Horowitz provides a few examples of what he calls the political miscalculations of Ryan’s budget to demonstrate his point. By unnecessarily “telegraphing” the cuts, Horowitz believes that Ryan has successfully made “mortal enemies” out of fans of public radio and television by cutting subsidies to public broadcasting and the poor by reducing funds for legal services. While fiscal conservatives might cheer the downsizing of the government, it’s not them Republicans need to win over. The real battle for the electorate is “the moral war”:
What Republicans fail to grasp is that Democrats have made the political conflict a moral war, while Republicans continue to approach it as an argument over policy. What policy could Obama run on in the last presidential election? Everyone agrees that there was none. Obama ran against Republicans by charging they were anti-woman, anti-black, anti-poor and so forth. And this battle plan wasn’t even original with him. It is the staple of Democrats’ attacks.
What is the Republican answer? There is none. There is a lot of defensive shuffling. But there is no counter-attack of equal magnitude and force that would put Democrats on the defensive.