Now change tactics

Republicans must establish broader, more convincing appeal to save conservatism

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Republicans, having failed epically to stop Obamacare, would be wise to now cheer it on.

Its failure may be the only thing that can save the GOP from the dustbin of history.

What in the world were Republicans thinking, in shutting down the government in order to try to extort Obamacare concessions from the Democrats?

Can you say thick-headed and moronic? Did they really believe the Democrats would barter away any of their prized legislation – which they’ve been pining for for decades – because of a government shutdown? When everybody outside of the Tea Party knew the shutdown would be blamed on Republicans?

Can you say “no leverage whatsoever”?

We’re tempted to say it will take months if not years for the Republican brand to recover from this, but we’re not sure it will.

When next year’s midterm elections roll around, more quickly than anybody thinks, voters will remember who brought them the completely unnecessary, widely damaging government shutdown of 2013.

If not, Democrats will be happy to remind them!

What Republicans should’ve done this fall was to step aside and allow the Obamacare train-wreck-to-be pass by.

They should’ve told the American people that, while Republicans believe it will be a disaster, the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act is the law of the land; that Congress and the president spoke in 2009; that the Supreme Court spoke in 2012; and that voters spoke last November, re-electing the architects of the law.

Republicans could’ve looked immensely magnanimous in doing so. They could’ve told the American people that, while they believe the law is a monumental mistake, that they would help implement it and make the best of it – knowing full well it would blow up in the Democrats’ faces.

Ironically, if Republicans really, truly wanted to do away with Obamacare, they wouldn’t stand in the way of it. Then or now.

But that’s not what they’ve done. In fact, they not only put themselves in front of the runaway train, but they dragged the rest of the country with them, by shutting down the government and impoverishing the very people they claim to be helping (such as businesses and families that depend on a functioning government).

Republicans comforted themselves (and no one else) during the shutdown by assuring themselves that 1) the Democrats technically were the ones who shut down the government and 2) the Republican-led House could shame Democrats into funding everything but Obamacare, if the House just sent over one government-reopening bill at a time.

We, and a lot of others, could’ve told the geniuses in the House that 1) nobody’s going to think Democrats were responsible for the shutdown and 2) the public won’t know or care about those piecemeal government re-opening bills Republicans passed after the shutdown started.

Note to Republicans: Most voters tune in to the big picture. The big picture in this case was of a Republican-led disaster.

Knowing our conservative friends, it’s quite possible their takeaway from this public relations disaster will be that they just have to throw a bigger tantrum next time, which could be as early as January. Many of them seem to think their conservative favorites in Congress merely caved too easily and should stick to their guns next time.

If so, those guns will be pointed, once again, at their own heads.

Sorry, friends. The problem isn’t that conservatives caved; it’s that they chose this ill-fated Alamo to begin with.

Conservatism doesn’t need to be louder; it needs to be broader. And more convincing. Conservatives are right about the direction and ultimate fate of the country, but their tactics are plainly disastrous. Stamping your feet won’t get you anywhere.

Conservatism had better get its act together, and quickly.

It may have but one election cycle left.

Comments (53)

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deestafford
18223
Points
deestafford 10/20/13 - 12:58 am
11
8

Once again, the editorial staff is wrong on this issue.

Sen Cruz, Lee, and others told their constituents that if they voted for them, they would go to DC and fight to stop and defund obamacare. The people elected them to do that and they did. They did not do like so many others who promised the same thing if elected get reelected and then go back on their promises.

The people are not going to forget this fight. The people will elect more Republicans in 2014. The country is tired of people not standing up and fighting and just kissing each others butts in DC and having business as usual. That is what got us in this fix.

When Republicans had the Presidency, House, and Senate under GW Bush what did the Republicans in the Senate do. (McCain was a big proponent of this idea.) They wanted to have joint chairmanships of the senate committees because the split was so close!! The "leaders" we had at that time, and some we have now, do lead. They want to play "nice". The Democrats on the other hand want to cut our hearts out and stomp on them. Why can't the Republican establishment see that?

Can the ACE please tell me one government entitlement program that has been put in place like the obamacare subsidies will be that has been overturned or eliminated? It can't, because once people start slopping at the government trough nobody stops them. The establishment merely says it ain't working because we ain't put forth enough money.

