What Should GOP Hopefuls Talk About Next?
With the GOP Presidential nomination marathon heading into October, still over a year away from the general election, the quandary of what candidates are to talk about is becoming evident. Donald Trump has gotten the pole position by slamming his opponents. Who could be next? Ben Carson has risen to number 2 by speaking sanely (until his remarks on a Muslim President). Sanity, however, seems it can only get one so far. Carli Florina has jumped into the top group by saying the obvious about Trump. More of that is old news. And, Marco Rubio has kept his head above water by appealing to like minded voters with his fresh face and charm. At some point, Rubio needs to appeal to a broader group.
Jeb Bush appears a bit like a “birthday balloon” slowly loosing its air. He seems to lack spirit (energy) and totally has not found any reason to put forward why he should be nominated. Huckabee is purely an opportunist and after his Kim Davis gambit, he is eyeing a block of Southern States which would make him a contender at the convention. The rest of the crowd at this point are going nowhere even though John Kasick continues to speak like a real Presidential candidate.
So what’s next for these candidates?
Over the weekend, the contenders weighed in on Syria and the recent Russian activity. Each of their speeches took a similar form. “President Obama failed to do this or that, and what he tried to do failed”. As political speech, why not?
John Boehner has the answer. Boehner was speaking about the GOP Tea Party-ers who thwarted almost everything Boehner tried to get done, said “beware of false prophets, they promise more than they can deliver”.
President Obama’s Syrian policies have been handicapped by a nation tired of war and a Congress unwilling to increase tax to pay for a war. The President’s Middle East strategies have been prescient in view of the changing global political realities but ran will into the demagoguery over Isreal. Committing military resources to the Middle East will do nothing to deal with China, Russia, or rogues like North Korea.
The prospects of arming “good” Syrian insurgents and guiding them to eliminate ISIS and ultimate overthrow Basher al Assad is simply delusional and mostly a fools errand. But it does make good political talk.
The country as a whole needs a reminder about false prophets more than once. Some people actual believe that Social Security and Medicare will be changed with a GOP President or accept lock, line, and sinker that Obamacare will be repealed (and replaced). False prophets will promise these actions but will never be able to deliver.
On the other hand, there is a need for a Middle East policy which combats ISIS (or whatever group comes after it). There is a need for ensuring Social Security becomes financially secure. And healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare) are woefully deficient compared to other global healthcare models.
In other words there is plenty of room to propose specific measures on the Middle East, entitlements, and healthcare but these policies must be set within a greater context of Domestic and Foreign affairs and most importantly, how the country will fund them.