I received a Republican Strategy Ballot in the mail today. It is allegedly a way to ensure that the “RNC is staying focused on issues you believe are most important, using the strategies you think will help us reach the most voters.”
The day after Obama won the Presidency, his campaign team sent out a detailed, nuanced questionnaire via email. Email and electronic processing tends to be less expensive than mailings.
Beyond the waste of money involved in a mailing, let’s focus on how absolutely asinine this mailing is. The ballot contains five questions and a request for a donation. Two of those questions are lame push-polling queries:
Question 3: “Democrats think taxes should go up so Barack Obama can ‘spread the wealth around.’ Republicans support tax relief for families, businesses, and seniors. Whom do you support?”
Question 4: “Republicans support responsible judges who will follow the U.S. Constitution, and NOT legislate from the bench. President Obama and the Democrats want to confirm ‘activist judges’ who will use America’s judicial system to promote liberal policies and strike down policies they view as ‘too conservative.” Whom do you support?”
Both questions had three answers: Republicans, Democrats, Not Sure/Undecided. Did I mention that the RNC is paying money to send these questions to registered Republicans?
Questions 1 and 2 ask about the issues that Republicans should highlight in the 2013 policy debates, and which of the Democrats liberal policies that [I] oppose the most. Neither question included ObamaCare as an answer; Question 2 said nothing of immigration or amnesty. Question 1 had “Immigration reform” as an answer. It did not specify if “immigration reform” meant amnesty, or conservative reforms like securing the borders, requiring e-Verify and cracking down on businesses that hire illegals, taking a hard look at birthright citizenship, increasing immigration for highly skilled professionals, and increasing deportation. “Immigration reform” means damn near anything you want it to mean, which does not seem particularly helpful if the RNC is attempting to understand the viewpoints of the average Republican.
Neither answer had anything of health care reform or ObamaCare in it. Once those costs kick in in 2014, ObamaCare will be an epic nightmare; we should be laying the groundwork now, telling people what will happen, and offering concrete solutions to fix the problem. (“Repeal and replace” needs to be our mantra, with as much emphasis on “replace” as “repeal”.) Why are we giving up this issue?
Guess what else didn’t make the list? The assault on religion, the fight for conscience protections, abortion, and gun rights. Apparently, if you’re a pro-life, pro-gun, Christian conservative who doesn’t want to be forced to buy health care that pays for abortions, you’re going to have to find a different political party. And I bet Reince is wondering why almost ten million people who voted in 2008 chose to stay home on Election Day 2012 rather than vote (R).
And now, onto Question 5, the final one, the one that will make my co-blogger Peter laugh or cry, or maybe laugh while crying:
“Question 5: What do you believe are the most effective ways for Republicans to counter the Democrats’ attacks against our policies, and reach voters with facts about our Republican Agenda?”
Of the thirteen responses, none of them included blogs. (There was a generic “internet websites,” but that’s right up there with “immigration reform” in terms of specificity.) The RNC has yet to figure out the value of the blogosphere. The Democrats control almost every major media outlet save FoxNews and the WSJ and have an extensive network of blogs, and they kicked our butts in November. Apparently, the RNC hasn’t learned a lesson from that.
The RNC should be using the blogosphere to explain conservative policies, expose Democrat scandals (e.g. Benghazi, the Gosnell trial), drum up support and excitement in special elections, hone the skills of normal people in their pj’s, and do some voter outreach. I’m no tech expert, but I’m pretty sure that the RNC could figure out a way to monitor the top 100 conservative blogs, figure out what resonates with people, track the stories that make it to the mainstream, and see what gets independents/low information voters/moderates on our side. They can also use those blogs and comment sections to figure out what ordinary conservatives think of everything from Rand Paul’s filibuster to “immigration reform” and act accordingly.
But nooo. We have to do a lame paper-pencil ballot that asks us if we want to increase taxes on senior citizens. Congrats, Reince and friends! You wasted a lot of money on a totally useless survey!