CHICAGO, January 4, 2011- By the time you read this the Iowa Caucus will be over, or nearly over at least. The so called weaker Republican candidates should be weeded out. Who cares?
As much dissatisfaction as there is with the president, there is little to be satisfied with in the Republican field.
The GOP never learned their lesson from Bill Clinton’s election. When the wildly popular Bill Clinton won the presidency the Republican Party should have developed good, younger, charismatic and wildly popular candidates.
They should have studied Clinton’s campaign, replicating and refining it. They should have fielded an electable candidate three years later.
Instead they went to sleep. They could not field one candidate who could beat Clinton.
The Democrats learned from their losses to Reagan. The Republicans learned nothing from their losses to Clinton. They learned even less from their loss to Obama.
When Barack Obama was elected the GOP should have gone to school. They should have started the presidential campaign the next day. Instead they waited and gave us lackluster mediocre retreads.
Unless there is some kind of economic or other catastrophe he can be blamed for, Barack Obama could stay on vacation and get reelected.
Barack Obama broke the old political rules. Primogeniture meant nothing to him. He never paid dues. He thumbed his nose at his own party’s sachems and beat them. His campaign people created a rock star, and a rock star campaign and messaging. They, unlike their party, knew what they had and played it for all it was worth.
The GOP would rather fight each other than fight their opposition. They run the wrong way with the ball and expect to get a touchdown. It is really a sad state of affairs. It is a party that does not adapt.
The GOP’s only platform is firing Obama. Turning the president into a martyr is not a winning campaign strategy. Blaming the president for our catastrophic condition is not enough. Blame is what Obama does.
None of the GOP candidates are telling us, in a concrete believable fashion, what they are going to do. They are long on rhetoric and short on specifics.
We already know what the Democrats are going to do to us. What are the Republicans going to do for us? It is all about us. The Republican candidates think it is all about them.
Not one Republican candidate appeals to the aspirations or dreams of the American people. Not one allays our fears or anxieties. They are bland, lackluster, and mediocre.
There is not one Ronald Reagan in the pack. Not Reagan the president, but Reagan the communicator and campaigner.
The Ronald Reagan who talked about the greatness of the American people and America. The Reagan who made people proud to be Americans. The Reagan who even got Democrats to work and vote for him.
There is no inspiration in the Republican Party. No fire in the belly. There is no appeal on a visceral or emotional level. They are not giving us a reason to vote for them. They are just saying any one but Obama. That’s not enough. Not to win.
Obama has done nothing for three years. Zero, zip, nada. But, his campaign never stopped. He spent more time campaigning than running the country. As a candidate, he is head and shoulders above anything the Republicans are giving us.
Like Bill Clinton, President Obama has a better chance of getting reelected than one of the mediocre Republicans. If he was not deemed electable the Democratic Party would have allowed candidates to run against him in the primaries.
One thing Democrats know how to do well is assess electability. They would not willingly lose the White House again. They learned the hard way. They would fight their own president to keep the White House. They are cut throat.
As long as the Republicans- candidates and pundits- keep arguing over who is more conservative and what is conservative, the Democrats will win.
The Democratic platform has not changed in decades. Democrats do not argue over who is more liberal, a liberal, or even a progressive. They are Democrats, first, last, and always. They know who and what they are. They are a unified monolithic bloc. Even the most conservative and independent Democrats will hold their noses and work for Obama.
They are loyal to a fault. It is the party first, last, and always. There will be no mutiny, like the Carter reelection campaign, when “Democrats for Reagan” groups popped up. They learned their lesson. They always do.
The Republicans can’t figure out who or what they are. They’re a muddle. They are not a unified party. The GOP does little out of the box. They are predictable. Which gives the opposition a huge leg up on them.
The Democratic Party is a perpetual motion campaign machine. They never stop. They do not lick their wounds when they lose. They study how the others won, refine it, and use it against the opposition with surgical precision.
No matter who wins in Iowa, or who becomes the GOP winner, if the Republicans do not step up their game they will lose the White House. Again.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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