Monday, November 26, 2012

Well, EXCUSE Me!

This is not a post about Steve Martin (pictured above).  It is about a political strategy for Republicans to follow in the coming years.

Where to begin?

Republicans lost the presidential election of 2012 because the Democratic Party had a stronger message.  That message was simply a continuous reinforcing of the Democratic Party’s main theme: Republicans are Bad People.

That is impactful.  The Democratic Party helped Americans understand that Republicans have sinister intent and it resonated.

What was the Republican response?  Something like, “We are not actually bad people…”

That’s weak, and reminds one of the Christine O’Donnell campaign.  Republicans have to stop this behavior.

How to do it?  Employ “Themes of the Republican Party” in the same fashion as the Democratic Party employs its themes.

Keep in mind that the Democratic Party has six separate themes.  Republicans need only these three:

--The Democratic Party has become a Political-Religious Movement.

--The Democratic Party promotes Authoritarianism.

--The Democratic Party’s prime directive is Power and Authority.

Here are examples of how the themes can be employed:

Last month, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice came under attack for promoting a false narrative in the furtherance of the Benghazi cover up.  While the Republican Party played up the idea that Ms. Rice was being used as a tool by the Democratic Party, the stronger point is that she is promoting Authoritarianism.

When Ms. Rice is eventually required to provide testimony under oath, she should answer questions on who directed her to deliver the anti-Islamic film narrative, which of the Benghazi classified briefings she received, and who directed her to change her narrative to acknowledge the terrorist attack.  In analyzing the timeline and the players involved, we will see a clear instance of Authoritarianism in operation:  A particular narrative is promoted as being unimpeachable, and then “evolves” to conform to political expediency.  The people involved were never wrong and never at fault.  Authoritarianism!

Americans should understand that Authoritarianism does not serve their interests well.

Another example is the recent voting patterns of people in Philadelphia and Chicago.  In Philadelphia, 59 voting divisions had no votes for Mitt Romney.  The same is true for 37 voting precincts in Chicago.  While Republicans suggest that voter fraud might be a factor, the stronger point is that this is evidence of a Political-Religious Movement.

Here in Colorado, Douglas County leans strongly toward the Republican Party.  Even so, in the 2012 election, no Republican received more than 75% of the vote.  When we see Americans voting 100% for a particular candidate, we should be suspicious.  (If you asked 100 people to mark a particular block on a piece of paper, a few of them would mistakenly mark the wrong block, simply because human beings are not perfect.  When you see “perfect” results from an imperfect group of participants, you’ve got to wonder what’s going on.)

What’s going on is that the Democratic Party has taken on the characteristics of a Political-Religious Movement in certain parts of the country, where people never dream of acting in a way counter to the interests of the Party.  This kind of “group-think” mentality tends to erode basic freedoms, and typically doesn’t work out well for those being governed.

A third example is the recent proclamation of racism by Representative James Clyburn (D-SC).  Congressman Clyburn finds Republicans are racists and driven to use “racial code words.”  Interestingly, he finds that no Democrats are racists, and that the role of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Civil War, the segregationist activities of the South, and the sponsorship of the Ku Klux Klan is not of concern.

Republicans should use this event to showcase the power and authority of the Democratic Party.  Congressman Clyburn is using race as a political weapon.  He knows that many Americans will be drawn to the Democratic Party to avoid being characterized as racists.

Do Americans understand that hatred for one another does not serve their interests well?  What did the “Hatfields & McCoys” teach us?

Here’s a final example that comes from The Denver Post this past weekend.  In an article reprinted from the 11/18/2012 edition of the Los Angeles Times, Paul VanDevelder delivers a rather snarky piece titled, “One nation, (maybe-not-so) indivisible.”  It is meant to mock those people involved in gathering signatures for secession petitions in Colorado, Texas, Georgia, and across the country.

With authoritarian panache, Mr. VanDevelder characterizes the people in “red states” as being incapable of appreciating America’s national monuments and parks.  Rather, we idolize the Osmonds and love Larry the Cable Guy.

He ends his article with a reference to the Civil War, saying “A lot of historians have argued that we would have been a whole lot better off going our separate ways in 1861.”

And then he delivers the money quote: “Sure, Abe Lincoln was a Republican then, but today he’d be as blue as the ocean.”

Mr. VanDevelder lets us know that Abe Lincoln was not a racist, and that today Mr. Lincoln would have nothing to do with those racist Republicans.

