The Tipping Point We've Dreamed Of?

Mark Davis

11/1/2013 12:01:00 AM - Mark Davis

I close my eyes and imagine the coming days. The American public growing skeptical and then outright dismissive of Obamacare. A growing revulsion over the administration's Benghazi deception. A national awakening to the crises we face in spending, especially on entitlements.

But then I open my eyes, and I have to look at the real world.

Sure, "Saturday Night Live" and late-night comics are poking fun at the disastrous healthcare.gov rollout. But does anyone doubt that these pop-culture jokesters would still vote for Obama by 90 percent margins in the next five elections if they could?

Do not fool yourselves. Yes, this was a great week. Kathleen Sebelius was just as arrogant and impatient as Obamacare opponents could wish. The website remains a national joke. The President's job approval and favorable ratings are sinking like a stone.

But these are snapshots of the moment. They do not guarantee Republican success in 2016. They do not guarantee Republican success in 2014. They do not even guarantee that all of this is front of mind come Christmas.

It is the job of conservatism and its supposed fighting force in the Republican party to win enough seats to beat back this administration's poisonous agenda for every day that it remains in power.

A few days of edgy hearings spent browbeating Obama's HHS secretary is useful. But real victory involves far, far more.

It involves personalizing our politics. And I don't mean getting personally negative about the President. As we focus on the next two elections, I don't even care so much about him. I don't need to hear one more word about Bill Ayers or Saul Alinsky or whatever commies he was hanging out with in his youth. We will attract no new voters by obsessing over our mile-long list of gripes about this regime, however well-founded they may be.

The opportunity we face right now is to grab the attention of the slice of voters that doesn't really know how to feel about Obama any more. Maybe they voted for him, once, maybe twice, but like millions of other folks, they didn't think much about it.

But now maybe their insurance just got cancelled because of Obamacare. Maybe they saw their hours cut by an employer trying to live under its whip. Maybe they've actually seen some success in the last few years, only to see their income devoured by taxes Democrats seek to boost even higher.

Now imagine millions of Americans sitting down for another night of "Dancing With the Stars," "NCIS," Leno or Letterman. Then, dropped into a commercial break, this:

A couple in their 30s or 40s sits on a couch in a pleasant living room, addressing the camera.

"Hi, I'm Tom, and this is my wife Debbie," the man says. "We voted for Barack Obama. Twice."

"We thought it was the right thing to do," Debbie adds. "We liked him and we liked the way his ideas sounded."

"But then we got this," Tom says, holding up a folded letter. "Our insurance just got canceled. We liked our policy, and we believed Barack Obama when he said we could keep it."

"We believed a lot of things," Debbie picks up. "We believed the stimulus would work. We believed when they said some goofy video sparked the Benghazi attacks. We believed when the President said there would be accountability for the IRS scandal."

"But all of the people who did these things are still there," Tom continues. "I don't know what all the answers are to all of our country's problems. But I do know this: I see a lot of ideas that are not good for my family, and not good for my country. I see what has not worked and what is not working. I'm ready for some new ideas."

Debbie closes: "And some new leadership."

Cue the voice-over guy: "This message brought to you by the Republican National Committee." Or Chick-Fil-A, or Hobby Lobby or Monster Energy Drink or whoever wants to place it in about twenty shows people actually watch.

I get asked all the time: How did Obama win twice when conservative talk radio is so popular and Fox News beats the stuffing out of its cable news competition?

The answer is simple. For every consumer of that noble content, there are at least ten who do not absorb political talk radio or watch the Fox News prime time lineup.

We have to come to them. We have to drop a message in their laps that will make their eyes widen, make them call their friends, make them doubt their preconceived notions.

"Dang, did you just see the Tom and Debbie spot?" they might ask. "I don't know who I'll vote for moving forward, but I feel exactly the same way they do."

And as their minds open, maybe for the first time ever, we have to be there with quality stuff to pour into them. We need candidates who are confident in their conservatism and comfortable in any environment, from a debate stage to "The Daily Show."

We need those candidates to patiently, pleasantly, but boldly point out that the Obama era is simply not working. No I-told-you-so's, no scoreboarding, just a sincere offer of help.

We need a sense of urgency and a sense of humor. When liberals lie about us, we need to call them on it and speak truth.

And we need to do what Democrats have done for years: personalize politics. Every time they try to foist their latest lurch toward socialism, they always find a gaggle of citizens willing to stand behind them to cheer them for caring so much. This has enabled them to fraudulently paint themselves as having our best interests at heart.

In backing our conservative causes, of course we can mention their basis in logic and history. But if we tell people we want to stop the Obama agenda and replace it with fresh ideas based on giving people back their liberty and letting them keep more of their money, that's the kind of thing that changes minds.

The aroma of a wasteful, inept Washington has rarely been more foul. if we play hard and play smart, we can win back the Senate and the White House and start to replace these horrible years with uplifting opportunities to regain our national strengths, at home and abroad.

If we succeed, it will not be because we converted ten million people to conservatism. It will be because we convinced ten million voters that two Obama terms have led to a litany of royal screw-ups, and we know how to fix it.

There will be plenty of time for those folks to slowly discern that conservatism was the source for answers for an ailing economy and a weakened global stature. We need to get them to give us a chance first on a leap of faith. We need to earn that leap of faith.

So, somebody go find Tom and Debbie and shoot that commercial. Today.