October 28, 2014

"The GOP's Giddiness Over Hillary Clinton's Jobs 'Gaffe' Will Backfire."

That's the title of a New Republic article by Brian Beutler, and I'm sure it makes some liberal-lefty readers feel good, but a competent consumer of propaganda begins with a thought like: So I guess Democrats are terrified that Hillary's pandering to the you-didn't-build that crowd is going to destroy her.

How can Beutler purport to predict that this sound bite cannot be exploited without backfiring? The Democrats won the last presidential election by exploiting one awkward thing Mitt Romney said.

Beutler doesn't mention that, but he makes much of the Republicans' use of Obama's "you didn’t build that" remark, which didn't prevent him from winning in 2012. 
[I]n hindsight, many conservatives acknowledged that the GOP’s obsession with that gaffe revealed more damaging truths about the Republican Party than the gaffe itself revealed about Obama.

“One after another, [Republican businessowners] talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single—factory worker went out there,” Rick Santorum told activists at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference last year. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”

The fixation on [Hillary's] gaffe foreshadows another Republican presidential campaign centered on the preeminence of the entrepreneur, to the exclusion of the wage worker and the trade unionist and the jobless.
"Gaffe" is not the right word. The point isn't: Ha ha, you made a ridiculous mistake. It's: You said what you really think in a revealing way and we're going to use that against you. That's obviously part of American politics, and in 2012, both the 47% thing and "You didn't build that" were revealing and useful. Both were used, and if Obama won, I doubt that it's because the Republicans shouldn't have exploited "You didn't build that." It's more likely that Democrats (and their media friends) jumped on the 47% remark and used it ruthlessly.

The trick is to use these revealing statements well. It would be foolish for Republicans to take the advice to leave the Democrats' overly leftist lines alone. If it's good advice, you'd have to believe that Democrats would leave the Republicans' overly right-wing lines alone. Who believes that?

64 comments:

mccullough said...

Hillary isn't as likeable as Obama. She's actually not even likeable. And, as her statement shows, she's not smart either. The GOP will use this statement, along with other stupid statements against her. She's been in the scene more than two decades and she still blunders.

David said...

This particular statement is not going to hurt Hillary. Who knows if she really believes it. Does she even know what she believes anymore?

Little has been made of Hillary's demeanor when making the statement. She was tired, a bit disheveled, glib and dismissive. She looked anything but "Presidential."

Of course she was pandering but she's going to have to clean up her act if she wants to make it through the long haul of a campaign. Small, petty, glib and confusing is not what the voters are looking for.

Matt Sablan said...

Republicans should use the line not like a cudgel, but like a rallying cry. It won't really swing any voters in either direction. It won't alienate anyone, and it won't bring in new converts.

That doesn't matter. The last several election cycles have been turn out competitions [something Rove actually saw way back in the days of GWB!] Obama exploited turn out by micro-targeting and finding exactly what notes to strike with people to make them actually turn out. Republicans are less successful at getting their voters to turn out because of infighting and a much less top-down structure compared to Democrat's political machinery.

If they want to win, they need to learn from what works for Democrats. And that is motivating your allies with promises of good things and threatening them with bad things should your opponents win. Nothing new in politics, but over the last decade or so, it has become acceptable to pander that blatantly instead of trying to paper over it.

Henry said...

David wrote: Small, petty, glib and confusing is not what the voters are looking for.

Exactly right. Tall, petty, glib, and cool seals the deal.

Brando said...

Does demonstrate a lack of message discipline. Expect a lot of mistakes like this--she's just not good at politics. And her scummy husband is as much hindrance as help to her.

Those high numbers she has now will come down to earth once the race gets under way next year. The bigger question is if the GOP nominates someone good enough to win and the party faithful don't screw it up.

The GOP discipline this year has been surprisingly impressive. Maybe they learned a bit since 2012.

campy said...

"Small, petty, glib and confusing is not what the voters are looking for."

