There was a really interesting piece by FoxNews’ James P. Pinkerton yesterday called, “How ‘Les Misérables’ can help lift Republicans out of their misery“. The premise was basic but brought forth through a complex string of thought that circled through historical references and reformist sentiment back around to how the recent movie and the book it’s based on hold inspiration to solve many of the problems of today’s republican party and the country in general. I’d like to continue this train of thought; please read his article first.
The fiscal cliff deal is a humiliating defeat for the Republican party and the American people. There is no other way to look at it. It’s done, and now is the time to regroup. If they play their cards properly, they can go from being the goats to being the good guys in a matter of two months.
First and foremost, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor needs to challenge John Boehner for the Speaker’s seat on Thursday. He has been playing the proper role of publicly supporting Boehner through the crisis and supporting “Plan B” before Christmas, but now that the deal is done with his vote against registered opposed, it’s time for him to step up and unite the party under a more conservative stance. Time is short. This is far from the end of the troubles. This deal simply prolongs negotiations for a couple of months and minimizes the tax impact on the middle class.
Regardless of whether it’s Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, or Boehner, the iron is hot to turn around the public perception mess that the GOP has created for itself since the election. They need to unite, conservatives and moderates, under a single powerful message to the effect of this:
“We did what was necessary to protect the middle class. Now we must do what’s necessary to protect the country, and that’s a dramatic reduction in spending.”
It hurts the party tremendously when they couldn’t pass Plan B, a measure that was less crushing than the plan that just passed. Despite support from Cantor, Boehner was unable to pull it off because he could not convince his party of the reality of what would happen if they didn’t vote for and pass it. That is a failure to lead. It demonstrates an inability to properly communicate the consequences to the conservatives in his party and the result was worse than they could have anticipated. They painted themselves into a corner and Boehner did not have the skills necessary to get themselves out of it.
Eric Cantor would. In the long term, the party must find its conservative strength and form a drastic, impenetrable line to keep the President and the Senate from destroying the economy. Eric Cantor may or may not be that person long term, but today and for the next two years he is best-positioned ideologically and within the party hierarchy to prevent further damage and point us in a path towards recovery.
- Could A Boehner-Cantor Rift Send The Country Over The Fiscal Cliff? (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Prominent Republicans Displeased Over Fiscal Cliff Deal (huffingtonpost.com)
- Cantor Doesn’t Support Cliff Deal (newser.com)
- House Moves On Fiscal Cliff (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eric Cantor: I won’t support fiscal cliff deal (salon.com)
Let’s put aside for a moment the concept that raising taxes is not the answer. Let’s forget for this discussion that dramatic cuts in spending is the only possible way to get out of the financial mess that this country is in. Let’s assume that bi-artisan understanding of economic responsibility is too hard for both sides to swallow and that it’s much easier to get re-elected by blaming others and opening up the purse-strings to “buy” votes. Let’s just look at the way that this is all being handled.
The left is pointing to the right and the right is pointing to the left as far as assigning blame for the impasse that is plunging us towards a cliff that will damage the country’s economy, reputation, and future. The difference is that the the left is making their points by positioning themselves well in front of the media and through social sites. The right, on the other hand, is simply pointing fingers. It’s not playing well to the people. It’s not playing well for the press. It’s definitely not playing well on social media.
When will the right realize that they have to protect themselves when times like these come about? In reality, they never will. It goes against the nature of the party and the conservative movement in general to garner public support through anything other than the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is very ugly as it pertains to the fiscal cliff and the left is masterfully spinning this to fall squarely on John Boehner and the Republicans in Congress.
Conservatives, it’s time to hope for the best but plan for the worst. If we do go over the cliff, it will be extremely important to make sure as many people as possible understand that the roadblocks were placed squarely there by the left, that the GOP attempted to compromise twice during negotiations without an inch given by the administration, and that it’s not about protecting the rich but rather about protecting the future of the country. Arm yourself with the facts and push forward towards better days. If we go over the cliff, we’ll need to buckle down to make sure that the right decisions are made in the future.
