Bi-partisanship. In the current political climate, it's but a mere fantasy. While President Obama and the Democrats seemingly want it, Republicans would rather choke on their own vomit than support anything brought into the Beltway on a Donkey. Fortunately, the left controls much of the power these days, but if it took a page out of the GOP playbook, it might throw down a much tighter, more effective offense. In an age where fight fire with fire is needed more than ever, Democrats typically take the higher road.
The simple truth is, when Republican politicians want to get something done--be it pass or prevent legislation, defeat opposition candidates, or wage war--they march in lockstep down Pennsylvania Avenue, doing everything in their power to succeed including exaggerate, deceive, cheat, lie and character assassinate.
Republicans are masterful at labeling, framing debates, and creating catch phrases and crafty soundbites that are quite effective and stick with voters. Some of their greatest hits: birthers, truthers, "death panels," cries of "socialism," "radical agendas," "health care rationing," "government takeovers," "Armageddon," "aiding the terrorists," WMD and "mushroom clouds."
The recent highly contentious battle over the health care bill is a prime example of this main difference between Republicans and Democrats. They've somehow convinced a majority of voters that the bill will force them to give up their preferred health care provider, switch doctors, pay more, kill Granny and have Obama dictate which procedures they can have. Of course, this is all pure, unadulterated GOP bullshit, but it works.
So I have an idea for Obama and the Democrats as they embark on financial reform, the next mission on the progressive/liberal agenda: How about ramming home the following talking points?
- "If financial reform fails, Republicans will succeed in doing away with the FDIC, and your savings will lose this guaranteed protection."
- "We need financial reform because Republicans want to allow Wall Street executives to put your bank savings into high-risk investments and you could lose your life savings."
- "Republicans allowed Wall Street executives to steal from the government and are now paying themselves big fat bonuses with YOUR money."
- "While you're struggling to make ends meet, or may even be out of work, Republicans and their fat cat Wall Street pals are making more money than ever...off of YOUR back."
- "Republicans want to allow banks to raise credit card interest rates to 30% if you're late with one payment."
- "Republicans want to raise the minimum down-payment on home purchases to 30% or higher."
- "Small businesses will suffer if Republicans have their way and allow banks to restrict credit lines to only the largest corporations."
Sounds a lot like dire warnings of "death panels," "government takeovers" and "Armageddon" you say? Exactly. Oh yeah, that's right, I forgot. Democrats take the high road....
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