In spite of which poll you read or hear about, the perception of Republican intransigence on the debt ceiling may result in the end most feared, the re-election of Barack Obama in 2012.
Reading through the comments in various publications and websites following the President’s speech and the ongoing debt battle, there are many, many Americans, voting Americans, who are buying into the President’s pablum.
The Republicans have been sorely inadequate (understatement) job at communicating to the American people, in general, their philosophy and why in the simplest of terms, what’s at stake and why they’re fighting so hard for this debt ceiling and spending cuts. I don’t need to hear for the 30th time that “America is the greatest country in the world”, and that we’ll “place a huge burden on our children.”
Take the latter phrase, for example. Just what exactly does that mean? Does that mean there will be less money for college scholarships? to repair the country’s infrastructure? money available for home loans? upkeep of national parks and the environment? If that’s what it means, then conservatives should be out front and center saying it and more. Explain to people in examples they can understand.
I watched Meet the Press last Sunday and Cong. Kinzer was part of the debt ceiling roundtable representing the Freshmen Reps. What did I hear? Instead of an articulate, convincing forceful argument for “holding the line”, why to hold the line, and what’s at stake if we don’t, I heard more of “America is the greatest country in the world.” He was the wrong person to send to that Lion’s Den. I watched Paul Ryan on Greta Van Susteren last night. Lightening rod albeit, but at least he knows what he’s talking about, and can make a case. Combine him, numbers man, with someone who can speak philosophically, and that’s your communicator. But who in the Republican ranks can do that?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, if the 401(k) s sink, and the Dow plunges, etc., people are going to be blaming someone. Obama will be demagoging, and the Republicans will take the heat now and in 2012. The prize is not the debt ceiling vote and spending cuts. The prize is 2012, and the strategy and tactics played now should be what gets us into the White House.