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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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March 18, 2013 - 7:02 am
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Shortly after the November election, I joked that maybe Republicans should all switch parties en masse just to confuse everybody. The media wouldn’t know whom to attack, other Democrats wouldn’t know whom to smear, and maybe the public would vote on ideas instead of party ID and other factors.

Unexpectedly, a new Hill poll backs up the soundness of the old switcheroo.

Respondents in The Hill Poll were asked to choose which of two approaches they would prefer on the budget, but the question’s phrasing included no cues as to which party advocated for which option.

Presented in that way, 55 percent of likely voters opted for a plan that would slash $5 trillion in government spending, provide for no additional tax revenue and balance the budget within 10 years — in essence, the path recommended by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week.

This was almost twice as many voters as opted for a proposal that would include $1 trillion in added tax revenue as well as $100 billion in infrastructure spending, and which would reduce the deficit without eradicating it.

Only 28 percent of voters preferred this option, which reflects the proposal put forth by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) last week.

So, Paul Ryan for the win? Eh, not really. The same poll found that once voters were told which party supported which idea, the voters pulled the old switcheroo and backed the Democrats.

A plurality of voters, 35 percent, said they trust the Democrats more on budgetary issues, while 30 percent said they trust the Republicans more. A full 34 percent said they trust neither party.

The poll’s finding badly undercuts President Obama’s repeated claim that the American people are on his side in the budget standoffs. They’re not. They’re not on the side of his tax hikes or his increased spending. They’re not on the side of increasing the welfare state. You can still get a majority of Americans to recognize economic reality, which is welcome news.

But most voters are also not on the GOP’s side. As soon as they think they are on the GOP’s side, they run to the Democrats or declare themselves independent. That’s reflective of a party with a bad image problem that would have trouble selling anything.

The question is, what to do?

Much more on the next page.

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Top Rated Comments   
No, it's reflective of the Barack Obama personality cult. That's the way personality cults work. The cult followers are drawn to the cult figure, not his policies. People in the grip of a personality cult value their membership in the cult over their own self-interest. That's what the Republican party is up against, and none of the usual political methods are going to work. I don't claim to have an answer, but I think it's important to proceed from a correct understanding of the rather dire situation the country is in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (28)
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I will post a paraphrased Whiskeyism.

It is a problem centered and founded upon women and beta males. They see the D party as one who will keep them secured in food and feel good pablum. They see the R party as oligarchs and warmongers even though this is not true in general.

Therefore we arrive at such cognitive dissonance in society. We are shaking apart and will continue to do so until the wheels come off and reality slaps women and beta males into focus.

It is what the Tyranny of the Do-Gooders work toward every waking hour.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What to do? Take off the kid gloves and be PUBLIC about the fact that we give more to charity and that Dems receive more "corporate money" for their elections.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This tends to validate the notion I have had for a long time that many Americans support conservative ideals as long as you don't use the word "conservative" or "Republican" in describing them. The instant you do that, you use them. When I hear pundits and candidates constantly using the word "conservative" in their speeches and rhetoric, it becomes immediately obvious to me that they are preaching to the choir that does not require conversion. They need to address their speech to the people outside their base. Those people don't want to hear the word "conservative" but they do want to hear words like "responsible", "sustainable", "strong", "growth", etc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No, it's reflective of the Barack Obama personality cult. That's the way personality cults work. The cult followers are drawn to the cult figure, not his policies. People in the grip of a personality cult value their membership in the cult over their own self-interest. That's what the Republican party is up against, and none of the usual political methods are going to work. I don't claim to have an answer, but I think it's important to proceed from a correct understanding of the rather dire situation the country is in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bingo. Remember how passionate these people were about closing Guantanamo Bay when Obama told them how iimportant it was? I don't even hear about Guantanamo Bay anymore. We should just be thankful that he's not telling his sheep to loot and murder... yet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"That’s reflective of a party with a bad image problem that would have trouble selling anything."

