In these times where Republican in-fighting has become more the norm than the exception, we hear the “R” word thrown out for every slight of the party platform. While we can have a looooooooong debate on what makes a “good” republican and still have disagreements over its many planks, when it’s all said and done, we can come to the conclusion that we are on the same side.
Today there is an issue that does define whose side we are on. That issue is to take the opportunity that is presented now to the Congressional Republicans: defund Obamacare – Now. In its simplest, most general terms, the two major parties are defined as follows: Democrats are for big government; Republicans are for small government. Obamacare is the epitome of big government. It brings one-sixth of the economy under the government’s umbrella. It is 906 pages of legislation. It requires an army of IRS agents and other bureaucrats to administer it. Most, if not all Republicans campaigned against it. It was the major rallying point for the Tea Party. Opposition to Obamacare was the major reason for the 2010 Republican wave that occurred only two short years after Obama’s presidential victory, Newsweek’s “We Are All Socialists Now” cover, and the epitaph for the Republican Party was written. Why is there any division on this issue from the right today?
Republicans were sent to Washington for the purpose of repealing Obamacare, and failing that, finding any way possible to stop it. In 2013 we have seen company after company, and industry after industry apply for waivers to Obamacare. We have seen Democrats openly call it a disaster (even before it has been fully implemented). We have seen Democratic Whip, Senator Dick Durbin, call for Republicans to help fix Obamacare. We have seen the IRS agents tasked to enforce this act ask to be exempted from it. Finally, we have seen the White House itself delay Obamacare’s full implementation. Why would any Republican not capitalize on this opportunity?!?! Republican Senator Mike Lee has proposed that any new budget deal include defunding Obamacare. There is a sizable group of Republicans that aren’t with him. They believe that if they threaten to shut down the government by drawing a line in the sand on Obamacare, the public will get upset and turn on them. If they don’t join Senator Lee, they risk losing so much more.
In October of 2012, Republicans thought they had the presidential election locked up. With the economy as bad as it has been and the intrusions on individual liberty by the Obama administration, a Romney presidency was a slam dunk. Two months later, The RNC and some state parties were conducting autopsy projects to determine what went wrong. All of these reports contained one common theme. Republicans lost the battle in messaging. The focus of this loss of the messaging battle has been on the failure of Republicans to articulate their positions and policies. We have blamed the media. We have come up with the term “low-information voter.” These aspects are legitimate, but more powerful and rarely considered, is the messaging conveyed through the collective actions of Republicans. After the re-election of President Obama, Speaker Boehner said that Obamacare was the law of the land. The message that this sends, coming from Republican leadership, is that we aren’t going to fight Obamacare. Speaker Boehner told everyone that walked, campaigned, circulated petitions, raised money, and spoke out that their actions are no longer needed. It’s over. Did Boehner realize the damage he did to the morale of the base?
…But we are resilient. We don’t want to give up the fight. Many of us realize what is at stake, so we are here again. We are supporting Senator Lee. But back to the message…
For the Republicans who do not support defunding Obamacare, what are they telling fellow republicans? What are they telling independents? What lies from the left are they giving credence to?
- Obamacare can’t be that bad after all since the Republicans aren’t defunding it when public support is at its weakest since before its inception.
- Obamacare doesn’t add to the deficit like Republicans said since they won’t defund it to balance the budget.
- Republicans lied about the perils of Obamacare to get elected.
- Opposition to Obamacare is more about opposition to President Obama and less about government controlled healthcare.
- Opposition to Obamacare is about opposition to our first black president.
- For all of their talk about reducing the size of government, Republicans are just that, all talk and no action.
- If Republicans don’t stand firm on their position against Obamacare, what else aren’t they so sure about? Do they have conviction for anything?
- By failing to defund Obamacare when given the chance, Republicans are publicly embracing big government policies.
With these points, it is obvious that a Republican party that is already weak, is making itself weaker. We are refusing to take a stand for what is right, just, and best for our country. We are giving fuel to our critics. We are justifying those that say there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, and refuse to participate in the political process. We are creating greater frustration in those republicans that are discouraged by the weak-kneed actions of Republican politicians. We are giving grass-roots Republicans every reason to think they should stop wasting their time and hang it up.
President Obama had almost 6.9 million fewer votes in 2012 than he had in 2008. Mitt Romney didn’t capture even one of those voters that left Obama. In fact he lost almost 800,000 of McCain’s votes. If Republicans do not form a united front against Obamacare and for fiscal responsibility I fear the numbers we will see in 2016.