Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where was the Republican Response?

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Every time President George W. Bush gave a speech whether it was the State of the Union Address or his weekly address to the nation Democrats always had their equal time response. So where was the Republican response to President Obama’s first primetime News conference and his Elkhart, Indiana pre- News conference warm-up?

President Obama’s mischaracterization of Republican ideology and political positions hang over the nation Monday evening like noxious greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions yet in another example of not really for primetime there was not an equal time Republican response.

What is up with Republicans? Don’t they understand that this was exactly the tactic employed by Democrat against President Bush? Democrats responded to everything that President Bush said and that was one of the tactics that got Democrats into White House. Is there not a Republican that understands politics?

There were plenty of things that Republicans could have rebutted because Obama got a lot of things wrong. Yet they allow Obama lies and continual falsifications of Republican positions to convict them in the court of American public opinion. Obama spoke from both sides of his mouth and there was no Republican there to bring correction to the neophyte President.

AP reporter Calvin Woodward ticked off several of such bifurcations at the mouth of the President. (see story)
President Barack Obama had it both ways Monday when he promoted his stimulus plan in Indiana. He bragged about getting Congress to produce a package with no pork, yet boasted it will do good things for a Hoosier highway and a downtown overpass, just the kind of local projects lawmakers lard into big spending bills.—Calvin Woodward
Woodward shows that Obama’s claims of no earmarks in the stimulus bill is preposterous, that Obama’s claim that Daschle and Killefer appointments where simply mistakes is ridiculous but instead it was a pre-calculated assumption that he could muscle them through like he did Timothy Geithner.

And finally Woodward reports that Obama’s claim that his stimulus bill would produce 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next two years is unverifiable at best.

Next Jay Cost examines the President’s Primetime News conference to find it chuck full of false arguments to make Republicans look bad and he and Democrats look good. Cost says that Obama used falsifications and Straw Man arguments which are arguments that one attributes to one’s opponent, though the opponent never argued the position. (see transcript)
Time and again, I noted that the President engaged in a rhetorical maneuver commonly called "attacking a straw man." That's what you do when you mischaracterize your opponent's position, and you refute the mischaracterization rather than what your opponent really thinks.—Jay Cost
The position or idea usual makes your opponent look bad and when you argue to defeat the idea you likewise defeat your opponent. It’s called building a Straw Man so you can knock it down.(see story)

Surely there is a Republican somewhere who is versed in the methodology of debate who could have refuted the debate team tricks that Obama used before the American people.

Cost writes that Obama argued that Republicans’ position is that “tax cuts alone” will solve America’s financial crisis. But no Republican is arguing that! “Straw Man.”

Cost also shows that Obama argued that Republicans argue that the government should not intervene. Another “Straw Man.” The first Stimulus package was under President Bush.

Then the President mis-represented Republicans by saying they believe that nothing should be done. Another Straw Man argument.

Finally Cost brings to our attention that President Obama used ad hominem attacks against Republicans. Simple name calling rather than debate ideas.

With no Republican response the very next day the Senate Democrats with three Republican defectors approved President Obama’s $837Billion dollar pork laden “No Stimulus bill but a very big Christmas tree” hung with all of the goodies that Democrats have wanted for the last 20 years.

Look, there are two fundamental things Republicans must learn if they are ever going to gain power again, one, they must learn how to hold their caucus like Democrats did for eight years and two, they must learn the art and science of politics like Democrats have.

Republicans must demand equal time to every speech that President Obama gives. They must do this to present the minority view just as Democrats did for eight years in opposition to President Bush.

Geez I can’t believe that someone would have to tell Republicans something so fundamental.

It’s not like the Democrats didn’t already do all this stuff to them and President Bush!

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