Obamacare maybe the worst piece of legislation passed in the last 150 years. I know it's the worst in my life time and that is almost 70 years.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/20/13 - 04:22 am
9
13

Only a few people continue to

Unpublished

Only a few people continue to believe in the insanity of the actions a Cruz, et al. Americans are not extremists, they are a majority of moderates who see the need for real compromise, instead of the my way or destroy the country way of the Tea Party. Cruz has made himself and his constituents into the laughing stock of America and the world.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/20/13 - 04:37 am
8
14

The only reason that the Tea

Unpublished

The only reason that the Tea Party is still around is that Republican leaders, like the parents of spoiled children, thought that coddling the Tea Party would keep them behaving. They have feared the blackmail of bad behavior. Boehner is no leader, he's a coward, refusing to bring items to the floor of the House for a straight up or down vote because he is scared of a minority of Americans and a minority of Republicans.
He's more interested in saving his speaker of the House position than doing what is right for America. Republicans need REAL leadership, who are not afraid to stand up to a few bullies in their Party. Every good parent knows, you don't let a child throw a tantrum and get away with it, otherwise, as has happened, the attempted blackmail will continue. Cruz and his supporters are not patriots, they're subversives, preferring to destroy the country if the can't have their way.

fedex227
8462
Points
fedex227 10/20/13 - 06:22 am
9
8

I don't know if the ACA will be a success for this ...

country or not - I hope it is. But to rally around this single issue as a platform for the party seems to be a losing strategy. Especially when you consider that when Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and the Presidency, their plan to stem the tide of runaway costs to medical insurance premiums for most Americans was to do ... nothing.

Riverman1
70479
Points
Riverman1 10/20/13 - 08:04 am
9
7

An Attack On The Tea Party

Not so fast, Chronicle. I, for one, am not going to allow such a blatant attack to go unchallenged. How soon we forget. In 2010, the Tea Party was responsible for one of the biggest seat changes in American history. The Republicans gained 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate. In state legislatures they gained an unheard of 680 seats. They also took control of 29 state governorships. It was a landslide of epic proportions as the Republicans welcomed the Libertarians into the party.

People were and STILL ARE simply fed up with uncontrolled spending. Responsible voters want to protect their life savings and the country from ruin even if that ruffles the feathers of establishment pukes of both parties. Conservatives do not favor Obamacare. They recognize it for the folly it is.

Of course the Party hierarchy and archaic newspapers don’t like it when the internet, radio and cable TV take away their power and access to the loot. Do you read the comments posted here and get the sense of the people? It’s a FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION away from big government and establishment bureaucracy.

The fact the Chronicle would be opposed to such a grass roots fiscal focus demonstrates its attempt to maintain political power and access to the public money. It’s a perfect example of conservatism gone wild exposing itself like college girls on spring break.

No more TEE Centers and parking decks connected to your hotels or money thrown to projects around your properties downtown. The next time you want money from the people, you can line up over there with the socialist Democrats. This side is NOW for taxpayers demanding truly conservative government.

deestafford
18223
Points
deestafford 10/20/13 - 07:34 am
12
8

Yeah, it's extremist all right when you do what you promised

the voters. I can see where the left would think that's an extreme position because so many of them lie to get in office....Obama being a case in point.

The Tea Party is not a single issue organization. It is an organization trying to rein in excessive, out of control government by touting the foundations of this great country: individual responsibility, limited government, and lower taxes. It wants to do away with the nanny state and have people who can take care of themselves and their families. It does not believe in taking from the producers and giving to the moochers. It believes in helping those who cannot help themselves not the ones who can and won't.

If that's extreme...then call me extreme along with 50+ individuals who signed a document in 1776 called the Declaration of Independence.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/20/13 - 08:49 am
8
10

So all Tea Party people

Unpublished

So all Tea Party people admit, their goal was to ruin the country. No matter what you may say about it, Democrats in the last election, had the majority of the nations popular vote, in all three elections. Gerrymandering is the only way that Republicans won the House. The damage done to the country by this Tea Party debacle will still be remembered in 2014. Laws being put into place by Republican leaning states are nothing but a feeble attempt to continue to rig elections, but, as the people continue to see the agenda of the extremists, they will vote for moderate Republicans who are committed to the country. Ideologues like the Tea Party will not last.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/20/13 - 08:50 am
5
8

Those 50+ people would laugh

Unpublished

Those 50+ people would laugh at the Tea Party, and say that destroying the country if you don't get your way is NOT patriotism.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/20/13 - 08:55 am
5
8

Even Dickensian England had

Unpublished

Even Dickensian England had something in place to do something for the poor. They were bad, but better than what ultra-conservatives advocate for. It's not about government, and I wish someone would say it the way it is. It's " I have mine, the heck with the rest" or more appropriately, " let them all die and further reduce the surplus population". The adage " you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" would be a great thing to consider.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/20/13 - 08:59 am
7
9

Riverman1, you cannot use the

Unpublished

Riverman1, you cannot use the forum of a conservative paper, pandering to an ultra- conservative minority audience as evidence of what this country believes. The truth is, only a few of us are willing to come here, endure the schoolhouse insults, flagging and such in order to stand up to you. I pray that the Tea Party continues it's antics. They will INSURE Democrats keep control of the government for a while.

