June 07, 2006
from - RSA
Senate Republicans have a strategy for charging up their base in the upcoming fall elections: schedule votes on hot-button items that are, realistically speaking, guaranteed to fail. From the Houston Chronicle:
Neither the same-sex marriage nor the flag-burning proposals are expected to win the two-thirds votes in both chambers of Congress needed to get the issues to the state legislatures. Nevertheless, the Republicans hope that their efforts will motivate a key constituency that needs to turn out in force at the polls in the November elections if the party is to retain control of Congress.
So let me get this straight. You completely ignore an issue while you're governing, but when it becomes likely that you might not be able to stay in power, you suddenly bring the issue up to show that it's important to you, even if there's no chance you'll get your way with it? How convincing is that? This maneuvering strikes me as a "Stop me before I do something stupid" policy: if they thought that Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and burning flags were worthwhile on their own merits, they would have tried a bit harder and a bit earlier to get them passed.
Despite some misgivings about this approach to electioneering, Republican strategists seem to think it will make their base happy. I, on the other hand, suspect it will only appeal to a small number of people. I have a suggestion, however. Flag burning, gay marriage, abortion, and school prayer may not be issues that enough voters think are important to make a big difference in their voting. What Republicans need to do, following the strategy of making proposals that sound good but are guaranteed to fail, is to broaden the appeal. Here are a few possibilities:
- Propose that every U.S. citizen should be sent a check for $1,000,000 from the government. Who wants to turn down free money?
- Propose that every day be Christmas Day. Got to have opportunities to spend that money. And Christmas makes everyone happy, except perhaps for nonChristian malcontents.
- Propose that peace reign on earth. The only constituencies they'd be neglecting would be prize fighters and people who watch Jerry Springer.
A party that made these kinds of proposals would be worth watching.
Posted by RSA at June 7, 2006 11:52 AM