Monday, July 18, 2011
More than anything else, the GOP needs to connect the dots between Obamanomics and the sad state of the economy.
The GOP needs to stop talking about the issues in the abstract. Obama's advisers are right in the sense that the public doesn't care per se about the unemployment rate, the exact amount of the federal debt and deficit and so on. It isn't that we ignore these statistics, we use them as a barometer of sorts, a leading indicator of how we personally are going to be doing in the not too distant future.
Someone who sees the unemployment rate increase or a report of higher than expected layoffs is going to be just a bit more concerned about their own job security. Someone who sees reports of declining house values is going to be worried just a bit more about how solid their investment in their own home is. Someone who sees oil prices rocket upward is going to be worried about how much more it is going to cost to fill up their gas tank.
The GOP needs to personalize the debate, to make the public feel that their financial future is definitely going to be affected by how these policy fights turn out.
It starts by tying Obamanomics to the economic problems we're having. The GOP needs to argue - over and over and over again - that Obamanomics is the reason we have such high unemployment, why housing prices are still in the toilet, why businesses aren't hiring. Every time (and there will be plenty of such times) that a bad economic number comes out, someone in the GOP needs to take the podium to tie one or another Obama economic plank to the negative report.
Then the GOP needs to convince the public that our financial situation will be dramatically improved if GOP policies are adopted. The public - as a whole - needs to feel that cutting federal spending is going to help make their job just a bit more secure. They need to feel that ruling out tax hikes is going to improve the likelihood that their employer won't cut back on raises and staffing levels. They need to feel that repealing Obamacare is going to not only lower their health care costs but also to make it easier for them to get the care they want.
Right now, the GOP isn't doing that, they're talking about the issues at the thirty thousand foot level... and unfortunately, this is a level that is over the heads of most of the people whose support is crucial to win not only this fight but to ensure that Obama is a one term President.