House Republicans To Run Against D.C. Establishment Even Though They’re Part Of It
House Republicans appear to be settling on an anti-incumbent, anti-establishment theme for the 2012 campaign:
House Republicans have a surprising message for voters in 2012: Throw the bums out.
That’s the theme of a new message campaign prepared by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which hopes to defend the GOP’s newly minted House majority next year by labeling Democrats as a party “Made in Washington.” It’s a reminder that Republicans don’t control the Senate and the White House — and voters still have cause to channel their outrage toward Democratic incumbents.
According to a PowerPoint presentation delivered late last month and obtained by POLITICO, NRCC officials aim to accuse Democrats of “not listening to the American public” and adopting policies that are “of Washington,” despite the rebuke voters delivered in 2010.
The broad idea, according to NRCC officials, is to protect the outsider brand Republicans used to great effect in 2010. House Republicans hope voters will continue to see the GOP as an insurgent force, fighting against a federal government that’s largely in more liberal hands.
It’s a challenging task, given that it’s now a Republican — John Boehner of Ohio — who sits in the speaker’s chair. But the desired contrast, in the GOP’s words, is between a party that’s “Fighting Washington” and one that’s “Made in Washington.”
Earlier versions of the messaging — organized around the themes “Dems still don’t get it” and “D.C. doesn’t get it” — were discarded in favor of a catchphrase inspired in part by the powerful “Imported from Detroit” 2011 Super Bowl television ad run by Chrysler.
Given the general public disapproval of Congress, it’s not surprising that they’d give this a try, but the fact that they’d use it is a fairly good demonstration of what political consultants on both sides of the aisle think of the American voter. Basically, they think we’re too dumb to notice that we’re getting the wool pulled over our eyes. Sadly, there’s several decades of history to prove them correct.