Weakness Does Not Make A Political Party
The recent gymnastics in Washington, D.C. with parliamentary maneuvers involving the efforts to defund or diminish ObamaCare, demonstrate weakness in the Republican Party. Fundraising among the national Republican Party leadership is down. The numbers of party regulars voting during the 2012 elections was reduced from 2008. This has been blamed upon demographics. However, the cause is more likely due to the lack of sincerity and commitment from the leadership of the Republican Party.
Over 60% of the nation opposes ObamaCare. Most want it defunded and dismantled. The Republican leadership has promised to oppose ObamaCare. Yet they cynically attack Senators Lee and Cruz in their efforts to delay the operation of ObamaCare. Clearly, their attempt to defund the legislation was doomed from the beginning as Republicans only control one branch of Congress and do not control the Presidency. Yet, safety is not a strategy for success in this matter.
Boldness is the stuff of leadership. Many have argued that the Republicans must not risk bad press. This is the fear behind the call to not shut down the government. They allude to the days of Newt Gingrich fighting President Clinton. The Republicans will never receive good press unless they are attacking other Republicans. Witness the good press Representative King of New York has gotten over this issue.
The Republican leaders have failed to understand their supporters. Those in favor of ObamaCare are not Republican voters generally. They tend to support lower taxes and private enterprise. Democrats have succeeded in securing votes from those who see government as the solution to societal ills. Democrats do not vote for Democrat-light or moderately liberal Republicans. That battle (over the middle position voters) is for independent or moderate voters. Generally, these moderates are opposed to ObamaCare and its heavy handed regulatory control. However, they oppose a government shut-down over ObamaCare.
The House Republicans have more power than they exercise. The power of purse is the only way to stop ObamaCare. The President has granted many wavers this year, recognizing the weakness of his position. Yet he is bold in the political moves. He stands against the House and energizes his base. The Speaker of the House must do the same or the stalwarts will abandon the Party. They risk becoming a minority Party for another 40 years or longer. Their loss of control of the Congress during the Bush years resulted from their excessive spending in contradiction of their stated values. If they fail to try to halt ObamaCare they risk the same result. A bold effort could give them the Senate.
There has not been a budget passed in four years. The Congress has operated on continuing resolutions. It is time to use this method more creatively. Send up one bill per agency or Cabinet Department. Send up the Health and Human Services Department spending bill last without any Obamacare funding. Send up the funding for Social Security first and let Senator Reid block it in public. Then send up the military budget and let him block it in public. Do this until time runs out. The President can then exercise the veto in public.
ObamaCare is set to take effect. It will be almost impossible to undo once it is in place. The private health insurance system is being dismantled and will be hard to restore. We cannot wait for the good knight to come and save the day. The President wanted to change America. He has succeeded. Our national family income is down to 1989 levels. This breeds more dependency and future Democrats. The Supreme Court did not save the day on this issue. Mitt Romney ran a poor campaign which did not energize voters during a poor economy. Time is running out. Bold leadership will energize the disheartened to vote in 2014 for Republicans. Presently, these citizens see nothing to galvanize around and have abandoned the Republican Party.
Lincoln helped create the Republican Party during a more difficult time. His bold and risky plans for a modern country during the 1860's were met by derision beyond anything witnessed today. A civil war resulted, far worse than the acrimonious debates we see today. Obama was bold when in 2009 he chose to push his health care bill through Congress despite the urgings for caution. That is the stuff of leadership. Will the Republicans be willing to risk enough to succeed? The safe road will be narrower and result in fewer supporters. More primary challenges will weaken the establishment. Will the Republican leadership understand what their base wants?