The GOP: Di­vided and con­quered

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By David Lim­baugh

Isn’t it trag­i­cally ironic that the man who rode the per­fect storm into pub­lic of­fice on the horse of na­tional unity has now per­fected the pol­i­tics of di­vi­sion so spec­tac­u­larly that he won re-elec­tion de­spite the worst record in decades?

For when you sift through the rub­ble from the Repub­li­can Party’s 2012 nu­clear catas­tro­phe, you find con­sis­tent clues point­ing to a sim­ple ex­pla­na­tion: We lost be­cause Barack Obama con­vinced enough vot­ers that he cares more about peo­ple than Mitt Rom­ney, a rich white guy who is con­temp­tu­ous of the poor, women, blacks and se­niors. Never mind re­sults; Obama cares and Repub­li­cans don’t.

In his fun­da­men­tally trans­formed Amer­ica, Obama has re­placed “e pluribus unum” with “us against them.”

So be­fore the GOP rewrites its party plat­form, it bet­ter study the tricks its com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer op­po­nents used so suc­cess­fully against it. Be­fore it sur­ren­ders to the con­clu­sion that its poli­cies are un­pop­u­lar, it might con­tem­plate a sim­pler ex­pla­na­tion: The vot­ers nei­ther re­jected our poli­cies, nor en­dorsed Obama’s failed record. Rather, they bought into Obama’s lies and dis­tor­tions.

For ex­am­ple, a friend told me his re­tired, in­tel­li­gent mother-in-law voted for Obama be­cause she be­lieved Rom­ney didn’t care about her as a woman and a mem­ber of the “47 per­cent” and would take away her So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits. I kid you not.

Com­mon threads con­nect th­ese ra­tio­nales: They are all grounded in fear, they are prod­ucts of Obama’s di­vi­sive pol­i­tics, and they are com­pletely un­true.

While Rom­ney took the high ground and pre­sented a sub­stan­tive cri­tique of Obama’s failed record and of­fered his own con­crete so­lu­tions, Obama mostly ig­nored pol­icy, re­fused to put for­ward his own agenda, grossly mis­char­ac­ter­ized Rom­ney’s agenda, blamed his pre­de­ces­sor, de­mo­nized Rom­ney and worked up var­i­ous iden­tity groups into a frenzy with the pol­i­tics of fear and di­vi­sion.

We are headed in­ex­orably to­ward fi­nan­cial col­lapse be­cause of over­spend­ing, es­pe­cially on en­ti­tle­ments, and Obama won’t even suit up for the game. He’s on the side­lines mock­ing those com­pet­ing their hearts out in try­ing to save this na­tion. To this day, he has not pre­sented the first syl­la­ble of a plan to re­form en­ti­tle­ments, which he ca­su­ally re­ferred to as re­cently as last week as “longterm im­ped­i­ments to growth.”

No, they are not merely long term, and growth is not the only thing they will im­pede. We now be­gin ev­ery fis­cal year in the hole some $250 bil­lion, the fig­ure by which our en­ti­tle­ment lay­outs and in­ter­est on the debt ex­ceed our rev­enues, be­fore we spend a dime of dis­cre­tionary spend­ing. This is a real, present prob­lem, and Obama is deny­ing it even ex­ists.

The dirty lit­tle se­cret — and it ap­par­ently re­mained a se­cret to mil­lions — is that un­der the Rom­ney-Ryan plan, se­niors, and ev­ery­one else, would have re­ceived their “en­ti­tle­ment” ben­e­fits. Un­der Obama, they very well may not, be­cause those pro­grams, and the na­tion along with them, are go­ing bank­rupt.

When you also con­sider exit polling data show­ing that peo­ple were duped into be­liev­ing the ane­mic econ­omy was still Ge­orge W. Bush’s fault, it’s clear that Obama’s de­spi­ca­ble strat­egy of de­ceit, slan­der and di­vi­sive­ness worked.

It’s time for the GOP to jet­ti­son its pris­tine ap­proach, take the gloves off and warn the peo­ple in bold, stark terms about the hellish night­mare that awaits them un­der Demo­cratic poli­cies.

It is sober­ing to re­al­ize that a sub­stan­tial ma­jor­ity prob­a­bly agrees with us, but there is so much mis­in­for­ma­tion and pro­pa­ganda in the air that they can’t see through the fog.

Surely there is a way to fig­ure out how to win the votes of peo­ple who ac­tu­ally agree with us but have been led to be­lieve they don’t. Surely there is a way to con­vince se­niors of the truth: that Rom­ney’s plan would have pre­served their ben­e­fits, while Obama’s greatly jeop­ar­dizes them. And, yes, surely there is a way — some­how, some­day — to con­vince His­pan­ics and even the black com­mu­nity that we are not ogres who don’t care about them, and that our party ac­tu­ally stands for poli­cies that many of them pre­fer.

Repub­li­cans must learn how to level the play­ing field by dis­cred­it­ing and neu­tral­iz­ing Demo­cratic pro­pa­ganda be­fore the GOP can even be­gin to sell its su­pe­rior ideas.

If we can’t fig­ure out how to win elec­tions when the ma­jor­ity of the elec­torate ac­tu­ally agrees with us, de­mo­graph­ics and the rest are aca­demic any­way. David Lim­baugh is the au­thor of “The Great De­stroyer”.

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