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.
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