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With Midterms Nearing, GOP Still Searches For Agenda
Townhall.com ^ | June 3, 2014 | Byron York

Posted on 06/03/2014 4:39:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

The midterm elections are less than six months away, and Republicans still can't agree among themselves on what it will take to win.

The latest debate among party insiders is whether GOP House and Senate candidates should produce a document like the Contract With America that tells voters what to expect if Republicans win full control of Congress. But the fact that there is a debate at all indicates that the race is not shaping up as Republicans envisioned months ago.

Much of the anxiety concerns Obamacare. The six months between October and March saw the disastrous rollout of the exchanges, steep increases in premiums and deductibles for millions of Americans, the imposition of the individual mandate, higher taxes and other troublesome features of the Democrats' national health care scheme. Republicans saw public unhappiness as political opportunity.

But now that seems to have hit a plateau. Yes, more jarring changes are coming -- the employer mandate, the full imposition of minimum coverage requirements, and others. But President Obama has delayed several of those changes until after this November's elections. That has thrown a wrench into earlier Republican plans to exploit public discontent all the way until the election.

"There are no big implementation events to occur that could change the current equilibrium before November," says a well-connected Republican strategist. "So there is this sense that Obamacare has moved everybody that it's going to move, and that's not enough."

In addition, some GOP insiders are sensing that by November -- when the Obamacare exchanges have been up for more than a year -- the public will not see a Republican pledge to repeal as the answer to its unhappiness with the health care system.

"One thing you're beginning to see in surveys is the sense that we're so far down this path that repeal is not realistic any more," says the GOP strategist. "Clearly, they disagree with the direction of the health care system, but the idea that you can stop all this and go back to where we were before just seems unrealistic to a growing chunk of the population." A recent GOP survey found that a plurality of voters agreed with the statement, "The system has been changed too structurally that it is not possible to go back to the way it was before."

Put those concerns together, and you have the growing Republican feeling that Obamacare will not be as much of a driving motivation for voters as they had earlier hoped. And that's behind the talk about a new campaign pledge.

Most proponents don't want a literal version of the old Contract With America, which was a huge success for House Republicans in 1994 but devoted a lot of attention to internal House reforms as well as the extensive legislation GOP lawmakers promised to pass. After many re-iterations of the contract over the years, some GOP strategists believe another could look like a wish list that voters would promptly ignore.

Instead, some Republicans are thinking about focusing on two or three policy areas in which they will pledge major legislation to boost America's economy.

Three items under discussion are energy, regulation and tax reform. The energy part is relatively easy; Republicans support a variety of ways for America to capitalize on the revolution in oil and gas recovery, while Democrats seem determined to slow it all down.

Tax reform is more difficult, since Republicans do not agree among themselves on a big plan. But they could showcase individual measures, like ways to bring home the billions in cash that U.S. corporations have overseas.

As far as regulation is concerned, there is a concern that voters have heard the GOP's general anti-regulatory position over and over. Instead, Republicans might focus on one or two undeniably counterproductive economic restrictions as a symbol for Obama's across-the-board increase in regulations.

Health care remains a big question mark. Republicans have famously not been able to unite behind a single Obamacare alternative, and it doesn't look like they'll be able to do so anytime soon. Beyond supporting repeal -- nearly all Republicans still do -- it's hard to see what the GOP positive agenda will be.

Not all Republicans are on board for some sort of party pledge. While some think a contract-style agenda could put them over the top in close races, others "think the existence of such an agenda is just a recipe for further divisions down the road -- you don't want to over-promise and create backlash," says one Senate Republican source.

Most GOP lawmakers do agree on one thing: They hate "Republicans are divided" stories in the press. But the fact is, November is not that far away, and the GOP hasn't fully settled on how to run.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 0bamacare; 2014issues; 2014midterms; byronyork; gop; midtermelections; uniparty

1 posted on 06/03/2014 4:39:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Hey, I’ve got a crazy idea. Why not make peace with Conservatives, and then actually offer the people a viable alternative to socialism/fascism?


2 posted on 06/03/2014 4:40:32 AM PDT by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
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To: Kaslin

How ‘bout they start with the Ten Commandments and promise to shut down all of the unconstitutional alphabet federal agencies?


