Republicans: Playing Not to Lose Doesn't Cut It
By Arnold Ahlert
I'd like to have a nickel for every football team who lost a game they were winning because they switched to a "prevent defense," at the end. There is a huge difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. Too bad the Republican Party can't make the distinction.
2010 is looking like a wipeout for Democrats — one completely of their own making. Four years of a Democratically-controlled Congress, coupled with two years of the most radically leftist administration in the history of the republic have scared the hell out of Americans who now know what unbridled progressivism looks like. That many predicted the level of arrogance and contempt progressives would inflict on the country were they elected was of little consequence. Too many Americans who voted in 2008 never lived through the Carter years, and unfortunate as it is, some people never believe anything until they experience it first-hand.
Now they have, and one would think that the general level of revulsion — despite every effort by the media and Democrats to underplay it — would galvanize a Republican party which had been left for dead as recently as two years ago. One would think now is precisely the time to present the American public with game-winning, principled positions on issues. One would think this is a grand opportunity for Republicans to play to win — big.
One would be wrong. By every indication, Republicans prefer "prevent defense." They prefer playing not to lose.
Such a strategy is beyond Republicans' traditional spinelessness. It is the unprincipled cynicism of a party whose "core values" can be reduced to "vote for us because we suck less than Democrats." That may get them through 2010, but it's no strategy for long-term health. Once again, here's some thoughts from an American sick and tired of being forced to choose between really bad and stunningly awful...