Never point a gun at anything you don't intend to kill. This advice was passed on to me by my father and grandfather when they taught he how to shoot as a young kid. The reason behind this is rather simplistic, you don't want to accidentally shoot something or someone, but there is a second part to this that people often forget about or never even realize exists. If you are pointing your weapon at something, or someone is pointing their weapon at you, the conscious intent is to shoot and kill.
It seems like common sense when we talk about guns and intent, yet often this principle of intent is ignored when the subject moves from something like gun safety to something like electoral politics.
Such is the case with the latest strategic advice offered by Guy Benson of Townhall, our sister site. Benson has laid out his strategic retreat from Obamacare repeal just weeks after the American public loaded up the double barreled shotgun of Congress with Republican majorities.
Benson lays out a hypothetical future in which I must assume our messaging has failed entirely. In this cynical future the GOP, which is perpetually scared of its own shadow, has come together and mustered enough courage to actually pass a repeal of Obamacare and a full replacement program in separate bills. Obama vetoes and the GOP then cries for mercy.
Are these heartless, nihilistic, mean-spirited Republicans really willing to actively hurt so many low-income people in order to once again demonstrate their hatred of the president? That will be their indignant narrative, and the media will go along with it. Americans who would benefit from the "fix" will be paraded in front of the cameras. Some nervous Republicans might start to peel off. The political shinola storm would be powerful. Meanwhile, pressure would ratchet up on states to implement exchanges, while the administration would cast about for ways of bypassing Congress, which they do habitually.
Guy's solution to this Democrat media narrative is to offer up a few "fixes" to Obamacare.
Included in the package deal would be a series of alterations to the law that Republicans have been seeking for some time, that are very popular with the public, and that would ultimately serve to undermine the law. For instance, eliminating the individual mandate tax, restoring the 40-hour work week, and repealing the medical device tax. The GOP would have real leverage and popular opinion at their backs on these points.
That Guy believes, or at least writes, that Obama would accept repeal of the individual mandate, or that we would have leverage to restore the 40 hour work week, is surprising to me, usually I'd think someone who wrote the above was being incredibly naive or incredibly stupid. Both of the "fixes" Guy suggests attack structures that are critical to Obamacare not falling apart before our very eyes. Why on earth would Obama be any less likely to veto these supposed fixes than he would a full repeal?
There is also the risk that Obama pulls a Clinton and goes ahead and signs the GOP "fixes" into law, making the GOP culpable for the mess that would follow, just in time for the 2016 Presidential Elections. Heck, maybe in this future we even have Romney as the candidate again just to add insult to injury.
While Guy is pretty good at reading the polls and providing a little bit of electoral analysis, I don't think he really understands how to message to the American public, or, more importantly, how to listen when they speak. In his advice on how to message this package of "fixes" to the American public, seems to have missed the message from the American public, or just doesn't understand the principle of intent in pointing a gun.
This is what compromise looks like in divided government, which is what the American people decisively voted for.
The American people didn't show up to vote for divided government. The reality is that GOP wins across the nation were historic, and the impetus for the wave which the GOP rode was a fundamentally conservative one.
In short, the American people stood against history and yelled stop. They yelled stop to Obamacare, and more importantly, most of Obama's allies in the Senate. The number Democrats who voted for Obamacare in the Senate has been cut in half and replaced with republicans who largely ran against Obamacare.
Yes, it is true that the President did win reelection in 2012, but he did so without a clear mandate and having actually lost many voters who voted for him in 2008. This capitulation is totally uncalled for and a primary reason why the American people remain skeptical of GOP governance.
Republicans have been giving the House and the Senate, now is the time to use our majorities, force the issues, hold press conferences with those hurt by Obamacare every day, until the Democrats are forced to relent from the pressure applied to them by the public.
The only thing that stands in our way is the cowardly cries of capitulation.