Monday, February 9, 2009

Winning the news cycle; losing the debate

Gallup's latest poll on the stimulus:
Assuming it isn't an outlier, this poll seems to be illustrating the same story we've seen play out all last year with Barack Obama and his opponents. John McCain, and Hillary Clinton before him, both had campaign operations that were obsessed with winning the news cycle... they would sacrifice long term credibility by saying something outrageous and easily rebutted, just to be the lead story that night. The media would obsess about how Obama had been blindsided and knocked off his stride and how his calm and cool responses to attacks were insufficient... and then a couple of days later the polls would be unchanged... but, of course, by the time those polls came out the media had already moved on to its next phony controversy.

It appears that we may be seeing the same thing here with the stimulus... Republicans say clearly stupid things... offer obviously insane alternatives... and admit to playing cynical politics with the nation's economy at stake. The media spends the whole time marveling at the GOP's manly toughness at striking such a wicked slap in the face to the new President... is the Obama Presidency doomed!?!?!

Apparently not.

The GOP is obviously playing long ball here... assuming the economy is still going to be sucking in 2010 and 2012 so they can go "A-ha! See? If only they had eliminated the estate tax like I wanted, we wouldn't be in this mess." I just don't see it... they are so discredited and so brazen in their cynicism that mere obstructionism is not going to win them points. I just don't think people are that easily fooled. It would be a different story if they actually had some competing ideas to offer... but they don't; they're just saying the same stuff they've always said... and I don't see how it helps them to be the party of Herbert Hoover again.