Voters? Since when do they matter?

tim maguire said...

Prof., you are quite right that it's not written to sway Republican strategists, no more than a handful of non-Democratic voters will ever see that column. He's trying to maintain enthusiasm within the ranks. These people NEED to show up on Tuesday if there is any hope to stem the bleeding.

Jim said...

This coming from the party of "real rape" and macaca make no sense.

Alexander said...

It would be nice if the Bush's and the Clinton's each had an acceptably 'inner circle' family member of around the same age who could get married (at this point, we'll waive the requirement they be different genders, because progress.)

Then they could rename themselves the Bunton's and we could do away with this silly pretense of democratic rule. Archduke Obama as a sop to those objecting to a white monarch.

Plenty of Dukes and Princes for our beloved Congressmen and top-tier bureaucrats. Rick Perry can be a Marquis, what with him diligently garrisoning the border and all. Then we can fill out any leftover positions with the Earl of Microsoft and the Count of Pepsi.

Ah well. In the here-and-now, if Hillary loses her shot at the Cherry Blossom Throne, it won't be because the Republicans do or don't do any damn thing: she'll have been snubbed by someone else in the party.

Matt Sablan said...

"This coming from the party of "real rape" and macaca make no sense. "

-- I don't believe it was "real rape," the quote was "forcible rape," which for a long time had a different legal meaning than other kinds of rape [to differentiate the kind of injuries you could expect on the victim.] It has recently, maybe in the last decade or so, become a redundant phrase.

Republicans also don't have the monopoly on racist comments. But, hey, squirrels are cute. I like squirrels.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah The New Republic--ever faithful, ever hopeful. shoveling progressive pabulum to the true believers.

This year a more appropriate title for the magazine would be "Whistling Past The Graveyard".


But political cycles come and go, and this year the progressives should get a thumping--which they richly deserve.

But we'll see if that battered old hag, who's made more pitches in political alleys than a Times Square hooker, can carry the progressives over the line in 2016.

JohnBoy said...

Ann - this is perfect.

There is an Atlantic.com article desperately asking if Hillary's "lack of relatibility" can be solved by Twitter.

Big Mike said...

If Republicans want to push the credible notion that Hillary doesn't understand the first thing about economics, her gaffe will support that.

If Republicans want to push the credible notion that Hillary doesn't bother to learn from her mistakes, then they will push the "What difference at this point does it make?" gaffe.

I might add in passing that Beutler, writing for TNR, may very well agree with Hillary's statement about businesses not being the source of jobs.

tim in vermont said...

There is an Atlantic.com article desperately asking if Hillary's "lack of relatibility" can be solved by Twitter.

I am doing my best exercising my "heckler's veto" on her hashtags to make sure it can't. It is easy with Hillary, you don't have to be nasty, just point out stuff she has said, such as when she was pushing HillaryCare.

ring Hillary Clinton's 1993 visit to Capitol Hill to testify about her proposed health-care plan, she was asked by Virginia Rep. Norman Sisisky what could be done to ease the burden of the plan's mandates on small businesses.

The former first lady responded in her best let-'em-eat-cake style: "I can't go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America."

Left Bank of the Charles said...

My father always likes to say that this has become a "nation of employees."

I had a fiend who was a young GM middle manager in the auto industry back in the 1980s.

He didn't like the UAW. He especially didn't like how the worst employees exploited the grievance procedures. But he also understood that when the UAW won raises through collective bargaining, he got raises too.

JPS said...

Matthew Sablan:

"- I don't believe it was "real rape," the quote was "forcible rape,"

Sorry to nit-pick, but Akin referred to "legitimate rape". Which I think some people interpreted as his bestowing approval on the act, but which I interpreted as you have, as in forcible rape.

That's not a defense of Akin, or of his fascinating theories on what women's bodies do about pregnancy in such cases. To the Democrats who made all Republicans answer for that, in a way that they themselves are never called to account for the lunatics in their own ranks: Well played.

tim in vermont said...