- GOP image already over the cliff (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Poll: 69% Disapprove of GOP on Fiscal Cliff (themoderatevoice.com)
- GOP Over The Fiscal Cliff (iflyf14.com)
- Poll: Most Americans would blame GOP if Congress fails on fiscal cliff (thehill.com)
- GOP Not in Position of Strength on Fiscal Cliff (politicalwire.com)
- NBC/WSJ poll: Public wants compromise to avoid fiscal cliff (firstread.nbcnews.com)
Something has been really weird about this GOP primary season. It’s easy to understand why the Republican Establishment has supported Mitt Romney from the start based upon their support of previous moderates like John McCain and Bob Dole. What hasn’t been as clear is why the Obama campaign team has been working on helping Romney get the nomination through their actions (or lack of actions in many cases).
Conventional wisdom would say that it would serve the Obama campaign to prolong the GOP primary season for as long as possible, allowing the candidates to soften up each other through attacks and drain the money that will eventually be pointed at Obama. The fact that they have not started to attack frontrunner Romney in full force in hopes of casting doubts on his abilities and extending the race has been viewed as a mistake by many analysts.
It has not been a mistake. They simply noticed something that the Republican Establishment, mainstream media, and GOP voters hadn’t: Rick Santorum is more popular than Romney in swing states.
Despite public perception, the winner of the presidential election is determined by a relatively-small number of states. Fourteen states are solidly Democrat and have voted such in nearly every election since 1988. Nineteen states are solidly Republican, with Indiana being the only one that Obama was able to pull in 2008. The other 17 states are up for grabs.
Among those are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. Assuming that Santorum wins Ohio and Pennsylvania, these are states that Obama won in 2008 that would more likely swing to Santorum (Pennsylvania is guaranteed) than they would to Romney. Romney brings New Mexico, Nevada, and Michigan.
Romney’s victory in Florida is the toss up, but Marco Rubio as the Vice President for either candidate will help win that state regardless of whether it’s Romney or Santorum. If anything, Romney might make the mistake of bringing on a more conservative VP, giving Florida to the Democrats again.
If Santorum wins the Republican states and pulls the five above plus Florida, he would only need to win the right-leaning Indiana (which Obama won in 2008) OR one of the three other swing states that George W. Bush won in 2004 (Virginia, North Carolina, or Nevada) to defeat Obama in November. Romney’s road to the White House would require more unlikely victories to become a reality.
In that scenario for Santorum, it would very likely be another case as with George W. Bush where he would receive fewer votes overall but would win the right states to take the presidency.
Mathematically speaking, Santorum is the tougher candidate against Obama. The Republican Establishment has failed once again at basic math.
South Carolina Republicans, take note before the upcoming primary. Newt Gingrich is the only candidate that can beat Barack Obama. This isn’t a statement that has been building up based upon continuous, unwavering approval from a passionate supporter. This comes from someone who has been studying every debate, as many speaking engagements as possible, previous history, Obama’s campaign strategies, and the path that the nominee must travel before facing Barack Obama.
Romney cannot win. He showed during the debate on January 16th a few things that make him a weaker candidate than many originally thought. First, he received more boos than anyone from the crowd, one that was most likely made up of conservatives. Without the adamant support of conservatives (particularly financial support in the coming months), Romney will not be able to fight against the barrage of attacks that will come towards him from both sides.
Second, Romney may lead in the polls but it is apparent that his support is based upon Republicans “settling” for who they believe can win rather who they really want. The lack of passionate support following him cannot turn into a victory in November. Even Ron Paul, whose floor is the strongest but whose ceiling is the lowest, would have a better chance than Romney because of the very passion of his supporters that Romney’s lack.
Third, he’s too rich. Estimates put him at a quarter of billion dollars networth. Others say he may be worth closer to a billion. In a world of Occupy Wall Street, that level of wealth will not play well during the campaign.
Finally, the man cannot debate. He doesn’t do well when put on the spot and there is zero doubt that he will be put on the spot by Obama and the media. How he handles situations is poor at best.
Newt Gingrich has the ability to take on Obama in the war of words. More so than Santorum or Paul, Gingrich has answers to questions that resonate with the population. He is the true “Reagan Conservative” that many have hoped for since 1988 and has a track record of being able to work with the other side to make things happen. His personal issues are minor compared to his ability to solve the country’s problems. People will see this.
They’ll vote for Gingrich. They won’t vote for Romney.
Here’s what they think of Gingrich, on the other hand.
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