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Opinion

Opinion

Dems outmaneuver GOP

March 14, 2012

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You’ve got to hand it to Democrats and the Obama re-election campaign. Like a quarterback who looks left to draw the defense away from his intended target on the right, Democrats have managed to divert our attention. Instead of debating President Obama’s dreadful record on just about everything, Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality. Rather than figuring out what to do about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, Democrats have put Republicans on the defensive over the use of vulgar words applied to liberal women. For their use of equally offensive or similar words applied to conservative women, they mostly get a pass, because this isn’t about the words; it’s about politics.

The strategy seems to be working. After a week of debating, discussing and deploring what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke, the Democrat-friendly Washington Post ran a front-page story last Saturday announcing “GOP gains dwindling among women.” They must be toasting each other at President Obama’s 2012 national headquarters in Chicago.

How did Republicans allow themselves to be outmaneuvered like this? Why do they think that talking about sex, much less trying to regulate it (some might start with regulating themselves) is going to gain votes for the party in a hedonistic age where worship of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and pleasure trumps a Higher Authority? The public has little faith in the ability of politicians to run the country. The approval rating for Congress just hit an all-time low of 9 percent, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll. That’s lower than the approval rating for pornography, polygamy and human cloning, as cited in Gallup’s 2011 Values and Beliefs poll.

Republicans are missing an opportunity to outmaneuver Democrats. Instead of playing the Democrats’ game, Republicans should embrace a positive and optimistic vision.

I have made this argument before in different ways and with different analogies and I will continue to make it until someone takes it seriously. Stop arguing about philosophy and morality and instead feature people who have embraced Republican principles and whose lives are better as a result. These would include a single mother who is now independent of government assistance and either has a job or operates her own small business, thanks, perhaps, to a microloan.

Show me people who were brought up on “the wrong side of the tracks” with an alcoholic father, or absent mother, but because someone took an interest in them (a teacher, a mentor), managed to make something of themselves.

How about an example of a man who was mired in debt but decided to stop spending money he didn’t have, paid his bills and is now debt free with a good credit rating? He could provide an example for what government should do.

Why aren’t Republicans telling positive stories, instead of so often labeling and condemning people? Republicans should find people in small towns and big cities who would tell their stories. That’s what voters want to hear and see. It’s called leadership. It inspires people to believe in themselves and, ultimately, in America. It’s what Reagan did. Go to YouTube and watch that 1984 campaign commercial “It’s Morning in America.”

For too many Republicans, the sun is setting on America. The return of Daylight Saving Time isn’t going to help.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Comments

Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 1 month ago

I want Obama to win again and another Demo to win the next two elections just to see that after 16 yrs in office the Demos and Libs still say things suck and its Bush's fault.

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heygary 2 years, 1 month ago

This shows you the mentality of the current administration.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2115230/American-flag-Obamas-face-leaves-veterans-fuming.html

I suspect the best thing that could happen is for Obama to win re-election ... once the inevitable mess becomes obvious, it will be 30 years before the Democratic party would again hold office.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 1 month ago

Hi grower. Who is regulating sex. I though we were arguing about the government paying for it. I don't know about you but not wanting to pay for something is not regulating it.

Just where did all these rights to OPM (other peopels money) come from???

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tomatogrower 2 years, 1 month ago

" Why do they think that talking about sex, much less trying to regulate it (some might start with regulating themselves)" Conservatives talk about freedom and regulating themselves, but then they turn around and try to regulate everyone. See hypocrisy here?

"For too many Republicans, the sun is setting on America." That's there message of fear. Are you just catching on that their message can only work for awhile. Like "Obama is coming to get your guns." And then people start going, "Hmm, over 3 years and no one has tried to take my guns. And I can even carry my guns in National Parks now." Maybe the fear mongers are wrong. People don't want to live like that.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 1 month ago

In Cal Power's world, the Earth is still the center of the solar system.

