I got a chance to watch some election coverage this morning. I think Alan Colmes on FoxNews provides a typical example of the message from the left. Here’s the video if you’d like to watch it.
Here are my observations on this.
First, the left seems to be putting up a feedback blocker to the real message voters sent. Colmes, like some others, believe the problem that caused Republicans to gain big was a messaging problem from the Democrats. For example, “They [Democrats] didn’t tell us they gave us all tax cuts.”
I know it’s early still. It took Republicans awhile to understand the message voters sent when they lost power in ’06 and ’08. It took a grass roots effort and some weeding out of establishment politicians to recast the GOP for this election.
Here’s what I believe is the real message that voters sent yesterday: This crop of Democrats is too far left. For many of us, this wasn’t a surprise. But, for the moderates who were tired of Bush and Republicans, it was. I remember my more moderate pals trying to convince me that Obama was a moderate, or would become moderate once elected. I think moderates came to grips that they were wrong about that.
Second, Colmes provides a good example of a pundit who has an amazing lack of understanding of the opponents’ position. Colmes said that he “sees no vision on the right.” He seems to think that the main position of Republicans is just to oppose Democrats no matter what and not compromise just for the sake of opposing Democrats.
The current Republican vision seems clear to me. Shrink government and reinforce freedom. The reason Republicans wouldn’t “compromise” on so many things is not to simply oppose Democrats, but to defend what they think is right – limited government and freedom.
It’s like someone offering to buy your house for half what’s it’s worth. You say, “It’s not for sell and that price is way too low.” They say, “But, I want your house. How about 75% of what it’s worth.” Your response, “No.”
Then they blame you for not being willing to work with them and compromise. It’s not that you didn’t compromise. It’s that what they offered was so far away from what you’d be willing to do you didn’t bother.
I’m not sure if Colmes understands the Republican position and chooses not to acknowledge it or if he just simply doesn’t get it. But, I’d find him much more interesting if he actually addressed the real arguments, rather than the straw men.
If he doesn’t think limited government and freedom are good ideas, tell us why. He might be right. But, pretending that those positions don’t exist befuddles me.