Friday, April 13, 2012

The "Out-of-touch" Stakes

The Democratic Party, everyone knows, is the up-to-the-minute, modern, hip, intellectual party.  The Republican Party, on the other hand is old-fashioned, turn-back-the-clock, anti-intellectual party--and out of touch.

That's all very well, but if you are running a presidential campaign you can't afford to be sitting around in a big room telling each other how hip you are and how out of touch the other guys are.  You need, at least, to get out more and listen to those out-of-touch people.  Because in a few short months they are going to be entering the voting booths and making decisions.

So the verdict on Week One of the presidential campaign has exposed a dangerous out-of-touchness in the operatives of the Obama campaign.  Let's just list the things that are going wrong.
  1. The Trayvon Martin case.  Someone messed up on the due diligence when it turned out that George Zimmerman is half-Hispanic.  It is no secret that Hispanics don't like blacks, and think they are lazy.  (Whites, on the other hand have been carefully taught.)  I have a feeling that while the Trayvon case may raise black turnout, it will send Hispanics into the arms of the Republicans.
  2. The Buffett Rule.  Maybe it seemed like a cool idea to gin up a gimmicky idea to make Mitt Romney look like an out-of-touch under-taxed rich guy.  But if this complicated idea only raises $5 billion a year, what's the point?  And then there is the dirty little secret that high tax rates don't really hit the rich.  They hit the people trying to get rich, all the way down the food chain to Joe the Plumber.
  3. The Ann Romney Flap.  It's telling that the Romney campaign was ready to execute on a moment's notice on this one.  No sooner had liberal-feminist doofus Hilary Rosen delivered her "never had a job in her life" line that the Romney folks ginned up a Twitter account and were ready with a 1,000-gun artillery barrage.
  4. The Social Darwinist Budget.  Democrats have raised Cain for 50 years every time Republicans have raised the question of entitlements.  Of course, Republicans have been right.  The sooner we get the government out of managing pensions, health care, etc., the better for the American people.  But the Republicans have never been able to get the voters to agree.  It's easy to see why.  The voters are right, from a selfish point of view, in agreeing with the Democrats.  The current generation of seniors will always be dead before the entitlements run out of money.  Only not this generation of seniors.  This may be the year when you can get Americans worried not about cutting their benefits but about not "doing something" about the budget.
The Obama guys are smart.  Even now they are reviewing the messes of the last month and making course corrections.  The question is whether they are smart enough to make strategic course corrections.

Because it is just possible that the Obamis are preparing to fight the wrong election.  That would really be "out of touch."

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