The larger question is whether we will see the rise of a new political party to replace the Republican Party within the next few years and it won't be the Tea Party.

They are badly in need of a younger and more educated generation that is equipped to deal with 21st century issues.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 1 month ago

"Breaking news! Republicans jump the shark! GOP blames Dems! News at 11!"

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

please take your meds....it' embarrassing to sound this crazy in public.....

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esteshawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how much the Koch Machine pays some of you wingnuts to post such nonsense about "The Obama" or "The Annointed One?". I keep reading things about all the damage Mr. Obama has/will do to this country, but never an example other than what Fox News and the like spew. What say you, False - Math?

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weeslicket 2 years, 1 month ago

after reading the GOD column today, i thought that maybe calvin had meant to use the title: democrats outmaneuver GOD

these poor republican fellows. why is god so unhappy with the god party? (i think some of the previous posters may have helped answer that question.)

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

false....leave the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming out of your nonsense..... nothing like a factless troll inventing titles to annoy people with and expand threads.....I heard that the Lawrence school district was having elementary placement tests today....why didn't you go like Billy Madison and take your third grade equivilency test today?

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pace 2 years, 1 month ago

It is the democrats fault what the GOP say. Well if that is the case, if democrats have such control over the republicans, controlling their thoughts and words. Cut out the weak middleman. Vote democrat, vote the ones in 'control". This would be funny if I didn't suspect some democrat made Cal write this garbage, just to make him look silly.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 1 month ago

I can double my taxes by voting for Mr. Obama or I can kiss my pension and social security good by if I vote Republican. In the meantime I can find out about all sorts of birth control, religious control, government control, corporate control, PAC control, mind control ...

Informed Democracy is wonderful

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mikekt 2 years, 1 month ago

Cal Thomas.....Publican Mouthpiece.......blah,blah,blah. Who cares what Cal Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, or for that matter, what The Three Stooges; i.e., John Boehner, Eric Cantor or Mitch McConnell think,.. if you can even call what they do, ......thinking?! It's the same old mindless "Publican Script" that fools the public most of the time! To me they are sold out, bought, and Soulless, the bunch of them.

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deathpenaltyliberal 2 years, 1 month ago

"its_just_math (anonymous) replies… As opposed to the Party of Welfare who pays those who can not cope with life to not be afraid.....even of their own deficient selves. "

I see the random asinine comment generator is on today.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

"Republicans talking about sex and morality"

For many years, I have been under the mistaken impression that our being involved in two rather bloody wars at the moment is a bigger issue, and that is what should be debated at the national level, instead of sex and morality.

But on the other hand, maybe it's a good thing in that by talking so much about those things, the Republicans are making it unnecessary for President Obama to waste any of his time campaigning for reelection.

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camper 2 years, 1 month ago

There really was/is no maneuvere by the Democrats. They are just letting the GOP be themselves.....the party that panders to our fears.

This is Thomas' bi-annual piece where he is not just a political hack writing propoganda for the GOP base. With the excepton of the following statement, it is an ok column:

" Instead of debating President Obama’s dreadful record on just about everything,"

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

Speaking of the Obama Machine....more:

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/14/david_axelrod_cancels_bill_maher_appearance.html?from=rss/&wpisrc=newsletter_slatest

Seems it may have upset The Anointed One and Axelroid that even Bill Maher asked that people back off of Limbaugh for his comment. But they'll of course spin it differently.

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asixbury 2 years, 1 month ago

FalseHopeNoChange: Obama had nothing to do with the bald eagles: "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing a Native American tribe to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes." Try reading your own article.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

The "Liberaltine" Dems have "outmanuevered" the Gops again. How do they do it?

If you like tender succulent "Eagle Meat" The Obama has OK'd some "New Americans" to slaughter Eagles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46729054/ns/us_news-environment/

The Obama is the greatest.

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voevoda 2 years, 1 month ago

For years, Cal Thomas has been railing about sexual immorality in America, and calling upon "conservatives," particularly Republicans, to fight against it. Now that the Republican candidates have followed his advice, he scolds them for doing so?