3 posted on 06/03/2014 4:41:57 AM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: Hoodat

Oh, it’s so difficult to come up with an agenda, the Democrats have given us so little to really oppose.

How about “government by the consent of the governed”, you morons?


4 posted on 06/03/2014 4:42:04 AM PDT by Junk Silver
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To: Hoodat

There you go using logic, common sense and situational awareness…..we’re talking Washington here…...


5 posted on 06/03/2014 4:42:29 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Do NOT suffer fools gladly…and message boards are full contact arenas)
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To: Kaslin

GOP supports: RomneyCARE and ObamaCARE

GOP supports: Open borders

GOP supports: Arming al Qaeda

GOP supports: Ignoring Constitutional CRISIS

GOP supports: Ignoring Protesting Americans

GOP supports: The Obama Administration by its ABDICATION


6 posted on 06/03/2014 4:47:03 AM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: Kaslin

“GOP Still Searches For Agenda”

The Pub-Es trying to pass a collectivist agenda under the noses of their conservative voting base without them knowing about it.


7 posted on 06/03/2014 4:47:09 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: Kaslin

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Quite of few of these ‘conservative’ Republicans, when elected, are going to stab conservatives in the back on open borders, and then follow up with inaction on repealing Obamacare because they can’t agree on its ‘replacement’ which they carefully added when they said ‘repeal and replace’ when campaigning.


8 posted on 06/03/2014 4:47:18 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Kaslin

HINT: Go back to the Ronald Reagan playbook.


9 posted on 06/03/2014 4:48:27 AM PDT by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: Kaslin

NO MORE DEBT CEILING INCREASES EVER......AND A BALANCED BUDGET....Keep on dreaming....


10 posted on 06/03/2014 4:51:40 AM PDT by Nextrush (OBAMACARE IS A BAILOUT FOR THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY)
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To: Kaslin

Lack of GOP leader ship across the board. It’s why there is no front runner
It’s why the rats will stay in charge
But don’t make peace with conservatives.
Bunch of AH s


11 posted on 06/03/2014 4:58:05 AM PDT by reefdiver (Be the Best you can be Whatever you Dream to be)
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To: Kaslin

Howsabout: Pro-gun, Anti-muzzie, anti-IRS, cut-taxes, ENFORCE Immigration laws, disarm SWAT.

There, was that so hard?


12 posted on 06/03/2014 4:59:08 AM PDT by Flintlock (islam is a LIE; mowhommod was a MOLESTER CRIMINAL; sharia is POISON.)
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To: Kaslin

The GOPe’s agenda is Amnesty and what else they can do for their corporate masters like throw the grass roots under the bus.


13 posted on 06/03/2014 5:08:38 AM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: Diogenesis
Yep. I've developed a real attitude against the Uniparty.

Elections no longer determine who among us will govern a republic.

They determine which subunit of the Uniparty will reap the spoils of despotic government.

14 posted on 06/03/2014 5:20:38 AM PDT by Jacquerie (To restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th. Article V.)
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To: Kaslin

It is difficult to stand for something when you don’t have the backbone to stand for much of anything.

It takes more than the wish for a bigger tent.

Another round of the empty rhetoric — lower taxes, smaller government, better economy, more jobs, etc., — are just words, and the GOP has a severe credibility problem.

The GOP has a bad habit of running as conservatives and governing as left-leaning moderates/centrists.

After last Tuesday’s election results, even Karl Rove slipped up on FoxNews and commented that one of the things the GOP needs to do to win is to run as — ‘conservatives’.
[I bet he had FoxNews burn the video of that commentary.]


15 posted on 06/03/2014 6:28:34 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Kaslin
The latest debate among party insiders is whether GOP House and Senate candidates should produce a document like the Contract With America that tells voters what to expect if Republicans win full control of Congress.

They can produce all the documents they want, but what I expect from them is still the same old thing: folding and collapsing like a cheap umbrella as soon as somebody says mean things about them.

16 posted on 06/03/2014 6:32:03 AM PDT by Iced Tea Party
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To: Kaslin; Impy; NFHale; GOPsterinMA; BillyBoy; fieldmarshaldj
RE:”One thing you're beginning to see in surveys is the sense that we're so far down this path that repeal is not realistic any more,” says the GOP strategist. “Clearly, they disagree with the direction of the health care system, but the idea that you can stop all this and go back to where we were before just seems unrealistic to a growing chunk of the population.” A recent GOP survey found that a plurality of voters agreed with the statement, “The system has been changed too structurally that it is not possible to go back to the way it was before.”

