The GOP Won. Now What?

In the movie Patton General George S. Patton relates a story: "For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. . .  A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."

The story, likely a bit of poetic license taken by screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola, cannot be attributed directly to Patton. However, he was known to often use the above quote, likely derived from the Latin expression “Sic transit gloria mundi”, which translates as: "Thus passes the glory of the world".

As the GOP basks in the glory of their recent historic victory, one reinforced recently in Louisiana, they need to bear the above words in mind as their victory may be short-lived.

It seems our Democrat friends are always offering the GOP friendly political advice on various issues. The problem with this is the GOP listens to such advice all too often.

Following are a few suggestions for the new majority:

Dance with the one who brung ya’ -- Ronald Reagan is known to have used this Southern idiom, to suggest that one should continue doing that which has assured success. Sound advice in most cases, but not in this one. The Republicans need to remember; this past victory was not based on their strength, but on the weakness of the Democrats. Indeed the election was a repudiation of President Obama and his policies, Obama will not be on the ballot in 2016, though arguably his policies may well be. Winning in 2016 will be dependent, to a large degree, on what the GOP does in the next two years, not what Obama has done in the previous eight.

Approval of Loretta Lynch. Approval of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, should be contingent on her agreeing to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandals. By most accounts, Lynch seems to be a page out of the same book that brought us Eric Holder, a man more interested in ‘just us’ than in justice. If Lynch is not approved, Obama likely has another, just as radical, just as extreme ideologue cooling their heels someplace. No one believes the lost e-mails story and indeed 30,000 ‘lost’ e-mails were recently found, some of which indicate that Lerner’s lying to Congress goes far deeper than was previously known. Cut the deal, quid pro quo, and make sure this debacle is addressed.

The Party of NO. This is a meme repeated by many, including the ill-informed, as they beat the drum of Mitch McConnell’s 2010 statement regarding the goal of making Obama a ‘one-term president’ (Have the Democrats ever desired a two-term Republican president?). Rather than belabor the timing or context of McConnell’s statement, this meme has become ingrained in the culture of obfuscation, while ignoring one salient point: the House of Representatives passed 350 pieces of legislation that Harry Reid refused to bring to the Senate for vote. These bills need to be a top priority, each one that is passed needs to be presented to the president for veto or signature. Given that option, we will see who actually is the real ‘Party of no’.

The ‘Broken Immigration Laws'. This is a second false meme drummed into our heads by members of both parties. The simple fact is there are laws on the books that need to be enforced. Is a car ‘broken’ when the gas tank is empty? This administration, as well as previous ones, have ignored laws they do not like. The president’s recent action confirmed a lack of desire to enforce the laws. A top priority would be to pass a singular bill closing our border, build a fence to stop, as much as possible, illegal immigration. A second law needs to be passed clarifying U.S. Citizenship and birth rights. Simply being born in this country while not “being subject to the laws there of” should not automatically determine citizenship.

Fixing the Affordable Care Act. Rather than repeal, has to be the priority, as repeal would be too divisive, while being simplistically framed. This bill, more than any other single factor, cost the Democrats the Senate; 30 Senators who did not read the bill before they voted in the affirmative are gone. Break the monstrosity up, take that which may be individually popular (no denial for preexisting conditions), while removing those items that are most damaging. The GOP needs to pick this fight carefully, break the law down piece by piece to transform the unworkable into the workable. Referring back to General Patton: “Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.” The Affordable Care Act is now fixed in the law, relying on a vote from John Roberts to overturn the law would be foolish. Heed the advice of the General; go around it to destroy it. But be sure to have a replacement plan in mind before doing so.

Accept the young lions into the GOP. The glory days of John McCain, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and other elder statesmen are history. The GOP needs to accept the new age Republican’s entering the fray. The new age includes people of color (Lisa Love, Tim Scott, Bobby Jindal) as well as many women including three new senators and three new governors. The new wave also has solutions, as Gov. Walker has demonstrated.  Democrats have long worked with extremists within their party for the sake of party unity. Today the GOP fears the Tea Party, more than they do Democrats (see the Mississippi senatorial race). Robert Costa of The Washington Post stated that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is “pushing back the Tea Party and it starts now by making sure that all the passions and eagerness in the House don't overtake the party.” In doing so, McConnell is dividing the party and appeasing the Democrats. Appeasement is a not a plan, it is capitulation.
 
The Republicans have a rare opportunity to prove that they have solutions, welcome all people of common belief and that the many mischaracterizations made regarding them have been made with ill-intended deceptive purposes (tip of the hat to John Gruber).
 
Here’s hoping they don’t blow it, but I for one am not holding my breath.

