The Republican National Committee has issued a warning to fellow Republicans:
During the conference call, various Republican affiliates expressed concern that attacking President Barack Obama may prove too dangerous for the GOP. “We’re hesitant to jump on board with heavy attacks” said Nicholas Thompson, vice president of Republican polling firm the Tarrance Group. “There’s a lot of people who feel sorry for him.”
Are these people insane?
My biggest complaint about the Republican party, for the past decade, has been their utter inability to communicate effectively. I've wailed about it on this blog with regularity (for example, see here, here, here, and here). And indeed, it is advice such as that above that has been responsible for Republicans abysmal showing over the past decade.
Perhaps the two worst most destructive instances of Republicans allowing falsehoods to become fixed as facts in the minds of the majority of Americans are the Iraq War and the fiscal meltdown. There was Bush not responding to the left wing attack machine's "Bush lied" meme. Karl Rove came very late to the conclusion that failing to respond was the biggest mistake of the Bush presidency. Then there was McCain not responding to the Democrats' effort to misdirect the blame for our economic meltdown onto Wall St. greed, rather than the actual cause, two decades of left wing government directed social engineering that tore apart credit standards and put Fannie and Freddie on steroids.
And now we have Obama making the most outrageous of claims about the failure of markets and capitalism as well as the supposed sin of the profit motive. Indeed, IBD has an editorial out today discussing the Five Big Lies In Obama's Economic Fairness Speech. Even WaPo's Fact Checker gave the speech three Pinnochios. Yet the RNC responds by telling Republicans not to attack Obama because he is likable and the electorate feels pity for him? And just how are Republicans to counter this? Their silence would only cede the message to Obama and the left - and we have years of evidence telling us how that works out.
The RNC has it exactly wrong. Republicans need to be passionate and loud - with the caveat that they must be absolutely intellectually honest in their criticisms.
You want to see how to do it wrong - Mitt Romney's ad attacking Obama by taking a quote completely out of context.
That really will engender sympathy for this most destructive of Presidents.
Now to see how it is done right - Newt Gingrich laying out, in two minutes, why Obama is the President of class warfare and food stamps while conservatives are the party of paychecks.
There is a reason Gingrich is leading in the polls. And if he stays there, it will be in very large measure because he will have ignored the craven advice of the RNC.
As a parting gift, here is Rush in high dudgeon over both the idiocy of the RNC's advice to Republicans and the prevarication of Obama in his Kansas speech yesterday.