He didn't like the UAW. He especially didn't like how the worst employees exploited the grievance procedures. But he also understood that when the UAW won raises through collective bargaining, he got raises too.

So how did he feel when Obama and the UAW screwed over his retirement benefits as part of the bankruptcy without taking a dime cut in pay themselves?

Matt Sablan said...

I thought we were talking about someone other than Aiken that I can't remember. I didn't know people considered anything he had to say on the matter legitimate.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Prof A's paranthetical "(and their media friends)" is the actual important point in this discussion. How did the word macaca turn an election? Because Dems wanted to win? Dems always want to win, so do Repubs. One guy spells potato with an E and he's an idiot, another talks about 57 states and he's got swagger. I'm not even sure where to start with Smilin' Joe Biden--but try to imagine if he was an (R)!

One day the Repubs are going to fully accept that the Media is an enemy (or at the very least an opponent) and start acting accordingly. That doesn't mean whining about bias, it means anticipating that bias and taking the necessary steps to counteract it as best you can. Why would you agree to Candy Crowley as a neutral moderator? I like Gwen Ifill, but she wrote a laudatory book about Obama--is she really the best choice when you need someone to be "fair?"
Going outside the traditional Media can work. Confronting the Media itself and mocking their bias may work. Trying to play nice and show you're an ok person to win over some reporters and get on their good sides...that will not work. Picking a candidate known as a maverick (for siding against other Repubs) or a moderate will not work. Accepting the 5-7 point handicap biased media coverage builds in and trying to just overcome that will likely not work given a more closely-divided electorate.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Irrelevant. Free Stuff voters are sensitive to criticism of the way they hoover hand-outs and give nothing in return. Everyone knows that business owners are obscenely rich Republican plutocrats stacking bags o' cash and cackling wildly as they do down the noble working man.

garage can explain this better than I can.

Gahrie said...

How can Beutler purport to predict that this sound bite cannot be exploited without backfiring

Because he knows that not only will the media not cooperate with the Republicans like they do with the Democrats, but that the media will actively try to undermine the Republicans efforts.

Most of the MSM is clearly an arm of the democratic Party today.

jr565 said...

Sablan wrote:
If they want to win, they need to learn from what works for Democrats. And that is motivating your allies with promises of good things and threatening them with bad things should your opponents win. Nothing new in politics, but over the last decade or so, it has become acceptable to pander that blatantly instead of trying to paper over it.

Yup, play by their rules and make them live up to their rules.

bleh said...

If you ever start to think Hillary is likable, just listen to her try to rile up a crowd. She has one of the most unpleasant voices among prominent politicians. I mentioned this is the last Hillary thread, but I think it bears repeating.

She has a grating monotone voice, which makes her sound like an elderly, strict elementary school teacher who is or used to be a nun.

Wince said...

The rending of her hands and the gray "Dr. Evil" pantsuit don't help Hillary's image either.

Lnelson said...

Hillary just needs a little slapping around by a stiff Valentine appendage...preferably with the pantsuit still on.

Browndog said...

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few..... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

3) "(We) ....can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to giveup a little bit of their own turf in order to create this common ground."

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

-Hillary Clinton

For the life of me, I don't see where the latest "gaff" is.

William said...

Someone of my acquaintance was a small businessman, a jobber, a provider of gourmet dog food.. He had a few good years. A lot of the success in the good years was due to a hotshot saleswoman. She took it upon herself to sell the products at dog shows and thru vet offices. You don't build everything....... On the other hand, some of the losses were due to drivers siphoning gas from their vehicles. One driver had gone into business with a warehouse picker to overload the invoices and sell the surplus off the books. The world is a corrupt place and not all business failures are of the owner's making.

RecChief said...

Beutler is a cheerleader for the Democrat Party. Of course he is going to write that. It might contain a bit of truth, but that is accidental.

