Recriminations Over Sarah Palin Mask Deeper GOP Troubles – washingtonpost.com

Oh, to be a GOPper these days must be painful and difficult. Between a highly critical Vanity Fair piece on Sarah Palin and — finally! — the OK for Minnesota’s Al Franken to take his place in the US Senate is giving the beleaguered and broken Republican Party much grief. How do they deal with the situation? The Washington Post reports.

In the short term, Republican leaders plan a two-pronged strategy. First, they will try to keep the heat on moderate, red-state Democratic senators in an effort to force them to resist voting for President Obamas major initiatives. “The goal is try to affect the end result knowing they have the votes from Day One,” said a top GOP Senate aide who was not authorized to speak publicly about tactics.

Second, Republicans plan to blame Democrats for any failures in policy or inaction. “I can say without hesitation that this government is totally theirs now, and everything that comes out of it and everything that results from it is on their plate,” Republication National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele said on MSNBCs “Morning Joe.”Republican strategists say that they will target more conservative Democratic senators such as  Mary Landrieu La.,  Blanche Lincoln and  Mark Pryor both Ark., and  Ben Nelson Neb.. The approach will be to publicly attack Democratic ideas until they are so unpopular in relatively conservative states that members such as Landrieu cannot back them. This tactic worked when Republicans won a vote in the Senate that stripped funding to implement Obamas plan to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But some Republican strategists said the Coleman defeat ought to generate a broader reexamination of the partys status rather than simply a review of its legislative tactics.

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