Broad Brush Media, Public Relations, and Repeal
By Phil Perkins
March 29, 2010
The Democrats and their allies in the press are nothing if not depressingly predictable. Sure enough, to take the spotlight off the horrific healthcare bill recently passed and signed into law, they are alternatively reporting and whining about what they would have us believe is an epidemic of violent actions and threats against many of the Democrats who voted for the bill. The perpetrator as victim strategy has worked before—remember Bill Clinton as a classic example—so don’t think for a moment that it can’t possibly work again.
Meanwhile, the president is out on the campaign trail again selling his usual snake-oil about how wonderful his brave new world of socialized healthcare really is. If the Republicans don’t watch out, the masses could be bamboozled into believing the outrage over this bill is not as great as they thought, and worse yet, that it’s not as justified as they thought. Simply employing the mantra “repeal and replace” is not going to cut it in this super-charged environment. We must always remember with whom we’re dealing here—a power-thirsty foe that, while seemingly stupid in many ways, can still be extremely cunning when it comes to what they have to do to retain their power. And with that in mind, there are two things the conservative movement needs to do—and do well—to ensure the crushing victory to which it’s entitled in November.
First, there must be a concerted, war-room type effort to either disassociate the true conservative movement from the fringe elements who actually make violent threats or carry out despicable actions, or show clearly that the actions are being misreported. For example, a peaceful group of protesters prayed in front of a Democrat representative’s home and were carrying a casket as a symbol of the increased death the health bill will cause. However, the liberal press painted it as inciting violence against the Congressman because they wrongfully associated the casket with the group’s supposed desire for the Congressman’s death. We can’t allow such spurious reporting to stand, and must use You-Tube and whatever other outlets will demonstrate the truth. We absolutely cannot allow the media to paint us all with the broad brush of a few fringe elements who may not even be conservatives.
Second, we must continue to hammer away at the many fallacious claims about the healthcare bill and keep presenting the facts, not only about what is but what will be if this monstrosity is allowed to stand. As we’re already seeing, the media are painting a picture of Republicans as sore losers who continue to be the “party of no” with their chants for repeal when that is pretty much a hopeless cause while Obama continues to occupy the White House. What needs to be noted at every opportunity are the myriad examples that illustrate WHY this is so bad and why repeal is so needed. Many doctors have already indicated a desire to retire or leave the medical profession if this shapes up the way they think that it will—lesser quality of service, pointy-headed bureaucrats dictating who is eligible for what treatment, lower reimbursements to doctors, etc. We need to spotlight these people in the same way Obama and Pelosi spotlighted the people who had supposedly been shafted by the current healthcare system.
Already, thanks to the largely one-sided reporting of threats against Democrats along with none-to-subtle accusations of Republican support for them, the media are moving on to claim that the Democrats may not face a doomsday scenario at the polls this November after all. Already, they’re trotting out a USA Today/Gallup poll showing that by 49 to 40 percent, Americans now believe is was a “good thing” that the healthcare bill passed. They are also trying to say that opposition to the bill before the House vote on March 21 was not as monolithic as conservatives wanted to believe, since 13 of the 59 percent opposed to the bill believed it didn’t go far enough. Truth or hyperbole, these are numbers that should give us pause when predicting a Republican rout in November. To use a sports analogy, the favored team still has to go out and do whatever it takes to win the game—just showing up doesn’t bestow victory. And to win, you’ve got to display the intensity, single-mindedness of purpose and teamwork necessary to defeat a tough opponent. No matter how badly the Democrats behaved regarding this bill, they have incredible staying power due to their utter shamelessness and the support of their friends in the media. We need to play twice as hard as they do to win. That’s just the way it is.