Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Problem with Republican Leadership: Lack of Self-Respect

There is a fine line between taking the high road and losing your self-respect by not fighting back. If the 2012 elections taught us anything, it's that the Republican establishment doesn't know where that line is.

The leadership vacuum on the Republican side of the aisle keeps getting larger, louder, and even more obvious. If there is one common message from conservatives when it comes to the establishment, that message is to fight. The unwillingness to fight is why Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama in the election; the base didn't turn out.

The Obama administration knows this and is banking on its Republican opposition doing the same thing in the 2014 midterms so the Democrats can take back the House.

There comes a point when refusing to fight only garners more contempt from your opposition and even less respect from your own side. Planting their flag on what they perceive to be the moral high ground didn't work in the last election and it won't work in the next one. It's becoming increasingly obvious that while Republican leaders in Congress think they are better positioned by not lowering themselves to the left's level, they are also losing self-respect by not standing up for themselves. It's antithetical to leadership and when you don't lead, you lose followers.

Two incidents took place at Obama's second inauguration that illustrate this anecdotally.

First, Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee was booed and it was allegedly initiated by a Department of Justice Attorney named Dan Freeman. By the way, that charge was alleged by Freeman himself:

Second, House Speaker John Boehner got the Michelle Obama eye-roll. Watch the body language. At the :02 mark, Boehner taps Michelle on the left arm to jokingly get her attention about something. She then proceeds to put that left arm on the table, as if to say, 'don't touch me'. Boehner then says something else at which the first lady rolls her eyes.

h/t WZ:

The Democratic Party views the Republican Party leaders with contempt, sheer and utter contempt. The Obama agenda, as enunciated by David Plouffe is to so divide the Republican Party that the Democrats take the House in 2014.

Via the Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama’s top political aide used an Inauguration Day interview to sketch out a provocative political strategy intended to split the Republican Party in time to impact the 2014 midterm elections.

“The barrier to progress here in many respects, whether it is deficits, measures to help economy, immigration, gun safety legislation … is [that] there are factions here in Congress, Republicans in Congress, who are out of the mainstream,” White House advisor David Plouffe said on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley.”

“We need more Republicans in Congress to think like Republicans in the country who are seeking compromise, seeking balance,” he claimed.
Granted, the two inauguration day incidents involving Ryan and Boehner mean nothing in and of themselves but they speak volumes when it comes to an unwillingness to fight on the part of Republican leadership. The administration is clearly banking on being able to continue bullying the leaders of their opposition.

This will serve two purposes. It will cause Republican leadership to continue rolling over, giving Obama what he wants and it will cause the conservative / Tea Party wing to sour on their Party's leadership. A consequence of that disenfranchisement will be staying home on election day in 2014. This will de-energize, de-motivate, and depress the conservative base in 2014. Why wouldn't Team Obama go that route? It worked for them in 2012.

Conservative voters carried all the water in 2010 and Republican victories were sweeping but Republican leaders prevented the Party from doing what it was put in power to do. That is why the base didn't turn out.

Team Obama knows that and will attempt to replicate it.

Consider the case of Ashley Judd running against Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. Last month, she trailed him by four points. Yes, four points! If she wins, it will be because McConnell will have chosen not to fight. It won't be because he wasn't moderate enough.

The Republican Party leadership continues to let the schoolyard bully take its lunch money.

If it is going to actually lead, it will have to stand up to the bully sometime between now and November, 2014:

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