A 57-State Doolittle Strategy

by Michael Walsh

Good for Reince Priebus for finally figuring out that the Karl Rove three-crucial-precincts-in-the-Cincinnati-suburbs strategy is a sure loser for the GOP, and that the time has come to take the hammer to the Democrats all over this land. As quoted by brother Geraghty in his Morning Jolt:

It’s time to stop looking at elections through the lens of “battleground states.” We have four years till the next presidential election, and being a “blue state” is NOT a permanent diagnosis.

Simple “outreach” a few months before an election will not suffice. In fact, let’s stop talking about “reaching out”—and start working on welcoming in. Political support is cultivated over time—not collected on Election Day . . .

Amen. I traveled over half the country last fall (the western half) and if I hadn’t known there was a presidential election going on, I never would have suspected it. Here in California, for example, the Romney campaign (except for siphoning up cash) was completely AWOL, merrily ceding the Golden State to the donkeys. The same was true in New York State. And Illinois. And New England, etc. Nothing like starting out in a 100+ electoral-vote hole to rouse the troops.

“But,” object the krack kadres of Republican kampaign konsultants, “what’s the point of spending money in California when we need to husband our scarce and precious resources for The Only State That Matters, Ohio?”

The point is to show some leadership. Some generalship. A truly national campaign raises enthusiasm for the candidate across the board. A willingness to battle in West Los Angeles and Marin County rallies the troops both locally and nationally. A candidate who acts like he wants to win — and isn’t afraid of the other guy — inspires up and down the ticket. In both California and New York, for example, the state GOP is essentially moribund. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the national party hasn’t set foot in either place in years. And yet, if you take a look at this electoral map of California, the state could be competitive, especially if the movement toward awarding electoral votes by congressional districts gathers some steam. 

Right after Pearl Harbor, Americans needed to show the Japanese we weren’t finished. Hence the Doolittle Raid. Sure, it was just a pinprick, especially compared with the rain of fire and holy hell we unleashed on them three years later. But it was crucial to the ultimate success of the Pacific campaign: four months after the destruction of our fleet in Hawaii, the Japanese found out we could hurt them. And, at that moment, the wisest among them knew they were going to lose the war.

The Democrats understand that election campaigns are war by other means, which is why all’s fair the way they play the game: They called Romney a tax evader, an alien and a murderer; the GOP called Obama . . . in over his head. The Stupid Party — I’m starting to like this Jindal fellow — doesn’t get it. And until it does, it hasn’t got a chance. 

Gee, somebody should write a book.

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