Do Republicans Need To Go Negative?


That’s what Keith Koffler, reporter and editor of White House Dossier, recommends, and something I’ve been saying and writing for quite some time now

(Politico) If Republicans want a chance at resurgence, they must take a page or two out of President Obama’s worn playbook and veer sharply negative.

But only a page or two. Republicans should not lower themselves to the level of a president who routinely lobs ad hominem political epithets their way, castigating them as intolerant, heartless and petty ogres who live only to serve their masters in the top income tax bracket.

Rather, they must explain why the seemingly good-hearted prescriptions of the Left go all wrong and create more pain than they were intended to ease. Only by first knocking down the liberal edifice constructed by Obama can Republicans rebuild the popular conservative mandate that had dominated politics since Reagan.

Personally, I don’t think Mr. Koffler goes far enough as he gives examples of how the GOP should go negative, examples such as

  • Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage costs jobs.
  • His federal bailout of the automakers was merely a gift to the unions.
  • Obama’s tax increases on the wealthy sap the initiative of the most productive members of society while forcing them to shelter their money in unproductive ways. If Obama had tried to stimulate the economy by reducing taxes further instead of “not wasting a crisis” and throwing money around, the economy would be in better shape.

That’s what they’re doing now. And it doesn’t resonate. I compared the GOP to the adult in the room a few weeks ago, being calm, cool, attempting to rationally explain the situation. One of the commenters said they were more like the parents in the room. That’s a little closer. They’re more like the parents in the waiting room who let their obnoxious brats run around screaming, bothering other people, throwing magazines and brochures on the floor. The hellions become more and more emboldened. The GOP needs instead to be the parent in WalMart who gives the child a good swift swat on the ass, and when they start crying, tell them “I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Democrats have been on a good mission for over a decade. That’s where geese flying in, poop all over everything, make a lot of noise, poop some more, smear it around, and never leave. Then invite more geese. The GOP needs to counter this by getting out and attacking. Politics is a dirty, nasty business. Always has been, always will be. If you’re a boxer and just keep your hands up to deflect punches, throwing a jab here and there while the opponent throws haymakers, you’re going to get beaten like a rented elephant.

The American people do not respond, in the most part, to adult talking points: they respond to smears and apocalyptic discourse, quick sound bites attacking one’s opponents. The GOP is going to lose no matter what in the Legacy Media, so they might as well take their case to the American People. Go negative. Go on the attack. Impugn Democrats, including Obama. Coordinate the attacks. Stick with the talking points and messaging. I know the inside the beltway establishment Republicans won’t like this, but, how’s your strategy been working?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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