I’ve been seeing signs, and I thnk we’re going to see a strong, nationwide Republican effort to blame Democrats for the partisanship in politics. The Republicans have been saying “Dems are rabid Bush-hater partisans” as a ploy to win votes and I think this is going to become a drumbeat.
People really are fed up with the rabid partisanship and nothing getting done for the public, and the Republicans understand this — that’s why they’re being such rabid partisans. They know that the public doesn’t pay attention and blames everyone equally for it so they’re building the pressure.
Don’t forget the power of Bush’s “I’m a uniter not a divider” messaging — never mind that it was the Republicans who had impeached Clinton. The broad public just doesn’t pay enough attention to differentiate WHO is doing it, all they know is politicians call each other names and aren’t getting anything done and they don’t like it. Leading up to the 2000 election the Republicans screeched until everyone was holding their ears. Bush came along and promised to do something about it, and got votes for promising that.
So here’s what I think might be about to happen: the Republicans continue to call everyone names. The public is sick of it. Then this fall they come to the public saying “vote for us because you don’t like name-calling and we’ll do something about it.” That message has a huge appeal to an uninformed (or, more accurately, misinformed) public.
BUT I’m also seeing signs that this anti-partisan push might instead come from a new “centrist” party, sort of a McCain/Lieberman backed by the Freidmans and Broders and the entire insider “centrist,” “conventional wisdom” machine. But really it would be the corporate machine, corporate-funded, corporate PR, leaving the Republicans with their Christian-right fanatics and Progressives labelled “socialist” and “out of the mainstream.” Sort of a “friendly fascism.”
My gut feeling is that would probably get about 40%, Republicans would keep about 30%, and Progressives no more than about 20% because they have no marketing/messaging infrastructure to counter what will be said about them.
This is what I suspect we will be seeing a lot of: BostonHerald.com – Opinion & Editorial: When partisan polarizers win, nation loses