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somedude20 2 years, 1 month ago

"Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality"

Twas not the Dems who brought sex and morality chief. Talk to your boy Ricky S who kicked this stuff off. I also recall the Repubs talking about this when they were attacking Newt

Rush threw gas on this when he decided to start calling women sluts and wanting to "see" her having sex on the net (what a slimebag thing to do and say)

The Repubs started this morality garbage because they can not win with their policies so they try and bring God and morality and sex and all the things that have nothing to do with running the country so that you (the people) forgot or don't focus on the real things that matter

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asixbury 2 years, 1 month ago

What are you talking about FalseHopeNoChange? The Dems did not force or make the GOP act like complete misogynistic, bigoted, fanatics; they did that all by themselves!

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

Obamacair is going to cost Normal people "twice" as much as The Obama said.

Man this guy and his hooked at the waist Pelosi, are good at telling people what they "need" to hear. The "Liberaltines" have "outmanueverd" the Gops again.

The question for "normal" people. Is it "worth" paying for "Liberaltines" sexual shananigans? Is it "worth" paying for people that cannot pay their medical for themselves?

I'm not religous. I'm a "pragmatic evolutionist". I say "No".

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. And the Obama machine also is masterful at something else: getting people to focus on what Obama >>says<< and not on what he >>does<<.

No other administration has mastered this art such as Obama's administration has. Dumbed-down America? You had better believe it is dumbed-down.

And media corruption through all of this debacle? http://www.mrc.org/notable-quotables/face-it-magnificent-obama-already-unbeatable

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 1 month ago

By embracing right wing populism and the tea party and purging any moderates from their ranks, the GOP have virtually ensured that they will receive a rabid 25% of the vote, but little more.

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jafs 2 years, 1 month ago

If the Republicans aren't making their vision clear, whose fault is that?

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George Lippencott 2 years, 1 month ago

It would be nice if I knew what the Republican vision really is = from them and not from the Democrats

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jafs 2 years, 1 month ago

This reminds me of an interview with Michael Moore in which he was asked if he felt bad about making Charlton Heston look bad in one of his movies.

He said "No, I just asked him questions - I didn't make him say those stupid things".

Why is it that conservatives, who claim to believe strongly in personal responsibility, don't apply that to their own actions?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Here's a brief excerpt from an interesting article about how successful conservatives are in determining the tone and language of the national political dialogue-- I recommend reading the entire article.

The Santorum Strategy: Why the Right Wins Even When It Loses by George Lakoff

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/12-11

"The Santorum Strategy is not just about Santorum. It is about pounding the most radical conservative ideas into the public mind by constant repetition during the Republican presidential campaign, whether by Santorum himself, by Gingrich or Ron Paul, by an intimidated Romney, or by the Republican House majority. The Republican presidential campaign is about a lot more than the campaign for the presidency. It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America.

snip

Here’s how (conservative) logic goes.

The strict father determines what happens in the family, including reproduction. Thus reproduction is the province of male authority.

The strict father does not condone moral weakness and self-indulgence without moral consequences. Sex without reproductive consequences is thus seen as immoral.

If the nation supports birth control for unmarried women, then the nation supports immoral behavior.

The conservative stress on individual responsibility means that you and no one else should have to pay for your birth control — not your employer, your HMO, or the taxpayers.

Having to pay for your birth control also has a metaphorical religious value — paying for your sins.

This is a classical slippery slope narrative. If no one else should have to pay for your birth control, the next step is that no one else should have to pay for any of your health care.

And the step after that is that no one else should be forced to pay for anyone else. This is, everything should be privatized — no public education, safety nets, parks, or any public institutions or services.

snip

Incidentally, Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” and “prostitute” remarks, while even more extreme than Santorum, make sense to conservatives in terms of the same conservative moral logic. Limbaugh apologized for those two words, but not for the logic behind them. Even after the apology for the two words, the logic lingers."

