Tag Archive: 2012 elections

Read their hips, not their lips

Messaging Matters2

The best political communication in the world ultimately won’t help politicians if their actions don’t match their rhetoric. President George H.W. Bush learned this lesson when he campaigned in 1988 on “read my lips, no new taxes” and then lost both credibility with and votes from Republicans when, as President, he signed a tax increase. The Republican Party and President Obama each face similar challenges today.

Republican civil war spills into open

A couple of actions by Congressional Republicans hours apart this past Tuesday night and Wednesday morning demonstrated how the Republican Party is in open warfare with itself. First, House Republicans were sharply divided in their vote to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, atypically, did not make a speech on the House floor in support of the vote. Boehner’s second in command, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, not only voted against his speaker and the fiscal cliff deal, he spoke out against it for all to hear. The Republican fiscal cliff vote tally in the House went against Speaker Boehner, with only 85 voting “yea” and 151 voting “nay” (the bill passed due to the overwhelming Democratic “yea” vote). This follows an embarrassing failure by Boehner to bring his own fiscal cliff “plan B” bill up for a vote in the House on December 20.

Republicans, embroiled in civil war, cave on revenue frame

It has been Republican dogma for the past several years or longer that “we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.” Kowtowing to private citizen Grover Norquist and his “no tax increase in any form, under any circumstances” pledge, Republicans in Congress and elsewhere have heretofore rejected any kind of balanced approach to shrinking the U.S. debt and deficit that involves raising revenues in any way. In one famous moment at their August 11, 2011 debate in Iowa, the Republican presidential candidates all rejected even a hypothetical solution that consisted of a ten to one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. However, in the wake of their considerable defeat in the 2012 elections, the Republican wall against raising revenues is now crumbling.