As far as ignoring the contributions of the employees, that's true too. When I became a leader in my organization, every time I received received recognition, I always stressed the contribution of my subordinates. Nowadays that call that "servant-leadership" and there are classes on it and all the other corporate folderol that go with something "new" but it's a good business practice to acknowldge the efforts of your team.

ussmidway said...

In an alternate universe where Hillary and Bill never marry, she is now a retired partner from a 2nd Tier law firm in Chicago, with connections to corrupt City Hall officials who helped her clients, and a husband who is a law professor at Loyola. They have several children and grand kids and are preparing to move to Florida.

She may have been much happier in this alternate life than the one she had in this universe, given her limited abilities and intellectual shortcomings.

It is a paternalistic anachronism that we still hold up women as potential leaders who are prominent solely on the basis of their personal relationships with powerful males. This impulse would be a blatant PC-crime in 2014 except for the fact that the unworthy beneficiaries are mostly female.* Do American woman really want the first female President to get there on the strength of her husband's political skills? What would that say about female leaders?

Despite her scattered policy ideas, one must give way more respect to Sarah Palin as a self-made political leader, despite the harshest media scrutiny, than Hillary who always gets a media pass and implies her Administration would include Bill as a close advisor.

The comparison to another strong woman: Condoleezza Rice, is even more damaging for Hilary, as the IQ gap is so glaringly obvious.

(*The small cohort of males who benefit are generally named Kennedy and hail from New England. The Biden boys will not get the same boost...)

LuAnn Zieman said...

I read the comments beneath an article that applauds Hillary's statement. The overwhelming leftist response is: Businesses don't produce jobs; consumers do. Without consumers there wouldn't be businesses. So--there you have it, folks! The fact that someone started a business up and hired people to work there does not actually produce the jobs for which those people were hired. This is such convoluted reasoning, I'm dizzy.

Unknown said...

I might add in passing that Beutler, writing for TNR, may very well agree with Hillary's statement about businesses not being the source of jobs.

Of course they aren't!

Academia, left-wing think tanks, and politically correct media organizations create jobs.

The jobs that matter that is.

mikee said...

If Althouse votes Hillary, there will be a lot of explaining for her to do.

While such a vote might lead to interesting comment threads, is the damage to the country worth it?

Anthony said...

My mom was a small business owner. Thanks to her hard work she ended up with bad athritis.

My uncle was a small business owner. He worked extremnely hard and it probably lead to an early grave.

I know I should not get worked up over either teh President's or Clinton's statemeents but sorry I do. I understand the reason it does not really resonate with most, but it did to me.

bbkingfish said...

Given the howling success of the GOP's in 2012 with "You Didn't Build That," I'm sure they will use her gaffe to blow Hillary completely out of the water, just like President Romney did to Obama two years ago.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

She's coming. Althouse will vote for her, and you will submit.


Beldar said...

Oh, Mitt gave the Dems many gifts, not just one.

Fine man. Poor politician.

Achilles said...

Progressives like Hillary want everyone to work for Walmart for minimum wage. More regulations and taxation always falls heavier on small business.

Democrats have been trying to destroy small business because big business gives them more money and supports the growth of government.

Hillary is just the next in line and she will get dumb women to vote for her vagina.

Browndog said...

LuAnn Zieman said...

I read the comments beneath an article that applauds Hillary's statement


Did they bring up the "fact" that businesses couldn't exist without the roads, bridges, electricity, etc. that the liberals provided for them?

Because, you know, only the liberals paid the taxes to fund our infrastructure. They, and only they, mined the ore, built the factories to build the machines to build the roads while the republicans sat on their asses and watched the stock market.

you didn't build that!

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
"She's coming. Althouse will vote for her, and you will submit."

It is always about submission for statists. You think you will force us to do what you want.

I went overseas to fight enemies of freedom. I look forward to fighting cowards like you.

