Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet the Newt Boss

I still think Newt Gingrich is preferable to 99% of American politicians, and I’d be delighted to see the strategy he recommends here deployed, but nonetheless note his creepy, vague, focus-group-like use of the seemingly noble phrase “first principles” in these comments about RNC leader Michael Steele (noted by C-SPAN, SwampPolitics, and Drudge):

He is developing a first principles model that I think is a very exciting, positive step in the right direction…By September, it might be very, very good for the Republicans in the House and Senate to have a common ground on which to campaign, whether they call it a Contract for America or some other device…Having a positive set of things that say, “if you elect us, these are the positive steps we will take”…may well be the key building block to really become the alternative party, not the opposition party…We didn’t do the Contract [with America in the 1994 congressional campaign] until very late in the campaign…You could begin to put together a set of first principles around which 80 percent of the country would rally… and then come Labor Day, you could begin to look a what are the five or ten biggest things that the Republicans could offer as their contract for America.

Like David Frum’s survey-filled political strategy book Comeback! these sound like the words of someone who doesn’t really have very clear first principles.  But perhaps we can discuss that tonight at Manhattan Project (per my right-hand margin), if you’re interested.

No comments: