Will The GOP’s Short Attention Span Ruin The 2014 Midterms?

Fearing baldness, I long ago stopped scratching my head at the public moves of the Republican hierarchy. With Obamacare crumbling like a celebrity marriage all around them, the Democrats are so desperate that they’re focusing on raising the minimum wage-a “feel good” bunch of nonsense that benefits an age demographic that isn’t even old enough to vote for them. But they need people to talk about anything but Obamacare

Savvy combatants don’t fall for deflections, they look around to see what it is the other side doesn’t want them to see. This year, the Republicans don’t even have to look around. But, like ten year old boys with ADHD, that is all they seem to want to do. 

At the end of last year, I wrote that a narrow focus on Obamacare and school choice would serve the GOP well going into this year’s elections. Imagine my mild surprise when party quickly got around to talking about the latter

Proving that there is almost no reason for optimism when it comes to GOP strategy lately, the House has decided to wrap up National School Choice Week by putting the focus on…a thoroughly awful farm bill and the immigration reform windmill at which it loves to tilt. 

Bravo, party betters. You managed not only to get off-topic, but did so with muddy message issues that aren’t election winners. 

Let us for the moment go all WIlly Wonka and enter a world of pure imagination. Suppose that the farm bill and immigration reform weren’t fraught with problems. If you need to belt down a couple of stiff drinks to get there, I’ll wait. 

Even then, there isn’t a good case to be made to take the focus off of Obamacare. And school choice is the one issue where conservatives can woo minority voters through principles and action rather than political pandering. 

If I were a full-blown conspiracy type, I would posit that it seems as if the GOP leaders are deliberately focusing on things that draw bolder battle lines between them and Tea Party conservatives, than them and the Democrats. I am, however, not ready to go there. 


There are few people outside of the RNC, NRCC and NRSC who wouldn’t agree that the Republican party has had a messaging problem for quite some time. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it hasn’t had many prominent elected officials who can articulate the case for, well, anything. Thankfully, that is changing. 

The second, and more problematic, is that it chooses positions that are esoteric and/or numbers laden, which aren’t easy to explain to the electorate. 

The current state of Obamacare and school choice both practically explain themselves. They provide a clear path to victory in November but the party hierarchy keeps wandering off to do other things because…just because. 

The current diversion is especially maddening, given the fact that the upper echelon of the GOP was just whining that the government shutdown prevented them from focusing on how awful the Obamacare rollout was. 

The good news: the Obamacare rollout is still awful. Feel free to fire up that focus any time, guys. 

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