In the movie Patton General George S. Patton relates a story: "For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. . .  A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."

The story, likely a bit of poetic license taken by screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola, cannot be attributed directly to Patton. However, he was known to often use the above quote, likely derived from the Latin expression “Sic transit gloria mundi”, which translates as: "Thus passes the glory of the world".

As the GOP basks in the glory of their recent historic victory, one reinforced recently in Louisiana, they need to bear the above words in mind as their victory may be short-lived.

It seems our Democrat friends are always offering the GOP friendly political advice on various issues. The problem with this is the GOP listens to such advice all too often.

Following are a few suggestions for the new majority:

Dance with the one who brung ya’ -- Ronald Reagan is known to have used this Southern idiom, to suggest that one should continue doing that which has assured success. Sound advice in most cases, but not in this one. The Republicans need to remember; this past victory was not based on their strength, but on the weakness of the Democrats. Indeed the election was a repudiation of President Obama and his policies, Obama will not be on the ballot in 2016, though arguably his policies may well be. Winning in 2016 will be dependent, to a large degree, on what the GOP does in the next two years, not what Obama has done in the previous eight.

Approval of Loretta Lynch. Approval of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, should be contingent on her agreeing to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandals. By most accounts, Lynch seems to be a page out of the same book that brought us Eric Holder, a man more interested in ‘just us’ than in justice. If Lynch is not approved, Obama likely has another, just as radical, just as extreme ideologue cooling their heels someplace. No one believes the lost e-mails story and indeed 30,000 ‘lost’ e-mails were recently found, some of which indicate that Lerner’s lying to Congress goes far deeper than was previously known. Cut the deal, quid pro quo, and make sure this debacle is addressed.

The Party of NO. This is a meme repeated by many, including the ill-informed, as they beat the drum of Mitch McConnell’s 2010 statement regarding the goal of making Obama a ‘one-term president’ (Have the Democrats ever desired a two-term Republican president?). Rather than belabor the timing or context of McConnell’s statement, this meme has become ingrained in the culture of obfuscation, while ignoring one salient point: the House of Representatives passed 350 pieces of legislation that Harry Reid refused to bring to the Senate for vote. These bills need to be a top priority, each one that is passed needs to be presented to the president for veto or signature. Given that option, we will see who actually is the real ‘Party of no’.

The ‘Broken Immigration Laws'. This is a second false meme drummed into our heads by members of both parties. The simple fact is there are laws on the books that need to be enforced. Is a car ‘broken’ when the gas tank is empty? This administration, as well as previous ones, have ignored laws they do not like. The president’s recent action confirmed a lack of desire to enforce the laws. A top priority would be to pass a singular bill closing our border, build a fence to stop, as much as possible, illegal immigration. A second law needs to be passed clarifying U.S. Citizenship and birth rights. Simply being born in this country while not “being subject to the laws there of” should not automatically determine citizenship.

Fixing the Affordable Care Act. Rather than repeal, has to be the priority, as repeal would be too divisive, while being simplistically framed. This bill, more than any other single factor, cost the Democrats the Senate; 30 Senators who did not read the bill before they voted in the affirmative are gone. Break the monstrosity up, take that which may be individually popular (no denial for preexisting conditions), while removing those items that are most damaging. The GOP needs to pick this fight carefully, break the law down piece by piece to transform the unworkable into the workable. Referring back to General Patton: “Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.” The Affordable Care Act is now fixed in the law, relying on a vote from John Roberts to overturn the law would be foolish. Heed the advice of the General; go around it to destroy it. But be sure to have a replacement plan in mind before doing so.

Accept the young lions into the GOP. The glory days of John McCain, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and other elder statesmen are history. The GOP needs to accept the new age Republican’s entering the fray. The new age includes people of color (Lisa Love, Tim Scott, Bobby Jindal) as well as many women including three new senators and three new governors. The new wave also has solutions, as Gov. Walker has demonstrated.  Democrats have long worked with extremists within their party for the sake of party unity. Today the GOP fears the Tea Party, more than they do Democrats (see the Mississippi senatorial race). Robert Costa of The Washington Post stated that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is “pushing back the Tea Party and it starts now by making sure that all the passions and eagerness in the House don't overtake the party.” In doing so, McConnell is dividing the party and appeasing the Democrats. Appeasement is a not a plan, it is capitulation.
 
The Republicans have a rare opportunity to prove that they have solutions, welcome all people of common belief and that the many mischaracterizations made regarding them have been made with ill-intended deceptive purposes (tip of the hat to John Gruber).
 
Here’s hoping they don’t blow it, but I for one am not holding my breath.