TwitterFacebook

The GOP’s ‘Kobayashi Maru’ Problem

If they want a chance in 2016, they must start acting NOW
Politics • Views: 23,682

In the universe of Star Trek, the Kobayashi Maru is a test taken by cadets at Starfleet command. It is presented as a “no win” scenario in which there are only two possible courses of action:

1. Rescue the crew of a damaged ship, but violate a treaty to do so and provoke a battle (in which you are outgunned and cannot win) with an alien race.

2. Leave the ship alone, thus avoiding the battle but guaranteeing the certain deaths of everyone on board.

This campaign season, the GOP ended up in their own Kobayashi Maru scenario, stemming purely from the nature of the beast as it were.

They never found a good answer. There may not have been a good answer. In order to win the Republican primaries and thus become the Presidential nominee, a candidate was going to have to get the Tea Party contingent of the party on their side. This was not optional. The Tea Party became a large part of the GOP base following the 2008 elections and therefore a large segment of Republican primary voters for the 2012 election came from that group (“Tea Party” here refers to not only groups specifically identified by that name, but also other groups with similar beliefs).

In order to get that Tea Party vote and the GOP nomination, a candidate would have to promote and support viewpoints and policies favored by these groups. We saw what happened when Jon Hunstman tried to go against the grain. He failed miserably.

The eventual GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, took note of this and shifted to the right on all of his positions so he would gain some acceptance among Tea Party voters and not ruin his chances of winning the nomination.

It worked and after winning the primaries he now had to focus on the general election, which meant he’d have to find a way to appeal to wider base of voters if he wanted to win the White House.

Here we find the “Kobayashi Maru” problem.

In order to appeal to a wider range of voters, he’d have to by design support policy positions that were more moderate than what the Tea Party groups were in favor of, but if he did so he’d lose Tea Party support which would damage his chances of beating Obama.

It truly was a no-win scenario.

If he expressed a strong, direct preference for prayer in public schools, he’d hit big with the Tea Party types, but he’d also alienate moderates. If he endorsed religious freedom in schools, he’d gain moderate support but lose backers on the Tea Party side.

For the Romney campaign it became a question of “how do we successfully toe this line so as to not alienate voters on either side?”

They never found a good answer. There may not have been a good answer.

You can talk at length about the myriad of reasons Mitt Romney didn’t win in 2012, but his inability to solve the problem outlined above has to be near the top of that list.

Of course, the public comments by a variety of GOP state and federal candidates didn’t help him much either, nor did the weak response of his campaign to them.

The Romney campaign should have developed a comprehensive public relations plan and done their best to get all GOP candidates on board with it. If someone did make damaging comments, they should have acted quickly and decisively to deal with it.

But this is not just a Mitt Romney problem. It is not just a 2012 problem. It’s a Republican problem and it’s one that needs a solution sooner rather than later. With Obama re-elected the Tea Party will maintain its strength so it seems clear that whoever runs for the 2016 GOP nomination will face the same minefields as Mitt Romney did this time around.

Though there will be a new Democratic nominee next time around, the only chance the GOP has to take back the White House hinges on the answer to this one question:

“How do you win a no-win scenario?”

It’s actually not impossible.

One of the most famous parts of Star Trek canon is that James T. Kirk was one of the few cadets to actually win the Kobayashi Maru scenario and successfully save the damaged ship. He did so by reprogramming the scenario, which, while unethical to a degree, was not against the rules. In fact, he received a commendation as a result because of his “creative thinking”.

What the Republicans really need is a James T. Kirk. Someone who can open them up to a new way of looking at things that could ultimately bring some unity and cohesion to the party.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
Take advantage of our yearly subscription, and save 50% off the normal subscription price! One-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-04-18 5:26 pm PDT

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
bratwurst
GOP Sugar Daddy Sheldon Adelson To Face Allegations of Graft & Organized Crime Ties
Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who has flooded US elections with money in order to protect his interests by banning online gambling, and has long been open about his desire to see an atomic bomb dropped on Iran, will soon ...

2 hours, 58 minutes ago
Views: 111 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
The US Military’s Sexual-Assault Problem Is So Bad the UN Is Getting Involved
The US military has a problem with sexual violence. That's the conclusion of the Universal Periodic Review Panel, a UN panel that aims to address the human rights records of the 193 UN member states. This is the second ...

8 hours, 31 minutes ago
Views: 121 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Thanos
Andy McKee - Rylynn (DVD)
From the Andy McKee & Antoine Dufour DVD available at candyrat.comOfficial Stropes Guitar Transcription available at stropes.com This beautiful composition by Andy McKee has a bittersweet quality that evokes emotion and distinctive technique that has fostered innovation in contemporary ...

1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 213 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 9 • Rating: 0
#FergusonFireside
IDignity - Restoring Dignity and Hope by Providing Identification
IDignity is the organization my Brother works for & my Mother volunteers for. It is a model organization, and hoping to expand. Without an ID, you do not exist. idignity.orgfacebook.com IDignity was created to help the disadvantaged in Central Florida ...

2 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 267 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 3
Cheechako
Meyer: Make the School Year a Full Year
OPINION Meyer: Make the school year a full year By Jeremy Meyer The Denver Post POSTED: 05/22/2015 12:28:06 PM MDT8 COMMENTS| UPDATED: ABOUT 3 HOURS AGO Colorado's attendance law requires districts to provide at least 1,056 hours of instructional ...

2 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 242 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Great White Snark
Elizabeth Warren Rouses California Democrats: ‘America Is Ready to Stand With Us’
I emboldened (bolded ?) that last line as it most agrees with why I have a hard time settling for a candidate I don't like because they appear less harmful than the other. For some this is really a primary ...

2 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 301 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
jhncsy
How America’s First Female Detective Helped Foil An Assassination Plot
If reading The Bourne Identity and watching Burn Notice has taught me anything, it's that spies need to blend in. Kate Warne was a master at this: The novelty of a female detective in those days meant Warne was able ...

3 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 547 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 19 • Rating: 4
CriticalDragon1177
The Independent - New health minister opposed to abortion urged to reconsider stance
The United States isn't the only western nation where some people want to restrict access to abortion. It sounds like certain British politicians would want to limit when, where, and how a women can get one, assuming they wouldn't like ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 726 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 6 • Rating: 2
Uraniabce
Omar Khadr walks free on bail after 13 years in custody
After 13 years of incarceration, after torture and abuse, after being abandoned by his own government, Omar Khadr is finally freed. "Mr. Khadr you're free to go," Alberta judge says in denying Ottawa its emergency motion. Ottawa condemns the release ...

2 weeks, 3 days ago
Views: 1,099 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 32 • Rating: 4
 Frank says:

A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.