alien & sedition.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
  Fred Barnes's Road to Oblivion

(Photo by Ahubu)

"Follow me, comerades!"

Fred Barnes maps out the route to recovery for Republicans. A word of advice: next time you're lost, don't call Fred for directions.

First we get the counterfactual approach. I've seen this before, and it never fails to amuse me -- here is a party that has, for the past few years, insisted that reality itself would bend to their will. Now they're putting stock in the hope that reality will stop being so pesky:
What if military success by Gen. David Petraeus, the American commander, is matched by a political breakthrough engineered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki? Or matched by the acceleration of political reconciliation at the provincial rather than the national level in Iraq? Either scenario is possible....

Nothing would boost Republicans more than visible progress in Iraq, yet other conceivable events would help. Mr. Bush can't erase the memory of his inept handling of Hurricane Katrina. But if another disaster occurred and the president responded effectively, that would counteract the memory of his Katrina performance.

So would a serious confrontation with Congress over spending, assuming Mr. Bush and Republicans win public approval as thoughtful budget cutters. And so, too, would the absence of an economic downturn as the president prepares to leave office enhance the reputation of Republicans for pursuing sensible economic policies. In short, a positive turn of events, while unpredictable, is the best hope of the GOP.
Wishful thinking on the war and the economy is one thing. And the budget battle may be a distinct possibility. But is Barnes actually rooting for another major natural disaster? Imagine the crucifixion scene if a Democrat talked this way.

At any rate, we also have the "big dumb idea" approach:
As Karl Rove has noted, Republicans need a big idea. The best available is the one Mr. Bush abandoned: ownership. Allowing private investment of payroll taxes for Social Security would only be a start. An Ownership Society would allow individual Americans, rather than government, to control how and where their health care, public education, 401(k) and IRA funds are spent.
My Republican friends, please listen to Fred Barnes. Run on Social Security privatization and the "ownership society." I hear the Whigs are looking for company in the dustbin of history.

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I sent Fred a get well card. He needs it becaues everyone is pummeling him.

I have been watching you on Fox for years. Each night you faithfully carried water for the Republicans. This article and your performance on Special Report last night impressed me. I am glad to see you realize that your party needs a wake up call. I’m also pleasantly surprised that you were willing to dump the ice water on them. I believe that our country needs two healthy political parties to thrive.

Get well soon :)
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