The Republican midterm election game plan
The National Republican Campaign Committee is running five campaign ads, in four different states, which look like a fairly thorough game plan for running against the Democrats in 2014 when taken together. The first one, running in Arizona, ties the Democrat candidate directly to the unpopular President Barack Obama. It’s also rather lighthearted in tone:
There’s a little bit about ObamaCare in that ad, but the second one, running in a different Arizona district, is wholly focused on the Affordable Care Act, specifically the way it raids Medicare for funding. Socialist programs thrive by offering concentrated benefits to certain favored constituencies, while dispersing the costs across the rest of the electorate. People don’t get riled up about costs they’re scarcely aware of paying. This ad reaches out to a notably active group, senior citizens, and reminds them of the very concrete costs dumped in their lap:
Incidentally, Forbes has a good article about how Medicare is still in dire financial shape, despite some recent and very modest improvements that had nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. It’s still a broken system heading for a crash, and all this ObamaCare nonsense has only made the business of reforming entitlement programs more difficult. Combining several different crises into one unholy disaster was not a helpful problem-solving strategy.
Next up is are ads in Georgia and Iowa that hit the Democrats for wasteful government spending, including an amusing example from that immense pile of pork-barrel spending and Democrat money laundering known as the “Obama stimulus.” At least some monkeys got “stimulated” with taxpayer-funded cocaine:
It’s nice to see the Republicans making good use of Senator Tom Coburn’s “Wastebook,” an annual report on ridiculous government spending. The idea that anyone could serious advocate tax increases to solve our fiscal crisis, while billions vanish into black holes of graft, fraud, and madcap ideology is ridiculous. Besides the unfairness of it all, why does anyone think the next trillion will be spent any more wisely than the last trillion was?
As the Iowa ad demonstrates, there’s much hay to be made out of wasteful local spending too. At every level, government is a beggar that insists on living like a king. It responds to calls for “belt-tightening” by threatening to fire cops and firefighters.
The fifth NRCC ad takes aim at Obama’s War on Energy, reminding West Virginia voters that supporters of this President are no friends to the coal industry:
This ad includes a jab at the way millionaire politicians lose touch with working-class reality, which could certainly be offered as a bipartisan complaint, but it’s going to hit the Party of Government harder. Central planning is all about picking “winners” and “losers.” The designated losers aren’t going to take their economic death sentences lying down.
A cynic would observe that some of the issues highlighted in these ads are evergreen. Politicians from both parties routinely vow to run against wasteful government spending and cleanse Washington of lobbyist influence, but the wasteful spending just gets worse, and the lobbyists aren’t going anywhere. Democrats are the party in power right now, and they’re going to take the heat for specific policies that have angered the public, like ObamaCare. To close the deal, Republicans must convince voters they’ll do better… and then, you know, actually do better, if they win the day in November 2014. Conventional wisdom holds that in the primaries, the GOP establishment largely prevailed over Tea Party challengers, but have been made more conservative in the process. Convincing voters this is true is the business of 2014. Making it true is the business of 2015. If the Republicans can’t do that, they’ll be the ones getting the business in 2016.