Karl Rove, Bush’s consigliere, has employed some rather brilliant (until the hubris and The Math took him down) strategies over the years, one of those being Attack Your Opponent Strengths strategy. Just look at what happened to John Kerry’s war record in 2004 – they turned a war hero into a coward, and what was left was just a flip-flopping blue blooded privileged New Englander – just the kind of opponent Republicans wanted.
Whenever I hear Republicans calling Democrats unpatriotic it has the same rovian flavor to it. Republicans own patriotism, Jesus and the flag. They also own pro-business image. For now.
While I explored the implausible marriage of GOP and Jesus in one of my earlier posts,
Left and Jesus I argued that it is the Democrats who, if they were quick and deft enough, should have claimed the ownership of God. They missed it about the same time that they lost the South – during the civil rights era of the 1960s.
Republicans have a tendency of lumping both small business and Wall Street under the same large umbrella called “Business”. It’s very handy – when Democrats want to regulate Wall Street, Republicans conveniently twist it into attacks on “Business”. This way they kill two birds with one stone – they supposedly burnish their credentials as defenders of the little business-owner while at the same time sending a subtle message to Wall Street (doing so publicly would be a public relations faux pas) that by defending business they are defending, you know, “Business”. Each target audience receives the intended message, everybody’s happy.
The other day they had all the opportunity to demonstrate their allegiance to the small business owners by passing the bill that extends loans and give tax breaks to those very small businesses.
Republicans Block Bill to Aid Small Business
The US Chamber of freaking Commerce (on matters of economics you can’t get to the right of these guys) helped write it! The measure failed 58-42 because Republicans filibustered it. I must give it to them – they still have a few tricks up their sleeve to surprise me! Now, let me remind you that “a small business owner” is a sacred, beloved Republican constituency, which they never fail to mention in any routine political speech. At this point they will do almost anything, ANYTHING, including shitting on their own solid electorate so that, God forbid, Obama might get some credit for it.
Which, of course, makes them anti-business. Democrats, as usual, are a little slow to jump on it, while this is a golden opportunity to attack your opponents’ strengths. Try to call Republicans anti-business over and over and see what happens. It is unexpected; it will put them in an apoplectic state (imagine calling Pope anti-Catholic) and put them on tilt and will force them to make some mistakes. It will be hard for them to ignore being called anti-business. Some, while beating themselves in the chest, will inadvertently defend Wall Street, others will overreact and create some juicy sound bites just in time to be played over and over during the election season.
Also, to those idealistic leftists who don’t like to play dirty – there’s nothing dirty about that. We’re not making anything up – unlike right-wing dirty tricksters who like to manufacture stories. The Republicans have clearly voted against the bill. It’s in the books now.
What a pity if Democrats will let it slide.