We must be able to compromise with one another, before we can successfully reach agreements with Democrats. This idea, or principle, is something that I talked about frequently with friends and some foes during the past few weeks.
Andrew McCarthy’s recent NRO piece says, in part “if the defund plan was delusional, the GOP establishment’s “repeal Obamacare by winning elections” alternative is delusional squared.” He’s addressing an issue that is part substance, part tactics, and well-grounded in reality.
The Nation cannot afford to wait several election cycles to find a better alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Why? Unlike the private sector where companies live or die by profit and losses, the federal government has no incentive to win. If a company loses, it goes out of business. If the federal government loses, it stays open, gets bailed out, and keeps going and going and going. That is what has started to happen with the ACA.
The ACA was supposed to be an amazing and easy to use Amazon or TurboTax-like portal for healthcare. It has become an unmitigated public relations disaster that has already cost the taxpayer a cool $700,000,000+ for a website that failed to deliver as promised. Expect that cost to surpass the $1 billion mark. $700,000,000 could’ve bought a lot of medicine and medical care for hundreds of thousands of poor Americans.
The ACA website disaster, and make no mistake, it will be death knell of the ACA in the future, should not surprise anyone who has been involved in policymaking or federal regulatory processes. I’m a huge proponent of technology, but this exercise was the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. Ask any web designer what drives traffic to a website and they’ll tell you quality content. The ACA is built on a “government knows best” foundation and that is why it will fail, no matter how many slick websites you try to create.
McCarthy does a great job breaking down why the government shutdown strategy could’ve been the only choice for the 30+ Republicans that allowed the GOP to retake control of Congress. I’m no fan of a shutdown strategy but I’m not a Member of Congress who promised voters to take a stand on repealing the ACA. McCarthy writes that “[i]t is not an exaggeration to say the GOP establishment is more sympathetic to Obama’s case for the centralized welfare state than to the Tea Party’s case for limited government and individual liberty. And it is not an exaggeration to say that Beltway Republicans are more worried about what the media will say about them today than what the Tea Party may do to them every other year.” Indeed.
One of the most disconcerting developments the past few weeks in this town has been the knee-jerk reaction from long-time GOP political activists and commentators to diversity of thought in our party. If it is allowed to fester, it will undermine the very strategy these people advocate for dealing with ObamaCare that involves win elections and repeal when we have the votes. You need the new generation of GOPers, and the movement that support them, to win more seats both chambers of Congress. Attacking them and excluding them will only hurt the party and, in the long run, the nation.
Be sure to read Andrew McCarthy’s Art of the Impossible.
P.S., A fellow Republican colleague in this town who vehemently opposes the Tea Party movement, made a really asinine comment in response to a posting I made a few days ago on the shutdown matter. I was born in the United States, but had remarked that my family left a communist country to live in freedom, not a socialized country where governments, among other things, told citizens what to do. I’m cleaning up what he said but, in essence, this person responded that the United States never would be a socialist country. This person is in denial, and so is most of the GOP establishment. If we fail to curb the regulatory superstate, that is exactly where we are headed.