Quote of the Day: Duck Dynasty controversy poses danger to GOP

Our political Quote of the Day comes from NBC’s First Read, which notes the dangers face the Republican Party as conservatives leap to defend the patriarch of Duck Dynasty over his anti-gay comments:

*** Conservatives don’t “Duck” this fight: From one thorny GOP issue to another… To us, that Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” saying something controversial/offensive isn’t political news, or that it’s political news he got suspended from A&E for saying it. After all, plenty of celebrities — conservative or liberal — say controversial/offensive things all the time and they usually get some slap on the wrist. But what IS political news is when prominent politicians swoop in to defend the controversial/offensive comments. Here was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R): “The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.” (Of course, companies are also entitled to fire/suspend their employees, too.) And here was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Twitter: “If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over treatment of Phil Robertson.” But the real reason why this is a story is that the Jindal-Cruz comments go precisely against the RNC’s autopsy recommendations. “On messaging, we must change our tone — especially on certain social issues that are turning off young voters,” the RNC report said. These comments may feel good in the moment and appeal to the base (something certainly Jindal needs to do with sagging poll numbers). But that’s all this is talking to. And it reinforces the problems Republicans have with swing voters when it comes to these issues. That’s the danger here. Republicans have three choices on things like this – denounce, support, or say nothing. The safest thing for most of them is to say nothing.

But Republicans won’t on this and other matters. The fact of the matter is many in the GOP look at swing voters with disdain — as wishy washy for taking too long to decide (which often means ‘think through’) on issues, or The Enemy for leaning towards the Dems if they don’t agree with the Republicans. Additionally, the prime concerns in the GOP are to not make enemies of talk show hosts and to appeal the party’s base. Not doing one of either of these could mean doom for anyone in the Republican Party hoping to win primaries and the Oval Office.

The bottom line is this: there is no Republican rebranding. Only existing brand re-affirmation.

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  • http://themoderatevoice.com/ RON BEASLEY

    The Republican party created this nightmare that is it’s base – intolerant Bible thumping Confederates. Thanks to gerrymandering it will probably be able to hold on to the House for a few years but it will never be a national party again. Can the corporate interests overcome the tea party? I doubt it but we will see in 2014. While the civil war may have ended well over a hundred years ago it still continues.

  • The_Ohioan

    A&E has reinstated Mr. Robertson. Any questions?

  • Rambie

    T.O., I’m not surprised, A&E stated before they were hoping it’s all blow over so it projected their feelings.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Read this weekend that if A&E loses Duck Dynasty it would be a loss of 500 million dollars… That’s the bottom line…

  • JSpencer

    Who needs standards if you have enough money? Deals with the devil have become the norm.

  • sheknows

    I heard Mitt Romney in a speech once when a member from the crowd ( heckler or plant) asked him if capitalism was the only thing Republicans believed in. He said some unrelated garbage about democracy and freedom, blah, blah. The question was a good one although the definition of capitalism can now officially be changed. It is greed. That’s all it is. Greed Def.: intense and overwhelming desire for something, ie wealth, power.
    Our economy is based on the relentless pursuit of profit at the cost of morals, health, and even life itself.

  • JIM SATTERFIELD

    As conservatives defend Robertson they forget the racial component of what he said. It’s highly unlikely that African Americans will.

  • sheknows

    What about A&E forgetting it?? I doubt we will be seeing the Alvin Ailey Dance troupe perform for their network anytime soon. And oh…I also agree the ARTS part of the name should be removed.