This week, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum dropped out of the race for Republican candidate. While others speculated how this would adversely affect the Obama for America campaign (dumping more dollars into the Romney coffers, for example), I focused on the tactical advantages of shifting the conversation from GOP v GOP talking points to Republican v. Democrat talking points. Up until this point, news media has focused (understandably, I’m not judging…much) on the GOP perspective and that has lead the framework for all topics and ways we discuss them, as well as let them own the conversation that “defines” (describes is more accurate) the state of the U.S. and how President Obama’s policies are working.
So…yeah. That’s a little one-sided and biased.
Also, perception is most of reality, and it has left a “the GOP is working hard but the current Administration is doing nothing” alongside a “or…at least nothing good” sense with the American people, including the few who vote.
Santorum dropping out shifts the frame. Now the conversation, especially media coverage, can cover what’s going on and begin the infamous equal time coverage. This benefits the Democratic campaign, and all of us because hopefully it will lead to a more topically relevant discussion.
I hope it means the discussion will shift to
- less pandering to right wing extremists (less hysterical irrelevant GOP government over-reach social issue ranting)
- more focus on crucial and timely issues, such as economy versus red herring antifreedom war on women
- less exclusive GOP POVs in the news
- more D v R hot topics, including solid and useful information, as well as expert pundit discussion (this excludes loud-mouthed bloggers who are experts at talking but not on a topic)
The opportunity for President Obama and other Demcoratic candidates to begin highlighting their key issues and plans is enormous, and I genuinely hope they all seize it.
Here’s what I hope to begin hearing a lot about — REAL issues, things that NEED to be addressed:
- Fair Taxes — Buffett rule. For example, I was so glad to see this great breakdown of the Buffett Rule and GOP taxophobia from Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine. More like this please!
- More Efficient Government (not bigger) — that serves citizen needs, such as through health care and basic services such as national highways. More discussion such as Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog discussion of how “smaller government isn’t always cheaper.“
- Job and economic growth, protecting American innovation (JOBS Act, for example). This includes this week’s “U.S. Employment Growth Seen Rebounding From Slump,” for example.
- How the Affordable Care Act is actually working (well). Six in 10 Americans don’t really understand the Affordable Care Act, the benefits it offers, who it helps, how it helps, where it saves, and whether it helps them. It’s about two years too late but hey, let’s at least see what we might have to lose, such as “As Supreme Court weighs health care reform, contractors await their fate.” That’s access to affordable health care, business creation and job growth all-in-one.