Skip to comments.Ten Takeaways from the Big Night (Republicans, you won: Here’s your Top 10 list of things to do)
Posted on 11/03/2010 6:54:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Having won a nearly unprecedented electoral victory, Republicans now find themselves in the position of the proverbial dog that caught the car, wondering what they should do next. Here are ten modest suggestions.
1. Its the Economy, Stupid. The top three issues in this election were: the economy, the economy, and the economy. Voters were willing to swallow their doubts about Republicans and give them another chance because Democratic economic policies had failed so miserably. This is particularly true among economically conservative, socially moderate suburban voters who backed Democrats in 2006 and 2008 but switched to Republicans this year. Now Republicans will be expected to deliver by cutting spending, taxes, and regulation to create more jobs. That needs to be Republicans first, second, and third priority. Indeed, it could be argued that one factor in the Democrats defeat was that they spent so much time in the last two years discussing issues besides the economy. If Republicans spend their first weeks in power debating Dont Ask Dont Tell or abortion restrictions, voters are likely to treat them the same way they did Democrats this year.
2. Obamacare Must Be Stopped. Nothing soured voters on Obamas big-government agenda as much as the health-care bill. Democrats who supported Obamacare went down to defeat in disproportionate numbers. Republicans, who campaigned on repealing and replacing the unpopular law, must follow through on that promise. Of course, given the Democrats ability to filibuster and the presidents veto, repeal is highly unlikely. Still, Republicans must do more than hold a symbolic vote in favor of repeal and then forget about it. There are numerous incremental steps they can take, from defunding portions of the law to attacking unpopular provisions.
3. Cut Spending, Not Just Taxes. Republicans have promised to cut taxes, including extending all of the Bush tax cuts. That makes both political and economic sense, especially during an economic downturn. They should also follow through on other tax cuts, including those for businesses. While some types of tax cuts do increase economic growth, it is a mistake to pretend that all tax cuts simply pay for themselves. Nor is there any evidence that you can starve the beast. Unless we want to keep marching toward the day when government consumes 45 percent of GDP while the debt continues to grow, Republicans are going to have to make the tough choices to cut really cut spending.
4. Ban Earmarks. True, they dont amount to a lot of money, just 1.2 percent of federal discretionary spending. But earmarks are an important structural and symbolic component of government spending. Republicans imposed a moratorium on earmarks in 2010, but it expires next year. If that were to happen, voters could rightly conclude that Republicans were not serious about controlling spending. At the very least, Republicans should renew the moratorium. Even better would be a permanent ban on earmarks.
5. Level with the American People. One of the driving sources of the anger felt by so many voters this year was the feeling that government at every level lied to them. Republicans should take a lesson from their British counterparts and be honest with the American people. Balancing the budget and reducing the debt are going to require hard, painful choices. People are going to have to give up some of their favorite programs. But the American people are adults they can handle the truth.
6. Offer an Alternative. Republicans won this time simply by not being Democrats. But having even a share of governing power means that just opposing the worst of the Obama agenda wont be enough next time. Republicans need to develop and put forward a positive agenda. They need to do this even if they know that the bills will die in the Senate or be vetoed by the president.
7. Investigate# #Carefully. Certainly a little bit of oversight is long overdue in Washington. Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) will be in charge of the Government Oversight Committee with its investigatory and subpoena power. But Republicans need to remember that overzealousness during the Clinton years hurt them. Too often, investigations appeared partisan and mean-spirited. They need to hold the Obama administration accountable, but in a careful and restrained way. Any discussion of impeachment or Obamas birth certificate is an automatic disqualifier.
8. Tackle Entitlements. It is impossible to seriously reduce government spending without tackling entitlements, notably Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Pre-election, Republicans were less than a tower of courage in this regard, but the report of the presidents bipartisan debt commission, expected in December, provides an opening.
9. Dont Fear a Shutdown. Republicans in the House have the power of the purse, meaning that they can control taxes and spending if they stick to their guns. To counter that, the president can threaten a Clinton-style government shutdown. But Obama is no Bill Clinton. Republicans should not be prematurely deterred by a shutdown threat.
10. Remember, the Tea Party Is Still Out There. It became almost a mantra for Republicans to say that they understood that they lost their way during the Bush years. This time they were different, they insisted. They wouldnt get caught up in the business as usual ways of Washington. If they do if they fail to deliver on a smaller, less costly, less intrusive government then the same forces that swept them into power will sweep them right back out.
Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.
1A. Defund the czars.
I'm already hearing the word "compromise" from the GOP....when are these knuckleheads going to start to listen?
