Scott Wheeler’s Column
The Republican Party’s reaction to the 2012 election is once again missing the point. The Republicans do not have a “message problem” as their latest analysis would suggest; they have a tactics problem. And despite the Democrats’ insistence that Obama’s reelection represented a blanket endorsement of their agenda by American voters, their message remains highly unpopular. Why else would they be so vague and esoteric about what they believe? The Democrats adopt euphemisms like “fairness” and “a fair shot” because if they were frank about their true intentions, they would struggle for votes.
So why should Republicans seek ideological androgyny with such a party? They shouldn’t, but they should adopt Democrat Party tactics.
In addition to the vagueness about their governing philosophy, Democrats rely on branding Republicans as holding undesirable beliefs and prejudices.
In 2012, Republicans were smeared with the notion that they were waging “a war against women” by the very party which put an accused rapist, Bill Clinton, out as the face of the party and defender of President Obama. Clinton was not only accused of rape, but of sexual harassment by several women—under oath. If Republicans (meaning more than one) had come out and loudly announced how laughable it was for Clinton to be the spokesman for a party accusing others of waging a “war on women”, the Democrats would have abandoned that line. They would have had no choice. The strategy would have become a major liability for the Democrats: instead of attacking Republicans, they would have been forced to defend Clinton and their own record of exalting a serial abuser of women.
Another rhetorical weapon of the Democrats is to level charges of racism against those who disagree with them on political issues. It was prevalent in last year’s campaign, wielded like a night stick by the party of J. William Fulbright, a lifelong segregationist and mentor to Bill Clinton. Clinton himself heaped glowing praise upon Fulbright in a eulogy delivered in 1995 that did not contain one single caveat that Fulbright was wrong on civil rights.
If a Republican had done this it would have been unpardonable and would have been exploited by Democrats to define the entire Republican Party. In fact, that is how Republicans and Conservatives are defined by the Democrats and their apparatchik press even though Fulbright, his protégé Clinton, and numerous other racists and misogynists belong to them.
Once again, Republicans failed to make Democrats bleed for their poor treatment of blacks and end up being accused of the very misdeeds that have characterized the Democrats for decades.
The Democrat machine has been highly effective in convincing Hispanic voters that Republicans are prejudiced against them as well. But those nebulous claims could have been obliterated with actual documentation of Democrat discrimination against Latinos. In 2004, the Fox News Channel reported that attorney Manuel Miranda, who at the time worked for Senate Republicans, uncovered startling documents that revealed Democrats plotting to oppose the nomination of a Latino Judge for the most pernicious of reasons—his race:
“One Nov. 7, 2001, memo from staff to Sen. Richard Durbin, [D-Ill.], suggested that the [Democrat friendly] ‘groups’ would help stall the nomination of Miguel Estrada, a Bush nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The memo called him ‘dangerous,’ in part because he ‘has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino and the [Bush] White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment'” stated the Fox News report. The Democrats opposing a judicial confirmation on the basis of the candidate’s race being Hispanic? That is the type of information that should have infuriated Latino voters—if only they had known about it. But Republicans did not use the evidence to brand the Democrat Party as anti-Hispanic. In fact, they did just the opposite, agreeing with Democrats that Mr. Miranda had no business releasing those documents because it wasn’t clear how he got them. Democrats did not dispute the authenticity but felt that their political hijinks written on government computers should be protected from public scrutiny. Luckily for Senate Democrats, this occurred before Obama’s “transparency” policy.
Had the situation been reversed, Democrats would have insisted that the crime of discrimination far outweighed the questionable acquisition of the documents, but since the Democrats were guilty they demanded that Mr. Miranda be fired. Republicans dutifully complied.
Meanwhile has anyone noticed how minorities and women in the Republican Party are treated by Democrats and their media allies? In addition to Mr. Estrada, recall Herman Cain, Allen West and Sarah Palin—all mercilessly attacked, mocked and ridiculed– by the Party that makes spectacular claims of tolerance—until they were unelectable. Then Democrats poke the token minorities they keep on their plantation and say, “Look at that, the Republicans are the Party of white men only.”
Before hundreds of millions more are spent on reaching out to women and minorities with the out-of-touch message of “we like you, can we feel the rough skin on your hands?”, Republicans should get their message right: “We bring you liberty– Democrats bring you slavery.”
The message is so simple: you can do a lot more on your own than you can carrying big government on your back and we will defend you against the Democrats who use big government to assault your freedom and exploit you for political purposes in spite of their documented history of discrimination.
The time is right for this message because the Democrats have nothing to run on in the midterm election except the mountain of lies they have built on top of Republicans.
Unfortunately, the Republican response seems to be an expensive, high-tech version of the same feeble message that has failed them time and again in the face of outrageous Democrat attacks: “We are not that bad”.