Talk-radio host Sean Hannity has recently devised a plan for Republican success in November, aptly titled: “Hannity’s Top 10 Items for Victory.” Among the listed items are some probably helpful but ultimately bland and predictable suggestions such as supporting tax cuts, a border fence, free-market healthcare and, puzzlingly but not suprisingly, support for the “American Dream.”
But on a couple of the perennial issues of the day–the Iraq War and appeasement–Hannity is notably paralyzed. In order to be the “Candidate of National security” the presumably Republican candidate needs to support “Victory in Iraq” according to Hannity, as well as be a candidate that will fully support NSA wiretapping, the PATRIOT Act, “tough interrogations,” and “keeping Gitmo open.” On appeasement, Hannity calls for a candidate that will “oppose any and all efforts to negotiate with dictators of the world in places like Iran, Syria, N.Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela without ‘pre-conditions.'” Lets throw in Reykjavik (circa 1986) and Beijing (circa 1972) while we’re at it!
A sensible idea, one would assume, when considering a path to victory in an election season, would be to check with relevant polling data on the issues you hope to address. Apparently this is not true of Hannity, who chose to ignore the ever-growing divide between the GOP and the American people on Iraq. Not only does recent polling reveal that around 70% of Americans disapprove of the current situation in Iraq, but more than 70% of the American people disapprove of Hannity’s presumed definition of victory, defined as “keep troops in Iraq as long as needed.”
All signs point to the Republicans continuing to lose favor with the people, especially when the only plans for victory presented–like those presented in the Davis Memo or from talking heads like Sean Hannity–ignore the major causes of the Republicans’ dilemma.
On a somewhat unrelated note, someone should explain to Hannity, who wants a candidate who will promise to balance the budget, that “victory” is quite an expensive policy. Without major tax hikes, victory and a sensible budget are seemingly incompatible.