By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune, October 19, 2013
You might call the Republicans’ recent efforts related to the federal government shutdown and their battle with the Democrats over the debt ceiling as “strategic incompetence.”
Strategic incompetence is the act of appearing to not know what you are doing, all the while, knowing exactly what you want to accomplish by pretending to be incompetent.
My friend Roy engages in strategic incompetence from time to time. For example, after his wife had their son, Roy decided he didn’t like changing diapers. So he would pretend to be incompetent by fumbling with the diapers, never getting the child clean enough, and otherwise incorrectly changing the diaper and upsetting the baby. In the end, his wife believed Roy was not competent to change the diapers, and she told him he didn’t have to do it anymore — which is exactly what Roy wanted.
By shutting the government down over the train wreck that is known as Obamacare and having threatened to not increase the debt ceiling, the Republicans appeared — just as Roy appeared in the eyes of his lovely wife — to be incompetent in the eyes of voters.
The strategic part of the GOP’s shutdown and debt ceiling plan was to show the American public that our government’s fiscal house needs to be put in order before the system collapses from its own weight. The Republicans’ dichotomy was they had to look incompetent to demonstrate the need for order by creating disorder.
The Republicans clearly lost the PR battle over the shutdown and the debt ceiling limit extension. Unfortunately for the GOP, the spiraling federal debt as an issue of concern appears lost on most people. It’s significance is quite simple really: The money we’ve borrowed will have to be paid back, and it’s going to be painful.
For the GOP, they lost the battle because there is no easy way to explain the importance of getting the debt under control in a 10-second sound bite on cable news while the hyperbole of the Democrats and the mainstream media (“they’re denying children with cancer their treatments, and grandmas their Social Security checks”) gets played ad nauseum. (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following the terms and conditions of posting found here. You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.