Republicans need to focus on Obama instead of each other
To all of the current (and potential) Republican Presidential candidates, here’s a tip: focus on Obama. When we do, we win.
Remember, we are living in a country that is rejecting Obama and everything he stands for. Poll after poll show him at the lowest ratings of his career, and election results from Scott Brown’s upset Senate win in Massachusetts, to November 2010, to the recent special elections in New York and Nevada prove that over and over.
Just as they say that the number one rule in real estate is “location, location, location”, the number one focus of this election should be “Obama, Obama, Obama”. Period. End of strategy. As we evaluate the candidates, conservatives should choose the one who does the best job of doing just that.
Recently however, our candidates have been too focused on each other, instead of staying focused on Obama and how they would draw a distinction between his failures and conservative principles.
But Republicans don’t need the candidates to tell us what their opponent’s weaknesses are. We’re all too familiar with them. And as the process continues we’ll all have to come to grips with them and decide which of them we each feel does the least offense to our principles. No one is perfect and we’ll all compromise somewhere in choosing a candidate.
But the important point here is beating Obama.
Make no mistake, this process is not about making a statement, or insisting on 100% orthodoxy and then going down in flames. In that case, all we will have done is hand liberals the political means to continue remaking America in their own image.
ObamaCare won’t be repealed without a Republican in the White House. Period. So we have to win – and our candidates have to do their part and stop attacking each other.
For example, we don’t need one candidate suggesting that they have forgotten more about Israel than one of their opponents has ever known; or giving the impression that another is dragging little girls off to inject them with mental retardation drugs.
We don’t need any of the candidates buying into liberal talking points that it is somehow a heresy to refer to Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme”, especially when it is obvious to every conservative in America that it is; and we don’t need any candidate telling those of us with certain convictions about illegal immigration that we “have no heart”.
We don’t need any of them telling us how much we need to be upset with another one for mandating health insurance while he was governor; or that he may have changed positions on some important social issues. We know.
We don’t need any of them reminding us that any of their competitors used to be a Democrat. We know. But some of our conservative best friends “used” to be Democrats – including Ronald Reagan.
They need to stop looking for the “gotcha” moments and not allow the media to bait them into attacking one another. Whenever they let Brian Williams or Chris Wallace sucker them into talking about their opponents instead of Obama, they are playing into Obama’s hands. If the question is “what do you think about what your opponent said about so and so”, the answer should be, “I’m not here to talk about my opponent, they can speak for themselves, I’m here to talk about Barack Obama…”
The nomination process is an audition for an effective conservative spokesman who can make the case against Barack Obama and sell themselves and conservatism as an acceptable alternative. And win.
But it will be hard for us to choose unless and until they stop focusing on each other and start focusing on Obama, and show us if they’ve got what it takes. Then we can decide who can take the banner into battle and remind the country – over and over and over – about everything it doesn’t like about Barack Obama.
To paraphrase a famous bit of scripture, they have all sinned and come short of the glory of Reagan…and conservatism. Even Reagan wasn’t a perfect conservative, but what he did do better than anyone in modern times was to be an effective spokesman for conservatism. He did a better job of optimistically communicating conservative values as an alternative to liberalism, and focusing the nation’s attention on liberalism’s failures.
That’s what we are looking for. And if we have it, we will win.