Tuesday, June 3, 2008
If I were the Republican braintrust -- not the party hacks, but the moneymen who largely fund the whole machine and are the only beneficiaries of its policies -- I'd find a way to force the party to do a Fabian against Obama and the Dems. They will probably lose -- barely, but they will -- the presidential election, but they can blunt the damage by refusing to engage in specific policy debates, particularly with regards to healthcare, saving their energy for the actual policy battles that will ensue after the election, when they can spend huge sums on a media blitz that the Dems haven't shown the ability to counter. Engaging in those debates now, with an unappealing, awkward mouthpiece in McCain, against the charismatic Obama, and with the glare of the spotlights provided by the presidential election, means the weakness of their position, which is based almost entirely on fearmongering and lies, would be exposed in an environment where people are going to see it and take notice. When it came time to run those scary, Harry and Louise-type ads, people would have enough information, provided by the public debate of the election, to make rational decisions, and there goes the whole ballgame. Give the Dems a win on healthcare, and they will almost certainly have a congressional majority for a decade, maybe even longer. Deny them that win, and they could be back in the minority as early as 2010, and then you have gridlock, a la 1994 - 2002. The real problem the Republicans have is that they've simply fucked everything up; people need time to forget that, and then all the advantages the conservatives enjoy -- captive media outlets, a big lead in identification, money -- will have a chance to make themselves felt again. They just need to buy time.