Republicans have a real problem. The GOP has ruled the United States for the last seven years with President Bush, a Republican majority congress (or a minority practicing unprecedented legislative obstructionism (and here)) and a majority [in the] Supreme Court (not to mention lower courts). But despite Republicans holding the reins of power in all three branches of federal government, an unprecedented 81% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction – and one suspects (only half in jest) most of the other 19% probably are Republican office holders or staffers. Summary: Republican government officials have really screwed up.
So, given the disaster (4 out of 5 Americans polled think things are going badly), you’d think that “more of the same thing” wouldn’t be on the Republican agenda. The same claim that we need to reduce government regulation, although it dramatically decreased throughout the Bush years and resulted in the recent financial disasters we read about daily including the current recession. The claim that “big government” is the problem when little government could be seen in the Katrina disaster. The claim that “hands off” leads to “growth” when for the first time since WWII we’ve had years of “economic expansion” that has resulted in stagnant or even lower median wages for most working and middle class families. You’d think that Republicans would decide that they need to try something new. Some no doubt are trying innovation. Then we have other Republicans who just don’t get it.
In today’s Daily Herald, Republican Mike Davitt, a former Naperville District 203 School Board member, writes a letter to the editor:
“Like persistent dandelions, Democrats and RINOs are nothing but weeds. Their incessant tax-and-spend existence chokes off hard work, entrepreneurism, savings, and charitable giving in return for a nanny state that’s never going to be big enough. As a result, the state of Illinois ranks among the top third in terms of overall taxation, and its going to get worse.
Keeping dandelions out of your yard is as easy as weed killer. Keeping Democrats and RINOs out of our lives is as simple as voting.”
Now there’s a message of hope and innovation – vote because you like killing weeds (then again disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is a former exterminator…).
Davitt is misleading about Illinois’ tax burden, which the non-partisan Tax Foundation ranks as “22nd highest nationally” and “just below the national average,”, but more to the point what does he offer except more of the same. Here we have the same talk and the same strategies that have failed.
Promoting failure reminds me of this parody of Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain that ends with “McCain 08: Like Hope, But Different.”
and this video inspired by one of Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s speeches
When things are going in the wrong direction, you change direction and try to improve.
A final thought: you won’t turn out the vote by telling people voting is like killing weeds – that’s just depressing.