On item #7, do not fall into the trap engineered by the Clinton machine and allow all White House investigations to go through a single prosecutor. The Clintons masterfully turned Ken Starr into the bogeyman by convincing congress to add subsequent investigations to his plate and then portraying him in the media as a right-wing zealot, effectively marginalizing him. That would be difficult to do with 10, 20 or 30 independent investigators / prosecutors all looking into seperate issues and could in fact be turned around on those who try.
This isn’t difficult. The Democrats could have held their own if they’d have governed in the traditional way, not the Chicago way. There are a lot of people in the squishy middle who wanted to like Obama and the Dems.
Obama promised with the stimulus, unemployment would stay at 8% or below. - Fail!
Obama, Pelosi, and Reid jammed through an unread healthcare reform as a spending bill, not a traditional reform. The premise for passage was unethical, and wrong, per revised CBO estimates. Nearly 70% of Americans were against the measure. - Fail!
Obama and Holder sued Arizona for defending it’s borders without offering alternatives. Nearly 70% of Americans supported Arizona. - Fail!
Govern against the people’s will, and lie... even the squishy middle won’t tolerate that.
On the state level we need to create environments where business can thrive and we need to fix our election systems and root out the fraud.
Your damn right it’s the economy and the nightmare of Obamacare must be reversed.
If it were me, I would cut the noose around the neck of American business(beginning with small business).
To feed my nationalistic strain I would tell Corps that have move Companies that have move their ops to foreign countries, either come home or pay a price.
Stop any and all spending proposals from the Zero Admin. Good bad indifferrent.
I think by compromisethey mean that there are a couple of things in Obamacare that are valid...but they're more about controlling insurance companies than "CARE".
just force the SOB to prove he is legally in office
Most likely is that Republicans will go to work trying to figure out how to pay for all of Obama’s socialist legislation.
just force the SOB to prove he is legally in office
.... the rest will take care of itself
Stand on PRINCIPLE and EDUCATE the public, meaning, ANYTIME the RATS say that Republicans are the party of no, then EXPLAIN WHY NO is the right answer to the Hussein?Pelosi/Reid policies that were shoved down our throats.
Counter the left-wing lies and propaganda with the TRUTH, and don't be afraid to do it in a forceful, direct, principled, and TIMELY fashion, and as many times as it takes to let the people know that what you are trying to do, stop, repair, etc., is the RIGHT thing for America and Americans.
Wimpy, meek members of the Republican party, those that just work in the background and never speak out (people like Johnny Isakson from GA, for example) - START SPEAKING OUT PUBLICLY.
Michelle Bachman, Jim DeMint, and other courageous members of Congress can't be expected to carry all the water anymore.
COME OUT OF THE BACKROOMS AND SHADOWS AND START SPEAKING OUT FOR YOUR CONSTITUENTS! This is a serious time for our country, and NOT one for meek and mild leadership - but out in the open, forceful and direct leadership.
Be bold and unafraid in doing what is RIGHT for America.
Make our founding fathers proud.
11. Not one nickel of federal money for bailouts. Especially states. Let California go bankrupt.
One of the most important things the new House MUST do is to start the destruction of the overreaching federal agencies. This is going to be, more and more, an even more important necessity as Obama tries to use them to do an end run around Congress.
It is the agencies that have been used by our best and worst presidents to increase their power and make Congress more irrelevant- not to mention wasting BILLIONS in tax money.
Roll them back, defund them, and abolish most.
1. Subpoena the original long form birth certificate from Hawaii. Not a computer generated record like the Certification of Live Birth. No, the paper version (or microfilm copy if that's all that is left) of the original certificate with the hospital's name and attending physician's signature. This should either make the issue go away or bring it to a head immediately. Either way finish this by January 31, 2011.
2. Legislate what "Natural Born" means for the future. Half of the arguments about Obama's status revolve around what it means. Born on US soil? Born on US soil to one citizen parent? Two citizen parents? Born to two citizen parents anywhere in the world? Is a natural born citizen the same or different than a citizen at birth?
3. (separate issue) Nail the Department of Justice to the wall on the Black Panther voter intimidation. The dismissal of the case is dirty from top to bottom. The armed Black Panthers should have been handled the same way a couple of Klansmen with a burning cross standing in front of a polling place would have been. Instead, since they were seen as political allies of Obama the DoJ just tried to make the issue disappear.
The question now becomes how many of those 10 will they ignore?
Re: Your point #1. I would expect Bammy defecting to India, and not come back to face the music.
#& - Don’t target Obama. Target Eric Holder. Go after him with everything you’ve got. His mismanagement of the Justice Department is (one of) the weakest links in the Administration’s armor.