We'll know in a few days whether South Carolina Senator's Lindsey Graham's remarks made yesterday at the Newseum in Washington reported in this story in the Atlantic (via the ever-vigilant Brad DeLong) are truly noteworthy.
Up to now, Republicans have demanded apologies, backtracking, and self-flagellation from any of their own who has dared break ranks with the take-no-prisoners attitude the GOP has adopted. And they've been willing to excommunicate those who refuse to repent publicly. If you don't believe me, just ask CG&G's own Bruce Bartlett.
But in one presentation yesterday Graham criticized some of the Republican high priests, gods, and principles including birthers, Glenn Bleck, Rush Limbaugh, the GOP leadership, and the Republicans' continued insistence that everthing Obama proposes and does be opposed and ridiculed. If the current GOP practice is maintained, starting today Graham will be attacked until he relents. (Hint: Look for the phrase "My remarks were taken out of context.")
Don Goldberg, one of my partners at Qorvis and one of the most astute political communicators around, had an interesting comment today in PR Week about the communications strategy the GOP is using when it comes to the continuing saga of Franken v. Coleman in Minnesota.
According to Don:
In a word, dismal. Here is the conclusion:
I think Republicans desperately need a group that will do for them what the DLC did for the Democrats. Unfortunately, I see no such organization or any resources available for those that might start one. Those with such resources are either turned off by Republican pandering to its right wing and have left the party or they agree with it. Either way, no one in the Republican Party seems to have any interest in victory, and they prefer to wear defeat as some kind of badge of honor.
Eventually, Republicans will tire of being out of power just as Democrats did, and they will do what it takes to win. But I fear that Republicans will have to at least lose in 2010 and again in 2012 before they start to come to their senses. Perhaps by 2014, some leader with maturity, resources, vision and discipline will find a way of leading the GOP out of the wilderness. But I see no one even in a position to start that process today.
Read the whole thing.
This is an example of overreacting.
TPM consistently makes solid, albeit partisan, points as it analyzes the political and policy scenes. Along with similar blogs that favor the opposite side of the aisle, I find it must reading.
But it's way too early to get upset or to assume that there's a conspiracy at the Sunday talk shows because they booked Republicans this weekend. Why?
The Republican coalition from the 1980s and 90s of social and financial conservatives has always been a marriage of convenience.
While there is some overlap between the two groups, for the most part the two lead very separate lives, sleep in separate bedrooms, and do very different things. They joined together in political matrimony and were seen together in public because that was the easiest way for each one to have a chance at being in and exercising power.
So what happens when that chance decreases or collapses and severe troubles develop between the two previous marriage of convenience partners? First, marriage counseling. Second, either a reconciliation or divorce.