Mr. VanDevelder publishes these words as fact!  He knows without question that today’s Republicans are racists.

That’s a real problem for Republicans.  America is being transformed by the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party legitimized slavery in the 1860s, legitimized the KKK in the 1950s, legitimized racial segregation in the 1960s, and is now legitimizing its conversion to a Political-Religious Movement in the 21st century.

This should not be brushed aside.  It matters!

We should NOT spend time asking people like Rep. Clyburn, “Why are you attracted to organizations that consider me a racist?”  Instead, we should be pointing out the cultural transformation that is reshaping America.

And if (when) someone accuses you of being “mean spirited,” simply reply (with thanks to Steve Martin), “Well, EXCUSE me!”

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Thursday, November 15, 2012


The New York Times ran a story in its Health section on Monday. The title of the story was “Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort.” It tells about psychologists and social scientists working to help re-elect president Obama.

A panel made up of a “consortium of behavioral scientists” provided the Obama campaign with ideas on how to mobilize voters. The Analyst Institute, “a Washington voter research group established in 2007 by union officials and their allies to help Democratic candidates” was consulted, along with Dr. Craig Fox from Los Angeles, Dr. Susan T. Fiske of Princeton, Samuel L. Popkin of U.C. San Diego, Robert Cialdini of A.S.U., Richard H. Thaler of the University of Chicago, and Michael Morris of Columbia.

Dr. Fox described the group as “a kind of dream team” that proposed ideas to help modify the voting behavior of Americans. The group signed nondisclosure agreements with the campaign, so could talk only in general terms about its work. The Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny a relationship with the group.

Behavior modification of American voters! Is this getting close to political indoctrination?

Karl Rove, in his WSJ piece today, notes that “the Democratic campaign ground game was more effective in communicating negative information.” He also points out that “Mr. Romney’s character and record were undermined by early, relentless personal attacks.”

I had an earlier post on Mr. Romney’s “rope-a-dope” tactic which did nothing to repulse the negative characterization of him by his political opponents. What’s going on here?

The problem is that the Democratic Party is getting really good at character assassination. With its psychologists and behavioral scientists at work, it is comfortable advancing a “Mitt Romney kills cancer-stricken women” narrative as a campaign message. When the message receives criticism, it simply turns down the rhetoric a notch and presses on.

Is that a little creepy? If the Democratic Party can impugn the character of Mitt Romney, the rest of us are easy pickings. Mollie Hemingway thinks something is going on, but America (so far) enjoys a breezy detachment.

Maybe we should watch “Conspiracy” again to understand how character assassination of a political group becomes “simply business” and then leads to something else altogether.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Maureen Dowd

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd (photo by Fred R. Conrad)

Maureen Dowd puts me in my place.

I live in a “fake world.” I voted for an “unpalatable candidate.” I am “clueless.”

If the death threats on Twitter were not enough, Ms. Dowd helps me better understand our anti-Republican culture.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Recap

Republicans just lost the election of 2012 and today we are seeing pundits pose the question, “Why?”

The answer (quite simply) is because the power and authority of the Democratic Party is AWESOME!

That’s an analysis you won’t see anywhere, but it has the unique quality of being true.

The impact of our anti-Republican culture was on display this Tuesday, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.  Colorado went “Blue,” and throughout America the power of the Democratic Party was intensified and solidified.

In our federal government, only the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court have any discernible Republican influence, and that will be gone by the 2016 election.

What is happening?

The Republican Party tries to set public policy.  It tries to put forward good ideas.  The Democratic Party simply tries to increase the power and authority of the Democratic Party.

Republicans are all about domestic and foreign policy issues.  The Democratic Party maintains its single goal.

Guess who is going to win this political contest?

Perhaps a metaphorical context will help answer the question.  Think of our country as an airplane or as a train.

Republicans want to guide an “exceptional” plane named America, spreading goodwill, avoiding storms, and delivering passengers safely at the end of their journey.

The Democratic Party is on a train.  Ben Bernanke has set the throttle and the train is hurtling down the track.  The train’s destination and route are not important.  The Democratic Party simply keeps all the cars together on the train.

The first car is full of people with Hispanic ethnicity.  They are told they will receive special treatment.  The second car is full of unmarried women.  They will get free contraceptive services.  The third car is full of people with dark skin tone.  They are told the Democratic Party cares about them.

