hand.


  1. I guess that's why I'm a nobody kibitzer and not a political consultant. I think your cousin could have won with the gentlemanly approach _if_ he had taken a Senate term off.
    You know: tour the country, re-connect with the people and the three-level/three branch system of government that was once effective. Maybe take some voice lessons so he doesn't sound like he's on helium when excited.
    Simply outlining the facts is about as negative as anyone need be. The collective pocket is being picked. Concentrated power is the mother of moral hazard. The general shape of the disaster was forseen by the Framers. Repeal Amedment 16. Don't let number 10 be the Rodney Dangerfield amendment.
    Folks, history, sans collectivist propaganda, tells all.

  2. Man, you're on a roll today, between this post and the subsequent post citing Jennifer Rubin's column. Glad there are a few conservatives out there that are not afraid to be ... you know ... conservative.

  3. I think Steven needs to stick to Vodka rather than prognosticating defeat.

    The facts are this, while a Republican majority in the House, Senate, or both, might be a slight long shot, the possibility should not be forsaken. It is highly plausible that Obama's economic plan will create problems that are unforeseen due to its enormity.

    This is ground we really have not traveled yet and the odds of it backfiring are fairly high. God forbid, but if it does, hang than lump o' $hit around Progressive necks so the people can smell them coming.

    As far as Moran is concerned, he needs to make up his mind where he is going to direct his intellectual fog; conservatives, liberals, or his readers. This nice-nice garbage, and leaving core principles, are what got us here. Its time to take back command, multiple victories, and wholesale slaughter of Progressive political opponents, in 2010, should be the goal. Even if it is not reached, this type of zeal will, at the least, garner enough seats to eliminate the Liberal super-majority.

    Machiavelli once said,

    "The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous."

    Maybe its time to get Machiavellian.