Republican Scott Brown’s Senatorial victory in yesterday’s special election in Massachusetts—a state that can arguably be called the most reliably Democratic-leaning out of the 50—is a testament to why the Republicans are better than the Democrats. Not in the ideological sense or as a governing entity, but as winners of elections; in terms of governing they are every bit as prone to corruption, excess, and incompetence as the Democrats…with a little more in the way self-righteousness. Simply put, the Republican Party in America is far better at packaging and selling their “product” than the Democrats.
Republican Senator-Elect Scott Brown
So, Republicans successfully managed to mobilize enough conservative activists in the form of the “regular every day Americans” who made up the crowds of Tea-Partiers, tax-protestors, and other anti-Democratic ideologues who shouted “overspending” to the heavens so often that many other Americans seized on the phrase and started to actuallybelieve it (in much the same way that Republicans actually believe that these "protesters" represented all Americans). And these individuals have been quite convincing with their babies, grandmothers, and dogs in-tow at high-profile anti-government spending allies. They have managed to convince the population at large that their view was a consensus shared by most. Take note though that the government spending on the war in Iraq—a war that should have never been fought to begin with and which has run up a tab of about $400 billion—was never mentioned during these protests. Nor did anyone grill these individuals on whether or not it was all “government overspending” that was at issue, or spending that they didn’t agree with? When Republicans and other associated activists “complain” that “the government is spending too much of my tax dollars,” do they mean just potential spending on the health care revamp proposals and government-sponsored bailouts, or do they include the tax dollars that their representatives bring back to their home districts in the form of pet pork barrel projects? Yes, there is the remote possibility that they managed to tap into some underlying discontent within the American electorate on this issue, but such “discontent” was hardly present during the elections of last year when the intentions of the Democrats were clearly telegraphed.
Now, ignoring the fact that when (not “if”) the Republicans re-take Congress (or a large chunk of it), are we to believe that irresponsible government spending will piously and suddenly come to a screeching halt? If the cycle of history is any indication, Republicans will behave themselves for a brief period of time once they retake power, “returning to their core values” of frugality with regards to government spending. After a time, when the ever-present trait of short-term memory of the American people comes into play, they will be off to the races, matching the Democrats’ penchant for power-tripping, corruption, and ignoring the will of the American people…just what they are saying that the Democrats’ rise to power in the last year has resulted in.
But such success should come as no surprise to the Republican Party, which is quite adept at turning a phrase of a policy aim to either make it seem more appealing and fair, or to paint it in the most negative of lights. For every instance of labeling an unpopular policy such as the federal estate tax a “death tax,” there is the successful promotion (and belief) in “death panels” as “proposed” by their opponents.
In a consumer-driven economy such as America, the Republican Party is the political party that is best able to successfully brand, package, and market both itself and those running for public office under its banner as what Americans want. But such a delusion is nothing more than a means and illustration for how some groups are able to perpetuate the regime of the ruling political class over those who allow their interests to be defined and manipulated by the ideologically-bound.