I was there. The topic was branding. With sales off, something had to be done. Faced with the thumping laid on them by the “change” trademark, “new faces” rushed forward to float their views on what had gone wrong. Out front, the main stream media was titillated by moderate slogans. Behind the scenes, the old knives were sharpened. They hadn’t lost, everyone agreed, because they were too conservative; they had lost because they weren’t conservative enough.
Obama had proven once again that elections are won by an energized and generous base. It was all well and good to serve up words like “compassionate” to win over independents. If Sarah wants to talk about reform, that’s fine too, but cosmetics have their limitations. What is the point of moving towards a liberal Republicanism, when the two leading exponents of that agenda, Clinton and Obama, already have that turf staked out?
Even alarmism about threats from abroad is wearing thin. After all, Mr. Obama has publicly called for disregarding the sovereignty of Pakistan. How can you top that?
Realizing that their opponents could be as shrill and irresponsible as they on foreign affairs, the attendees fell back within familiar borders.
Domestic threats, real or imagined, offer the most secure platform. What better way to rally the troops than by sounding the alert against internal dangers? Happy to leave the economic meltdown to the Democrats, and neutralized on foreign affairs, party leaders turned to the one issue that had served them so well for generations; the cancer eating away at our insides. The threat from within: the “left”.
That there is no real left in America makes no difference.
They concluded that they have been losing elections because the warnings about the dangers from the “left” had been diluted. They resolved to correct this sloppiness. With a laser intensity, steps were taken to get “back on message”.
The messengers were assembled. One by one, they were taken to the shed for their lack of discipline. Rush, Sean Hannity, Bill O’reilly, and even Ms. Palin, got a good spanking.
Then they were taken to school; given the new word. No one doubted their ability to attack on command, but when words are weapons, single-spew ammunition must be issued to all.
Everyone agreed that saying “left” was not enough. It had lost the old zing. Everyone thanked Rush for introducing “far left”. A good move, it had advanced the cause. Americans don’t like things that are “far”. It sounds distant and frightening. Like far off, far away and foreign. People that are “far” anything can’t be trusted.
They showed everybody that the introduction of “far, far left” and the subsequent squabbling had only confused the electorate. Who really cares if Sean or Bill invented “far, far left”? Fighting over the credit only trivializes the message. Besides, what would happen if one candidate attacked the “far left” and another the “far, far left”? This could be disastrous in primaries! Someone who only railed against the “far left” could be portrayed as an appeaser, a weakling unwilling to go all the way. What would be the result? Schism!
“Far, far, far left” is, obviously, even worse. All eyes were averted when they sought the one responsible for that selfish blunder. The search for the grail may be energized by calling it the Holy Grail, but what happens when one group goes off in one direction looking for the Holy Grail, while another seeks the Holy, Holy Grail, and still a third strikes out for the Holy, Holy, Holy Grail? This is how the faithful become divided.