Month: October 2013

Three Ways the GOP and Conservatism Can Win Again

I’m going to put my liberalism aside and give three serious suggestions how the Republicans can renew the spirit of conservatism and bring life back into their party without conceding their conservative principles:

  1. Direct your low tax message to working-class minorities: Reverse the perception that the GOP is the party of the rich. Putting horse-owning millionaire Romney up as your presidential candidate didn’t help that perception. Minorities don’t trust that the GOP is looking out for them. It’s hard to blame them when people keep hearing from Obama that the GOP “only” wants tax cuts for the rich. The GOP wants tax cuts for all. So why not say that more? Direct anti-tax message to working-class minorities more and emphasize payroll taxes and income taxes. That’s where workers see it most clearly. If the GOP were to say ,”Keep more of your paycheck!”, that makes sense to everyday people. Not “Let’s cut the capital gains tax!” WTF is capital gains? And I emphasize minorities because they’re the demographic that the GOP needs the biggest gains to achieve more electoral victories in 2014 and 2016.
  2. Open doors for women, not lock them: Even though a principle of conservatism is to keep the status-quo, it doesn’t help the party when the House GOP voted overwhelmingly against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Women who are in the middle of the political spectrum are not going to find that appealing. Reverse the anti-women perception by being more pragmatically helpful and open doors for women (in other words, just don’t block things, like abortion and contraceptives). The GOP can still appeal to women by valuing the work of women, especially those who work-at-home. Examples: Support homeschool initiatives, ease regulations on home day-cares, give tax credits for young mothers who want to finish college, college scholarships for conservative female students. Oh yeah, all those crazy rape comments by your older white GOP politicians don’t help either. So, at the state level, how about harsher punishments for rapists and more funding for police to solve rape cases? Last time I checked, the GOP prided on being pro-law and order.
  3. Promote a “smarter” and “more efficient” government, not “smaller”: What’s the difference? Smaller implies people are going to get less from their government and people don’t want to lose what they’re already getting. Smaller isn’t an appealing term. However, everybody loves efficiency! And everybody hates bureaucracy! The GOP can indeed make “small” government more marketable to independents and liberals by promising reductions in levels of government bureaucracy. When people buy into that, that will then give the party the political capital to reduce the amount of workers in the federal and state government, thus decreasing government spending. Also, how about supporting more technology to make interacting with the government more palatable, like the DMV, which is universally hated? Win! 



The Myth of Scioscia’s Style

Once in a while, somebody will comment to me or on that Mike Scioscia’s style of play (“small ball,” hit and run, speed, sacrificing, etc.) doesn’t suit the current Angels roster of power hitters, like Pujols, Hamilton, and Trumbo. That assessment would then usually be a platform for firing Scioscia because he doesn’t know what to do with a power hitting line-up. Here’s what I wrote a few days ago on my Facebook:

“I would argue that it’s not one style that wins, but the execution of the players that matters the most. In 2002, Troy Glaus, Garret Anderson, and Tim Salmon had slugging percentages of .453, .539, and .503, respectively. In 2013, only one player slugged over .500 (Trout!). Of the current regular starters, Trumbo was 2nd in slugging percentage at .453. So arguably, the 2002 team had more power than 2013. It’s not that Pujols, Hamilton, and to some extent Trumbo doesn’t “fit” Scioscia’s “style” of small ball. They’re just not hitting well in general. To make the point further, the 2002 team was superior because it got on-base more (.341 OBP) and scored more runs (851). By the way, those stats are almost identical to the 2013 Red Sox with .349 OBP and 853 runs, both league highs. The 2013 Angels had .329 OBP and scored only 733 runs. It’s hard to play small ball (steal and sacrifices) if batters aren’t getting on base.”

On top of that, Scioscia’s small ball in 2002 was lauded only because his players executed hitting very well. In other words, we overvalued his strategy. It wasn’t really Scioscia’s small ball strategy that helped with the Game 6 World Series comeback in 2002. It was the home run of Scott Spezio that got the team back into the game, the leadoff home run of Darin Erstad that got them closer, and the double of power hitter Troy Glaus to score the subsequent tying and go-ahead runs. All in all, it goes to the general sabermetric belief that managers don’t manage the game as much as they manage men.