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Paddling Consistently With Both Oars… In the Rapids

July 9, 2012

My morning glance at Hot Air led me to this piece at Politico that discusses the strategy of the Republicans in Congress prior to November.  They’re scheduling a series of votes on issues key to their platform in an effort to get things on record prior to the elections.

House Republicans will kick off the effort this week with another quixotic attempt to repeal Obama’s health care law. Next week, they will turn to defense, passing the Defense Department’s funding bill while trying to put the Obama administration on record as having no plan to avoid deep cuts to the Pentagon next year.

After that, Republicans intend to take up a slew of regulatory relief bills. And before the House breaks in August for its monthlong recess, GOP leaders plan to hold a vote on tax rates and principles for future tax reform.

Republicans have spent much of 2012 on these very themes. And therein lies the risk for the party: With the nation’s unemployment rate stuck at 8.2 percent and Obama and House Democrats trying to make Congress’s inaction a central point of their election-year message, weeks of passing bills that are unlikely to become law could give Democrats more ammunition.

Really?  If you look at Lynn’s post just below, you’ll see that the Democrats appear to be pursuing the same strategy… repeat the planks of the platform and let the voters decide on whether the platform has merits.  Honestly, I don’t think either of those approaches are a solid strategy, but I do like the Republican efforts in a couple ways.

First, votes on all these issues should generate some interesting theater for Democrats in wobbly seats.  The more centrist Democrats are already begging off the convention.  Having to go on record in the last couple months around a healthcare vote might encourage a few of them to break ranks and actually vote the law out in the House.  The Senate would then have to either filibuster it in a noticable vote or perhaps even pass it and force the president to veto the vote.  At various levels, this keeps healthcare at the forefront of the debate, which should make it an issue for debate, and eventually for the election.

I also believe it’s central to any strategy to keep consistent on your goals and to be very vocal in where you’re going.  It enlists others to your cause.  The Republicans and the Democrats are both sticking to what got them where they are, and they’re expecting that voters will respond positively.  Obviously, one set is incorrect, and we’ll have to see which one.

The risks to either are obvious.  The Democrats esstentially took the time they had in office to enact what appears to be a wildly unpopular healthcare law (and wait until stuff starts happening), and their effect on economic recovery has at best been to stall it.  The Republicans, meanwhile, have been centering their entire plan on “what worked for Reagan” and on repealing healthcare, and I’m not sure either is actually going to fly should they win.

We’ll see what happens as a result, but I’m mostly hoping that both sides get the hint that less regulation and more freedom for the individual and the small business would be the best solution for actual recovery.

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