Friday, August 19, 2011

Obama the Unconquerable?

Things look pretty bleak right now for the president.  The economy continues to stagger, the stock market is in the toilet, the unemployment rate stubbornly refuses to come down and the president's approval rating is sinking into George Bush territory.  If things stay like this, it's hard for me to see how he could be re-elected.

I've been to several Tea Party rallies in the past and when the Tea Party first arose, I felt it was in line with my beliefs.  However, lately I've been feeling alienated from it, starting with the debt ceiling wrangling.  The Tea Party was, in my opinion, unrealistic to think that sweeping changes could be made with Republicans only holding the House.  We didn't get into this mess overnight and we won't be able to clean it up quickly either. 

A few months ago Indiana governor Mitch Daniels said that in order to win in 2012, Republicans need more than just the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh.  Limbaugh, of course, took offense at this and, in a bombastic distortion, claimed that Daniels was saying that conservatives were irrelevant.  That's not at all what Daniels was claiming and I think he made a valid point.  The Tea Party and other conservatives need to remember that while conservatives are necessary for a Republican win in 2012, they are not sufficient.  We must remember those voters who don't necessarily identify with a political party - yes, those voters that Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives hold in such contempt, the independents.  

I hope the poor economy and Obama's sinking ratings don't lead Republican primary voters to think they can nominate a hardcore candidate.  We don't need a replay of the Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle fiasco.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Positive vs. Negative

There are those who think Obama will be difficult to beat in 2012.  The field of GOP candidates is far from stellar, but what tack should the eventual candidate take in the campaign?

The economy is anemic and teetering, millions of people are unemployed and the  future doesn't look especially bright, which is exactly why the Republicans need to be upbeat, optimistic and encouraging.  Obama believes the United States is not an exceptional country and apparently has little faith in Americans.  He sees America as a country in permanent decline and thinks our best days are behind us.  If a Republican candidate will get up and speak of the exceptional nature of our great country and its people, offer a plan to get us back on track as the world leader we still are and bring hope to people, it will be a wonderful contrast to the pessimistic scolding of Barack Obama.  Don't focus on "shared sacrifice" or austerity; put the spotlight on how we can pull ourselves out of the doldrums in which we find ourselves.  Obama seems content to settle for living in those doldrums.  I, for one, am not.