MORNING BUZZ:Message Wars
I wrote this Wednesday but didn’t file it in time so we’ll have two Morning Buzz Posts today.
So just a couple of Post State of the Union Thoughts;
-The President made a good speech, big surprise.
He laid out his priorities in emotional terms that connected with average people. Most all of us have made the minimum wage at some point in our working lives. Who’s against kids getting a good start to their education? Making voting easier? No one wants to see that old lady have to stand in line for five hours. And no one wants to see guns in the hands of criminals or people who would harm someone with them.
The part everyone misses, of course, is the details. We don’t know how much any of that would cost…The President didn’t say how but did refer to “everyone doing their fair share”. That usually has really rich people sprinting for their private jets making a flight plan to Berne to set up another Swiss Bank account.
Then there were the Republicans. The rebuttal is always brutal. One guy sitting in a room all by himself with no audience to react. Then there was the speech by Sen Rubio. He generally did a good job of delivering it. Then he got dry mouth. He started sweating…and wiping it away. He started getting that little spittle on the corners of his mouth. Then he reached for the water.
It was an apt metaphor. The old, dry platitudes about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, helping small business create jobs, Obamacare…Government can’t make your life better…Obama is a lunatic out of control tax and spend liberal, the Government is coming for your guns. They even threw in a reference to the sanctity of life just in case anyone forgot they’re the party that is against killing babies… The same lines that weren’t enough to grow a voter base last November, literally choking the speaker.
None of it sounded like they wanted anything to do with anything the President had to say…even in the places where Republicans agree. I didn’t hear one concrete solution to the budget problem, entitlements, a rebuttal on guns…anything! They paint a picture of a crazy tax and spend liberal in the White House. It doesn’t match up with the communicator that had just laid out his priorities, and ironically, it makes Republicans look like the crazy ones.
The whole undercurrent of the opposition party in the country for the past 20 years (that means you too Democrats) seems to be, if we can’t win…we’re going to try to make you look as bad as we can and wound you as much as we can. Beating the other party is the only priority…who cares if it actually helps the people we’re supposed to be here serving? We either need the people in Washington to get over themselves and start doing, or we need a whole new set of lawmakers willing to argue as best they can for the priorities they have…and at the end of the day…just vote on them.
Don’t take all of this the wrong way. It’s not like the President is right in everything he says, he just says it better. Republicans haven’t found a way yet to communicate their passion for free enterprise and limited government. They are digging their heels in instead of re-framing the argument in a way where the President has to answer how he’d fund some of his priorities. The White House is winning the Message Wars.
Have a good one…I’ll post another in a few hours.