The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Two Words

“You lie!”

Takes about a second to say.

Yet, in that second, the momentum we on the right had built up since the first tea parties in February, and especially during the townhalls in August, died.

I pride myself on being a strategist of sorts; I always try to see the big picture before saying something or making a move. And I think most of my friends-from both sides of the political spectrum-would agree that I at least take time to think things through before shooting my mouth off (they’d also say that the times I haven’t have not ended well). So, looking at last night from that “big picture” perspective, here’s what really happened.

As I said in my rant last night, Rep. Wilson screwed himself. He should be censured, and most likely will not be reelected next year. I’m not going to demonize him, as losing his seat because of this will probably be punishment enough. That’s all I’m going to say on him here.

For the majority of this year, conservatives/Republicans have held the role of the “loyal opposition.” We’ve supported on the few things we could (the military action in Afghanistan being a good example-and maybe the only one). But at the times we couldn’t, we were able to channel our opposition into a movement that could counter the president’s plans and policies with a rational argument: stop spending our kids’ future, and make sure whatever you’re doing in constitutionally justified. Even with the few crazies here and there (open carry laws aside, carrying private weapons around the President is just asking for trouble!), we were able to make a clear, coherent case to the American people. Not just the conservative-leaners, but independents as well.

That changed last night.

In the time it takes to sneeze, we lost control of a narrative that we pretty much owned. No longer the loyal opposition, we’re going to spend the coming weeks either defending ourselves from the left or defending our individual selves from those on the right who will question our conservativism when trying to distance ourselves from Wilson’s outburst. Either way, we lose precious time fighting battles that could well have been avoided, and not talking about the issues that need to be discussed.

Moreover, our image among independents will probably take a large hit. I wouldn’t be surprised that when the healthcare bill goes up for a vote, the Blue Dogs faithfully return home. At the end of the day for a politician, it’s all about getting elected and then reelected (not saying that’s right, just that it is.) Can you imagine the ads that will be run asking conservative/Republican candidates whether they agree that the President’s a liar? I don’t write ads for a living, but even I could make effective ones out of that.

Such is the power of our language. Two words can kill you.

There’s some on my side who will rush to lionize Joe Wilson and make him a hero for the “silent majority.” They’ll point out pictures of Democrats booing and hissing President Bush, and make the claim that disrespect warrants disrespect. News flash: no, it doesn’t. Disrespect warrants being the bigger person, and not stooping to their level. Because when you do that, you stop “surrounding them” and become them. Again, big picture.

 

I haven’t had time to write a post about it, but the conservative movement and the GOP suffers from a tactical ignorance. We occasionally get so wrapped up in our long-term thinking that we forget to look at what’s in front of us. We can see the whole forest, but it’s the tree staring us in the face that we miss. Way too often over the last year, we’ve shot ourselves in the foot…and that’s been our undoing. Given time, we can win wars…but those victories have, of late, been pyrrhic.

We’ve got to learn to think about where we are, what we say, and the immediate consequences of it before shooting off. Calling the President a liar-while tolerated when done by everyday citizens of every political stripe-has no place among our elected officials. That’s the problem with public servanthood; you find yourself held to a higher standard than you may be able to live up to.

I’m not completely sure how we got to this point, this ledge…but we need to back away from it. Quickly.

Or else the two words that will mark our future will be “permanent minority.”

HB2DF,

-Coby

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Written by Coby Dillard

September 10, 2009 at 9:21 am

8 Responses

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  1. good post

    Val

    September 10, 2009 at 10:11 am

  2. Hi D,

    I have to disagree with you here. The left will make much of this but Bush was heckled by Congress and the video is already out on the web.

    Truth be told, Obama’s speech was highly partisan and IMO not paricularly “Presidential’… accusing his opponents of lying and demanding an end to “bickering,” which Americans used to call “debate” and “dissent”. He again accused his opposition of not offering any ideas, when Congressional Republicans have a comprehensive reform bill in committee and had copies of it in the chamber when Obama gave his speech.

    Further, Obama said nothing new in this speech. He is still offering everything for nothing. The numbers JUST DON’T ADD UP.

    S

    September 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

  3. Hey Coby,
    Very good, provacative post. I’m not sure I can completely agree with you, however. As a preacher, I suppose I rally to the one who dares call a lie by its name, rather than dressing it up as “a mis-statement of fact.” Just as I have little respect for those milquetoast ministers who tiptoe around issues of sin, I prefer public servants who don’t dance around the truth, but proclaim it boldly. If the political right has been gaining ground, and it certainly seems it has, it is because the average person is fed up with the lies of those who want to see government take over healthcare. My only issue with the congressman was that he didn’t wait until the helathcare show was over and find a camera and then voice his opinion that the president is a liar. No, it might not have been politically expedient, but it would have been better than calling it out from the relative safety of a crowd.

    Charles

    September 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  4. Obama’s Lies Matter Too

    http://reason.com/news/show/135976.html

    S

    September 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  5. Boy S how does it feel to live in a state of delusion.You say its video of Democratic congressman calling bush a liar,Prove it.When your pin-up girlfriend sister sarah says their are death panels and there are no such things what do you call it?A misunderstanding.She is a liar and all of your right hacks who said it are liars.When your side says that the government would provide health care to illegals even though the humane and christian thing to do is to take care of the least of us that is a lie.Your party has no morals or values,none whatsoever.I seen your side so call reform bill and trust on this its a farce just like conservatism.

    dj chefron

    September 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

  6. S,
    I can’t even get my mind wrapped around the speech, because of Rep. Wilson. No, he didn’t say much that was new, though I’m interested to see what comes out of the tort reform discussions.

    Coby Dillard

    September 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

  7. Charles,
    My only issue with the congressman was that he didn’t wait until the helathcare show was over and find a camera and then voice his opinion that the president is a liar.

    Which is the real problem. If he had done it after the speech on CNN/FNC, it would’ve stung, but not nearly as bad as it does now. Complete wrong place, complete wrong time. PBO will probably get called a liar Saturday in DC, but that’s to be expected.

    Coby Dillard

    September 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm

  8. This what republicans have brought to the country since President Obama took office
    We’ve had people carry guns to Obama events in the month of August.
    –We’ve had people hold signs with Obama as Hitler in the past few weeks.
    –We’ve had idioticians Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich accuse Obama of “death panels.”
    –We’ve had Glenn Beck agree that Osama Bin Laden is the only way to save America from Obama.
    –We’ve had Glenn Beck call the President a racist.
    –We’ve had the right wing in this country get up in arms over a speech to school children on Tuesday (in which the school children acted like adults, and the adults in the Republican party acted like children.)
    –We’ve had a member of the South Carolina legislature, Rep. Joe Wilson, shout out at a joint address to Congress that the President lies.
    –We’ve had Lindsey Graham say that Obama is disrespecting the office of the presidency.
    –We now have Sarah Palin, today, saying that Obama was a meanie for saying that the death panel claim was a lie.
    Which lead to this
    Capitol Police stopped Joshua Bowman, 28, of Falls Church, Va., at approximately 8 p.m. on Wednesday night several blocks away from the Capitol as he made a “failed attempt to gain access to [a Capitol] barricade,” a spokeswoman said.

    After consenting to an administrative search of his vehicle, a shotgun in its case with ammunition was found in the vehicle’s trunk.

    While the arrest was made by Capitol Police officers, the department was working in conjunction with U.S. Secret Service on Wednesday night as members of the White House and nearly the full body of Congress attended Obama’s speech.
    You republicans are playing with fire and whatever god you pray to nothing better not happen to our President.

    dj chefron

    September 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm


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