The Republican strategy for the 2014 midterm elections is to keep quiet

Glenn Grothman In past elections, Republicans have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot by saying something either utterly stupid or something offensive to voters. David Perdue, Georgia’s Republican candidate for Senate, stated on Monday that offshoring American jobs is “a part of American business, party of any business,” then added “I’m proud of it.”

Perdue’s comments proves 2014 is no exception to the rule, but it remains to be seen if his words will come back to haunt him as they did with Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin and Mitt “47%” Romney.

Despite Perdue’s moment of blatant honesty, most Republican candidates are remaining disturbingly silent on social issues. Bashing Obamacare has lessened, talk of limiting abortion has cooled and even with the recent Supreme Court ruling, Republicans are avoiding talk about gay marriage. ISIS has proven to be the perfect distraction.

The truth is, many Republicans don’t need to campaign for their Senate Seat or a place in the House of Representatives. Many seats are locked up before the election starts. Gerrymandered districts have made life easy for today’s politicians who often run unopposed or are guaranteed victory so long as they don’t say something stupid.

I believe Republicans are starting to abide by that rule. Sometimes it’s best to say nothing. Well, Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman is taking it to the extreme. Even though he’s presently a state senator (currently running for the U.S. House of Representatives), you may remember the outspoken Grothman as the Republican lawmaker who said Kwanzaa was a fake holiday. He has tried to ban public school teachers from mentioning homosexuality and he also claimed that making money is more important for men than for women.

Grothman has grown awfully quiet since he won his primary in August. He has so far refused to debate his challenger, Democratic Candidate Mark Harris, on multiple occasions. In fact their only public debate will occur less than a week before Election Day. Grothman does not want Harris to get much exposure.

Grothman has also been shying away from the media as he is doing far less interviews. This from a man who used to give out his cell number to reporters. The anti-gay misogynist clearly knows he’s vulnerable when he speaks.

“The new Glenn Grothman who is avoiding debates may satisfy the Republican consultants from Washington who want to avoid any real discourse in a district where they think they can win without extending much effort, but he is not meeting the standard that voters should expect of a candidate for Congress” – The Cap Times, a progressive publication in Madison, Wisconsin.

That is the whole point… and problem. Republicans are weak, particularly on social issues. The less they say, the better chance they have. Without debates and a media that can do its job, a democrat can only do so much on their own to expose the fatal flaws of their opponents.

Glenn Grothman will likely get elected come November. He is running for a seat currently held by retiring Republican Representative Tom Petri who has held the seat for thirty five years.

While I can’t guarantee a victory for Grothman, I can guarantee the GOP will use this silent treatment strategy in the future, particularly with candidates with an outspoken past. I can also promise that if Grothman does win, he’ll be as loud and misguided as Ted Cruz.


  1. Mike,

    Good round-up, and of course your central point, that the PR professionals have stuck a cork in a lot of people is correct.

    Still, I’m mildly optimistic. Governor Huckabee, the Christian with the two million dollar house who used to play bass guitar alongside Ted Nugent in “Cat Scratch Fever,”

    (“Well, I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand
    They know they gettin’ it from me
    They know just where to go when they need their lovin’ man
    They know I’m doin’ it for free”

    Yer average Christian song…)

    can’t seem to shut up: he’s all riled up at the US Supreme Court. For, uh, “judicial activism,” i.e. doing nothing about the spread of gay marriage legalization state by state.

    Unemployment is down to 6.9%, i.e. below where Bushlet left it. The Dow is at an all time high. The new employment is not just MacJobs; good jobs are coming back, too. Here and there, little dribs and drabs, you’re hearing small town newspaper people saying “This is not my Momma and Poppa’s Republican Party.”

    It looks grim, you’re quite right. The gerrymander is so bad that a 4% lead barely gets the Democrats back to even across the whole of the House. The unusually high number of Democratic SEnate seats at risk tends to make the math look bad.

    Then there’s the Obama question. It is a truism that the President’s polls are lousy. Maybe. Maybe not. A solid 15% of the electorate are people like me who say we disapprove of Obamneycare, that multi-trillion dollar give-away to the insurance companies. But everybody of this frame of mind will be voting, and 100% Democratic. We like and approve of the Obamas, and are just sorry as hell that he, and we, got stuck with such a lousy political bind that we had to take second or fifth best in legislation.

    The fact remains there are millions of people out there who now have superior medical insurance, i.e. better than what they had before. And there are millions more — all in Republican States — who are being denied access to Obamneycare through the interference of their right-wing State Administrations. What will this mean?

    I don’t know yet. But I do remember that olde saw of Abraham Lincoln’s. “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time. But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

    It’s going to be interesting.


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