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observant 2 years, 1 month ago

Maybe if the Republicans would come into the 21st century and act like normal human beings, the Democrats wouldn't be making an issue of their total ignorance. The Democrats don't make the Republicans talk and act like they do, that is the Republican way of thinking.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

one can always lead the elephant back to the self distruct button.....they find it everytime .... sometimes with the help of the Larry the Cable Guy character in the rented Paul Revere outfit saying I want my country back with that wonderful drawl that sounds soooo intelligent.......

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

" Democrats have put Republicans on the defensive over the use of vulgar words applied to liberal women."

Perhaps it's more than just the statements, Cal. Maybe it has more to do with the misogynistic policies they support.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 1 month ago

" Instead of debating President Obama’s dreadful record on just about everything, Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality." === Good point, and it's "always the economy, stupid." Sadly for the R's, the economy is slowly coming back. As for sex and 'morality.' They just can't help themselves. Trying to keep women in the box and banning birth control is a strange concept for the 21st century, but it never seems to bother them much. Not a bad column, Mr. Thomas. We are all waiting for the positive stories to be told, after the R's finish eating their own young--as is their wont.

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Gandalf 2 years, 1 month ago

Here's something I ran across! LOL

George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president, and Barack Obama, the 44th president, are 11th cousins through Samuel and Sarah Soole Hinckley of 17th-century Massachusetts.[15]

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

The Obama is doing as "expected". He is "perfect" for "New America". He has his minions "believing". That's all that matters. They "believe" The Obama.They "Love" The Obama. He is "cute". He is "adorable". He is every minion's "Doll". He knows how to "treat" the Liberal females.

He is the "one".

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BornAgainAmerican 2 years, 1 month ago

The Annointed One is once again sliding in the polls. It doesn't look like the Dims are getting the bounce they had hoped from their War On Women, OWS, class warfare and divisive strategies. After an initial uptick in favorable poll numbers, the people are beginning to see through the BS. The Republican candidate will bring the discussion back to this administration's abysmal record which is exactly where it needs to be. Prediction: Romney will win in November, but it ain't gonna' be pretty.

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Abdu Omar 2 years, 1 month ago

If Israel has nukes and Iran has nukes, it reminds me of the cold war. The Soviets threatened to kill each of us, had targets set on our cities, but nothing ever happened because they didn't want to receive the same kind of treatment. So why all the anger and readiness to bomb Iran? I am not Iranian, but why are Israelis afraid of them? If they sling a nuclear bomb at israel, what can they do it return? A lot since they already have nuclear armaments and can defend themselves. But all this sabre rattling is about Americans doing the job for them. They don't want to dirty their hands in a war, and they would rather American men and women die for them. Obama did the right thing by refusing to join "Bibi" in his war against a non-enemy. If Israel is afraid of Iran, let them deal with their own fear.

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grammaddy 2 years, 1 month ago

As usual, everything is Obama's fault. The debble made him do it."Dreadful record on just about everything..."Wow! Really? I think he's done a fantastic job considering the plate full of crap he was handed. Can't wait to vote for him again! Hawaiian Ninja 2012!!!

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Gandalf 2 years, 1 month ago

It's Obama's fault teapubs are killing themselves over sex?! What a joke!!! LOL

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deec 2 years, 1 month ago

I guess the Democrats used their mind-control rays to force the GOP candidates to obsess about, and take ridiculous positions regarding,sexuality, birth control, and abortion. God, gays, and guns. We're pro-life and proud of it. Yup, these are brand new topics for the GOP. They've Never played those particular cards before to distract the masses from the messes that their fellow politicians have made. It doesn't matter anyway; both parties are actually playing for the same team, the one owned by Wall Street. The only difference is which side gets a few placating crumbs thrown to them once the election is over.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 1 month ago

How can the GOP embrace a positive and optimistic vision? They are the party of hate and fear.

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