From the diaries by Erick.
Remember the arguments that Obama couldn’t conceivably win reelection if unemployment was over 7.2%? Or that the GOP had a lock on the Senate because they just had to defend 10 seats? Or that Democrats could never pick up the 25 House seats necessary to gain control?
And, by implication, that all of these good things would happen while Republicans sat on their lazy rear ends?
Still believe that?
And it’s not like winning would have required uncommon genius.
Last summer, we begged Republicans to hold the line on the debt limit increase. All they had to do to win was to do absolutely nothing. Guess what happened?
Then squishy Republicans suddenly became deficit hawks in opposition to tax cuts.
As a result, Obama trapped feckless Republicans into hemming and hawing over tax cuts for the middle class, while insisting, correctly, that the Bush tax cuts not be nibbled away at the upper end.
And the GOP, unfortunately, dealt with this disparity by arguing that tax cuts for the “little people” are uneconomical...
...but that the “little people” shouldn’t be offended because, upon reflection, the GOP actually wanted a whole year of bad economy policy, rather than just two months.
STRIKES FIVE, SIX, AND SEVEN!
I mean, how many strikes do you think you get?
It’s like a ferret in a trap that gnaws off its own leg.
In fact, in order for their game plan to work, the GOP would have to convince Americans that they would be better off if politicians took their money away from them and gave it to other people. But the problem with this messaging is Americans’ crazy perception that they need their money more than the people who would receive it.
And the president who has done more damage to middle-income Americans than any man in history? Well, he’s in line to get a pass on his efforts to position himself as the defender of the middle class.
Soooo... What is to be done? May I suggest the following:
- Defend the middle class against Obama’s efforts to victimize them.
- Don’t kiss off the issue which delivered the 1994 and 2000 elections.
- Anticipate the chief elements of Obama’s campaign and reformulate them in your favor.
THINGS THE GOP LEADERSHIP HAS GOTTEN REALLY WRONG -- AND WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO REMEDY THEM
THING #1: TAXES – DEFEND THE MIDDLE CLASS AGAINST OBAMA’S EFFORTS TO VICTIMIZE THEM
The problem: Republican messaging stinks. And part of the reason for this is that Republicans have become the “green eyeshade accountants” for Barack Obama’s welfare state.
Things I never want to hear again on Fox:
Because I am middle class, it is more economically efficacious to give my money to Barack Obama than to let me keep my money.
In order to let me keep my money, you need to “find a way to pay for it.” [Chris Wallace, Fox,
February 17, 2012]
I am middle class because I have not been “successful” -- and I have not been successful because I have been less valuable to America than the wealthy. [Mitt Romney, just about any day of the week]
What Republicans should be doing:
- An amendment to repeal, summarily, all legislation containing tax increases imposed by Obama on the poor and middle class.
This would repeal ObamaCare. Aside from that, it would force Obama to argue that the mandate penalty is not a “tax,” at the same time his lawyers are arguing before the Supreme Court -– for a full hour of oral argument -- that it is.
- An amendment imposing a 95% marginal rate on all income of anyone who announces that they are insufficiently taxed.
Call it the “Warren Buffet Act.” The “reluctant rich” could either be named in the legislation or named in an accompanying schedule. Start with Warren Buffet and George Soros. Let them argue that it is unconstitutional to give them what they say they want. Tell them it will be the second item on the agenda of the 113th Congress.
- An amendment prohibiting the student body of elite universities from containing more the 1% of students from “the 1%.”
There is no engine for maintaining the status of America’s hereditary aristocracy which is more central than the Ivy League. Let them argue, as Charles Murray did in the Washington Post last Sunday, that the prevalence of the rich in Harvard and Yale is due to their intrinsic superiority. [Washington Post, February 12, 2012, page B2, “5 Myths about white people,” by Charles Murray] Whoopsy! How’d that get through the censors?
One final point:
It has been a popular Republican strategy to trumpet that the economy is worse than it appears.
People don’t need to be reminded that they’re suffering. They need to be reminded that they’re suffering because Barack Obama pursued his nut-Left agenda for two years, while the economy collapsed.
THING #2: GUNS – DON’T KISS OFF THE ISSUE THAT DELIVERED THE 1994 AND 2000 ELECTIONS
THE PROBLEM: Some in the gun movement think that Republican control is unimportant, so long as the Democrats are pro-gun.
If the economy turns upward, there is no single issue which could make as much difference as the Second Amendment in who controls the House, the Senate, and the White House.
