Every time there’s a tragedy the Democrats trot out sympathetic looking people to stand behind them as they declare how they will violate our rights to make us all safer, or more secure. The media eats it all up, and our liberties are eroded at the same time our children are saddled with more debt. The Democrats, commies that they are these days, are quite skilled at agitprop. If the Republicans want to have any chance to win elections in the future they might want to take notes.
Presidents figured out the utility of a prominent, unelected spokesman about 80 years ago, when Stephen Early did it for Franklin Roosevelt. The current incarnation, Jay Carney, may be the most phlegmatic White House spokesman ever. But on any given day on any issue, he commandeers airtime across the cable TV and media universe. With a personality flatter than a cold pancake, he simply states the president’s position. Reporters for media outlets around the world restate that position for their audiences. You don’t have to believe it or like it. But from Jay Carney’s lips to your screen, inbox and RSS feed, you get it.
Past presidents had Tony Snow, Mike McCurry, Marlin Fitzwater, Jody Powell, Pierre Salinger. These presidential press secretaries became personages in their own right, conveying institutional credibility without being a political challenge to the leaders they serve.
Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have been trying to serve both functions—leader and spokesman. It can’t work. I can think of virtually no other walk of life other than Congress in which the leaders of organizations assume the job of stating their institution’s position on everything. Cabinet secretaries, CEOs, generals, university presidents, cardinals—nobody does that anymore. A leader speaks when the stakes or moment require it.
Read the whole thing if you can. Obama has his current “Baghdad Bob,” also known as Jay Carney. The GOP needs their own version, unless they really want to become the completely irrelevant Democrat-lite party that will sit by as they watch this republic destroyed. Maybe if they had their own “Baghdad Bob” they could get a message across, rather than caving at every opportunity.
There’s only so much bloggers can do here. Then again, maybe the GOP could learn a thing or two from The People’s Cube. Oh, and hey, at least conservatives would have the truth on their side. Then again, why shouldn’t they just lie? The Democrats do it every day.
Update: Linked by Big Pulpit – thanks!