Less than three months to go before their convention and Republicans still don’t get it. There is only one big difference between the parties in the 2016 election:
Do we give it away, or do we make people work for it?
In politics “it” can be a lot of things. It might be higher wages. It could be equality for fringe groups, tax breaks, legal status for immigrants, free health care, free education, or retirement security. “It” can be anything not nailed down that the government can give away.
The question to be answered is what can we offer the have nots who want more?
Democrats have already answered that question. They are comfortable with this sort of thing. It’s what they do best.
The GOP quest for the White House just countered Democratic giveaways with the Cruz-Kasich anti-Trump cabal. This appallingly ill-conceived strategy to hand the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton was trumped by Cruz himself when he announced that Carly Fiorina would be his running mate for a ticket that will likely only happen if the party opts for treachery at the convention.
Why is it so hard for Republicans to settle on a scheme to lose the presidency?
Big difference between the parties needs an answer from the GOP
Republicans can’t come up with a satisfactory retort to the “America should be free” platform. The party doesn’t like to give things away, which means conservatives might have to get used to hearing “President Clinton” for another eight long, agonizing years.
Why are we headed there?
2016 election: is retribution better than handouts?
If social media is any indication of what people are thinking, then this is where the typical conservative head is at:
Obama is still a Muslim.
Hillary should go to jail for Benghazi.
Hillary should go to jail for her emails.
Planned Parenthood should be defunded and punished.
The IRS should be punished or better yet, dissolved.
Obamacare must be revoked in its entirety.
… and so on and so forth.
There is not much new to be found. Conservative ideology is so stalled that old resentments are all we have to cling to. The Benghazi scandal began back in September 2012. Efforts to repeal Obamacare have become a laughable partisan embarrassment. Conservatives have been trying to find a reason to charge Hillary with something, anything, for years. Before she rose to the forefront they had her husband Bill to punish. The party failed to get that done, too.
Retribution is the message the conservative political front offers. Even House Republicans, probably the largest conservative voice to the nation, are obsessed with redressing grievances instead of getting out a message Americans can buy into.
What were they up to last week? Instead of another pointless vote to repeal Obamacare, the conservative House shifted its sights to the IRS again by voting on bills to hold the agency accountable:
“Today, the House took action to give the American people peace of mind and confidence to live their lives,” said [Cathy] McMorris Rodgers. “Families and job creators in every corner of this country are frustrated by an IRS putting itself first, the people second. It’s time to say enough is enough.1
After repeated failures to repeal the Affordable Care Act, something Republicans are still promising on the campaign trail, the only message this kind of action sends out is one of failure. The Lerner scandal is over. Republicans proved they were powerless against our nation’s taxing agency. How much time is the GOP going to spend on this failed strategy of voting on hot buttons that never, ever go anywhere?
A lot, or so it seems. Worse, the Republican determination to fail stretches all the way to the White House.
Simple message for simple folk
Voters have heard about Donald Trump’s plans to wall us off from Mexico and to take away their Obamacare. His suggestion that we remove illegals aroused furor in the left, which is so eager to find more people to give things to that citizenship no longer matters. Trump’s plans for tax reform are a lot less well known than the simple giveaways endorsed by Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
What America does know is that the Republican Party elite don’t want Trump in the White House.
Democrats are smarter. They know that a lot of the families McMorris Rodgers mentioned are getting tax refunds. They only care about the IRS because they want it to raise taxes and pass out more and larger refunds, or at least that’s what the House’s liberal left caucus wants us to believe:
House Democrats want to pass bold, concrete initiatives to jumpstart the middle class and those working to get into the middle class. Our three-pronged plan will grow the middle class with good jobs, support for women and education that is more affordable and accessible for working families. House Democrats’ agenda: Putting the middle class above the special interests.2
While Republicans look for targets to punish including their own Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton makes her party’s message easy for simple folk to understand.
She wants to give America a raise.3
Everyone likes raises.
Is anger a big vote getter?
The first thing I saw when I turned on my computer on Sunday morning was a picture of Christ nailed to a dartboard followed by the usual litany of Benghazi, IRS, email server, and “Obama is a Muslim” rants.
Republicans are angry and offended. They are out for liberal blood and even a little of their own, thanks to dissent over Trump. Being angry and offended doesn’t win elections. Offering things wins elections.
The big difference between the parties in the 2016 election is that the GOP isn’t offering anything except its own unresolved anger and frustration.
Updated April 28, 2016: Cruz-Fiorina reference added.