The Corner

The Stupid Party

I took some grief on the recent NR cruise by telling the group that I thought Mitt Romney would lose to Barack Obama rather handily. That for some mysterious reason Obama continues to have relatively strong personal-approval numbers and a substantial, reliable base, which Romney doesn’t. As a typical standard-issue Republican, Romney wouldn’t have the heart or the courage to take the fight to the president, but instead would debate around the edges, and lose.

If this is to be believed, that’s the actual strategy:

Republicans on a private Republican National Committee conference call with allies warned Tuesday that party surrogates should refrain from personal attacks against President Barack Obama, because such a strategy is too hazardous for the GOP.

“We’re hesitant to jump on board with heavy attacks” personally against President Obama, Nicholas Thompson, the vice president of Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm, said on the call. “There’s a lot of people who feel sorry for him.”

Recent polling data indicates that while the president still suffers significantly low job approval ratings, voters still give “high approval” to Obama personally, Thompson said.

Voters “don’t think he’s an evil man who’s out to change the United States” for the worse — even though many of the same survey respondents agree that his policies have harmed the country, Thompson said. The upshot, Thompson stressed, is that Republicans should “exercise some caution” when talking about the president personally.

Gee, if Obama’s personal-approval numbers are still high, why would you want to take them down? Let them stay there, lest the Democrat-Media Complex accuse you of being a blue meanie.

Remember, GOP: principles, not policies. Principles, not policies. Principles, not policies.

It’s not Obama’s policies that are the problem, it’s Obama and everything he represents and stands for. Engage the president on the deepest, most potent level, or join John McCain and Bob Dole on the ash heap of history. 

Really, this party is too dumb to live.

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.

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