By Dean L
Let me preface this post by noting that social issues are fundamental to the fiber of the country. Character matters in politicians, and in daily life. The direction of the nation is directly related to the philosophical bent of its leaders, and that bent is tied to character, values and is often intertwined with social issues. But social issues necessarily should take a back seat this election cycle, much to the chagrin of social conservatives I'm sure. The reason social issues are secondary is that the nation's economic well-being - the debt, the economy, unemployment - has to be the primary if not the only campaign issue.
Notwithstanding the diversions, and there are going to be a lot of them, the rules of engagement for the GOP across the board are simple this cycle. Every diversionary tactic - Obama endorsing gay marriage for example - has to be seen for what it is. What it is, is a diversionary tactic designed to steer eyes away from the shambles of an economy. The hope is that people will be diverted and/or Republicans will be drawn into a pointless distraction that may end up reflecting badly on them.
So if you see this...reply with this.
The president wants to endorse gay marriage? What about jobs?
Mitt Romney is a bully? Great, what about the deficit?
The president had a dinner party with George Clooney? That's terrific - why didn't Dodd-Frank prevent the latest JP Morgan loss of billions?
Romney was a layoff specialist at Bain Capital? Why did the president lay off so many dealerships at GM if he was bailing it out?
Get the picture? It's Always the Economy. Always, always, always. For years Obama blamed Bush for the economy. He promised a cap on unemployment of 8% if the pork-laden stimulus bill passed. And now he wants Americans' attention to be diverted from the economy after years of massive debt and little to show for it. That's understandable because his record on the economy is abysmal. I wouldn't want people taking note either.
For the GOP, whether it relates to the campaign of Mitt Romney, or to Congressional or Senatorial campaigns the drum beat message has to be about the economy, and the president and Democrats' mismanagement of it. In the Senate and Congress, it is easy to run against Harry Reid and the no budget Senate. And for every Republican, every conservative it's far too easy to run against Keynesian government and debt and a bad economy to pass up the opportunity. DO NOT get suckered into gay marriage discussions, or immigration discussions. That's what liberals/Democrats want. It gives them a footing to possibly run successfully against you because you might screw up and say something sounds terrible in a sound bite. Or people will look at that instead of the basic economic discussion that everyone should be focused on They don't have to keep people's attention diverted long enough, just long enough to get re-elected. Right now you are seeing trial balloons designed to secure the liberal base, but also practice for the real diversionary tactics you'll see in the fall. Remember the GOP primary debates where media moderators wanted to focus on things like Newt Gingrich's personal life instead of, you guessed it, the economy. It's all about diversion and misdirection.
Don't take the bait. Ignore the discussion or bring it back every single time to the economy and the federal debt. It's easy if you think about it.