At this stage in the 2012 race it appears that one of the GOPs greatest strengths staying on message, is falling apart. by Bill Gee
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
As a machine that knows how to present a consistent message during an election cycle, one cannot help but admire how the GOP has been able to dominate the political conversation in this country over the past decade. For that they have to thank Karl Rove, who will arguably go down in history as one of the greatest messengers the Republican Party has ever had. True, the Democrats had George Stephanopoulos and James Carvel who were good, but nobody was better than Karl and his ability to keep the thousands of GOP talking heads on message day after day until the last ballot was cast.
So what's been Karl up to these days? More importantly, why is Karl spending his time these days complaining about the slow start to the 2012 Presidential race, and then when a few serious GOP hopefuls actually do enter the race, namely Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump and Ron Paul, he publically states that these candidates are probably unelectable. Given that Karl now runs American Crossroads, a 527 organization with its declared mission to elect more conservative candidates, could it be that "the architect", as George W. Bush called him, has now simply joined a chorus of the confusing, often contradictory voices of a Party that is struggling to find its unifying message?
The Fractious GOP
In truth, the GOP is about as organized as the Democrats were in 2003 and 2004. In those years, the only thing that the field of challengers to George W. Bush could agree on was their mutual dislike of the sitting President, but none of them could really articulate exactly why. Todays current field of contenders for the GOP nomination seem to suffer from the same affliction.
In this Corner: The Moderates
Ironically, the most electable GOP hopefuls in the general election may have the most trouble getting out of the gate. Namely, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman all have some serious governing credentials to bring to the table with a minimal amount of baggage. Unfortunately, all three fall short in the department of true conservative values that the more Christian Republican base seems to demand from their candidates. This will make it very difficult for them to ultimately gain the support they need from the "base" of their Party.
In this Corner: The Tea Party
At this point, no Tea Party favorite has officially entered the race, but it is likely that either Michelle Bachman and/or Sarah Palin will make their move before the end of June. (After June, it will probably be too late, according to Karl Rove.) Unfortunately for both women, while they do a great job at turning on their followers, most Liberals and Independents cannot see either candidate with their "facts be damned" speaking styles being particularly "presidential". Therefore, if by some miracle either one gets the GOP gets the nomination, they will likely suffer the same fate as another Tea Party favorite, Christine O'Donnell, in the general election.
Another interesting dynamic is how the Tea Party Freshmen in the House and Senate are being ignored by their older colleagues. The 2010 sweep would have been virtually impossible without the Tea Party's help and yet their uncompromising stance on the Debt Ceiling, the size of the Government and the Budget appears to be using up whatever political capital they have managed to muster at this point. Does that mean that when they lose the nomination they will field their own candidate as an Independent? Maybe, but they might as well hand the keys to the White House back to Obama if they do that.
In this Corner: The Professor
While I admire his spunk and his ability to speak his mind whenever he feels like it, Newt Gingrich's campaign is pretty much over before it even started. The "kiss of death" came last Sunday when he criticized Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, but I'm afraid his campaign was DOA from the start. His controversial personal life combined with his ability to offend just about everyone in the room makes for a very poor candidate. However, the former Speaker has his supporters, and these consist of the more intellectual side of the Republican Party. I speak of those who are willing to resist the urge to dogmatize their ruling philosophy in favor of seeking solutions and reaching bipartisan agreements. I would place Oklahoma Senator Tom Colborn, a member of the Senate's "Gang of Six", into that category, but I would hardly call him one of Newt's supporters.
Unfortunately, when the economy continues to hemorrhage and the majority of GOP supporters see any effort to seek a compromise with Democrats as a betrayal of "Conservative Principles", it is no wonder that this branch of the Party will find themselves ignored during this election cycle.
In this Corner: The Libertarians
While I'm sure I'll catch some flak from my fellow columnists for this, but I do not see neither Gary Johnson nor Ron Paul having any chance of getting elected in 2012. Liberals despise the Libertarian philosophy as "anti-community", the GOP establishment despises their opposition to the Federal Reserve calling their stance "economic anarchy", and they also despise their stand on non-intervention in international affairs calling it "nave" and "isolationist", and finally, the more conservative wing of the GOP despises the Libertarian stance of non-intervention on issues such as abortion, and gay marraige. Both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson have overcome some of these Libertarian stereotypes by taking strong stands on some GOP social issues, but where they fall short is where the Corporate Ruling Elite, with the assistance of Karl Rove and the GOP Establishment, who will do everything in their power to undermine a Ron Paul victory even if he manages to win the GOP nomination.
Puppets on a String
In the final analysis, the lack of a unifying message from neither the GOP nor the Democrats is more a symptom rather than the disease when it comes to the state of politics in this country. The rule of the Corporate Ruling Elite is like a Cancer in this country. While a few brave politicians such as Senator Colborn recognize that there must be compromise in order to cure the patient, the disease will do everything in its power to prevent that. After all, as long as Congress and the Parties themselves remain divided, they can go right on calling the shots.
The Corporate Ruling Elite have little to fear from the GOP. The Moderates will depend on large corporate donations in order to garner enough support to get elected and will therefore do everything they can to maintain the status quo. The Tea Party will remain blinded by their social agenda (fed to them by a coordinated campaign of misinformation and religious radicalism) so that they always remain in a minority status and will therefore get nothing done. The Intellectual side of the Party will be drowned out by accusations of treason by the more radical arms of their own ranks. And finally, the Libertarians will be castigated by a full-court press by the business community as too radical if they think that people are going to start listening to them.
End result: Status Quo. That is, until the Cancer kills the patient.
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