Normally, I would agree. But the Republicans have a problem here that they can't control. Their opposition party controls the communications channel to the masses. They control the teachers, they control popular culture, they control the broadcast news, they control the papers.

Let's put this in a different context. What if it were Coke vs. Pepsi? What if children are told in school by their teachers that Pepsi is "bad"? What if the CEO of Coke and/or his wife is constantly invited to appear on children shows and sitcoms? What if Pepsi and Pepsi drinkers are the subject to constant ridicule on TV shows, movies, and popular music? What if it is constantly portrayed as being extremely uncool to drink or even like Pepsi (much like WalMart is portrayed). What if when Pepsi DOES try to come out with a message, its words are taken out of context and spun to present an idea 180 degrees opposite of the real message? What happens when a low level employee of Pepsi says something stupid in private and it makes the national news as portraying the entire company as a whole?

Republicans, you aren't understanding the problem here. The FIRST thing Republicans need is to get control of communications channels to the people. Republicans need to buy some newspapers, buy radio and TV stations, buy a network. Fox isn't enough. Republicans need to own the news that goes into the car radio at the top of the hour during the morning and afternoon commute if they want to change the game.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This. My kids are 23 and 18, and to a man, all their friends think that the central plank in the Republican Party platform is banning birth control. My kids have given up trying to tell them otherwise.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OK, great analysis and recommendation. Let's get started.

Er, how do we do that?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Requires someone with some money to purchase media outlets and be OK with running them at a loss like Democrats do. Need to consider it an investment in educating the people and creating economic growth that pays off in other areas. Just need to be OK with saying "yes, I own this for ideological reasons, just like the NY Times or the Washington Post do".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't see how the how the GOP can rebrand itself with the Left dominating the legacy media, from news (print or televised) to comedy and entertainment. The Republican Party is branded as uncool at best, but any attempt at reform, or even the creation of a new party is branded farther right than the Republicans are currently. So at the same time the Republican part is branded as too right-wing, but any attempt at reform is seen as a lurch further rightward.

This personal criticism is coming from a conservative. The way to solve the problem in the interim in my opinion is to run "personality" heavy candidates for office - people who are seen as individuals promoting their own conservative political aims and goals rather than a mechanic within and of Republican circles pushing Republican ideas.

Basically, people that are larger than life, with a compelling story, and a vision. The right vision, implemented from political ideas into policy, is what will ultimately rebrand the Republican party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Any further questions on how far America has abandoned principles in favor of looks? What are they teaching in colleges nowadays - how to actually get CAUGHT in perceptual traps?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Has it really ever been different?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well of course it has. Or are you maintaining America has always been addicted to political correctness and ethnic studies classes?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Defining a problem is the easy part, Mr. Preston. Given a media that is mostly a megaphone with a picture of a jackass on it, how do you suggest the party re-brand itself?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Re-brand yourself all you like, the problem is a matter of identity politics far more fundamental than that. Doublethink is a mass psychosis where Occam's Razor is considered devil-worship. Put Sherlock Holmes or Mr. Spock on this case and they'd be lynched. The world once had a culture that somehow came to the conclusion that murdering every Jew in Europe was a good idea. Guess they also forgot to look under the hood. Societies can go nuts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Incidentally: I had to change one rather innocuous and widely used pejorative in my description of Obama in order for my post to get past the stupi "robo-censor" with this new comments posting system. I have no idea who the new PJM "management" is, but the "improvents" are anything but. This is a disgrace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Republicans, being of the Stupid Party, have allowed the media and the Democrats to completely and thoroughly poison the well of the public narrative about ideology.

I'm not at all surprised about this poll. I'm convinced that many people who voted for Obama knew what a problematic tool he is, but voted for him anyway because they thought it was a "better" choice than those "evil" Republicans. I would laugh but for the fact that their craven, imbecillic, ignorant and malicious choice in the voting booth will affect me and all others who knew how bad Obama and the Democrats are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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