It’s three and a half months to election time, and Republicans are spinning their wheels over whether they should appear moderate or loaded for bear, whether they should take the high road or the take-no-prisoners low road.
If you are a Republican candidate the first and most important thing to understand is this: It really doesn’t matter. Mitt Romney was a high-road candidate like every Republican presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan’s second run. Republicans love to tell uplifting stories that highlight the virtues of the opportunity society they intend to restore when elected. Well and good. But who is going to listen to your story when your opponents are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to portray you as a woman-hater, a racist, and a champion of the selfish rich?
Unless Republicans are thinking about an answer to this attack, they are wasting their time. Of course sometimes Democrats screw up so big they hand Republicans the election, and it doesn’t matter what their strategy is. 2014 may be such an election
But strategy can also swing an unwinnable election, as the Democrats showed in 2012. And there’s no reason to think that Republicans will come up with an answer to the Democrat attacks by 2016.
These attacks are monotonous and predictable. Every cycle the Democrats roll out their war against women, war against minorities, war against the middle class. And just as predictably, Republicans fail to have an answer.
Democratic strategist Chris LeHane once said, “Everybody has a game plan until you punch him in the mouth.” Where is the Republicans’ punch in the mouth? There is none. And there will be none this year or in 2016 either.
How do I know this? Because the Republican National Committee has picked Cleveland for its presidential convention site. The smart choice would have been Detroit. The only way to confront the Democrats’ slanders is to throw the charge back in their faces. Detroit, whose population today is 85% African American, offers a dramatic way to do it.
In 1961, Detroit was the richest city in America. The ensuing fifty years of uninterrupted Democratic rule so ravaged the city’s economy that two-thirds of its population has fled, and those who remain are mired in poverty so deep that they will never escape.
What caused this disaster? The Democrats’ anti-business, pro-union policies drove away prosperity. Political animosity directed at whites drove the city’s tax base to the suburbs. In 2013, Detroit went bankrupt.
In one generation the Democrats reduced America’s number one industrial city to the level of the third world. Dozens of other major American cities, like Chicago and St. Louis, have been under the thumb of Democrats for just as long and are waiting in line to meet the same fate.
If there is a racist party in America, it is the Democratic Party, which imposes racial animosity on virtually every aspect of American life. It is the Democratic Party and its teacher union base that has trapped millions of Hispanic and African American children in failing schools. They are there because their parents can’t afford to do what Democratic officials all the way up to the White House do: send their children to private schools where they will get an education.
It is the Democratic Party that has lured low-income citizens into a welfare system that will keep them in poverty forever. It is the Democratic Party that puts the interests of government unions above those of ordinary citizens.
It’s time for Republicans to stop being so polite. They need to fight fire with fire. They need to call out Democrats who are responsible for racial injustice in our inner cities and for the hopeless futures that face the children trapped there.
Detroit would have been a richly symbolic setting from which to launch this attack. But if the GOP is willing to take off the gloves, Cleveland will do.