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Rick Horowitz

Rick Horowitz

Posted March 9, 2009 | 05:58 PM (EST)

Mike Murphy Moves a GOP Message


OK, boys and girls -- it's time to break out some of those brain cells! We know how much you like to sleuth your way through political puzzles, right? Well, here's a little cranium-twister that should keep you busy for -- oh, a good 20 seconds or so.

Let's take you to the set of Meet the Press just a weekend ago. We've just seen David Gregory, the moderator, interviewing Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the shifting American roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now it's time to turn to domestic matters.

It's been a busy week for the new president and his new administration -- an address to a joint session of Congress, a huge new budget, a "fiscal responsibility" summit -- and here to talk about it all, this week's version of the Roundtable:

* Former Democratic congressman Harold Ford Jr.;

* Former Republican congressman (and MSNBC host) Joe Scarborough;

* Former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers; and

* Republican strategist Mike Murphy.

Keep your eye on that last guy.

So the talking heads are talking money, and taxes, and the proper role of government in an economic crisis, and at some point, according to the official transcript of the show, Mike Murphy says this:

"But I think everybody over about $50,000, if we're going to go into a big spending new French republic of America with a huge public sector, should pay a little more taxes."

And then a little bit later, Mike Murphy says this:

"If we're going to build a French republic of a public sector that big, let's be honest with the American people..."

And then a little bit later, Mike Murphy says this:

"There's a massive, Barack, left, bigger government lobbying army that's, that's -- can hardly wait to turn us into France with the public sector's co-pay."

And then a little bit later, Mike Murphy says this:

"He, he, he is, he is betting the most beautiful franchise in politics right now on the politics of 1980s France, which I think is going to prove to be a huge mistake."

So here's your question, boys and girls: Do you think Mike Murphy is trying to tell us something?

Is there a theme here?

Talk about staying on message!

Mike Murphy had a sound bite he was determined to deliver, and deliver it he did. And deliver it. And deliver it. And...

It didn't matter what anybody else on the show was saying. It didn't matter whether anybody else was responding to his Point of the Day, or ignoring it. He was a man on a mission.

They could have said "Some weather we're having, huh?" and he'd have said, "Sure, if you like French cold fronts."

Subtle? Like a pile driver is subtle.

Just in case you thought it was only Newt Gingrich and the CPAC crowd trying to argue that Obama was the second coming of "European-style socialism." Mike Murphy wanted you to know precisely which slice of Europe they had in mind.

It's not just socialism! It's not just European socialism! It's that wimpy, wussy French socialism! To the barricades!!! (Or does that sound too French?)

Whatever.

The battle is joined, boys and girls. The message has been crafted for maximum effect, so prepare yourself -- there'll be plenty more where that came from.

Get ready for another vat of Freedom Fries.


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.