… The Democrats have plenty of creatures like Boehner. But in the new Speaker of the House, the Republicans own the perfect archetype ““ the quintessential example of the kind of glad-handing, double-talking, K Street toady who has dominated the politics of both parties for decades. In sports, we talk about athletes who are the “total package,” and that term comes close to describing Boehner’s talent for perpetuating our corrupt and debt-addled status quo: He’s a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done. […] – Matt Taibbi: The Crying Shame of John Boehner
Speaker Boehner’s speech upon being handed his giant gavel was pitch perfect politically. The tone was right, the sentiment softly spoken, with all the right notes hit. He referenced the economy, the “job-killing” Obamacare, and the debt. The stage was set for the new Congress.
Simultaneously, two ignorant Republican knuckleheads, Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), thought they could take their oath of office at a fundraiser via a TV screen. Geniuses these guys are not.
Then during the reading of the Constitution, a crazy birther’s head exploded while yelling “Except Obama, except Obama, help us Jesus!” when Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) read the clause in the Constitution talking about “natural born citizen”. The woman’s name is Theresa Cao who has a history of this sort of insanity.
To press the point, a gaggle of Tea Partiers decided to challenge Pres. Obama’s citizenship, presidency and very right to live in the White House, making a mockery of the entire Congress and just how serious everything is in this country right now. When Brian Williams of NBC News asked Speaker Boehner about the bill he basically said it wasn’t his job to make his members act like adults.
Given all this you’d think Democrats would have it easy making the case that Republicans are as bad as they sound.
Unfortunately, Republicans always beat Democrats on messaging, because as William F. Buckley said, the point of conservatism is to oppose, which makes for easier sound bites. They’re effective at it too.
So, even as Democrats laugh at the nonsensical gibberish coming out of Republicans right now, especially on the repeal of health care, they should take note. There is something deeply disturbing about the Gallup number of 46% that want Obamacare repealed (40% do not). These numbers should trouble the White House a great deal. The unpopularity of the health care bill coupled with a Republican drum beat over the next two years could be a powerful tool against the President.
The White House senses the same thing, which is why Stephanie Cutler laid out their case for keeping health care intact. The Right can’t repeal it, though I’m not really sure they believe they can or want to succeed in doing so. The cry against the Democratic plan is only good as long as it’s in play and the Right wants it in play for 2012.
As for Democrats, their problem is they still don’t have a sound bite that can beat “job killing.”
People digest politics in quick gulps, which Republicans get.
Democrats speak in long sentences. It keeps Democrats on the defensive long after the Republicans have gained the advantage.