And yet the National Rifle Association, which gave us Joe Manchin (D.-W.V.) and, after a “Hamlet routine,” Harry Reid (Gee, thanks, NRA!), seems obsessed with giving “red state”, oft-endangered Democrats [Manchin, Tester, Bennet, Begich] the sponsorship and chief cosponsorship of its legislation.
And, all too often, Democrats like Alaska’s Mark Begich are demanding that pro-gun legislation (like the reciprocity bill) be watered down as a condition of their support.
The GOP should be obsessed with forcing multiple votes on guns -– through House-initiated bills, Senate amendments, and Senate bills brought onto the Senate calendar under Rule XIV.
THING #3: REFORMULATING OBAMA’S ISSUES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE – ANTICIPATE THE CHIEF ELEMENTS OF OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN AND REFORMULATE THEM IN YOUR FAVOR
In his State of the Union speech, Barack Obama, using 1933 Securities Act language, called for an end to the use of “inside information” by legislators.
Demanding only that Obama’s principles be extended to the Executive Branch, the GOP went along with the immediate passage of legislation implementing this.
You just transformed President Slimebag into Dr. Ethics!
What the GOP Needs To Do Now
Start by repealing the bribes in ObamaCare. Everyone remembers the bribes offered to Senators Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and Joe Lieberman. But the much bigger bribe is the 30,000,000 Americans offered up on the altar of greedy insurance companies in order to gain the support of the insurance industry for ObamaCare.
Require that legislative language be available for three calendar days for every 100 pages of text.
Eliminate Harry Reid’s right of privileged recognition, and rotate Democrats and Republicans in the Vice President’s chair.
Hold hearings on why the Congressional Budget Office’s ObamaCare projections of lower premiums and guaranteed coverage retention have proven to be so horribly wrong.
The renewed fight over ObamaCare is an apple which fell into the GOP’s lap through no effort or merit of its own. Having said this:
- This is a fight over religious conscience regarding ABORTIFACIENTS. Ella is a hormonal cousin of RU486 and has not been tested to determine whether it prevents the implantation of fertilized eggs (i.e., unborn babies). Plan B is also a potential abortifacient, and the Left has admitted that the same is true for many IUD’s. Don’t let Obama create the impression that this is a fight over condoms.
- Don’t give red-state Democrats with tough reelections (like Joe Manchin) an easy pass. Efforts to protect the conscience of Americans should be broad and should be offered on must-pass bills.
- The Supreme Court –- and particularly Catholic “swing vote” Anthony Kennedy -- isn’t oblivious to the political environment in which it operates. [Anyone who doubts this should check out Kennedy’s position in Massachusetts v. EPA.] And the prospect that Barack Obama, by regulatory fiat, could force instrumentalities of the Catholic church to fund abortifacients, will not be irrelevant, in practice, to the court’s deliberations.
- If the Supreme Court doesn’t do the right thing, tack a repeal of the ObamaCare mandate onto the September 30 “continuing resolution.” Let Obama do a cliff-hanger battle over the mandate during the month before the election.
As I write this, smirking MSNBC commentators have used the word “Satan” a couple of dozen times in five minutes -– in an effort to paint Rick Santorum as a crazy right-winger. Their seizure of obscure 2008 footage to discredit a perceived Republican frontrunner is not something which should have caught Santorum unprepared -– as it apparently did.
True, the mainstream media didn't unearth the videotape. Drudge did. But it is networks like MSNBC who have chosen to air a four-year-old speech every two seconds -- and then to have the temerity to attack Santorum for "injecting religion into presidential politics."
Democrats have been quite open about their efforts to collect “dossiers” on the Republican field. And, as a result, last fall, I suggested that the GOP prepare the public for these attacks by talking about the “Obama Sleaze Machine.”
Ironically, while this terminology has been adopted, it has been adopted by MSNBC -- to attack Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich. And, in a classic exercise in “projection,” the accusations of a GOP “smear campaign” have been made during programs lambasting Republicans as ignorant buffoons.
It is not too late to talk about ObamaSleaze. And it’s not too late to call for Barack Obama and his media sycophants to “climb out of the moral cesspool.”
Even with unemployment numbers edging down, Obama will try to make the election about his smear of the Republican nominee. The smears will come in successive cycles and, unless Republicans can deflect them with alacrity without engaging each smear on the merits, they could face losses of historic proportions.
by Michael E. Hammond, former General Counsel Senate Steering Committee 1978-89 and a Dunbarton, New Hampshire resident.