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Monday, February 16, 2015

Presidential election 2016 - beware of personal destruction politics

Republican strategists will likely use what's worked in past elections when planning how to win the 2016 national election. Beware of the relentless use of personal destruction politics, because, frankly, Repubicans have no new ideas to promote. All they have are, only, old tried and true personal destruction tactics.

America doesn’t deserve another Bush campaign. Not now. Not while the wars that George W. Bush started are still festering.

The 2016 election is the most important in our lifetime because the 45th president could appoint as many as four Supreme Court Justices, when only one appointment is necessary to reverse not onlyRoe v. Wade but many of the principles that have girded Medicare and Social Security for decades.

National Memo reports about "compassionate sounding lies":

There’s a reason that a Bush has been on the Republican ticket in six out of the last nine presidential elections. They’re better at this than you are.

The guys who helped bring us Willie Horton and John McCain’s “black child” don’t just know how to remain mainstream darlings while dipping into the racially tinged politics of personal destruction. They are also better at cloaking their support of the conservative policies that are choking the middle class (and the planet) in “compassionate”-sounding lies.

Jeb Bush’s first big campaign speech in Detroit sent the media a message: I won’t get tarred with embracing Mitt Romney’s dismissal of the 47 percent, even as I espouse the exact same policies and ideology that feed the philosophy, that dismisses the 47 percent.

Despite the fact that every GOP candidate trails likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Republicans — including those who were sure that Mitt Romney would win – believe they have an advantage heading into 2016. And some non-partisan experts agree.

Americans rarely send the same party to the White House three times in a row. Even when they do, the Supreme Court — with the help of a sitting governor operating on behalf of his brother — has been known to stop it from happening, anyway. 

You’ve got all the advantages, GOP. So let’s do this. Let’s have a real debate.

Skidmore says "I want Scott Walker" — and not just because his deficit-inflating tactics have stagnated wages and left Wisconsin’s economy in the dust behind its fiscally responsible neighbor, Minnesota.

If the GOP really wants a 2016 winning strategy, the writer Gage Skidmore suggests five strategies, other than using personal destruction politics. Unfortunately, some of Skidmore's recommendations seem too complicated for the bumper sticker minded electorate. Nevertheless, some of his thoughts are worth consideration:

1. Stick with Scott Walker! (Said Skidmore)
Rand Paul has inherited his dad’s ground game. But, here’s a guy who has an economic plan written on tinfoil, empathizes with Obama on foreign policy, continually says things that he has to pretend he never said, and will self-destruct under the slightest pressure. Ted Cruz sounds the most like an Internet commenter (Ha! Julie says he sounds like a new age Elmer Gantry!), but that’d be like nominating a rodeo clown to ride a bull. Dr. Ben Carson occasionally comes off as a human being, and Chris Christie is almost unpopular enough to be taken seriously by Republicans. Maybe Huckabee (wanna-bee Huckabee?) or Jindal (Republicans must stop being the stupid party!)? Snap out of it! Stick with Walker, wrote Skidmore.

2. Forget about immigration  (Julie says, I truly believe this concept is a winning GOP strategy - just let go of this.....)
You’re going to find out that Scott Walker — like any politician who wants to win in a blue state — supports or supported immigration reform. He’ll parrot the requisite “secure the border first” nonsense — even though the border is more secure than it’s probably ever been — and reform isn’t happening until there’s a Speaker of the House who can bring it to the floor without losing his job. Reform didn’t happen under George W. Bush and it won’t happen under Walker. 

3. Keep Marco Rubio in the race (Julie says, but keep his "blinky-bottle" poster image, post the SOTUS, in the public domain!)
This is the key. Bush currently only leads in one out of the three first primary states — New Hampshire. If Walker stays close, Bush could blow him out of the water in Florida, which could be even more important this year thanks to changes that Mitt Romney’s team made to the nominating process in 2012. Rubio will, at least, deny Bush a dominating win in their home state. And, if that happens, much of the rationale for Jeb — disappears.

4. Don’t question Jeb’s conservative credentials
There are two names that guarantee the failure of any attempt to turn Jeb into a RINO (Republican in name only): George W. Bush and Terri Schiavo. You’re not going to convince people that a guy who put a husband “through hell” to keep a woman in a vegetative state alive is insufficiently pro-life. If the right does pursue this angle, George W. Bush will rise up with great vengeance to defend his brother, the way his brother defends him (Julie's opinion - this is the real reason why Jeb wants to run for President!). And that will be most persuasive, emotional endorsement any conservative could get this cycle. Secondly, arguing that Bush is a moderatewhen all the evidence shows otherwise — will just make the argument that Jeb is electable to the blue-state Republicans who actually pick your nominee.
5. Attack Jeb’s failed policies and crony capitalism
You hate Common Core, but a huge chunk of your party probably has no strong opinion on it, except being against it because Obama is for it. This isn’t going to be good enough. You nominated the friggin’ creator of Obamacare last time around. You need to broaden the attack on Jeb to point out how his cronies benefit from his policies while taxpayers suffer. More than anyone alive, Jeb Bush has benefited from a political system that comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted. This case was effective against Mitt, but you couldn’t stick to an alternative. So, again, stick to Scott Walker.

Surely you’re suspicious of anyone on the left who would want so badly for Walker to win the nomination. Aren’t you afraid of a guy who was able to organize more door knockers in an off-year election than Team Romney could pull off in a presidential year? He could sway the region that has given Democrats the White House in four out of the six last elections!

Skidmore said it reminded him of a favorite political story.

“What are you giving that S.O.B. all that publicity for?” aide and advisor Kenny O’Donnell asked President Kennedy, after a White House photo op, with GOP Barry Goldwater.

“Leave him alone,” answered Kennedy. “He’s mine.”

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