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November 07, 2012
Picking up the pieces... [tmi3rd]
1) It seems to me that the only retail politics that have flown over the last five years have been the Oprah "Here's your free shit" stuff.
2) We seem to lack true believers among much of our professional political class on our side. And I don't mean you, Rick. I mean the folks inside the Beltway in particular.
3) Drew brought up a good point in a phone conversation during last year's NHL playoffs... there's a big gap between that which works in terms of getting elected to the House and that which works in the Senate and presidential runs. I think it's less a question of message and more a question of polish. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are shining examples of that.
4) We've reached a point that all of us dreaded- I question whether we can sell austerity to a country that has gone whole-hog for free shit. Depending on the outcome of the popular vote, that may be underscored further.
5) To my horror, the nation has decided that it makes most sense to punish producers. As you'll recall, the Bush tax rates expire January 1st. We're not France (yet), but watching John Boehner's track record gives me very little cause for optimism. At this point, the question will be more of who can manage entitlements better.
6) We're going to spend the next four years praying that the conservative wing of the Supreme Court stays healthy and hangs in there, in the faint hope that the Senate can be flipped (for all the good that did us this time) and that a conservative president can be elected.
Realistically, who is out there that can take on and defeat Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, or someone not on our radar?
Where do we as a conservative movement need to do the most soul-searching? It seems to matter little that the movement has largely de-emphasized social issues, so long as the media still controls the narrative in the country. As long as we face that uphill battle (particularly with the execrable Fox as our standard-bearer), we're ice-skating uphill.
Krauthammer said last night in his postmortem that the message doesn't need to change, other than to chase the growing Latino vote. I'm not necessarily sure that's the case.
As a movement, having been rejected by the nation twice now in five years, it is incumbent upon us to do the introspection we accuse the other side of being unwilling to undertake. We have played strong retail politics, only to have our message undercut by a hostile media. That does not obscure the fact that WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG in communicating our message.
If we cannot communicate the rightness of our message, in a way that overwhelms the negativity of the left, then we will continue to self-marginalize. I do not see any positive message that came out of the opposing campaign; quite the contrary, it was purely a demonization of Romney. Despite the absolute lack of any positive agenda, the other side triumphed.
We may need a complete overhaul. We may not. But we need to have some serious introspective discussions- perhaps even fights- about what our priorities are going forward. Let it begin here. Let it begin now- not by pointing fingers at one another, but by starting with what we did not do in 2008... define conservatism in simple, sellable terms, and build from there.
Jean: "They let women who didn't kill their babies at the ..."
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Bruce: "Morning report now available ..."
Jean: " Out of the blue, she said, 'I don't want to go ov ..."
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