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The Road To Victory Forever And Ever or The Power Of The Follow Up Question

November 10, 2012

I wonder how many different synonyms for the word defeated I can come up with before I find something else to talk about.

The Republican Party was trounced on Tuesday. A lot. And that was fun to watch and be a part of. I admit, I’ve been doing a rhetorical “end-zone dance” this week because I can and, frankly, it is well deserved. But I want to take a moment to examine how we got here and how we can do it again.

The great thing is, the answer to both of these questions is the same and incredibly simple. Let Republicans talk. Specifically let them talk about their policies. When they try to avoid doing so, as Mitt Romney did for most of the early general election campaign, make them talk about it and flog them with the fact that they are trying to avoid talking about their policies.

This is effective because their policies are wrong and counter to all logic and no matter how many times they get slapped in the face with that fact, they just keep digging in deeper. The refrain from the Right appears to be that if they had only been more staunchly conservative they would have won in a landslide.

I’m going to cut and past a portion of the above press release because you must read it.

Voters overwhelmingly disagree with the extreme positions on abortion taken by President Obama and the Democrats.

That’s not a joke. Their spokesperson said that out loud in public. If you just hurt your neck tilting your head to the side in confusion I’ll wait here while you go get a pain pill.

Back? Cool.

Remember all the Congressional candidates who jumped on the far right, insanity bandwagon and were roundly rejected by the electorate? One of them, Mr. Rape Babies Are a Gift From God Mourdock, became the candidate because he primaried Dick Lugar from the right and won. If you click that link, you’ll see that Dick Lugar has been a member of the Senate longer than I’ve been alive. That was a safe Senate seat until Lugar did his job and tried to legislate. As a result, the Tea Party forced it farther right and the voters and the press forced the right wing candidate to speak out loud in public about his views on the issues. Once we did that, it was over.

We should keep doing this. We should keep asking basic questions like “what are your views on abortion/voter enfranchisement/equal pay/tax policy/marriage equality/immigration/whatever you pet issue is?” That is simple. Here is where the magic happens. Ask a follow up question.  The great thing is, it can generally be the same basic question. “What is your response to the most common opposition point of view to your view?” Then wait. This works for every candidate in every sort of race. No matter what their answer is, you win. Either they show themselves to be informed and rational or not and they do all the heavy lifting. It’s ideal.

Given the reality of the direction Republican “soul searching” is going in, (I put soul searching in quotes because making excuses and soul searching are not, in fact, identical) their own answers will trip them up.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. missattitude permalink
    November 10, 2012 2:17 PM

    Wait. That person thinks that the Republicans *weren’t conservative enough*, and that’s why they lost the election? Well, I suppose it’s all down to the fact that those folks really and truly believe that if they say something loud enough and ofent enough, it will become true. Which makes keeping them talking sort of a two-edged sword. Yes, they’ll hoist themselves on their own petard (what *is* a petard, anyway? I’ve never figured that out); but the unfortunate fact is that with a lot of people, if they hear something often enough, they’ll start to believe it. Still, it’s probably a chance worth taking.

    • November 10, 2012 2:26 PM

      A petard is a small bomb.

      A lot of people think that if the candidate had just been a “true conservative,” the Republicans would have won. Their basic thought process appears to be “our ideas are strong. We just presented them badly.” Except, no. Their ideas are largely crap and if they don’t get with that, they’re going to keep losing.

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