14 January 2010

Republicans Still In Disarray

The Republican National Committee sent me, a registered Democrat in a Democratic Party stronghold who is also a minor Democratic Party of Denver official, a letter yesterday with the mimeographed signatures of Chairman Michael Steele (do I need to let my kids know that he is not the guy that their school is named after?). There was some information that the RNC felt that it was urgent for me to know:

[T]he Republican Party is not dead

The fact that you have to reassure your contributors of this fact is encouraging.

[W]e aren't going to win every battle

Way to set high standards.

"Obama and the Democrats have . . . lots of money. In 2008, Obama raised over $650 million for his Presidential campaign and Congressional Democrats out-raised Republicans by 2-1. Today, Obama's team is still raising tens of millions of dollars a month, which they will use during the 2010 midterm elections to try and protect and expand their majorities in Congress and to elect more Democrats at the state and local level.”

Didn't the GOP used to be the flush party of the rich and big business with a permanent fund raising advantage? It makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside to know that the Democrats are raising money and using the money raised appropriately.

"[W]e realize that as we move forward, our Party cannot simply oppose the Obama agenda, we need to offer substantive alternatives . . . . We have been on the defensive."

No substantive alternatives are offered. They can't even follow their own advice to themselves.

An accompanying push poll argues against taxes on the rich, more generous welfare benefits, increased education spending with local control of spending, a citizen volunteer corps, bailouts of failing banks, insurance companies and the auto industry, a public option for health care, government reduction of health provider costs, unionization of Department of Homeland Security employees, and card check recognition of unions in the private sector. The push poll is also strongly anti-immigrant, and raises the specter that Obama will make bad judicial appointments. Most amusingly, the poll suggest that Democrats are going to reinstate the military draft.

Increased education spending, and encouraging national service weren't the kind of issues that got the masses into the streets waiving pitchforks. And, since when are Republicans against support for big business during an economic crisis, local control, cost control in health care, and military service?

Notably, most Republican hot button social issues are absent from the pitch. While the liberal media are excoriated, the God, guns and gays mantra is gone. Abortion isn't mentioned, despite the fact that it is an important issue in the health care debate, nor is the word "marriage" used. Crime isn't mentioned, even in connection with illegal immigrants, and not a word is said about drug dealing. The word “terrorism” isn't used, and the fact that we are fighting two wars at the moment is omitted. In four pages of a letter and two pages of survey, the fact that we are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is disregarded.

Maybe affluent urban areas get the anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-union letter, since other messages don't sell to us.

Still, it is striking that the Republican leadership sees taxes (at a time when taxes are at record lows and public concern about tax rates has never been lower), immigrants (at a time of net emigration), unions (at a time when the private sector has never been less unionized) and media bias (at a time when outlets like Fox and CNN provide a steady stream of conservative news coverage) as the great problems facing our country.

Before I got this letter I was more worried about a Republican resurgence in 2010. Now, I remember why Republicans are at a low water mark and don't have have enough seats in Congress to mount a filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Until the Republicans realize that the country actually does have problems that need to be solved and comes up with some ideas of their own, I don't think that I need to be so worried.


Michael Malak said...

The Republicans have been push-polling to get people upset about the economy, as if it is Obama's fault rather than Bush's wars and the devaluation of the dollar. As an example, this Denver GOP push poll echoes those that I have received in the mail:


If Republicans can implant the idea that the economy is Obama's fault, Democrats would have cause to worry.

(As you know, I fear Democrats and Republicans equally.)

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I get the push polls from the Democrats as well, but while they are also awful, the don't reflect nearly so much of a change in party direction and state of despair as this one did.

Michael Malak said...

I guess the Republicans heeded your warning regarding the dwindling numbers of the Religious Right.