Republicans must make positive proposals on healthcare and immigration reform rather than just standing as the party of "no," says conservative talk radio host Michael Medved.
"With most Americans undeniably dissatisfied with the direction of their government, why would some congressional conservatives insist on identifying Republicans as unyielding defenders of a broken status quo?" he writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece
"Their implacable obsession with uprooting Obamacare and their die-hard resistance to immigration reform all but guarantee near-term legislative defeats and long-term devastation to future party prospects."
The House spending bill
that includes a defunding of the Affordable Care Act has no chance in the Senate, Medved notes.
When the bill is kicked back to the House, "the GOP will confront a painful but inevitable choice: surrendering to the president and his allies, either before or after a wildly unpopular government shutdown," he says.
"Rather than confronting these incontestable realities, too many conservatives choose to embrace the role of sure losers," he writes. "To use a military analogy, there is no glory in charging recklessly up a hill when you know your forces will be mowed down by enemy fire before reaching the top. Glory comes in making the enemy lose.
"The GOP shouldn't pursue noble defeat while standing on principle. You build momentum for a movement by achieving legislative victories, not by racking up high-profile losses."
Republicans would do better if they try to fix Obamacare or delay its worst elements, "rather than raising false hopes among the base by focusing on grand schemes to repeal or totally defund the program," Medved says.
"That approach would also address complaints from many quarters that Republicans talk almost exclusively about what they don't want, without putting forward their own proposals for repair."
On immigration reform, Republicans have criticized a flawed Senate compromise, but haven't come up with their own reform plan, Medved says. Focusing on border security isn't enough, he maintains. Republicans have to deal with the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants.
"There's only one way to make serious reductions in the unconscionable number of unauthorized aliens," he says. "They need to be given a path to change their status from illegal to legal, albeit a slow path to make up for their past rule-breaking."
Americans would celebrate such reform, Medved says.
"But if immigration reform dies, then what, exactly, would restrictionists celebrate? That, once again, attempts to rationalize a dysfunctional immigration system have failed?"
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