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Quiet Rain

Just Win, Baby!

5 posts in this topic

I've been thinking lately about a sound-byte moment with Gov Christie after the election. I can't remember his exact words but he was answering a question about why he thought the Democrats won the election and whether the Republican party would perhaps change their positions in light of that win.

The governor talked a bit about the Democrats picking up young voters, women, Latinos, etc and then made a remark that annoyed me. I think the reason it annoyed me at all is that we had just been through a week of nail-biting Hurricane Sandy coverage in which the governor had behaved so thoroughly like a leader. I had begun to cultivate more than a sneaking admiration for him and then he made what I think was a revealing and disheartening remark. I still admire his performance during the catastrophe but what he said points to a basic problem in American public discourse. It's certainly not simply his problem; it's systemic.

He said something to the effect that the Republicans would have to take more care in the future to "...play to that audience", meaning Latinos, women, the young, etc, in order to win elections. I found not only the assumption of winning as the only measure of worthiness for an ideology to be onerous but also, the fact that a career politician felt completely at ease with saying in a public forum that all the parties do is "play" to particular "audiences" in order to gain or maintain power made the sinking feeling even stronger. It was like listening to a coach explain how team tactics would have to change after a big loss, not an admission by a public servant that his party simply does not relate to or understand enough citizens. No mention or thought about how the public might need to be served, what might be better for America and Americans, just post-game analysis about winning and losing. And a cynical observation that in order to win, Republicans would simply have to broaden their pandering. I still haven't heard a single Republican entertain the possibility that their party does not understand the average American citizen's experiences enough to be able to talk sensibly to them. Just analysis about how to fix their strategies for next time. *sigh*

Maybe press coverage of politics is responsible. Sometimes it feels like all the reporters out there are auditioning for ESPN slots.

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I hear what QR is saying, but I'm prepared to give Christie a break on this one. What he said was unfortunate. But consider that the big guy was probably bone tired -- and he just slipped into the shorthand that political wags understand.

In the GOP, after all, Christie is one of the more sensible national figures. Look for him to drive the Tea Party crazy in the coming years. That alone earns him some chips at my table.

Would I have voted for Christie over Obama? Of course not. But is he a damn sight better than the rodeo clowns (except Huntsman) who sought the GOP nomination this year? Of course.

I say QR should give CC another chance. He's earned it.

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I say QR should give CC another chance. He's earned it.

Amen. I was kind of tired myself when I posted that. Christie is definitely NOT one of the clown squad! And I do find myself expecting that he's going to drive the extremists nuts in days to come, too. I'm watching him with cautious optimism.

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Odd, that's pretty much what I spent portions of a week trying to put into a post. The gop leaders don't understand that it isn't about pandering to various groups. It's about defining a political strategy that creates a society that allows people to obtain through work the benefits that they feel make their lives successful. Citizenship, liveable wages, education for kids .... None of those were democratic issues in 1980.

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