Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apparently, Gene Healy doesn't think people should walk and chew gum at the same time, what with his complaint that 'zoning issues in lower Manhattan' are 'on the front burner in Washington these days'.

According to Healy, the kerfuffle is nothing more than a 'bogus issue' that the GOP is using to distract the rank and file from our (supposed) reluctance to shrink government.

So where is Healy's evidence of our reluctance to shrink government? A reluctance by Gingrich to specify programs he would cut? That's it? I guess it didn't occur to Healy that Gingrich might have realized that tactically, this wasn't the best time to produce the list of program cuts?

I'm guessing that Healy, a Vice President of the libertarian Cato Institute, would prefer to have 100% of the conversation devoted to cutting the role and cost of government. But just as I can be concerned about more than one thing during the course to the day, so too could GOP leaders decide it was a good idea to stoke more than one fire of voter discontent with the Obama Administration.

And I'm also not willing to concede that this is a 'bogus issue'. Just as important as are one's positions on 'the real issues' (whatever they are), a smart candidate knows it is critical to connect with the public. And a great way of doing that, if close to 2/3 of the public lines up on one side of an issue, is to make sure the public knows you are on the same side. And if your opponent goes and does something stupid, like take a position that seems to be put himself on the wrong side, then the smart candidate will ride that horse for all it is worth.