“Republican Obama”: Is That A Bad Thing?

The name “Obama” typically makes conservatives like myself reach for the garbage can to upheave our lunch. He has single-handedly attempted to destroy any semblance of conservatism this country has left and will, most likely, go down in history as the worst president in the eyes of Republicans (fair or not fair is a different debate for a different time).

Whenever the name “Obama” is used, it effectively angers the Right and induces a rage unseen anywhere else.

The problem? It may not always be a bad comparison.

Unless you have been living under a rock (if so, I may join you soon, before SMOD arrives), you have seen the attacks labeling Marco Rubio the “Republican Obama.” The label is referring to his lack of political experience and is used effectively because, as I said, the name “Obama” will always anger people on the Right without so much as a second thought.

While the analysis of experience in regards to legislative duties may be somewhat accurate (although it ignores the experience Rubio had in the Florida House of Representatives) and it is a decent attack line, there is another part to the comparison that we are ignoring: President Obama was able to unite the Democratic Party in 2008 in a way no party has been organized before.

In that sense, we need a “Republican Obama.”

Imagine, if you will, a President with the ability to mobilize the youth vote, encourage both the base and the wings, while also holding to strong conservative values. The issue with President Obama is not his legislative experience or his lack of people skills, it is his inability to have a single policy that, in the opinion of many conservatives, actually makes sense.

Rubio shares the same qualities as Obama, the only glaring difference is his principles that, despite what many on the extremely far right will tell you, are incredibly conservative.

Now, I am not calling for us to embrace the name “Republican Obama,” and I am not begging you to coalesce behind Rubio, but the stigma behind the name “Obama” has made us forget the impact he had on voter turnout and party unity in 2008 and 2012, something Republicans desperately need to emulate in 2016.

Because of the stigma, the attack line has had success, but is it really such a bad comparison?

About Kyle Foley

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Kyle Foley is a contributor to OUTSET as well as the Florida Field Director for Turning Point USA in Orlando, Florida.