Larry J said...

Browndog said...

For the life of me, I don't see where the latest "gaff" is.


A cynical definition of a gaffe is when a politician say what he/she actually believes. As for those quotes, there is a sizeable percentage of people in America who support the idea of taking from others to give to themselves. After all, "He who robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul."

Curious George said...

"Larry J said...
After all, "He who robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul."

Sadly more Pauls than Peters.

Dead country walking.

RecChief said...

[Norah] O'Donnell then tried to downplay the importance of the elections, noting, "Every midterm election, that since World War II, the President's opposing party has lost an average of six seats. It's really about a fickle public."

most sane people I know, when confronted with a reversal of fortune, take an introspective moment to assess whether they should make an adjustment to their approach. But for democrats, the peasants are just fickle.

Larry J said...



Curious George said...
"Larry J said...
After all, "He who robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul."

Sadly more Pauls than Peters.

Dead country walking


After they announced that Obama had won reelection in 2012, I didn't get much sleep for the rest of the night. It seemed we'd passed the tipping point where more people were taking out than putting in. When that happens (or has already happened), they can keep electing people who'll promise them ever more "free stuff". We will indeed be a dead country walking.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

- Authorship in dispute

Unknown said...

Mitt Romney might very well have won had he ran as the man who showed up on Oct. 3, 2012 (the night of the first debate with Obama), attractive, moderate, well focused, in command of the issues, and articulate i.e. the Eisenhower Republican he always was instead of wasting time during the endless primary debates trying to act like Santorum II.

Unknown said...

"I read the comments beneath an article that applauds Hillary's statement. The overwhelming leftist response is: Businesses don't produce jobs; consumers do. Without consumers there wouldn't be businesses" - That's a chicken/egg comment - without a job you do not have a consumer.

Saint Croix said...

There are a lot of women who prefer a male boss.

To me that's an interesting survey. I'm in the group of men who says it makes no difference (58%). I know that's what I damn well better say. But I feel that way, too. I was a big fan of Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin. To me there are cool women and shitty women, just like men.

But women have a different opinion. 39% of women prefer a male boss. And 25% of women prefer a female boss. That's a very gender-specific opinion. It's saying that sex is very, very relevant.

And this is bad news for Hillary.

Women are more explicitly sexist than men, either preferring women bosses or opposing women bosses. And the anti-feminist crowd is much bigger than the pro-feminist crowd.

This suggest to me that all the love Hillary gets from the media is a minority of women. 73% of women don't give a damn about her gender or are actually irritated by it.

I still remember being shocked by the comments 2 women attorneys made about female bosses. They hated them, and much preferred working for a man.

Saint Croix said...

The other danger signal is that the media keeps calling her "Hillary."

Even Sarah Palin got a Palin. Margaret Thatcher got a Thatcher. Barry Obama got an Obama.

Going by the last name is a mark of seriousness. That's why Althouse is Althouse and Meade is Meade.

Britney Spears, on the other hand, is Britney. Going by your first name is nicer and friendlier, but it also subtly diminishes you. Authorities go by their last name. You would not vote for Britney for President.

Hillary actually wants to be known as Hillary. I feel like they are desperately trying to make her more likable. Because they are desperate to get women to vote for her. But she's not likable, and this faux cute shit will backfire.

tim in vermont said...

Lame rationalizations by Hillary supporter.

tim in vermont said...

Not sure what happened to my link, but it is kind of funny anyways.

Brando said...

I don't think that the statement says much about what Hillary thinks, because she and her husband likely don't have any real beliefs or convictions except that they should be adored and given power. To achieve this, they talk the talk when necessary and here she was trying to appeal to Warren voters.

This makes sense, because even someone like Warren hasn't said anything quite as inane as "businesses don't create jobs". Warren has argued that businesses don't create jobs "alone", i.e. they need government for infrastructure and who knows what else--and her statements were wrong in that they downplayed the role of private enterprise, but at least she isn't dumb enough to think that jobs just grow on trees.

