Tags: Healthcare Reform | Obstructionism | Republicans | Congress | Obamacare

Obstructionism Could Doom Republicans

Friday, 14 November 2014 11:18 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The Republicans had their biggest romp since 1931, which brings up the $64,000 question: Now what?
Will the GOP engage in payback, knocking down President Obama at every chance, even if he is willing to compromise? Or will it lay out a bold vision for America’s future?
Time will tell.
For the Republicans to succeed, they should consider the following:
1) Show Me The Money! The Republican Party raises hundreds of millions, yet squanders much of it. In addition to propping up a cottage industry of worthless consultants and pollsters (whose assessments and advice are often dead-wrong), the GOP never spends where it’s most valuable: on the airwaves when there isn’t an election.
Commercials which air during election season typically get A) lost in the white noise, and B) are discounted by 40 percent of voters simply because they are “partisan.” That’s not to say they aren’t necessary, because television is the best medium to reach the masses.
But the Republicans should take that concept and monumentally expand upon it. The party needs to kick off a nationwide ad campaign, “selling” itself and its “product:” what the GOP stands for, and what it intends to do. From ads during NFL games to commercials during sitcoms, the party would reach millions with whom it otherwise rarely connects.
If they just bash the other side, people will tune out and the effort will fail. But if the GOP engages people with a creative public relations campaign communicating common-sense solutions, it will win the day.
Airing commercials all year long: $100 million. Keeping control of Congress and winning the White House by doing so: priceless.
2) The election results do not translate into voter love for Republicans. They were given a chance because voters view them as the adult in the room — the party more willing to make tough decisions. Despite America’s sense of entitlement, many nonetheless realize that the gravy train must be scaled back. They also realize that Republicans are the only ones who can make that happen.
3) If Republicans are obstructionist for the next two years, throwing red meat to their base, they will lose the White House and Senate. The GOP has significantly more Senate seats to defend in 2016 than do the Democrats, many of which are in swing states. Since urban Democratic turnout is always heavier in presidential election years, the GOP’s only hope will be to run on a record of achievement. Being the Party of No will erase the gains they won in 2014.
4) What can they do?
For starters, stop talking about “repealing Obamacare.” Yes, we get it. Many people don’t like it. But passing legislation simply “repealing” it, with no alternative, will backfire. And they don’t have the numbers to override the presidential veto sure to follow.
Amazingly, despite the GOP’s staunch opposition to Obamacare, even shutting down the government because of it (which was a debacle), the GOP still does not have a clear healthcare reform plan.
Parts of the ACA are here to stay, but other aspects need to be reformed. Some Democrats are willing to amend the law, so Republicans should work with them to fix that which can be fixed amicably.
But taking larger steps to overhaul the current system, a move destined to fail, would show that they grossly misinterpreted the voters’ message.
The other big initiative should be reasonable immigration reform. Assuming the president doesn’t act unilaterally (and that’s a very big “if”), the GOP needs to focus on the reform most Americans favor: a more secure border, mandated use of e-Verify (which instantly determines immigration status for potential hires), and immediate deportation for illegals convicted of crimes (after they serve their time).
Too many have taken an “everything or nothing” approach (getting nothing), allowing the problem to balloon. They should pursue common-sense goals, incrementally. It doesn’t do much good worrying about the bigger issues (amnesty, citizenship, mass deportation) when we can’t even solve the easy ones.
Republicans need to play smart politics while hammering home a populist message for how to strengthen America’s economic and physical security.
If their leaders advocate sensationalistic positions as a way to promote themselves on Fox News, they will lose. And if they chase television cameras solely to gain a miniscule partisan advantage, they will lose.
But if Republicans talk about solutions in ways that attract the soccer mom worried about her children’s futures, the loan-laden college grad sweating about the uncertain job market, and the factory worker concerned that his plant will become another casualty of overseas outsourcing, they will win.
All they need now is a leader who can communicate. Will the next Ronald Reagan please stand up?
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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The Republicans had their biggest romp since 1931, which brings up the $64,000 question: Now what? Will the GOP engage in payback, knocking down President Obama at every chance, even if he is willing to compromise?
Obstructionism, Republicans, Congress, Obamacare
Friday, 14 November 2014 11:18 AM
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