Desperately clinging to an ideology that's growing more and more unpopular with each passing day, conservatives are going to great lengths to rationalize their losing streak. In spite of all evidence to the contrary, they stubbornly cling to the idea that messaging alone is the cause of their troubles.
One particularly impressive feat of linguistic contortion comes from one of our newest Senators, Ted Cruz, a Republican representing the state of Texas.
|Only in the mind of a conservative like Mr.Cruz can a 51% victory by Obama be interpreted as a 51% victory for conservatism:
The 2012 election did not reflect popular approval of the Obama policies of out-of-control spending, taxes, deficits and debt. To the contrary, 51 percent of voters on Election Day agreed that “government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.”According to Cruz and other die-hard Republicans, taking a more moderate and less insane approach to solving this "winning-while-losing" problem is, of course, wrong:
That advice misdiagnoses the problem.What better way to fix a misdiagnosed problem that's been further misdiagnosed by additional Republican analysis than with a dose of the same medicine? Besides, why reinvent when you can just recycle? Remember that Compassionate Conservatism thing? That was so failed Bush Administration.
New and improved for 2013, Mr. Cruz offers us the latest incarnation of an old favorite:
Sounds promising. What's the basic idea behind it?
Opportunity conservatism is a powerful frame to explain conservative policies that work. It covers the gamut of issues.Just what we need — another multi-purpose re-framing initiative showcasing the same defunct policies they've always thought "worked."
Let's humor him anyway:
Republicans shouldn’t just assail excessive financial and environmental regulations; we should explain how those regulations kill jobs and restrict Americans’ ability to buy their first home.Translation: Regulations suck. Laws that keep the reckless behavior of Wall Street from destroying the lives of average citizens are bad. Laws that try to prevent or mitigate the incredible damage we're doing to our home — Earth — are also bad.
What Senator Cruz fails to provide answers for is why people are going to want to buy a "first home" when it's surrounded by wasteland, or how their going to buy it after they've been financially ruined.
Don’t just say no to new taxes — fundamentally reform the tax code so that every American can file his taxes on a postcard. Eliminate the corporate welfare and complexity that enrich only accountants and lawyers.Translation: Taxes suck. Add in a little faux-populist "corporate welfare" to sweeten the deal for swing voters, and they're on the road to the majority. Apparently Mr. Cruz thinks the issue of tax cuts has been addressed sufficiently enough for the time being to forego mention of them in his op-ed. I'm sure it would have been something along the lines of "tax cuts create jobs!," so we're probably not missing much.
Don’t just criticize union bosses; explain how closed shops confiscate wages and make it harder for low-skilled workers to get jobs.Translation: Unions suck. Never mind the fact that the real reason behind their union-busting activities is to destroy collective bargaining — conservatives "know that workers are much easier to control individually, and [so corporations] seek to lower wages, lessen safety regulations, and end grievance mechanisms to maximize corporate profits that go almost exclusively to the rich." [link]
Don’t talk generically about education; advocate school choice to empower parents and expand opportunity for children struggling to get ahead.Translation: Public education sucks. Let the free-market and charter schools provide you with a Quality Education At An Affordable Price. If you happen to have a "low-skill job" that doesn't pay enough for you to educate your kids, well, there's a safety-net for that: all the jobs created after the union-busting activities mentioned above will provide plenty of opportunity for your kids. As long as those jobs don't require skills to begin with, of course. There's always Wal-Mart or McDonalds, if worst comes to worst. The opportunity lies in empowering people to be able to hold more than one job, I suppose. You'll need to, seeing as some companies are cutting hours to side-step ObamaCare.
Don’t just dwell on the long-term solvency of Social Security; promote personal accounts to allow low-income Americans to accumulate wealth and pass it on to future generations.Translation: Social safety nets suck. What Republican Path to Prosperity would be complete without an attack on Social Security? Vouchers and coupons and accounts for the masses! Just be sure to redeem them at one of their Preferred Providers, of course.
So in reality, the only thing they feel needs changing is their message, and even that change amounts to little more than a single word: from the Compassion of deciding who gets helped through religious-based charity to less Opportunity than ever before.
The only thing more flabbergasting than the idiotic policies espoused by this new propaganda campaign is the fact that conservatives are actually impressed by it:
This is sage advice for any conservative looking to bring the message of freedom, liberty, and economic opportunity to all Americans.If Republicans spent even a fraction of the time producing new ideas that might actually help the country as they spend trolling the thesaurus, we'd be in a much different place...