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Forget all the post-election hand wringing over shifting demographics and outreach, the real problem for Republicans remains their complete inability to craft a narrative of their own or, more importantly, to counter false narratives created by the Democrats.
In the Age of Obama, this has become akin to a formulaic Hollywood horror franchise with only minor tweaks to each script. Think "Friday the 13th", only much, much scarier when the real consequences are fully realized.
It goes something like this: President Obama and Democrats in Congress want to do anything but deal with even cursory spending reform so they go into crisis manufacturing mode. Each problem that needs to be addressed (bailouts, debt ceiling, fiscal cliff, etc.) is presented to the public as positively apocalyptic. Mere opposition by Republicans is portrayed as nothing but their desire to hasten the financial End Time.
Republican leadership generally responds with a few righteous harumphs followed by capitulation and some face time for the president as he proclaims he once again saved the day.
The next installment of the franchise is "Debt Ceiling 2-Default Boogaloo", coming soon to a Mainstream Media theater near you.
The Democrat Narrative Players are in place and staging dress rehearsals open to the public.
President Barack Obama vowed he won’t negotiate over raising the government’s debt ceiling even as he offered to deal on a separate track with the deficit reduction demanded by Republicans.
Warning of economic calamity and stalled payments to Social Security recipients, military personnel and government creditors if the $16.4 trillion debt limit isn’t lifted, Obama accused Republicans of holding the nation hostage as he sought to push Congress toward action to avoid.
“What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people,” Obama said at a White House news conference yesterday, referring to the Republican linkage of increasing the debt limit with deficit reduction.
“They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” he said.
So the guy holding the gun is saying the other guys shouldn't be holding a gun, see? Also, so much for #NewTone.
In a free-wheeling conversation at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Bernanke said the debt limit has only “symbolic value” and advocated eliminating it. But he dismissed suggestions that the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates low is taking pressure off Congress to act.
“We’re not going to be playing games with that. We’re going to follow our mandate,” Bernanke said. “Congress should take care of their job, which is to address the fiscal issues.”
As long as none of those fiscal issues are immediate discussion of deficit and debt reduction. Why? Because shut up and we'll do it later, that's why.
The press, of course, is playing its part.
Arguably, Obama’s no-more-Mr.-Nice-Guy approach is good politics. His first-term experience made clear that he gained nothing from Republicans when he took a passive approach. When it comes to getting things done in Washington, there’s no substitute for forceful presidential leadership. Teddy Roosevelt, whose oil-on-canvas likeness gazed at Obama from an East Room wall, probably would have approved.
I would like anyone from the MSM to give an example of President Obama's "passive approach" to anything related to his first term agenda. I'll wait.
There you have it. Decades of irresponsible spending and federal bloat, accelerated by an Executive Order ideologue, have the economy careening towards any cliff it can find. The solution? Maintain the status quo, naturally! And any opposition by Republicans in an effort to address the spending that is central to our never ending crises is dutifully portrayed by the fully operational Democrat Messaging Death Star as a desire to see America fail.
GOP leadership's response thus far has gone something like this: "We promise we'll totally be super serious about spending the next time."
Oh yeah, and they promise to call you tomorrow.