Hillary's statement is best understood as something she'll say to appeal to the fringe left, whose intelligence she clearly has a low opinion of. This makes her callous and conniving, and willing to do whatever is necessary to gain power, which is itself a dangerous thing in a leader. But I hardly believe she actually believes a statement that idiotic.

Brando said...

As to whether this gaffe will hurt her, it'll depend on how much it reinforces the existing narrative about her. The Clintons don't have a reputation as class warriors, but rather as corporate whores, so I think if anything this gaffe highlights their crass willingness to say anything to any audience than it does any deeply held leftist idiocy.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Achilles said...
It is always about submission for statists.


You crave a strong woman. A woman to crack the whip. Althouse wants it and I know you want it too. You will submit. She will be the leader of the free world.


Brando said...

"You crave a strong woman. A woman to crack the whip. Althouse wants it and I know you want it too. You will submit. She will be the leader of the free world."

Ah yes, such a strong woman that she roder her "wronged woman" victim status of "standing by her man" despite repeated public humiliations to take a Senate seat that was handed over to her, over someone like Nita Lowey who actually put her time in. A strong woman who used fake tears to earn press sympathy to get back in the primaries after early humiliations by Obama in '08. A strong woman who mismanaged the one thing she ever ran--the State Department--to the point that our relations with allies are even worse than they were after Bush left office.

If that's a "strong woman" then I would hate to see what a weak one would do.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary is the perfect democratic leader for a free people!

Not creepy at all!

Jason said...

The private sector sure as hell creates jobs for Chelsea.

Jason said...

Please don't throw me into dat der brier patch!!!

tim in vermont said...

Rationalization for Hillary I meant to post.

The weird thing is that I bet it feels like thinking to that guy.

avwh said...

The media on a GOP gaffe: take the worst interpretation possible and repeat, over & over, and make every other GOP candidate defend/renounce it.

The media on a Dem gaffe: well, what they actually meant to say is fine and dandy.

RecChief said...

until I hear a reporter yell out to Hillary! at a cemetary, "What about your GAAAAAFFES?" I won't believe that there will be a negative effect to Hillary!.

RecChief said...

AReasonableMan said...

You crave a strong woman. A woman to crack the whip.


I think this says something about you. And I don't mean politics-wise either.

Browndog said...

It's not possible that Hillary and Warren both believe the same Marxist principles...and flat out say so-

No, that would be an amazing coincidence!

Paul said...

crack said:
"Free Stuff voters are sensitive to criticism of the way they hoover hand-outs and give nothing in return."

You should know crack. Why don't you get a job and stand up on your own to feet instead of kissing the feet of the likes of Hillary and waiting for her to drop bread crumbs?

Bilwick said...

And yet if you call Hillary a "statist," "an Alinskyite" or "socialist"--YOU'D BE WRONG!Hillary was demonstrating, yet again, that "liberals" (and by "liberals" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State-fellators") have about as much grasp of economic realities as Honey Boo-Boo.

Sabinal said...

people who are voting for Hilary are actually voting for Bill .they think that if Bill is in charge one way or another, we will get the 90s back - cheap gas, lots of jobs and international "peace".

Hillary's rise will be Bill's fall. Why? Because the 90s are gone.

H & B will be dealing with
1. a post AQ universe - where extremism has been successful and had successfully challenged US policy (think 9/11 and Bengazi, which *is* a big deal despite Dems' wishful thinking )

2. a post NAFTA US - where manufacturing jobs (except for ND's oil) are gone and jobs are more contractual

3. China, Russia and some Third World nations have their stuff together and have become a fiscal threat by demanding more trade themselves *and* are seeking to end dollar dominance.

4. National healthcare has become a reality and many folks do not like it as they find they are paying way more for what are now basically catastrophic plans.

What do y'all think?