City of Brass

City of Brass

Republican tactics vs strategy

Daniel Larison – no admirer of liberalism or Obama or Democrats, mind you – has been running against the tide of late by arguing that the Republicans do not stand to gain as much in the mid term elections this year as conventional wisdom woud dictate. His analysis of Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts in particular and GOP prospects in general have been data-driven instead of media-narrative driven. And I don’t fundamentally disagree with his latest argument that Republicans are scoring tactical victories but lack a cohesive strategy.


However, I think he underestimates the way in which our political-establishment-media-establishment feedback loop structurally favors short-term tactics. In a sense, exploiting every possible tactical victory possible is a valid strategy. This is a cynical thing to say, I suppose, but given the utterly ridiculous expectations of the public and Obama’s reluctance to dictate strategy on the left (essentially surrending political leadership to the Senate), I don’t really see any reason for optimism. And I’m not one who believes the public are fools, either – I strongly believe that the public is a rational actor, but GIGO.


The burden of action for strategy is not on the GOP, but the Democrats, and despite a clear path forward the Democratic leadership has yet actively commit to it. Obama’s lack of specifics in the SOTU about how to move forward on health care in particular was a massively missed opportunity to motivate the base, which the GOP can passively exploit.

  • Gay Guy

    My man,
    Interesting blog. I assume you are left of center or a liberal.
    I don’t necessarily find anything wrong with your take on someone else’s article and I do agree in one case with media-narrative. For it is true the media drives the average persons views of candidates as well as those in office.
    For example, where is Cindy Sheehan and the anti war demonstrations. People are still dying in war. It seems as if the media has suppressed or minimized any coverage of anti war demonstrations since Obama was elected to office, or the demonstrators are not upset with people dying in war anymore.
    As far as Obama giving direction to his base, he had several meetings with the Senate and House Democrats. He’s been on TV, radio and given speeches across the nation, pushing Health Care Reform.
    His officers Reed and Pelosi even went as far as to make special deals and behind the door threats. So I must disagree with you, he did give direction.
    My belief is this. You see what you want and disregard the rest. A great majority–I believe 70-80 percent–don’t want the health care reforms put forth by the Democrats. So it failed.
    I don’t know what will happen this November but you will note the hush which has come over not only the media but the house and senate democrats. All of a sudden they are reaching out, wanting to hear the other sides point of view. This is only a ploy in hopes the American people will forget and vote left.
    Please put your mind at ease, when we get closer to November the media and the Democrats will resort to their old ways and misdirect the American public with one-sided news and opinions.

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