Saturday, March 08, 2014

Pat Caddell - GOP Consultant's Strategy "Do Nothing, Say Nothing & We'll Win In 2014 Is A Hell of A Way To Lose""

Former pollster for President Jimmy Carter and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell spoke to attendees at CPAC 2014 today as part of a panel entitled "Clairvoyance and Hard Data: Electoral Trends for 2014, 2016, and ... 2040."

Caddell said the GOP consultant class, whom he ripped at last year's CPAC, are employing a new electoral strategy of "stand for nothing." "The notion is if we do nothing or say nothing we'll win in 2014. That's a hell of a way to lose and it has repercussions."

In one issue, the "nuclear option" used by "Dingy" Harry Reid in the Senate, Caddell said the GOP should have shut the Senate down and said we will stand for the Constitution, "they didn't and never do."

On national security, Caddell said nothing illustrated more of what was wrong with this country than Benghazi.

"I believe John Boehner cares about his country, but apparently its about fourth or fifth on his list. When you have 180 members of the Republican caucus demanding a select committee, this isn't about politics, it's about truth, the central truth that has not been address is where was the President that night?."

Here's Caddell's entire portion of the panel. It speaks bad of the GOP leadership and establishment when Jimmy Carter's former pollster speaks with more passion and with more clarity than they do.

1 comment:

Andrew_M_Garland said...

Policy is complicated. Libertarian Republicans have decided after long observation and thought that a small set of principles guides public policy to the correct path. Spend a lot less through government, reduce the federal payroll, regulate only what is absolutely necessary in business, and remove government mandates like Obamacare which increase the costs of health care, hiring, and working. I agree.

The worst part of Republican infighting is that it suggests to many undecided voters that Republicans are hacks and a free market philosophy merely hides their heartlessness.

A large middle of independents sit on the fence. The Left says that if government spends less money, it will kill private sector jobs through lack of Keynesian demand. Government workers don't want to be fired. People like the idea of a protective government, and 40% of the public gets a government check. Why should they believe that they would be better off without big government? Why not tax the rich? Why not go on as before?

Leftist politicians proclaim attractive goals and principles as if they were possible, and argue through emotion. They say anything and fight for every inch. They present a vision of a glorious future. They fight for that future with conviction, not daunted by the contradictions and idiocies which they proclaim, and not daunted by the poor "short term" 5 year results. They make aggressive moves toward their goals and then compromise on how much they win.

The Republican opposition shows fear. They want a better future within the bounds of morality and reality, but they don't act like this is supremely important. They say that reality requires conservative policies, and then they make compromises which ignore that reality. This makes them appear opportunistic, trading away the results which they say are necessary. They compromise on how much they lose.

If Conservative and Libertarian policies are good for almost everyone, then why don't Republicans act like it? An observer on the fence might suspect that Republicans don't really believe in the reality they describe. For example, they started a fight over the debt ceiling. They said correctly that increased debt is dangerous to the productivity and living standard of our country, and spending must be controlled.

Republicans voted for less spending. Obama threatened shutting down the government, and cynically did shut down the most visible government services such as parks and memorials. The Republicans did not fight the lie that the Republicans had shut down the government! Then, they caved in. They did not even argue that the disruption from a temporary government default (which was Obama's threat) was worth it, because otherwise we would face higher taxes and a lowered living standard.

Then, they made a deal with no spending cuts of importance. What about the cliff? Why start the fight in the first place? Someone on the fence sees this as political posturing, not an analysis backed by conviction. This demeans the Republican and Conservative brand.

The prior debt deal gave approval to the Democratic vision. The Democrats seem credible when they say: "Republicans start fights they don't believe in, but they have opposed us enough to cause the next recession. They want to block our policies for political gain, but they don't want to stand by their own plans and take responsibility. They risked default without believing their own analysis. They say higher taxes are bad, but they are only trying to protect their rich supporters"

It is not enough to have a good policy, one must fight for that policy as if it were actually good. People judge conviction as much as the facts.