The Republicans always seem to come into the battle with one bullet in the rifle. If that misses the target, they lose again. Don’t they ever get tired of trying to play a one-string banjo or sing a one-note song? They take on a particular theme and play it over and over again. That’s part of their psychology that tells them if you repeat something often enough the people will begin to believe it. They came into the 2008 election effort with a theme centered on creating jobs by continuing the Bush Tax cuts. That was one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated by them. They suggested that the Republican watch had done so well for the prior eight years that it needed to be continued by Republicans. So they adopted an economic theme. The theme they adopted was unpopular because we all know what the state of the American economy was when Republicans left office after eight years-nearly bankrupt. Not only did they have the wrong theme; they had the wrong team pushing it. The team choice for the 2008 presidential election was the wrong combination or maybe it should have been a different team altogether. The Republicans seem always to apply more psychology than common sense. Politics is like a popularity contest and to win the contest you must have the right person the right theme and the right timing for the theme and the person. The team they put together for 2008 was out of vogue on its position. First of all; it was the “wrong pilot flying the plane and the wrong co-pilot assisting”. Someone within the Republican ranks suggested that team. I think they were looking for someone to put in the VP slot with a drawing card such as Hillary Clinton had. The VP pick didn’t have it-she was far from being a Hillary Clinton. The logic was good but the fulfillment left much to be desired and that’s one reason they lost the contest. The one heading up the 2008 ticket was somewhat fiery; somewhat longstanding in the political arena and a former POW. He was also considered a WASP. His components were decent but he had other known and unknown baggage. His running mate was picked because she looked fresh, homespun and like the gal next door-she did. She even wore the right eyeglasses-when she came on the scene every woman wanted eyeglass frames like hers. She used catch phrases like a typical southern belle or girl from the planes-“you betcha”. Many thought that was cool and it may have been but it was trivia. She was glib and articulate but lacking in information and facts. When the level of her information and fact were discovered her popularity began to lose steam. A winning politician is one who wins the argument and the popularity contest. The Democratic candidate won both and the Republicans were left holding the bag. The Republicans took a dumb position on fake issues. They wanted to stay the course that America had come not to like. That course embraced a fake Iraq War; massive tax cuts for the wealthy; and unfunded prescription drug plan; no child left behind and a sinking economic climate. Even less smart was the fact that the one pursuing the presidency on the 2008 Republican ticket refused to push back against the failed policies of his predecessor. If that position emerged out of Republican guidance it represented a losing stance.
A Parallel to Winning Politics
If you can take a brief perspective on the Miss America Pageant and notice the requirements that embody the candidates you would see it is not just one single requirement-beauty. The women must possess beauty, brains, talent and the ability to articulate well on a selected topic. Any one of the candidates in any of the pageants could have sat in silence (exuding the beauty she possessed in face and/or figure) and won a contest if beauty was the lone requirement. However, the winner came out to be the one who showed superior characteristics in all of the suggested categories. The winner of that contest was then crowned Miss America.
The Republicans fail to recognize that the contest for the presidency today is a multifaceted one. People are smarter and the socio-economic landscape is much broader. In the Old South a white candidate could win by being the most virulent hater of black people. That’s why you had the Theodore Bilbos, the George Wallaces and the Strom Thurmonds. The nation was more polarized then. The Civil War was fought and lost on the basis of one issue-slavery; the desire to maintain that institution. The South had not even given due consideration to the economic requirements of the battle or its aftermath. Did they think the North was going to supply ammunition, munitions and other supplies to shoot back at them? The Southerners were living in the 17th Century like Neanderthals. The Republicans are doing the same. That’s why they are and will continue to lose contests. They fail to recognize the changing landscape and the evolving dynamics of such changes. They are Neanderthal men. That’s why they put teams up to run such as those of 2008 and 2012. Both teams were embracing and spinning unpopular issues. In 2012 they did that using “Obamacare’ and that helped them lose the 2012 election. They used “Obamacare” during the period of the budget showdown and that compromised every positive they could have stood for. It also put their favorability ratings in the tank-if it could go lower. Neither team could win the popularity contest. The 2012 team thought it could discard minorities and make worse the position of the poor and win the popularity contest. That was dumb and archaic thinking. The Republicans also thought that pulling the safety net from under some Americans and making them paddle their own boat would be a popular position. That was also dumb because the majority of Americans were in that boat and most didn’t even have paddles. They thought they could beat upon the winning 2008 Democratic President by mostly exploiting his race and religion and falsely exploiting his place of birth. That position wasn’t smart because most Americans were on a different side of the issues. All those in the group of 2012 candidates were compromised to the man and woman. The main thread joining them all was “Beating upon President Obama in whatever way they thought America would accept”. Denying the president a second term was their only theme. They recruited or summoned all types in their efforts to do this, including: fake religious operatives, racists, haters, blacks to beat upon him and other blacks, crazies and crooks. They all had that one common theme. They knew none of their candidates could win the popularity contest-the presidency. Now here they go again as they look to 2016. They don’t have one viable candidate-they’re all compromised. The Republicans need to drastically change their messages and their messengers if they hope to win any contests in the near future.