Montana News Editor's Note: Political analyst and strategist Scot Faulkner offers as good an answer as any for why Republicans are struggling in this election season – and why they need to wake up before November 8.
Democrats, he observes, close ranks and deny, dismiss, defy and defend, no matter what, no matter the odds, no matter how despicable or criminal the offense by one of their own. Republicans, by contrast, always fight the wrong battle, at the wrong time, the wrong way. (Republicans wrote the book on losing. Democrats wrote the book on playing for keeps.)
They break ranks at the first sign of trouble, shoot their wounded, even if the injury is minor, and turn on colleagues for even minor offenses (compared to Democrat transgressions).
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Republicans always seem to fight the wrong battle, the wrong way, at the wrong time. Republicans inevitably break ranks at the first sign of trouble. Republicans shoot their wounded, even if the injury is just a cut or sprain.
Democrats never break ranks. Democrats lock arms and deny, dismiss, defy and defend, no matter what. Democrats will always rescue one of their own – no matter the odds, or how gravely wounded, or how despicable or criminal the offense.
The “hot mic” tape of Donald Trump’s boorish “locker room” talk now dominates the 2016 Presidential Campaign, stealing attention away from critically important issues. It’s a safe bet the Democrats, and their media allies, have a stockpile of embarrassing Trump material ready to roll out in the coming weeks.
Trump and his supporters are confronting asymmetrical warfare. His offensive words are considered more damning than any of Hillary Clinton’s actual actions, misdeeds and derelictions of duty.
But then the Democrats have always played dirty. In 1980, Speaker Tip O’Neil withheld a Washington, DC police report on conservative Congressman Bob Bauman’s sexuality for eighteen months, in order to release it five weeks before Election Day. Its timing was designed for maximum damage with minimum recovery time, since Republican voters were more likely to punish immorality.
Democrats want to win at all costs. Democrats want to gain, maintain, and above all expand their power. Democrats never waiver from these goals. Democrat spokespeople coordinate their talking points and stay on message. They tackle anyone who tries to lift the curtain on truth. They destroy anyone who challenges the liberal Democrat hold on government.
Perhaps the most infamous and extreme example from the Democrat “win at all costs” playbook is covering up Ted Kennedy’s misdeeds. On July 18, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy killed 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne in a tragic car accident on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard.
Liberals in politics and media suppressed the incident by ignoring Kennedy’s multiple lies and inconsistencies. Kennedy went on being a liberal icon. The media continued to dismiss and minimize Kopechne’s death, and Kennedy’s countless sexual affairs.
Then, earlier this year, in the propaganda film about Clarence Thomas’ confirmation, Hollywood portrayed Kennedy as a defender of abused women.
The other side of the Democrats’ playbook is character assassination of Republicans. In 2012, they and the media portrayed Mitt Romney as a callous, clueless elitist. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) actually bragged that he had blatantly lied when he accused Romney of not paying taxes, boasting “It worked, didn’t it? Romney lost!” Honesty, decency and facts never get in the way of a good Democrat attack.
Over the past few months, Democrats have never talked about the substance of leaks that were so damaging to Hillary Clinton. In lock-step, Democrats immediately attacked the veracity of the leaked material, while the Obama Administration blamed the leaks’ source on Russia. By the time the truth of the leaked statements was demonstrated, the media had moved onto to other things.
In 2012, “bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive” was the mantra that defied the facts. The Benghazi attack was drowned out with the bogus claim that “a video caused a spontaneous protest at the embassy.” Debate “moderator” Candy Crowley did her duty and maintained the lie, by throwing a body block against Mitt Romney in the second Presidential Debate – when she claimed that President Obama had said it was a “terrorist attack,” when he had said no such thing.
“In 2016, America is safer and more prosperous than ever” is another phony Democrat mantra. Every terrorist attack on American soil is stifled or obscured with bogus alternative motives and explanations. Economic reports are “cooked” or spun. Nothing must stand in the way of Obama’s Third Term.
Some Republicans, and many in the conservative media, do their best to counter the Democrat onslaught. However, they are constantly crippled by numerous Republicans who turn tail and run when the first shots are fired in anger.
During Bill Clinton’s Presidency, Republicans bungled their investigation of Chinese campaign donations to Clinton in exchange for trade concessions and ownership of part of the Port of Los Angeles. That was treason by the Clintons and gross incompetence by the Republicans.
Instead of focusing on this, though, Republicans impeached Clinton on sexual issues and his countless lies. And even then, despite overwhelming evidence, five Republicans voted “not guilty” on perjury and ten voted “not guilty” on obstruction of justice.
Republicans further bungled impeachment by self-immolating over their own sexual affairs, including the resignation of Congressman Bob Livingston on the cusp of his becoming Speaker. Republicans had hoped to shame Clinton into resigning or at least confessing. They forgot that Democrats have no shame; and if they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards.
Simply put, too many Republicans are more focused on remaining part of the Washington Establishment, than on cleaning up the festering cesspool. But the 2016 stakes are enormous.
A Clinton Presidency means, for at least a generation, the Supreme Court will be turned over to activist liberal justices who will vivisect the Constitution in the name of reshaping society. It means open borders and open immigration, overwhelming America’s culture with Islamic fundamentalism and welfare for Third World refugees.
A Clinton Presidency means expansion of government spending and regulatory control beyond even Obama’s wildest dreams. If Republicans stand accused of wanting to control what Americans do in the privacy of their bedrooms, Democrats are clearly intent on imposing centralized control over everything Americans do outside their bedrooms.
A Clinton Presidency also means continued disarray in American foreign policy and continued decline in America’s ability to defend itself and its allies. A Clinton Presidency means increasingly bolder confrontations of the West by Radical Islamists, Iran, Russia and China.
A Trump loss will tear the Republican Party apart. Establishment and Faith-based factions will annihilate each other with “I told you so” arguments for Bush or Cruz or Rubio.
Democrats will laugh as they prepare a Texas Castro brother (Julian or Joaquin) to take the presidency in 2024, using the slogan “Time for a Hispanic!” from the same playbook that employed “Time for an African American!” and “Time for a woman!”
It is only a few precious weeks before Americans choose their path. Is there enough time for Republicans to wake-up?
Scot Faulkner served as the first Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives and on Reagan’s White House Staff. He advises global corporations and governments on strategic change and leadership.