Thursday, May 09, 2013


Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo sees a clever strategy in Democrats' frequent invocations of Ted Cruz, one that helps Democrats and GOP radicals, at the expense of more mainstream Republicans:
When [Harry] Reid insults [Cruz], and when [Cruz] gets under [Dianne] Feinstein's skin, that helps [Cruz] with the GOP base. When Democratic strategist James Carville goes on national television to acknowledge Cruz's talents and kinda-sorta suggest Democrats would be scared to run against him, we recognize that as tried-and-true but harmless ratfucking, to use the technical term. Cruz sees it as an opportunity to tout his conservative bona fides.

Everyone wins -- except the rest of the GOP.

"It is fair to say that there's a general sense that the more Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are the face of the Republican Party, the worse it is for the Republican brand and the better it is for Democrats," said a senior Democratic Senate aide.
Except that it doesn't really work that way, because Democrats don't have a noise machine capable of making these guys stand for the whole GOP.

The so-called liberal media will simply never be as nakedly ideological as the right-wing media. The right-wing media works hand in glove with the GOP to highlight every liberal or leftist or radical, in or out of the Democratic Party, with the shared goal of making all those people the faces of the party (while also laboring to make mildly liberal Democrats and Democratic ideas seem dangerously radical). By contrast, NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN and The New York Times and The Washington Post will respectfully highlight the progressive-seeming immigration stylings of Marco and Lindsey and Johnny Mac, and the liberal-seeming drone critique of Rand Paul, and will pay great respect to all sorts of people critical of the Democrats -- Simpson and Bowles on the budget, the whistleblowers on Benghazi -- which has the effect of making Republican ideologues on these issues seem reasonable.

Democrats might be able to flood the zone and make Cruz the face of the GOP if they were in campaign mode all the time, the way Republicans are -- Democrats did a pretty good job of making Todd Akin the face of the GOP in 2012 (it helped that Mitt Romney was also the rich, oblivious face of the party on pocketbook issues) -- but Democrats only seem able to do this in presidential election years. They couldn't even make Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Carl Paladino the face of the party in 2010 -- those loons were beaten, but the GOP triumphed otherwise.

It's worthwhile for the Democrats to try focusing on Cruz and his ilk, but they really need to work much harder, to make up for the lack of zone-flooding ideological-media firepower.


Anonymous said...

It's not going to work and they should give up on it.

Coming from DC/VA where our "Republicans" are pretty much Andrew Sullivans and David Brookses, the Ted Cruzes are viewed oddly.

1. They are giving their constituents what they want and don't really believe the crazy stuff. That's OK because it's Texas, not VA. And honestly it's noble for people who know better to give the rubes something. Might not agree with that something, but it's what the voters want.

2. The reason this is important is that these voters vote for the correct party. We do have to make some concessions to make them do it, but since they are voting for the correct party that makes up for any craziness.

3. The reason the party is correct is economics and markets. The left is so against economics and markets you can't vote for it. Hell even most Democrats here (upper income) agree but just let squishy shit like gay rights get in the way. The Republican party is so vastly more correct on markets and economics that it must stay in power, for the good of the nation. If we ever move to the left on economics and markets the nation will be destroyed. Capitalism and the protection of free enterprise is the most important thing in the world and we must do everything to support it.

In short no amount of crazy from Cruz, Paul, Perry, or any of them is going to change this dynamic. They could lynch Obama in effigy, gang rape Michelle, put the gays to death, nuke Iran, make Christianity the national religion, have forced prayer, kill abortion doctors, and the entire thing would be handwaved away as "yes, but capitalism and free enterprise and we must have these things because it's what America is about" and they'd still go out and vote for them.

There's nothing the Republican party can do that non crazy Republicans will think is so horrible it trumps the capitalism issue. Nor will it cause the upper in Democrats here to quit saying "yeah those Republicans sure are crazy, but Democrats are horrible on business issues and economics so both sides!"

Ted Cruz at worst is a smart man who has to say and do crazy things so he can stay in office to protect capitalism and thus America from evil liberals. And there is no cost to high for this. I'm not joking either.

Victor said...

Sanford showed what Republican do very well over the last month or so - he nationalized, as they all do, his election.
They all run against the Liberal Leviathon - which, we Liberals wish existed.

Democrats, as Ms. Busch showed, run locally, against their particular Republican candidate.

And, in Red districts, they run as Blue Dogs, forgetting the lesson that should have been learned a few years ago - they fooled some people in - '06 and '08 into voting for those DINO Republican's-Lite. Mainly because of the wars and occupations, the the stagnant economy.

But, after the Republicans nationalized Obamacare in '10, voters wanted the real, red meat Republicans, and not Repubican wannabe's - and the Blue Dogs got crushed.