Wednesday, November 03, 2010
The thumping Christine O'Connell took yesterday provides a sobering lesson for anyone who thinks Sarah Palin should be the GOP nominee in 2012. It doesn't matter what your position is on the issues if the mushy middle think you're a flake.
Along those lines, the Tea Party really needs to check out the baggage before deciding to back a candidate. There are plenty of people with the right views on the issues... so why go with someone who brings as much baggage as O'Connell, Miller and Angle?
The voters were, as the liberals complained, throwing a temper tantrum. A completely understandable temper tantrum, but a tantrum nonetheless. Things aren't going well, the Democrats were in charge and the public took out their frustration on the people in charge (except of course, for the bluest of districts, where liberal voters somehow managed to blame the impotent GOP for the fact that things weren't going well). And this is to be expected, the public wants to be able to blame somebody when things don't go as well as they want.
Yesterday proved my point that you can't win without the mushy middle. There aren't enough conservative voters to win with just that bloc, a candidate needs to win a majority of the so-called independent/moderate bloc to have a chance. And you can't win the mushy middle with candidates they perceive to be flakes.
The GOP doesn't need to compromise with Obama... but only if they can succeed in portraying Obama as fixated on continuing the policies that haven't fixed the economy. The public doesn't want bipartisanship per se, rather they somehow think things will improve if there is bipartisanship. This gives the GOP an opening to obstruct Obama. They can't appear to be picking a fight for the sake of picking a fight, they have to come across as refusing to let Obama continue doing things that are harmful to the economy. For example, the GOP doesn't have to accept a temporary extension of all the tax cuts, they can argue that only a complete and permanent extension will provide the necessary boost in consumer and business confidence (something along the lines of 'what business is going to hire a new worker today if they know they're going to have to fire them in the not too distant future?').