Politics & Media
Feb 25, 2009, 11:28AM

Sea Change

Will Republicans move away from flogging the news cycle (which isn't working) to competing in the ring of issues?


During the stimulus debate, the strategist argued, Republicans had an actual alternative but were unable to direct much attention to it -- in part because they were focusing so much of their rhetoric on the massive and unnecessary spending in the bill.  The debate became a question of an up-or-down decision on the Obama/Democratic plan -- not a choice between the Obama/Democratic plan and a Republican plan.  "The coverage of the stimulus bill focused on the difference between the House and Senate versions," the strategist told me, "which were basically two sides of the same coin."  The Republican role was limited to a) saying no to the Obama/Democratic bill, and b) having three moderates in the Senate approve of the bill as long as it offered a little less than what Democrats proposed.  The idea that Republicans, mostly in the House, had an actual full-scale alternative, was lost. "On the Sunday talk shows, right after it passed, find me one person who mentioned the Republican alternative," the strategist said.

  • Byron York is one of the very best conservative pundits, not a yes-man like Hannity or Limbaugh who preach to the converted, and he's worth taking seriously. Eric Cantor's is part of the GOP's future and his response in this article made a lot of sense. Maybe he could be the Republican version of the intense and immensely talented and intelligent Rahm Emanuel.

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