This is the second part of a series I'm writing about why, even at this early stage, it appears that President Obama will win re-election. Now, I know that it's 2009, but either what I'm going to write about needs to be changed, or President Obama will stay in the White House until 2017.
Part One: Lack of a Republican 'incumbent.'
2. Republicans Give a Reactionary Message
Republicans' poll ratings are at an all-time low. The Democrats have just won the Congress and the White House and Republicans are increasingly involved in sex scandals (gee, I could have predicted that.) Sounds horrible, but there is a distinct possibility of winning the White House in 2012.
However, in order to do that, you need a coherent, proactive message.
Instead, much of the argument made by Republican politicians and commenters is that "Obama is wrong" on just about everything. Supporting evidence is often hyped or typed in all caps. Many of these same Republicans and Conservatives railed against 'Bush Derangement Syndrome" and are now doing a similar thing. I know that ODS isn't as prevalent as BDS (not by a long shot), but there are still the crazies out there who are slinging all sorts of nasty towards the President. And most (if not all) of it is not justified.
Example: search "Obama birth certificate" into Google. You receive over 1.3 million hits. These fine, fine conspiracy hacks will give such iron-clad evidence as this and this. Not very convincing. Yes, there are pretty pictures and a lot of space for the imagination to run free, but it appears that the most important piece of evidence is missing: a foreign birth certificate.
The "birther" issue is a false one, and it will not gain as many votes as it will lose in 2012. Until someone comes up with a foreign birth certificate for the President, they should shut up and concentrate on actual reasons they disagree with him.
In addition, the Republican Party has not forged a unified message. In 2004, President Bush won due to his decision to talk mostly about foreign policy and keeping the United States safe. Instead, after President Obama's election, the message has been mixed. This reminds me of the Democrats' problem after 2001. Sound familiar? Just a few:
1. Bush was "selected" not elected/Obama was not born in America.
2. Bush is cutting taxes solely for the plutocrats./Obama is intentionally destroying the economy for a Marxist plan.
The problem here is that the President has put forth policies that many on the right may disagree with. But if we want to win, and if we want respect, we need to meet them one by one. When we figure what our best argument is, go with it constantly.
Moreover, we cannot simply state that Obama is "wrong", we must prove why we are right. If we can't do that, we won't win. In 2000 and 2004, the Democrats tried to base their campaigns on the "Bush is dumb" line. It worked for the under 30 crowd, but it appears to have flopped with just about everyone else who didn't already vote Democrat.
In place of simply opposing Obama's policies, the Republicans need to unveil their own competing versions independently. This would include proposals that may even overlap with the President's. For this year and next, the Republicans should make a solid plan regarding foreign energy, and show why their plan could reduce America's energy problems.
So what's my suggestion? Harp on foreign policy. It's Obama's weakest and the one that he will receive the least benefit-of-the-doubt on. Rather than simply stating, "He's made us more unsafe", go into individual policies that he's enacted in order to state this. Vice President Cheney was able to do this, and jumped his approval ratings almost to the stratospheric levels of 40%! We need someone knowledgeable on the subject, who has a blue-collar background to do this.
My prediction: we don't know that person right now, but they'll emerge in 2010 or 2011.
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