Perhaps one of the more troubling topics I've seen discussed over the past two years is the strategy in confronting Democrats and President Obama on various issues.
How can we expect Congress to break the 20 percent approval rating when we demand strategies and results which only come when the GOP has the Presidency, House and Senate - while we only control the House?
Unlike most media narratives we all know the GOP is willing to compromise. Whether it was Sen. Snowe's vote to allow Obamacare out of committee or the House voting to extend unemployment benefits, there is always the ability to deal.
Yet Democrats refuse to budget. As mad as we may get, given the current circumstances, why should they?
There are a number of reasons of GOP in-fighting. Here are a few anecdotal examples:
- We expend two to three times as much energy fighting each other and trying to redefine ourselves at critical moments in our nation's history.
- While Pelosi reigns absolute for Democrats, Boehner is questioned by grass roots and a significant state of weakness - after retaining a 30 seat margin of victory.
- Any sort of strategy deemed as not sexy enough to energize the base into a frenzy is blasted as weak.
The last example is perfect, I think, of something we should contemplate.
During the original budget show-down happened I opined that we should be happy to be playing "small-ball" with the federal budget and take the cuts in the budget we could get. While the methodology was unsexy, real cuts were being made. No tax increases were necessary.
The thought was to keep an even keel until we won in 2012 - then "swing for the fences" and tackle real budget reform.
Instead we, the grass roots, fought on and played right into Democrat hands - pressuring our leadership into pushing for some sort of "grand bargain."
I explicitly stated during that debate, Obama is willing to let things crash so he can sort things out on his terms.
Those words were drowned out and the GOP leadership pressed ahead - thinking that its deal would be sufficient enough to sate us while punting to a select committee who did nothing more than mimic the earlier fight with equally bad result.
This should surprise no one.
It is true that many Republican talking heads from other places than here in fly-over country believe that people like my self should be run out of the party in lieu of other voter demographics. Their belief, shocklingly, is that our opinions of what used to be main-stream conservatism are some how "extreme" and hold no place in the arena of ideas.
Not to be out done, a number of conservatives see no place for people who share most of what we believe in - but not all.
This was most striking during a 2012 GOP Presidential primary in which a "moderate" Republican asked (I think) Rep Bachmann what she could do to re-assure him there was a place for his voice within the party. Instead of directly answering him and re-assuring him there were things which they could share and work together on, she launched into why the TEA party started.
These two points of view are a microcosm of what is happening on the national scene.
In the absences of real leadership which is willing to bring us together as Americans, there is a concerted effort to wipe the other side off the map.
This brings us back full circle to Democrats refusing to budge and offer any real concessions on the current "fiscal cliff."
It should shock no one Obama and Democrat's strategy is one of heads I win, tails you lose.
Obama said during his campaign one of his goals was to break the back of the Republican party. We (Republicans at large) are letting him, the media and Democrats execute their plans by design without so much as a whimper.
Until Republicans decide to unite and band together, as we did in the 80s and even in the 2000s, Democrats will get all the leverage they need to win the opening battles for 2014 and 2016.
We must play smarter. We must, as Matt Lewis stated, modernize not moderate.
We must not compromise principles.
Most of all there must be an understanding and patience within the grass roots, and a healing outreach from those who despise us.
Then you will see Democrats budge.
After all, if they (Democrats) demand a tax increase because of popularity, shouldnt we push for a repeal of Obamacare because of similar poll numbers?