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Edward Flattau Headshot

Dismissing the Public

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There are Republican congressional candidates this fall who intend to run campaigns that insult the intelligence of the American people. Will voters recognize this dismissive treatment when they receive it from the party in the minority, and even if they do, are they so angry about their personal situation that in protest, they cast their ballot for their disparagers anyway?

Many in the Republican political brain trust are urging their side to remain silent about its agenda prior to the midterm congressional election. Instead, the game plan is to concentrate on attacking the Democrats, who as the majority party are a natural target for public discontent in difficult times.

Then there are the ultra-conservative GOP candidates who will only grant interviews to media who share their ideological bent. The broadcasts come dangerously close to being fund raising events, with the interviewer acting as cheerleader, lobbing softball questions into the candidate's well rehearsed comfort zone. In such forums, these conservative candidates are never challenged to defend their views on controversial issues.

Republicans' prospects for the mid term election appear favorable at this time, and they boast that their governance of the country will be far superior to that of the Democrats. Why then, wouldn't the GOP be trumpeting its agenda to the rafters?

You might not agree with President Obama, but at least he explicitly lays out his policies so that you truly know where he is heading. If the Republicans remain hazy in the ensuing months about what their blueprint would be in the wake of a midterm victory, it suggests one of two things. They either lack the courage of their convictions or haven't sufficient confidence that a candid exposition of their grand design would win voter acceptance.

House Minority Leader John Boehner insists the Republicans will release their policy platform before the election. We shall see just how detailed and close to full disclosure it will be.

As for the conservative candidates unwilling to enter a media free-for-all give and take on controversial issues, it sure looks like they have something to hide.

If the GOP utilizes the silent treatment, it is because of the cynical belief that Americans are so apathetic that they don't care what replaces Obama's policies, and would have no concerns if Republicans offered unintelligible alternatives or none at all.

Let's hope that any Republican candidates who choose to go this route discover it was a giant miscalculation.