Wednesday, November 05, 2008

10 for 20 & 10 in 2010

Predictably, the Republicans had a lousy night, and my beer was consumed in its entirety. That said, the Democrats are now the proud owners of the keys to a shiny new Ford Pinto. Slow, disliked, and liable to explode.

As such, let’s look to 2010. Since most party operatives usually come to my blog for advice, I thought I would give 10 keys to 20 (house seats) and 10 (Senate seats) in 2010. You see what I did there. Let’s roll.

1. Dump Boehner. He is not a wartime consigliore, so to speak, and neither does he have the policy gravitas to make the conservative case to the American people. Calling a bill a “crap sandwich”, and then voting for its passage it frankly absurd. Mike Pence of Indiana is a principled conservative who failed in his initial bid to be minority leader. Representing a safe district, Pence opposed the bailout, NCLB, and numerous other bloated budget items. It is time for someone to take the ideological reigns here, and Rep. Pence is the man to do it.

2. Use the filibuster wisely. The Republicans retained the use of the filibuster in the Senate, but it remains a parliamentary trick that is unpopular with the American people. The filibuster should be used to prolong the national discussion on issues like Card Check, Bailout Part Deux (yes, it’s coming), and the Fairness Doctrine, issues that Democrats would rather pass quickly, and sweep under the rug.

3. Embrace evangelicals. Call us the fringe, the base, or what have you… But our stances on social issues are supported by the majority of voters. McCain’s candidacy cracked the foundation of evangelical support to a modest degree, but Christians (and orthodox Jews) will be powerful allies when the Pelosi clan takes a swing at home schooling, domestic discipline etc... Remember Jocelyn Elders?

4. Draft women. A fair number of moderate women remain unhappy with the treatment of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. While this did not translate into a McCain victory, it does represent an interesting opportunity for the future. Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were on the VP shortlist, but the Republicans would do well to find qualified women to run in House and Senate races.

5. Ignore the shiny things. Over the next two years, we’re finally going to learn what Barack Obama actually did in Chicago. Some of it will make headlines, as the media seeks to play catch-up on all the reporting they missed while they were covering Sarah Palin’s shoes. I don’t care if they find a picture of Louis Farrakhan reading Obama a bedtime story. Ignore the headlines and ignore the conspiracy theories. They didn’t work against Clinton and they won’t work here.

6. That said… DO draw attention to real corruption and illegal activities. Start by censuring Sen. Stevens, who appears to have won re-election, and calling on him to resign. Then turn to Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank and the rest of the goons. Introduce legislation calling for transparency and pork reduction. It won’t pass, but that’s one of the benefits of being in the minority. It doesn’t have to.

6a. And when you do stuff, be loud about it. Use 527s to fight these ideological battles. Get the College Republicans building Hoovervilles to protest Obama’s tax hikes. Republicans can make some big gains in 2010, but they will NOT coast to them. Be loud and proud, so to speak.

7. Showcase the superstars. Even in a down year, the Republican Party has some interesting talent amongst their ranks. In addition to Pence, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Michael Steele and Jeb Bush and a slew of female entrepreneurs are poised to join (future NY Governor) Rudy Giuliani, Sen. McCain and Sarah Palin as stars within the party. These people should talk to every political reporter on Earth for the next two years. Outside of The One, the Democrats have mediocrities like Evan Bayh, Mark “you’re speech suuuuuuucked” Warner, and Jake Oken-Berg.

8. Do stuff. This is a novel concept, but I think Congressional Republicans should actually take a crack at legislating. You know, that whole “performing the job function” thing. Introduce legislation to reform Social Security, draft a counter-proposal to Obama’s tax plan, and craft a health care bill. The Democrats won’t compromise (I wouldn’t if I were them), and the bills won’t make it out of committee, but the public doesn’t know that. Competing bills are a great way to draw distinctions early and often.

8a. That I even feel compelled to offer the above as advice is a good sign that the GOP is in disarray.

9. Keep Obama’s promises. Barack Obama ran as a right center populist who promises to reduce spending and cut taxes. Yeah, right. When Obama tries to pretend that it was never his idea to make a pledge to cut taxes for 95% of Americans, Republicans should introduce a bill designed to do just that. While Obama is playing Santa Claus for the left, the right should be exposing what an utter fraud his campaign was. This was VERY effective against Bill Clinton, and will be again.

10. Play the judge card. Judges were a winning issue for Republicans in 2005, in part because Joe Biden looked like an ass, and in part because people liked Roberts and Alito. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens are going to retire sometime shortly after January 21. In their place, Obama is going to pick leftists. Republicans should not filibuster, but they should use the issue (as Dems did in ’05) to shore up support among the base. Each of these judges will have let a pedophile off the hook. I guarantee it. Show America the kind of men Barack Obama wants on the court.


Anonymous Jake O. said...

Ouch. Evan Bayh and Mark Warner. Good guys but I'd like to think I can deliver a better speech.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That said, the Democrats are now the proud owners of the keys to a shiny new Ford Pinto. Slow, disliked, and liable to explode."

You forgot to add that that Pinto was built by the Republicans. No problem. The American people understand that and will vote accordingly for one or two more election cycles.

"Call us the fringe, the base, or what have you"

I think the term "looney tunes bunch" would be a more accurate depiction.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

The anonymous quote above is precisely the overconfident attitude Republicans are hoping to see from Democrats.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Jerad said...

I was in a "Congress and US Foreign Policy" class in DC the day after the 2004 elections. The Prof surveyed us all on predictions. One thoughtful conservative student who worked on the Hill was notably humble: "I'm really glad we won, and I think the biggest danger is that we will overdo it." Two years later, his party had lost control of the Senate and Congress.

I hope the class of 2008 learned from the GOP's lesson of 2006. Health care for all children? Good change. Let the government negotiate lower drug prices in Medicare D? Good change. Invest in domestic renewable energy? Good change. Federal law criminalizing parental spanking? Bad change. We'll see which direction the scale tips.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

If only they had overdone in terms of policy, rather than income-padding. But that's a common refrain, generally.

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The anonymous quote above is precisely the overconfident attitude Republicans are hoping to see from Democrats."

No need to worry. You won't see that coming from the Democrats. I am not running for office. The Democrats will be much more cautious and politically astute. They may not be saying it, but they will be thinking it because they know it is true.

Enjoy seeing "Hopeface" for the next four years! At least "Hopeface" has brainwaves!

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Hopeface selected as his chief of staff a man who sat on the board of Freddie Mac during the time it was misrepresenting its profit by billions of dollars. By hook or crook, Hopeface and his brainwaves are going to clean up Wall Street, all right.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

It's a perfect pick.

Emanuel is brilliant, an Orthodox Jew, and has Rovian instincts. I cannot fault Obama for this pick.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Emanuel is brilliant, an Orthodox Jew, and has Rovian instincts. I cannot fault Obama for this pick."

Good. Maybe he'll give y'all a taste of your medicine!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Our own medicine? As though Republicans invented politics out of whole cloth? How old are you?

You make the assumption that I don't understand the back and forth of politics. That Jake O. guy who commented above? He ran for mayor of Portland as a College Sophomore, and damn near won the whole enchilada. He's a smart SOB.

He was also my roommate, and I think he would tell you that I can hold court in a political conversation. You would do yourself (and your party) a service not to presume that every Republican you encounter is an idiot by virtue of their disagreement with you.

As emphatic as my arguments are om this blog, I assure you I could make a similarly emphatic argument for your side. It's just that I disagree with you.

Learn to cope with that, and you'll be a better person. Trust me.

5:13 PM  
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6:30 AM  
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6:31 AM  

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