The role of the minority
- Prevent the majority from passing an agenda that is bad for the country and its citizens.
- Try to pass an agenda that they think is better.
- Get hired.
Notice the order?
You win power by showing what you will do if you get power. The current Republican leadership is blowing the job interview and doesn’t realize it.
So how does minority leadership go about showing the voters the better future they’ll get by voting for Republicans?
By demonstrating the policies they stand for by insisting on votes on amendments they offer.
Current GOP leadership is acting as if, because they’re in the minority, they have little or no power.
I don’t think they’re right..
7 dynamics of minority legislative power GOP leadership needs to embrace if they ever want to be in power again:
- The minority party has some power to stop or slow down policies they believe against the best interests of America and Americans.
- The minority party has very limited power to enact alternate policies. But they have almost unlimited power to propose their own solutions.
- The minority party has more power than they are admitting to force Democrats into up or down votes on GOP amendments. Especially on debt limits.
- Current minority leadership is afraid of being blamed for government shutdowns or missed debt limit deadlines. So they’d rather not use their power at all than risk getting voters mad at them. This also means the voters have less opportunity to examine what Republicans believe in (as opposed to what they’re against).
- If the minority party is too afraid to use the limited power they have, why will America trust them with real power?
- If the minority party insists on up or down votes on amendments and Democrats refuse, Democrats are the obstructionists. But the leadership, and many of its current members, won’t make that case.
- If the minority party insists on up or down votes and Democrats yield, even if the Republicans lose those votes, those amendments and Democratic (and Republican) votes on them become part of the record, and records can be run on and against.
Insisting on and then losing votes isn’t a lost cause. It can be a brochure to the future. This refusal to stand against Democratic bullying was a lost opportunity.
Right now, every budget or debt ceiling deadline is a super-hyped emergency Democrats and their allies in the press use to browbeat Republicans,
And so Republicans are constantly on the defensive. Always looking weak. Increasingly afraid the voting public is going to blame them for every standoff or failure to “do something.”
— Debra J. Saunders (@debrajsaunders) February 15, 2014
They’re not going to get power until they demonstrate why they should be trusted with it.
That’s what minority parties with ambition and brains do.
The last time Republicans had a clear majority in Congress—plus the presidency—government didn’t get smaller. Or freer.
Frankly? I don’t want current GOP leaders to be in the majority. Because they don’t know how to use power in behalf of The People.
Cross-posted from Thinking Out Loud