Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cruising the Web

Ramesh Ponnuru has a very intelligent analysis of how the Republican Party has failed at explaining its ideals and what it has to offer voters. Those who want to place all the blame on Mitt Romney are ignoring a bigger hole in the GOP message to voters.
Despair has led many Republicans to question their earlier confidence that America is a “center-right country.” It is certainly a country that has strong conservative impulses: skepticism of government, respect for religion, concern for the family. What the country does not have is a center-right party that explains how to act on these impulses to improve the national condition. Until it does, it won’t have a center-right political majority either.
Ross Douthat explains how incumbency helped the president win reelection.
Such advantages have long existed in our politics, which is why so few incumbent presidents taste defeat. But with the pace of digital change so swift, and the get-out-the-vote toolkits so complex and cutting edge, the advantages of incumbency may be steadily increasing. Especially in campaigns that come down to turnout in a few key states, having four full years to hire, recruit, innovate and organize – and, of course, to carpet the swing states with field offices – can make all the difference in world.

There won’t be an incumbent on the ballot in 2016. But Obama does have a debt to the Clintons to pay off, and bequeathing Hillary his campaign operation might settle it. That possibility alone should inspire any Republican who hopes to improve on Romney’s showing to internalize the lessons of this campaign as early as possible, leaving plenty of time to get ready for whatever surprises await.
Examining how Barack Obama won reelection should really give those who purport to care about how politics is conducted in this country. Obama ran a campaign of relentless propaganda to demonize his opponent. As Daniel Henninger writes today,
Going forward, the personal takedown of one's opponent is the new baseline for a national campaign. It is widely said that Mitt Romney failed to answer the Obama campaign's $100 million barrage of reputation-destroying ads. Answer with what? When Mr. Obama's "outsourcer-in-chief" ads were exposed in the media as false, the Obama campaign said, So what? The campaign's no-apologies propaganda rolled over the media's "fact checkers" and likely any other response. Only a fool will fail to dump at least $100 million of mud on his opponent.

Some Republicans are consumed with how to make more people like them. Interesting but complicated. The Obama Democrats used the most sophisticated information techniques to drive an uncomplicated strategy with two words: antipathy and fear. What minimal positive content existed in the Obama campaign was frosting on the stones.

Mitt Romney made his share of campaign blunders, but Barack Obama finally made the permanent campaign a reality across a whole presidential term. Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt told ABC in September: "One thing that's different here is that this is the first president in history who kept his supporters and his grass-roots organization in place during the course of the presidency." I'd like to understand the implications of that better before re-engineering the GOP (immigration policy excepted).

The question is whether any alternative candidate or Republican message could have overcome the Obama army of persuasion. The answer isn't obvious.
And since whatever works for one party is then adopted by the other, this will now be the model going forward for any president. And now he's continuing the permanent campaign. It's all very discouraging.

The President is really using faulty math when he says that there is not enough revenue to be gotten for a budget deal from closing tax loopholes but there would be enough if we raise rates on those making over $250,000 a year. Once again, as the WSJ demonstrates, the President is simply lying.
Regarding deductions, we refer readers to an October 17 study, in which even the liberal economists at the Tax Policy Center report that capping all itemized deductions at $50,000 a year for each tax filer under current policy would yield $749 billion in extra revenue from 2013-2022.

Reducing the annual deduction cap to $25,000 would raise an additional $1.286 trillion over 10 years. Lower the cap still further to $17,000, as Mitt Romney once suggested during the campaign, and the revenue increase soars to $1.747 trillion by 2022....
And, of course, such changes would fall almost entirely on the top 20% of earners since they're the ones taking those deductions. As for raising tax rates on those earning over $200,000 would raise merely $823 billion over a decade. Given this basic math, the WSJ posits that the reason why Obama insists on his plan is because he really does want to go over the tax cliff.
By taking an absolutist line, he's basically gambling that Republicans will be more reasonable than he is and will blink. But if they don't blink and we go over the cliff, from his point of view so what? Mr. Obama then has an excuse to blame Republicans if there's another recession. Meanwhile, he pockets the higher tax rates that take effect on January 1 anyway, and he can then negotiate a budget deal next year without having to make any tax concessions.

He pleases his left wing for which higher tax rates are a secular religion, while pinning one more defeat on Republicans.

Young voters aged 18-29 have different memories of taxes and government benefits than voters in that cohort in earlier elections. It's something to ponder.

How it's going to be a long four years.

It's not helpful for Mitt Romney to return to the basic message of his 47% comments. Bobby Jindal schools Mitt in how to craft a message that is much more appealing to voters.

Why Democrats should like the Electoral College.


stan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stan said...

Glad to see that the commentary seems to finally be getting around to what really happened in the election. Obama set out to "Kill Romney" and he did. He had a lot of help from the media. And probably some vote fraud in key places with a big assist from Romney's disastrous GOTV. That's it.

Voters are not turned off by GOP positions. They are turned off by the ridiculous caricature of those positions by Dems and MSM and by the even more evil caricature of the GOP itself.

One note of caution. Political pundits have a very bad habit of thinking they have learned lessons and making 'rules' which they assume apply to both parties. Silly rabbits. Democrats do not suffer very often from scandals. For Republicans, they are fatal. Obama can get away with an extraordinary record of failure, a litany of lies and files stuffed with slanders because the MSM did not care. Anyone assuming that a Republican would get the same treatment is delusional.

Here is the rule to take away from the 2012 election -- relentless vicious attacks work as long as the MSM doesn't make an issue of them.

equitus said...

Well put, stan.

The only way to alleviate the double standard is to replace the mainstream media.

LargeBill said...

Equitus and Stan,

You're both right about the media intentional bias is a big problem. Thing is they succeeded and will feel no need to change their disgusting behavior. What recourse does the populace have to modify journOlist behavior? I'm not personally intending to take this the the level of violence, but am fully committed to jury nullification if someone else takes action. Someone punches Candy Crowley - Not Guilty. Someone takes a baseball bat to Chris Matthews head - Not Guilty. And so on, if someone does something about the media and uses defense of our nation as part of their legal defense they should be acquitted.

mark said...

Man, re-elect a socialist Kenyan and people go to pieces.
Let's punch Candy Crowley and bash-in Chris Matthew's head. (LargeBill, weren't you the genius who called police officers "nazis"?)
Under Obamacare, doctors are going to be "slaves", just like the rest of us saps who take whatever salary we are offered.
With this kind of intelligent thinking, repubs will be roaring back to power in no time.