Tuesday, June 10, 2008

McCain needs to Walk and Chew Gum

(cross posted at TheNextRight)

Many of the problems facing America are complicated. We want oil and gasoline to cost less, but we also want to “get off oil”. We want food prices to come down, but we also want to preserve family farms without handing out truckloads corporate welfare to agribusiness. We would like to see Iraq stabilize, but we want to bring our troops out of harm’s way. We want to secure our border without sending a message that America is not welcoming of immigrants.

If we adopt a “walk and chew gum at the same time” campaign, we can offer paired policy choices that address these issues on the short term and the long term. The “walk and chew gum” message also carries the connotation that a McCain administration would be more competent that the Bush administration without explicitly bringing it up.

Lower Energy Costs while Planing for the Future

Conservatives want to increase domestic production of oil and natural gas to bring down the costs of these fuels. This, however, does not address the fundamental problem of our dependence on oil, particularly since so much of the world’s oil production comes from unsavory regimes. Fuel prices will stabilize in the short to medium term, but this will only delay the consequences of “peak oil” theory.

McCain can link increased domestic production to the elimination of subsidies for oil companies and dramatic government investments in setting the stage for alternatives, notably electric capacity and cellulosic ethanol. We must build nuclear infrastructure including the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in order to minimize waste, we must vastly expand our research into nuclear fission technology, and we must increase research into cellulosic ethanol technology that will ease the tension between biofuels and food costs. Funding research may not be the preferred policy of some economic conservatives, but funding research can potentially change the fundamental structure of energy markets, whereas our current tax-and-subsidize policies only mask underlying problems and create inefficiencies.

Lower Food Costs while Helping Small Farmers
Ethanol mandates must be phased out. Any subsidies we decide to keep must be capped such that family farms qualify but large corporate producers do not benefit beyond the cap. Tariffs on sugar and ethanol imports must be eliminated.

Win in Iraq while Bringing the Troops Home
This is the classic “return on victory” plan. With any luck, this will be an easier sell going into the fall if Gen. Petraeus recommends further troop reductions.

Secure the Border while Normalizing Illegal Immigrants
The GOP faces a serious problem with illegal immigration. If we reject anything that might be construed as “amnesty” and focus on completing the border fence not only will we fail to enact those policies but we will be irritating an enormous voting block. “Comprehensive immigration reform” has been a poorly disguised push for a Reagan style amnesty. Control the border, fund additional English language classes to aid assimilation, and create some way to normalize those already in the country. It’s not ideal, but it may be the best we can do. “Comprehensive” must mean actually being serious about being comprehensive.

The one-two-punch approach strikes a balance between having a concise and complex message. Selling it as being able to walk and chew gum at the same time shows confidence in the competence of a McCain administration. Having two messages in one policy proposal may also allow targeted language to appeal to more than one demographic group at the same time. This approach should be replicated for healthcare, job creation, and other issues that arise as the campaign progresses.


Samay said...

That would be awesome, if anyone in the McCain camp actually thought about things like that.

Sockless Joe said...

The McCain message is so far out of control it isn't funny. No strategist can make Maverick listen to him.

This is also extremely frustrating for somebody like myself who is kept on the fringe of the party and not allowed any real input.

Frank said...

"Win in Iraq while Bringing the Troops Home
This is the classic “return on victory” plan. With any luck, this will be an easier sell going into the fall if Gen. Petraeus recommends further troop reductions."

You MUST be joking. Let's see. Southern half of the country firmly in the hands of Shiite militias to varying degrees beholden to Iran and all of which hate the U.S. for good reason? Check. Sunni rebel fighters (that the U.S. military is cowering in its firebases from and taking helicopter rides from one place to another because the roads are too dangerous) being paid tribute by the U.S. as payment for not attacking them? Check. Puppet government in Baghdad despised by all but a handful of the population in Iraq, with no credibility and seen everywhere as representing the interests of the U.S. instead of Iraqis? Check. Iran's influence in the region strengthened immeasurably? Check. Military manpower situation stretched to the breaking point, to the extent that they now have to accept borderline retards and criminals just to have enough warm bodies in uniforms screaming for air support like a scared girl every time they see one or two Iraqi Rebels with rifles? Check. Troops already getting depleted uranium poisoning (oh, I'm sorry, "Gulf War Syndrome")? Check. Hundreds of thousands if not over a million Iraqi civilians dead that would still be alive if the U.S. didn't start a war in their backyard? Check. Daily proving to the whole world what a gigantic piece of shit America is for invading a country that wasn't provoking it? Check. Yep America, you have shown the world for all time just what you really are, and history will never let you forget it so your mission is accomplished, time to bring them home.

Sockless Joe said...

Frank, your news is about 9 months old, which is probably right around the time the media stopped covering the war. And if you think America is a piece of shit then what are you doing on this blog? Or for that matter, in my country. Get the hell out. I suggest Canada, where you can get free shitty health care, have no real free speech rights (google "mark steyn, human rights commission"), and won't start any wars.