Visual source: Newseum
Michael Schear at The New York Times on the new GOP slogan:
Remember “Hope and Change” from Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign? The Republican Party is hoping to make you to think “Hype and Blame.” [...]So their entire messaging strategy is to construct a narrative of "hype and blame" by...blaming all of the world's problem's on President Obama. Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal Constitution adds:
The Republicans will begin selling bumper stickers with the “Hype & Blame” phrase as part of their campaign.
Republicans hope to make “Hype & Blame” as ubiquitous as “Hope & Change.”
“Obama has no record to run on so he’s out on the trail resorting to the same tactics he campaigned against in 2008,” Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for Republican National Committee, said Wednesday night. “He has a litany of broken promises so what does he do? Lay blame, make excuses, run on gimmicks and engage in divisive politics. Four years later we know the candidate of ‘Hope and Change’ is now ‘Hype and Blame.’”
Among Republicans, the fact that the divisiveness is almost entirely their own creation doesn’t faze them in the least. Like a spouse abuser who blames his violence on his victim, the Republican Party hopes to blame the whole mess all on Obama.Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine:
The truth is, Obama infuriates the Republicans simply by waking up as president each morning. Under the rubric of “taking our country back,” they have challenged his status as an American, they have impugned his faith and they have even questioned his loyalty and patriotism. From the very beginning, they have pursued a conscious strategy of refusing to compromise in any way whatsoever, to the point that they have purged any in their own camp who dare to even suggest such a course. (See Lugar, Richard) [...]
Even [after compromising and taking the Republican position on healthcare], it took Obama a while to come to the realization that no matter what he did, there would be no compromise. The only thing that his opponents wanted from him was his surrender and then his disappearance. That was their price for “unity,” and now they want to blame him for refusing to pay it.
Police officers and firefighters are a tricky occupational category for Republicans. Culturally, they are allies — working class, mostly male, and beloved symbols of American values. Economically, though, they are government workers, which has always put their interests in tension with those of the GOP, and especially so in recent years, as Republicans have increasingly held up government workers as a kind of parasitic class.
Last night Mitt Romney was strolling across one side of this tricky line and slipped to the other. [...]
Romney’s position is that these fine public servants are luxuriating in excessive pay, a fact that, unlike swelling income inequality, constitutes a major source of unfairness in American life. (“We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve,” he said last week.)
This is actually a policy flashpoint between the two parties. Public employment has cratered in recent years, with public sector jobs continuing to decline even as private sector jobs rebound, exerting a continued drag on the sluggish recovery. Obama’s position is that the federal government ought to provide aid to state governments to rehire some of the laid-off teachers, cops, and firefighters. Republicans oppose this. Romney seems to have forgotten that the firefighters he came face-to-face with are one category of Americans whose economic pain he’s supposed to be in favor of.
Dick Polman at The Philadelphia Inquirer on the Republican attacks on any mention of the killing of bin Laden:
The Romney people would be well advised to brush up on the history of their own party. Consider, for instance, the election of 1900. William McKinley’s bid for a second term featured an end-zone dance about the Spanish-American War. McKinley’s top surrogate was his running mate, war hero Theodore Roosevelt, who told voters: “We drew the sword and waged the most righteous and brilliantly successful foreign war that this generation has seen.”The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson asks "why?" on Afghanistan:
But why go back 112 years? I don’t recall any of Obama’s critics complaining in May 2003, when George W. Bush donned a flight suit and strutted around the deck of an aircraft carrier with a banner emblazoned “Mission Accomplished.”
Everyone knew that ceremony was being choreographed for Bush’s reelection bid. The White House hired an ex-ABC News producer to advise on production values. The carrier was directed to shift positions several times to ensure that an expanse of water, rather than the nearby California coastline, would serve as the backdrop when Bush’s plane landed. And his remarks, noting the end of “major combat operations in Iraq,” were delayed until the cameras could frame him against the golden sunset, at what’s known in Hollywood as “the magic hour.”
The Taliban government was deposed and routed. Al-Qaeda was first dislodged and then decimated, with “over 20 of their top 30 leaders” killed, according to the president. Osama bin Laden was tracked to his lair in Pakistan, shot dead and buried at sea. To the extent that al-Qaeda still poses a threat, it comes from affiliate organizations in places such as Yemen and from the spread of poisonous jihadist ideology. Al-Qaeda’s once-extensive training camps in Afghanistan have long been obliterated, and the group’s presence in the country is minimal.Speaking of foreign policy, Jonathan Capehart looks at Romney's response to plight of a Chinese activist and also the treatment of his openly gay (former) foreign policy spokesperson:
That smells like victory to me. Yet 94 American troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan so far in 2012, U.S. forces will still be engaged in combat until the end of 2014, and we are committed to an extraordinary — and expensive — level of involvement there until 2024. Why?
Of the U.S. troops who died this year as a result of hostile fire — as opposed to accidents, illnesses or suicide — at least one of every seven was killed not by the Taliban but by ostensibly friendly Afghan security forces.
Seeming to fight for Chen was a messy move for Romney. But what it lacked in long-term thinking it made up for in short-term benefit. For it shifted the day’s conversation away from Romney’s unwillingness to fight for Richard Grenell.
Grenell was supposed to be the national security and foreign policy spokesperson for the Romney presidential campaign. Grenell was a longtime spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and then an alternative representative to the Security Council under President George W. Bush; his credentials for the Romney job were indeed impeccable. He also is openly gay. And that didn’t sit too well with some vocal social conservatives such as Bryan Fischer.
After Grenell announced his resignation, the story moved quickly from the role of social conservatives in his departure to the inability or unwillingness of Romney to defend a qualified aide brought on to hone his foreign policy message against Obama. Romney had to have known about Grenell’s reputation for sharp elbows and a sharp tongue. He of course knew that Grenell is openly gay. He should have known that social conservatives were going to go after him. As Ruth Marcus writes, “Given the predictable, disgusting backlash to Grenell’s hiring, how could the campaign have no plan to deal with it other than shove Grenell into the background — the closet? — until the furor died down?” The absence of independence and leadership from Romney made it impossible for Grenell to stay.