The Republican Party has an image problem.
Ever since Republicans wrested control of the House from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats they have embarked on a scorched earth policy designed to defeat the president’s agenda. As a result, Republicans are largely viewed by the voters as a party of obstructionists; more interested in ideology and job security than in governing the country. They are the party of “No;” losers of the popular vote in five of the last six national elections.
Now, in the middle of a government shutdown, Republicans have within their grasp an opportunity to alter that image in a positive manner. The question is…will they make the most of this opportunity…or will they squander it.
There are two things that ALL Republicans agree on. 1.) They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 2.) They want to reduce government spending.
Item #1 is not gonna’ happen. There is no way that the president is ever going to agree to repeal his signature achievement. To do so would end his presidency, destroy his legacy and irrevocably damage his party. It’s not gonna’ happen. Republicans know that.
Item #2, a reduction in government spending, is within reach. The president has offered a bill to continue funding the government at pre-2008 spending levels. This bill effectively wipes out all of the spending increases enacted by the Obama administration. This is a huge concession by the Democrats. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called it “a major victory.” All Republicans have to do is vote “Yes.”
The president challenged the speaker to allow a floor vote on the Democrat’s proposal. Speaker Boehner should accept that challenge…put the measure to a vote…and when it passes claim victory. Republicans would score a huge win, take a major step in repairing their party’s image and end an unpopular government shutdown that is killing the country.
This is an opportunity for the moderate majority in the Republican Party to wrest control from the radicals who have so damaged the Republican brand on the national stage.
This is an opportunity to govern.