Thursday, March 26, 2009
  What's wrong with these people?

This morning the Cong Republicans gave a press conference, supposedly to announce an alternative to Obama's budget. The alternative has no chance of being passed, so I can understand the lack of urgency in putting a plan together. But an opposition party is not just about this week's legislation; it's supposed to provide a long-term pull in a different direction. And the current brand-R leadership fails utterly at both tasks.

Look, this is basic Public Speaking 101. You shape your message toward the known audience. You don't waste time repeating things the audience already knows. You get to the point, giving reasons for each proposal.

These dummies form a parade of different speakers, each saying the exact same thing: "Wow, the Obama budget is really big! Really, really, big! No, I mean it! Really, really, really big!!! Do you know how much a trillion is? A trillion dollars, placed end to end, would stretch to the moon and back 4,765.332 times!!! That's really, really, really, really big!!!!!"

Who's the audience for this conference? It's political junkies. News media, other politicians, C-Span watchers. All of these people already know that the federal government is really, really big. You don't need to tell them, and you don't need a parade of different faces. You just need one speaker who has the basic skill set of a teacher, salesman or lawyer. Surely among 200 brand-R members of Congress you could find one competent speaker? Guess not.

Net result: this conference is nothing more than self-indulgence.

This is unfortunate because we need a serious opposition party to provide a mature 'ground path' for impulses that will otherwise turn toward violence. It's also unfortunate because the actual plan, as outlined by NRO, finally mentions lawsuit reform, the one new idea that could genuinely improve our lives without any cost. If the opposition party had spent 15 minutes thoroughly discussing and advertising tort reform, they could have done some good.

= = = = =

Update 4/1: The supposed alternative plan has finally been published. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't contain even one word about litigation reform, and surprisingly it doesn't mention nuclear power. So the two things that would make the greatest difference at the least cost are still unthinkable for these zero-brained noisemakers. Their "inspiring" proposal does contain one new and worthwhile item: a Medicare reform that sounds like it might help.
 


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