We have not wasted your time this past week with a play by play narration of nonsense in Washington. Now, as we approach the end game deadline on the fiscal follies it is worth recalling the obvious.
First, remember the Sequester doomsday scenarios never happened even though the Sequester came to be, and that the doomsday horror scenario is Alinsky Rule #9. Second, don’t get into a fight if you are not prepared to fight. Third, if you have principles and believe in your principles, then fight for your principles. Fourth, the wrong analysis will get you killed.
As often as we have written the above these past five years it appears the Republican “leadership” and much of the conservative thinkers and writers have a yellow streak which they hide with rational explanations of why now is not the time to fight. For Republicans now is the time to fight. Now is exactly the time to fight. Now is when they are in a very strong position which if they fight will become stronger.
Now is exactly the time for Republicans to fight for principles. Instead Republican leaders are whimpering about this or that “tweak” to a bill. The bottom line is if you are not willing to walk away, to fight all the way, then you have already lost.
With these Republican “leaders” and writers it is always better to fight later. We have addressed this issue earlier this year with a lesson from Bill Clinton:
“The lesson Republicans learned from the shutdowns of 1995 and 1996 are that the president wins during government shutdowns because the president has the bully pulpit and it is the president that determines what gets shut down first and then proceeds to shut down programs Americans support the most (for instance Bill Clinton shut down national parks and passport offices). That’s the wrong lesson.
The real lesson from the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996? Timing matters.
Bill Clinton understood that it is election years that matter. Bill “yanked the leash” late in November of 1995 just as his reelection campaign was on the move. Bill knew when it was time to pick a fight”
Now, over a year away from the all important 2014 election, is when the Republicans should fight. Now they can sustain damage in public opinion polls which they will not be able to withstand in election year 2014. A “hold ‘em” poker player’s strategy works 13 months away from the 2014 elections but will be a much more difficult strategy to follow next year even if it is the early part of the year.
Yes, we’ve written this tiresome article in almost the same exact circumstances before:
“The lesson for Republicans is that timing matters. Now is the time to fight, not later. The further away from an election Republicans are the stronger their political position is. The closer to election time the weaker Republicans are. Why? Because they are up for election and Barack Obama is not.
As we have pointed out previously there are 219 House Republicans who won in districts Romney won in 2008. That is evidence as strong as you can get that Republicans will keep control of the House if they live up to the promises they made to their constituents.
Too bad Republican “leaders” don’t read. If they read this website or this quote from before the House fiscal cliff vote – “But Obama and his staff believe Americans would have blamed him for taking the country over the cliff” – or the latest poll and the accompanying impressive graphic about second term presidential popularity, 2013 might look a lot different than it now temporarily does.”
Yes, we have written this before. The only thing that has changed is that the evidence mounts that we are correct. Recently, Nate Silver, the beloved poll analyst of the Hopium Guzzler set declared that the Republicans will likely not suffer from the “shutdown” in next year’s elections and that the Republicans will likely continue majority control of the House of Representatives for the last two years of Obama’s occupation of the White House. Obama lovin’ Stu Rothenberg says pretty much the same thing. Robert Hahn and Peter Passell have this to add as regards Republican electoral chances if they fight ObamaCare:
“Focusing on Obamacare in general, and mandatory coverage in particular, could prove a plausible strategy for broadening the anti-Obama coalition to include voters in their 20s and 30s by bringing attention to what economists call the “cross-subsidy” inherent in any insurance system based on mandatory coverage. And, with hindsight, it may yet be seen as the opening salvo in a generational war, one fed by the reality that older Americans are a rapidly growing burden on younger workers, who can ill afford it.”
So why aren’t Republican “leaders” investing in their parties future by taking a hit now in order to win next year and in 2016? If Republican “leaders” don’t believe us perhaps they should read the Professor who agrees with our premise as he discusses the latest Pew poll:
“I don’t say Pew knows any better than the other pollsters, or vice versa, but that’s the point. Do what’s right, and worry about the 2014 polls closer to November 2014. For God’s sake, Republicans, stop acting like bouncing Super Balls based on the latest polling.”
Big Media is covering up as much as possible the hurt in polls for Barack Obama. Yeah, the Republicans are getting hurt but so is Obama. And that matters because the “in” party in off year elections gets hurt badly when the president’s poll numbers are low:
“But does Obama’s approval rating matter now given that he never has to face re-election? And if it does matter, can he recover?
The answers are that it does matter – Obama’s approval rating can greatly affect the 2014 midterm elections and, to a lesser extent, the 2016 presidential election – and the historical odds of it recovering much seem to be slim.
In midterms, electorates often take out their frustration with the president on the their party’s congressional members. A poor presidential approval rating will only add to that frustration. A president likely needs an approval rating in the mid 60s, like Bill Clinton in 1998 and George W Bush in 2002, to avoid the curse of “midterm loss”.
In every non-wartime midterm election since 1938, simply knowing how many seats the president’s party controlled and the president’s approval rating goes a long way in determining how the midterm is going to shake out. Not counting 1974, because Richard Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford took his place, more than 75% of the variation between the seats won in the House by the president’s party in the midterm is explained by the two aforementioned variables.”
Republicans have a very strong hand to play but instead they prefer a “fold ‘em” poker strategy. It’s one reason why so many agree with Sean Hannity: Maybe it’s time for a new conservative party. That might be fun to consider but it is not really a solution that will come about in the next few weeks. Republicans have a very strong hand to play in this high stakes poker game. But they are bungling. There’s really no cure for stupid.