There’s something liberating about total defeat.
Standing in the smoldering ruins of what you tried, and failed, to defend delivers a certain clarity. Oh, sure, there’s the “nothing to lose” angle when you’re deciding next steps, but I think there’s something more transcendent than that too. The burden of any sort of logistical framework is lifted.
It’s clear to me the Republican Party has such a moment available. Damaging the Republican brand further is essentially impossible. I propose that Republican leaders seize this moment to change the political dialogue in this country…
…by telling the truth.
Tell the truth about the federal budget, using real numbers. Start with a primer on what deficit spending is. Expose the folly of one part of the government buying debt from another. Show the actual imminent bankruptcies of Social Security and Medicare. Be frank about the choices before us. When Democrats with nonsense numbers respond showing “solutions,” dissect them. Take them apart. Show the American people where their “solutions” are coming from, and why they’re lies.
“But they’ve been doing that!” No, not like I’m talking about, they haven’t. I mean, have a sustained conversation. Exit the world of the sound bite. Explain at length where a dollar comes from. Accurately exhibit, as in bills on a table, how much money the federal government spends in just one hour. Compare to how much money is “saved” in the average dog-and-pony brinksmanship such as we’ve just been through.
Now for the Republicans to have any credibility doing such, a sincerely delivered mea culpa shall be necessary, of course. Yes, we’ve previously been part of the problem, America. We apologize. We would now like to leave the misdirection, double-talk, and impossible promises to the Democrats, while we talk about actual solutions.
Mainstream media won’t play, and will in fact actively suppress the effort once it gets legs. Counter that with prime-time buys, 30 minutes at a time. Wouldn’t it be great to answer a “let me be clear” speech from The One directly? Play footage of it. Pause. Point out the deception at length, with hard data. Repeat.
It’s all a crazy fantasy, I know. No strategy that threatens the ensconced has a chance. And there are certainly plenty of comfortable Republicans in positions of power who will want to stay that way much more than they’ll want to try some crazy scheme of honesty.
I think it’s clear, though, that any progress is going to come in the realm of substance. Cede the shadow world of empty promises and demagoguery to the Democrats forever.