Thursday, March 04, 2010

Republicans: Their Own Worst Enemy

Carpetbagger has the hilarious story of an RNC strategy presentation that a Democrat found in a hotel which (surprise surprise) announces their campaign strategy of trying to scare people about Obama and "save the country from trending toward socialism."  And I just wanted to point out that this is the exact strategy I said they'd run with heading into the mid-terms. 

For as much as progressives worry that Republicans will point to their Democratic opponents and accuse them of being part of a "Do Nothing" Congress, it should have been obvious that Republicans would do the heavy lifting for us and proudly declare that they're the reason Obama's Congress didn't get as much done as they should have.  Their strategy wasn't to stop Obama so they could feign outrage that Obama got stopped.  They were stopping Obama because they thought people would hate Obama and reward them for stopping his agenda. 

And as much as that made them more popular with the base, it worked.  But anyone who would be outraged because Democrats got nothing done will be reminded repeatedly by Republicans where the blame lies.  Democrats could have commercials in which they merely show their opponent's ad on the TV behind them and say "See, that's why you need to send me to Congress, to make sure freaks like that can't keep stopping progress."

Obama as Enemy

Essentially, Republicans are so high on their own supply that they're going to be running against themselves this year; choosing attacks that help them with the base but offend everyone else.  They're going for a re-do of the 2008 election, apparently unaware that the lead villian in their campaign is still the most popular politician in country.

Yes, it would have been effective had Republicans chosen to attack Obama's Congress for not getting anything done, but fortunately for us, they never positioned themselves in a way that would allow them to do it, or even understood why it would be necessary.  When they claim that America supports them and is angry at Obama, they really mean it; all evidence to the contrary.  This wasn't double-reverse ju-jitsu. This was a thug acting like a thug.  And so all the people who insist that Obama should be acting like a thug completely miss the boat.  Obama's now seen as the good guy who's trying to make the best of a bad situation, while Republicans loudly advertise that they're the cause of the bad situation.  Guess who's going to come out on top of that battle?

And this goes to the heart of a major failing too many people make: Don't obsess on your biggest weakness and imagine that your opponent's going to hit you there.  Instead, get inside the mind of your opponent and figure out what they're trying to do; not based upon what you know of your weaknesses, but on how they're doing things. 

Republicans made it abundantly clear that their strategy was no deeper than repeating the Obama is Evil mantra.  Anyone seeing any more plans than that were merely shadow boxing themselves.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I'm so pleased to see you say this and hope that people will understand. My husband is still caught up in the "Obama should be a thug" meme--but I have watched things in the last month, and I think he worked it beautifully. People fuss because he is reaching across the aisle. But he IS doing it even though he knows perfectly well it won't work--and it LOOKS GOOD. Especially because fundamentally he means it. That doesn't mean he is weak, it means he has a LOT of brains!
(I'm so glad you are posting again, you are still the first place I look!)