March 17, 2009

Wedge issues - don't fall for them

One well-known political ploy has always been to find a wedge issue to divide those on the side of your opponent. There are different ways to leverage wedge issues. The abortion example is something both Democrats and Republicans have tried to use to use to peel supporters away from their political opponents.

Another way to use a wedge issue is to find something that simply divides your opponents into disagreeing parties. Divide and conquer. The reaction of the GOP to the Rush Limbaugh issue is a great example. When the Chairman of the GOP Michael Steele bad-mouths Rush after the fact, the Republican party has effectively been wedged. The Democrat intent may have been solely to drive a wedge between the Republican party and mainstream Americans. It wouldn't accomplish that. It may have widened the wedge between the GOP and it's existing haters, but mainstream America wouldn't notice or won't bother to remember the issue come 2010.

But they did accomplish something whether intended or not. They fermented some chaos within Republican circles and re-ignited the moderates versus conservatives issue. Notice Democrats picked up on the idea and started running with it - 'if they want to have Rush as their leader, I think it's a mistake but it's their decision'.

NewsBlaze has the drivel;

The nominal head of the Republican Party is Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Steele is responsible for overseeing the party's campaigning and fundraising operations, and he will probably excel as a behind-the-scenes organizer. But Steele has all the charisma of a burned out light bulb, and he will fail miserably if he attempts to portray himself as the real leader of the GOP.

The Republicans are in a real quandary, they are in a desperate search for a statesman who can bring together the disparate factions of their party. The Democrats aren't doing them a favor when they argue that Rush Limbaugh is the genuine boss of the GOP. The Dems would love to see the big fat blowhard regarded as the kingpin of the Republican Party, the more Rushbo bloviates the more reasoned and intelligent he makes Obama look.

The Republicans are in such a sad state of affairs, that a case can be made that Limbaugh really is their top dog. Limbaugh's army of dittoheads are ready at a moment's notice to do their master's bidding. If Rushbo orders them to send emails to Congress to protest a specific piece of legislation, in minutes senators and congressmen will be flooded with email.

Really? Is Newsblaze that myopic? Anyway, once again the left is attempting to run the same play with a phony Meghan McCain - Laura Ingrham debate. These are not mere distractions if they keep coming at Republicans. The elevate to nuisance and then to obstacles.

Every day conservatives focus on the minutia of who is right and who is wrong in each case and cannot agree (which is inevitable in every case because it's natural to bring unique perspective to every issue), is a day that is missed for improving the chances of the party for 2010.

Ignore this stuff and start working on what's needed for the next election. President Obama has passed his 50 day mark - what have conservatives done? Tea Party attendance is a real start at something in terms of protest. It doesn't get the GOP better candidates for 2010 but it might get some attention. Ignore the Rush vs. Steel issue and start working on get out the Tea Party attendance (GOTP).

One last note - the wedge issue has been a predominantly defensive issue for the Republicans, we should be using it as an offensive tactic. Topics for use are most welcome - please add your comments.

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