Republicans worry about the train.  They are concerned about the train’s itinerary and the fate of the people on board.  The Democratic Party knows these issues are not important.  The train will stay on the track (for the time being).  There is only one principle and only one goal: The power and authority of the Democratic Party.

If the Democratic Party encounters a natural disaster along the route, it is simply an opportunity to photograph Democratic Party leadership “in command.”  If a war is being fought, it becomes an opportunity to enact a “kill list” and issue veiled threats to adversaries.  A “fiscal cliff” is really an opportunity to avoid messy things like budgets and rules.

Emergency actions must be taken!

Republicans simply cannot understand this political construct.  While Republicans keep busy “trying to do the right thing,” the Democratic Party works to ensure Americans perceive Republicans as “bad people.”


The election on Tuesday showed that a majority of American voters don’t like Republicans.  The Democratic Party knows the necessary groups to energize with hatred, and it does it very well.  It is now warming up an outrageous “Republicans are perverts” theme, with the social issues of abortion and gay marriage being used to drive home the message.

Republicans may protest that they are NOT perverts, but that’s not the point.  The point is that this new anti-Republican campaign will increase the power and authority of the Democratic Party.

We will see a perfect example unfold when Mitt Romney accepts the President’s “conciliatory” offer to sit down and share views.  Republicans believe that president Obama is interested in what Mr. Romney thinks.

The Democratic Party intent is completely different.  It will cast Mr. Romney as a defeated warrior paying homage to the victor.  The event will (as intended) increase the power and authority of the Democratic Party.

The 2012 election should have focused our attention on the cultivation of anti-Republican sentiment by the Democratic Party.  It didn’t, but here’s something that could happen:

Suppose Mitt Romney tells the President that he cannot attend the meeting with him at the White House, but instead invites Mr. Obama to one of his homes for the visit.  Mr. Romney takes the opportunity to use the visit as the subject of a documentary, where he takes the President by way of a devastated home on Long Island to show the problems of government response to Hurricane Sandy. 

He then goes by the home of one of the Americans killed in the Benghazi attack to show the President where government failed in its protection of civil servants.

In his neighborhood, he takes the President by the home of a Catholic parishioner who is concerned about the overreach of government and the protection of the First Amendment.

Mr. Romney ends at his own home, where he shows the President a compilation of clips from various anti-Romney ads portraying Mr. Romney as a felon, a bully, a racist, a woman-hater, a person who wants to harm the middle class, etc.

The resulting documentary would set the occasion of a presidential conference not as something like a “beer summit,” but as a representation of America’s culture being used to portray Republicans as bad people.

The documentary probably wouldn’t get much attention from our popular press, but that’s the type of battle that must be engaged.

Until Republicans begin to understand the Rules of Engagement in this war with the Democratic Party, they will fail in their attempts at influencing public policy.

Let me take this in a slightly different direction:

John Boehner has said he will negotiate with the Democratic Party to avoid a fiscal calamity in the coming months.  In his negotiations, he might offer to keep Republicans from spending any money on the Congressional elections of 2014 and to bring about the retirement of two conservative justices on the Supreme Court.  In return, the Democrats would accept whatever fiscal policy prescription Mr. Boehner provides.

Do you see what is happening in this hypothetical?  Mr. Boehner offers to increase the power and authority of the Democratic Party in exchange for getting America’s fiscal policy “right.”

That’s what Republicans have been doing all along.  Does it feel good?  Does it make political sense?

Would there be any hesitation on the part of Democrats to take the deal?  When the Democratic Party controls the judiciary, executive, and legislative branches of our federal government, it will have the power to change the Constitution and institute Authoritarianism.  Why care what a particular fiscal policy entails when you’ve got your eye on the prize!

Mr. Boehner would probably not make such a deal, but note what is at stake.

Until Republicans better understand what is going on in our culture, we will continue our (inadvertent) enhancement of the power and authority of the Democratic Party.

UPDATE 12/29/2012:
Yahoo! News features an AP column by Julie Pace and Steve Peoples on the lunch between Mr. Romney and president Obama.  Here's the headline:

Victor and vanquished: Obama has Romney to lunch

 The article closes with this analysis:

Romney has virtually disappeared from politics following his election loss. He's spent the past three weeks largely in seclusion at his family's Southern California home. He has made no public appearances, drawing media attention after being photographed at Disneyland in addition to stops at the movies and the gym with his wife, Ann.
(At least the headline didn't say "Obama has Romney for lunch.")