Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Happened to "Reject the Premise?"

In this post, noted Romney-phobe DrewM decides to level the charge against Mitt Romney that he's "writing off" 47% of Americans.

Which is rich, considering his favorite was Newt "Don't Accept the Media Premise" Gingrich in the primaries.

Drew is reading the statement released by absurdly leftist outlet Mother Jones exactly the way the Media would like it read.  He's "writing off" the non-taxpayers.  He's just giving up on them.

One little problem.  That's not what he said (emphasis added).

There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.
“And I mean the President starts off with 49, 49…he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. 47% of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.
“So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every 4 years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
“What I have to do is convince the 5% to 10% that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or another depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

 What, exactly, is incorrect in Mitt Romney's remarks?  Does Drew believe that those 47+% who are tied to the Democrats will be convinced, in 6 weeks, to vote for Mitt Romney?  Does he believe that a message of "you have to take responsibility for yourself, which means not accepting government handouts" is suddenly going to start selling after 60 years?

Now, I've never been to war, but I've played chess and plenty of war-games.  One of the things I've learned from that is, in any given scenario, you have to pick your objectives and go after those.  If opportunities to obtain other objectives present themselves, and obtaining those objectives won't harm your ability to obtain your primary objectives, then you can go after those, too, but they are definitely secondary.

Now, this is Mitt Romney making a true statement of how he views his strategic objectives.  He's not fighting for the 47%, because that's going to be wasted effort.  Specifically, the kinds of things he'll have to say to woo them will be exactly the kind of things the Media can use to demoralize Republicans.  He's not fighting for his roughly 40% (it's really more than that, Mitt), because all he has to do for them is keep them focused and energized- something the SCOAMT is doing for him, in point of fact.

So the ones he has to concentrate on are the persuadable middle.  That's where he has to focus his message of smaller government.  That's the primary objective.

Only once that primary objective has been obtained can he afford to focus his attention on the secondary objective- that 47%.  That will probably have to wait until after a couple of years of GOP control of Washington.  They're not going to be persuaded by anything he says.  Many of them are partisan ideologues who will never be persuaded.  So the ones he's going to persuade, he's going to have to persuade with actions and their results.

That's not "writing them off."  That's not saying they're "takers."  It's simply acknowledging the fact that there is no realistic way that Barack Obama gets less than ~47% of the vote- and much of that comes from people who pay no taxes and do receive a lot of government pay-outs.

Let's not mistake tomorrow for today, and try to fight tomorrow's battle before today's has been won.

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