Friday, May 14, 2010

GOP tries to hold that tiger...

Talking Points Memo has a piece up by Brian Beutler, wherein he describes the precarious position Republican incumbents in Washington are finding themselves in over the bailouts.

Basically, it points out what every logical person knows: the TARP legislation worked. Look to none other than Republican Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) who has this to say about the bailout:

"It was extremely effective. Not only was it effective and stabilized the
financial industry, it also returned to the taxpayers almost $20 billion in
interest and dividends that they would have otherwise not have."

Of course, the problem with just coming out and speaking honestly about the bailout, is that this year is an election year. Gregg can afford to be candid publicly, because he is retiring. His fellow Republican politicians...not so much. In case you missed it, the GOP has spent just about every minute since President Obama's inauguration telling us everything Washington does is evil. Now, they're realizing they have created a monster: the Tea Party crowd. In fact, they got their first glimpse at the horror of their own creation recently when Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) got ousted at his state republican convention last week. Polls at that same convention showed Utah's other GOP senator, Orin Hatch, would have his ass handed to him if he too was up for re-election.

So, what is the Republicans' game plan?

The Republicans I spoke with said it's simply a matter of communicating with
voters, and explaining the nuances.

"If you can get above all the
hyperbolization and misrepresentation and get the facts out, I think you can be
very effective," Gregg said.

Cornyn--whose job it is to protect
Republican senators from political backlash--had a similar take. "The facts are
what they are, I think it depends on the ability of each person to articulate
the rationale for their vote."

For that to work, though, Republicans
will need their voters to be willing to listen. For the time being, they're not.

"It was not hard at all if I could get the voters to listen," Bennett
said. "My challenge was that the delegates chosen at the precinct caucuses would
not come to my meetings to give me an opportunity to explain."
Imagine that. After appealing to everything but reason and logic to the voters for the past year (remember that GOP strategy memo that was leaked: fear, scare them, etc? Or the false "examples" laid out: the field mouse shit ring a bell?), they now hope they can just get their mob calmed down enough to listen. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, we will enjoy watching them complain about how sharp the tiger's teeth are as they continue to desperately cling to its tail.

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