by John Hawkins | July 22, 2009 11:42 am
From Feb 26, 2009 in a post called, “The GOP Should S-L-O-W Things Down,”
The other option the Democrats have, which is exactly what I would do if I were in their place, is to treat this as a historic opportunity and ram as much of their agenda down people’s throats as they can. That will undoubtedly cost them more seats in 2010, but it’s much easier to enact legislation than repeal it and the Democrats will probably never have a better opportunity than this one.
So, right now, when Barack Obama is at the height of his power because he’s in the honeymoon period, the Democrats are going to try to radically shift our country to the left as far as possible.
They understand that it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. You see, Obama ran as an everything to everybody, centrist candidate — yet he’s governing like Hugo Chavez. Additionally, he’s pushing a lot of huge, radical, unpopular policies. Last but not least, there’s a deep recession going on and traditionally, the politicians in charge fare very badly when the economy is bad.
Obama has already shed 7-10 points of approval in a month. By the end of March, it wouldn’t be surprising if he were in the mid-low fifties in approval. By April (maybe earlier?), it’s possible we could even see him in the forties. In other words, the Dems need to move legislation now, while Obama is still very popular, to maximize their chances of pushing a socialist agenda through.
So, that’s why the Republicans need to do everything they can to slow things down. Insist on full debates of the issues. Filibuster everything initially, even if it’s going to pass later. Make the Democrats read every bill into the record. If we can hold these guys up for just a month or two, it will make a big difference.
Obama ISN’T going to be popular forever. The sort of happy talk Obama specializes in DOES get old. Americans are going to get increasingly LEERY of these big government solutions to all of our problems. It will happen and it will happen relatively fast — probably in a few months’ time. When it does, the fight won’t be over, but in D.C., where opinion polls are treated like words from an oracle, it will make a big difference.
That’s why the GOP, at least for a few months, should do everything in its power to throw sand in the gears. Let them call us obstructionists. Let them complain. Once Obama has been weakened and his agenda becomes increasingly unpopular, then we can move on from the slow walk tactics. But, right now, it is vitally important that the GOP stand tall, stand together, and stick a leg out to trip the Dems on every bill.
It did take a little bit longer for Obama to drop than I thought it would. A Rasmussen poll of likely voters had him at 56% in April, but they’ve got him at 51% now. Even polls of adults, which are slanted to the left and essentially meaningless for political purposes, now have him in the mid-fifties. The biggest issue on his plate right now, health care? His numbers are upside down. 50% of Americans disapprove of the way he’s handling it and only 44% approve.
In any case, according to the HuffPo, there’s a RNC internal memo that essential recommends the same action on health care I was talking up back in February,
A private memo distributed by the Republican National Committee calls for like-minded advocates to help defeat President Barack Obama’s health care proposals by delaying its consideration.
…In particular, the 12-page memo makes the case that it is a Republican priority to slow down the consideration of health care reform before it can become codified.
“The Republican National Committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush while promoting sensible alternatives that address health care costs and preserve quality,” the memo affirmatively declares.
…”Every Republican should stand up for health care reform that controls cost, preserves quality and provides the health care that Americans deserve,” the memo reads. “This means standing up against President Obama’s health care plan. The Obama administration is acting with extreme haste, hoping to push through their health care experiment as fast as they can. Make no mistake — their timeline is based on what works for them politically, not on what will result in the best health care policy for Americans. The reckless speed with which they are attempting to jam through this experiment is a grave threat to America’s health care, and America’s health.”
In an effort to slow down reform, the RNC advises its advocates to use a whole host of political tools, from organizing town halls, to writing letters to the editor, to booking surrogates on radio and television, to engaging in “Street Theater” protests outside Democratic events. And in a bit of irony, the memo’s authors encourage readers to frame the president as the one acting out of political motivations.
The Democratic strategy during the Obama Administration has been as follows:
1) Get a bunch of Democratic old bulls together in a smoky backroom and have them write hundreds of pages of legalese.
2) Refuse any Republican input, keep amendments to a minimum, and try to keep people from knowing the details of the bill so they can’t protest.
3) Introduce the bill and try to get it voted on as quickly as possible, with as little debate as possible, so there’s no time for the American people to find out what’s in the bill and protest.
4) Then, months later, they explain that the bill may seem to be a disaster, but things would have been worse without it.
That’s exactly what they want to do with the healthcare bill, too. They want to ram the bill through Congress before Obama’s approval rating drops further and the people find out more about what the bill will do, which will make it even less popular. As is, it feels like a wave is starting to build that’s going to hit the Democrats in 2010 and if they keep trying to push big, unpopular legislation through, it could turn into a tsunami.
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