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February 27, 2009

An Army of Joes (chad)

with apologies to Glenn Reynolds.

Earlier this week Patrick Ruffini lamented the fact that Joe Wurzelbacher has become the spokesman for conservatism:

If you want to get a sense of how unserious and ungrounded most Americans think the Republican Party is, look no further than how conservatives elevate Joe the Plumber as a spokesman. The movement has become so gimmick-driven that Wurzelbacher will be a conservative hero long after people have forgotten what his legitimate policy beef with Obama was.

A movement self-confident in its place in American society would not have made Joe the Plumber a bigger story than he actually was. Since its very beginnings as a movement, conservatism has bought into liberalism's dominant place in the American political process. They controlled all the major institutions: the media, academia, Hollywood, the Democratic Party, large segments of the Republican Party, and consequently, the government. Liberalism's image of conservatives in the '50s and '60s as paranoid Birchers gave birth to a conservative movement self-conscious of its minority status. As in any tribe that is small in number and can't fully trust its most natural allies (i.e. the business community or the Republican Party), the meta-debate of who is inside and outside the tribe is magnified exponentially.

I was one of those agreeing, not because I have anything against Joe, but because I believe that no one can live up to the hype that has been built around him. This morning however I saw something at Bits Blog that made me change my mind and suggested a media strategy for the GOP:

If Pat really thinks, as he says, that the “Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically”, then how is it that the only ’serious’ candidates are those of the intellectual class? The connection Pat’s never made, in my sight, is that such a middle class party doesn’t feel the need of intellectual leadership… a beholding to an advanced inner circle.

Suddenly I had an aha moment.

This The Wurzelbacher effect is exactly what the GOP needs, and we need more of it.

Obama released his budget yesterday and one of the items in it is an expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Obama says they won't effect small business owners. The GOP should have small business owners all over You Tube and on commercials telling exactly how those cuts will effect them.

The budget has $634 billion towards nationalizing health care. We should strt finding people who have had to wait for care or been denied care in Canada and the UK.

Line by line we should be showing the effect of Obama's policies on ordinary middle class workers like Joe the Plumber. Take the fight back to the Dems, but not in an abstract way. Real people and real consequences. Build up an Army of Joes.

(clarification added at 10:42)

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posted by xgenghisx at 10:33 AM

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