Everyone who writes about politics has advice to offer. You try to hold back, you know you’re part of a herd, but the compulsion is there. The consistent fear that ‘you’re guy’ is missing basics as he and his team attempts to deal with an exceptionally complex process. The right answers can be easy to lose track of.
“Obstructionist”, is and will be the charge against Republicans! Embrace it! The right answer is to Identify what you obstructed and why. Don’t run from it, don’t gloss it over. You don’t allow a recalcitrant child to do destructive things, you obstruct them, make them stop. The 2010 election was about making it stop, slowing it down. “Damn right we obstructed, what the Democrats accomplished is bad enough, more of the same is unacceptable”, that was the message of 2010. Turn the argument to the Senate. Bills from the House the Senate refuses to take up. Majority Leader Reid has consistently denied amendments from the minority; no consideration, no vote; obstruction! Single party support for Stimulus and ObamaCare; ObamaCare passed against public opinion; obstruction of the public will?
“The ObamaCare repeal vote is just a political game; politics”, expressed with derision. (Accusers are of course….wait for it….. politicians ….. I know, shocking). The right answer is “damn right its politics”. This is politics that delivers information. Where do the people who represent you stand; on the record? If that’s politics, it’s politics you absolutely need at this moment in time. Oppose ObamaCare? Where does your representative stand, today; with everything we’ve learned about the bill they did not read! We know a lot more now Madam, Former Speaker. We still don’t like it!
Part of the right answer, despite the anal compulsive, nervous tick political pros is to define and communicate how you think as a Conservative or, in the worse case, as a Republican. The devil may be in the details but the details exist in context. The context is represented by the values that define specifics. It’s not just a case of what you’ll do, it’s a case of how you’ll do it; how you’ll judge it, analyze it, think about it. What values will you insist on within the decision making infrastructure? The President has developed a mass of contradictions, Mr. Romney, also has this problem. It’s not a zero sum game, it’s a credibility game. The President is the President in the here and now, his contradictions matter to the nation directly; that’s not the case with Mr. Romney. In Mr. Romney’s case you have to point back years, in Mr. Obama’s case it’s the here and now.
Social policy is always out there; the right answer? “Folks, let me, boil it down and ask you this; given the choice, who do you most closely relate to; Occupy or the Tea Party? Can you relate to The Tea Party that cleaned up after themselves after their rally in Washington or the antics of the Occupy movement? Which group of folks would you rather be in a fox hole with?
The right answer is; In the Progressive world, it’s never about what they say it’s about, it can’t be, you’d never buy it, it has to be the Big Lie. ObamaCare was not about health care, it was about control of the economy, information and the social construct. It was a means to a larger end; don’t be afraid to say so!
The right answer is to embrace and define the fundamental differences between Conservative and Liberal thinking that colors all political activity. Don’t insult the electorate’s intelligence, engage it; treat them as adults, at least some of the time. If you can get folks to think about the difference at a fundamental level, they can be persuaded. If the logic is simple and clear, they can be persuaded. Issue by issue positions are necessary; but only meaningful when held to a set of values that define their intent and execution. Tell voters that! The core differences must be generalized at every opportunity. The connection must be made between values, philosophy and policy. The only thing I remember from my High School Sophomore public speaking class is; tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you just told them. If it’s about values as applied, they’ll listen.