The damaged Republican brand
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:05:59 AM EST
Can Republicans can catch up quickly, in regards to the lead that Democrats and progressives have with the use of new media technologies? Of course, without a doubt. There's nothing stopping them from using them all right now, and building new and better ones, except that they have nothing to sell that anyone wants, given their recent track record. Until they get ideas to sell that people believe are real, it doesn't matter how good they use new media and the internet, they will be in the minority.
This is the key difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party this decade. The Republican establishment, earlier this decade, had been at it's zenith. They controlled all three branches of gov't, and didn't really need to embrace the use of blogs and internet fundraising to maintain their majorities. All they needed to do was govern. Democrats, in contrast, had the ideas that could turn this country around, but its campaigning mode was stuck in the 1980's.
Now, the tables are reversed. Democrats are on the up, and Republicans are on the down. It's probably going to take the Republicans years to reform their party around ideas that are compelling to a majority of the nation, especially if the Democrats don't blow it.
The areas where the Democrats could blow it? Getting much deeper into Afghanistan comes to mind, so much so that it becomes a Democratic war, or not pulling out of Iraq sufficiently. That would tear the Democratic Party in two. But I believe that the real areas around which Democrats could provide an opening to Republicans is going to be financial reasons.
From the looks of reading the Sunday NYTimes, Obama is going to prioritize a stimulus bill in January. It looks very promising, except that its going to dramatically increase the already bulging deficit, which I guess there's no way around for the near future. I'm also encouraged that it seems that we are going to let the Bush tax cuts expire on their own in 2010. I really wasn't looking forward to having to defend a tax raise the next few cycles in tight contests. We are going to have to see some belt-tightening of federal spending at some point though. Bailouts and stimulus can't be the only cure. If the spending becomes outrageous in examples of waste, it's going to come back to bite us.
Charlie Cook has some further notes on the Republican mess:
As far as for what the Obama administration can do to help keep the lead that our side has in the use of the internet, this is an idea:
Connectedness, Miller says, means allowing people outside government to have a bigger role in crafting policy (or at least feel like they have a bigger role). It might mean a period of a few days for open comments on newly passed legislation before Obama signs it into law, or administration-sponsored wiki Web sites that would let users make suggestions on budget bills, which are often notoriously opaque.