Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What is the GOP's Message?

Richard Benedetto poses this question on Real Clear Politics.

While the Republican game plan for winning back the Senate and adding to its majority in the House of Representatives this November still seems a fuzzy work in progress, President Obama is following a sharply focused Democratic blueprint to prevent that from happening.

It is no secret plan. It’s been out there in bits and pieces for months. But in a speech last Wednesday at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser in New York City, the president neatly tied it into a simple overarching message: I am working hard to rebuild the economy and improve the lives of every American, but those nasty Republicans are trying to stop me every step of the way.

Or in his own words, “The challenge we've got is very simple: Washington doesn’t work. It's not as if we've got no good ideas on policy. We've got tons of them. I've got a drawer full of things that we know would create jobs, help our middle class, boost incomes, make us more competitive. But we have a party on the other side that has been captured by an ideology that says no to everything because they cling to a rigid theory that the only way to grow the economy is for government to be dismantled and let the market sort things out, and folks at the top doing very well will somehow automatically trickle down to everybody else.”

Contrast that with the Republicans, who have yet to articulate a unified 2014 message that lays the groundwork for putting the GOP in charge of both houses of Congress. If there is a theme, it is based on the notions that Obamacare is a mess, the administration is riddled with scandal and the president has flopped on the world stage. But that is a negative message. Winning election campaigns are mostly built upon positives -- people vote for you and your policies, and not just against the other guys.

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