Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cantor: GOP's Image Problem Due To Messaging, Not Policies

The current issue of The New Yorker includes an article on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his role in the manufactured crises that have become a Republican specialty, including the sequester. Cantor argues that the GOP's image problem is a matter of messaging, not policies:

“We’ve got to understand that people don’t think Republicans have their back,” [Cantor] said. “Whether it’s the middle class, whether it’s the Latino or the Asian vote.” It was not “necessarily our policies” but, rather, how “we’ve been portrayed.”

...Cantor reaffirmed his belief that the best way to win the winter and spring budget fights is by making short-term adjustments in public relations, not major changes in policies. As he sees it, Republicans face a marketing challenge: the problem is the box, not the pizza.

Consider, then, recent actions on Cantor's part. He blocked the Violence Against Women Act and voted against the bill that finally passed the House. Now he plans to propose a Federal law that would end overtime pay for hourly workers.

Exactly how does Cantor show that the Republicans have our back with these actions? If the policies are fine, what message are we missing?


Richard Thomas said...

They're just like the Tories here. The fact that they did not win the last election where the majority of the vote was towards the middle and left ground is hidden from them - they think that a gibberingly thatcherite message will sweep the country. They tried it in four successive elections, calling for clear blue water (in Britain the Tory colour is blue), but have not got a majority. They're using Cameron's failure to win a majority last time as the basis for the full right wing onslaught. You come back to Mill - the conservatives are not the stupid party but stupid people are generally conservative. That goes double for MPs and, I see, the members of Congress.

Jeff Tone said...

Richard, It's as if they feel entitled toward being in power–and the more extreme they are, the more entitled they feel. We have Tea Party types who have proven to be mainly "unelectable"–yet they keep running for election. In addition, many Republicans say what Cantor says, placing messaging over policies.

Michael The Molar Maven said...

Unfortunately, Cantor's belief that perception is king is pervasive in our entire society. As such, politicians continually taylor their messages to coincide with what they believe we want to hear, never accepting their responsibility, as leaders, to tell us what we need to hear. I don't know why this should surprise you; he is not alone. The needs of the public habe been subordinate to the needs of the few who wield the power for as long as I can remember. If only we knew ourselves what is good for us. It is the republican task to make the former a result of the latter. If only they had a better publicist. Or, perhaps, they could actually get the point of the last election. What are the chances of that?

Jeff Tone said...

It doesn't surprise me at all. I believe that what you are describing particularly pertains to today's Republicans.