I don't see this GOP agreeing on anything, but a logical approach would be to dissect it by taking on the unpopular parts first like some of the mandates.

They should Start with the personal mandates and the minimum mandated (health insurance) benefits that killed all those policies and debate Dems on those first. Then the employer mandate, that should be easy given that Obama delayed it.

A pure 100% repeal sounds great if you got elected to Lou Gomert's district by that (his) set of voters(or Mark Levin's audience) . How many of those are there in USA %? Five?

17 posted on 06/03/2014 6:43:11 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Obama : 'The debate is over. The time for talk is over. I won. ')
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To: Kaslin

Our party needs. Needs. To stop offshoring American industry.

We need to manufacture things right here in America.

Bring back American manufacturing. GOP bring back American manufacturing.


18 posted on 06/03/2014 6:45:25 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: Kaslin

I could care less what the GOP does anymore, they are just the other side of the same coin.


19 posted on 06/03/2014 6:47:26 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Hoodat

The saying for the republicans is still true. “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”.


20 posted on 06/03/2014 6:49:23 AM PDT by stevio (God, guns, guts.)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
Aaaaaaaggggggghhhhhh! As you know and have written extensively about ...

... this entire article is the very definition of GOP 'insider'/'strategist' "push-polling" cornucopia of their own B.S., pretending to reflect voter sentiment ...

"One thing you're beginning to see in surveys is the sense that we're so far down this path that repeal is not realistic any more," says the GOP strategist.[shove it Tokyo Rove & sycophants] "Clearly, they disagree with the direction of the health care system, but the idea that you can stop all this and go back to where we were before just seems unrealistic to a growing chunk of the population." [no, just to you mamby pamby loser 'consultants'] A recent GOP survey found that a plurality of voters agreed with the statement, "The system has been changed too structurally that it is not possible to go back to the way it was before." [only because your stupid survey didn't allow for any other reasonable response from an undereducated survey population you twits!]


21 posted on 06/03/2014 8:53:15 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Kaslin
How about, "Bring Back America"... and then really mean it?
22 posted on 06/03/2014 9:00:41 AM PDT by Gritty (Climate hysterics shriek on. Loud and apocalyptic is the only setting on the machine.-Mark Steyn)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Yep, and pathetic Byron York is just an estab poodle now.


23 posted on 06/03/2014 9:08:05 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Do NOT suffer fools gladly…and message boards are full contact arenas)
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To: Kaslin; All

This is what I think the Republicans should consider for a solid platform. I don’t think a “Contract with America” style publicity is a bad idea. Get the GOP out front with ideas and forget the dependency upon the traditional expected constituency. Appeal with ideas across the board and defend them rationally.

1) Eliminate the IRS. Beyond the fact that it is now corrupt, we can save money on bureaucracy, eliminate paperwork, institute a flat tax for all. My liberal friends like this; it has universal appeal.

2) Education. Growing college expenses and the fact that students are ill prepared for college shows this is also a ripe issue. The Democrats and their unions have had power over education for decades, and the results are inferior. This should be an issue.

3) The economy and stimulation of business. Come up with ideas for enterprise zones in those cities where Democrats have again dominated (and failed dismally: Detroit and elsewhere). Show how Scott Walker’s ideas have succeeded. Compare and contrast the prosperity of red vs. blue states and show why lower taxes, business incentives etc. have succeeded.

4) Balance the budget and reduce the debt. Reduce or eliminate subsidies for businesses. Eliminate pork barrel projects. Go through the budget with a red elimination pen.

5) Show no sympathy for corruption, on all sides. Be honest about Republican failings and show a desire to improve. Counter Democratic demagoguery and dishonesty with honest, down-to-earth points.

6) Vote for COMPLETELY NEW REPRESENTATIVES and as many new senators as we can get. We need new blood in the federal government.

These need much more thought and development, but they can begin to show people that Republicans are not just rich corrupt businessmen. We need to counter all Democratic lies and quickly.


24 posted on 06/03/2014 4:10:16 PM PDT by Republicanprofessor
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