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 10/20/13 - 09:01 am
9
3

It was a fool's errand

Am I the only one to agree with ACE....they got this one right on the money....it was wasted time-money & energy...Boehner knew it from the git go..
Take your mind out of the deep south for a moment..PLEASE.....or we will lose another national election...step back...take a deep breath.

We will lose some battles & we need to be careful which ones we want to fight....our southern politics will have to move away from some social issues & fight for the budget & money problems....we don't have the VOTES any longer to fight them all...this reminds me of Gone With the Wind all over again....you can remember THAT, can't you?

Bizkit
21868
Points
Bizkit 10/20/13 - 09:02 am
2
7

Actually polls indicate the

Actually polls indicate the majority of Americans are conservative, then moderates, and least is progressive. It's what the polls say-I've stated it before but many just conflate elections with ideology. Independents or moderates decide elections now because if they side Rep or Dem decides an election-the reason the well known-liberal Obama played moderate was his strategy to win the election. Now Rep are completely divided with a divide of fundamentalist ultra-conservatives and then more liberal or moderate Rep. The party will have to divide or the Rep should disavow their adopted baby-the tea party.

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 10/20/13 - 09:02 am
5
2

Thank you ACE

For swimming against the tide on this one.

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 09:04 am
6
7

moronic?

I agree with MR on almost nothing, but he is surely right in acknowledging that Tea Party Republicans should get the entire blame (or depending on one's POV, credit) for the shutdown and default brinksmanship. His warning that Republicans should change tactics is also right. What really brightens my day, however, is that posters such as deestafford, Riverman1, and no doubt others apparently apparently reject MR's advice. The more you right wingers continue to support the sort of kamikaze tactics the country has just seen, the better for liberals.
I am perfectly aware that you on the extreme right believe Cruz and Tea Party House Republicans are fighting for principle, but as the old wisdom has it, not even the most principled END justifies ANY AND EVERY MEANS to achieve it. When a particular MEANS ends up making the achievement of the principled END harder, what has been gained except making one's self feel better? These tactics will NOT result in more Republicans elected in 2014, as moderates and independents will not support a candidate pledging more shutdown and default tactics. Tea Party candidates will have to make big decisions next summer and fall about whether to put their personal political lives before the more general interests of the Republican Party (not "the country": politicians always say they are putting the country's interests first, but they aren't.)
If Tea Party types continue as they have acted the past few weeks, the Republican Party will not retake the Senate and may even lose the House. So keep it up, RM1 and dees, your "principled" tactical intransigence is music to this liberal's ears!

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 10/20/13 - 09:12 am
5
1

EEL is right imo

If Tea Party types continue as they have acted the past few weeks, the Republican Party will not retake the Senate and may even lose the House

I hope we can get our act together...

It is so hard to get the Rhett Butlers to put their sword down...

ymnbde
7492
Points
ymnbde 10/20/13 - 09:13 am
4
4

et, tu, augusta chronicle?

et, tu, augusta chronicle?
it was freedom's awakening that shut down this great Leviathan
only a partial shut-down, and only for two weeks
but it was only a wakening. Now the rising begins.
over what, exactly, would you support shutting down the government?
the largest tax increase in history isn't worth it?
incompetent bureaucrats running health care isn't worth it?
the democrats using the irs to stay in power isn't worth it?
17 TRILLION dollars isn't worth it?
all the above put together isn't worth it?
and what tangible harm did the shutdown cause?
more or less than the occupy movements?
oh, well, then... i'm sure you considered all that, so nevermind
currently, though, the tea party is unfocused
and is trying to solve everything at once
they will focus, however
first should be school choice
how is it "fair" that democrats allow black children to remain uneducated?
that is racism. are the democrats allowed?
so school choice is something on which we can all agree
so since you're paddling in the Dnieper river of mainstream media editorials
don't get out of the boat when you get to
the potemkin village that calls itself education
and don't get out of the boat when you get to the Potemkin village
that calls itself fiscal responsibility
don't get out of the boat when you get to the Potemkin village
that calls itself government run health care
just sit and smile at all the happy peasants waving from the bank
the tea party got out of the boat
we see the reality
and we have the "audacity" to change
and even defeat
Leviathan

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 09:17 am
6
7

1964

Tea Party, take note: in 1964, Barry Goldwater ran on the assertion that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." The result? Goldwater got 38% of the vote, one of the lowest in history, Dems got a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and total control of the House. So go ahead, fall on your swords! You can yell "but we were right" all the way to the political graveyard....

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 10/20/13 - 09:20 am
3
3

Please eel

They were raised as gentlemen ..it is hard for them to back off from a good fight...I luv em all.

seeya later .....don't want to hear the bashing.:)

localguy55
4306
Points
localguy55 10/20/13 - 09:21 am
5
4

Riverman1

Well said...

Riverman1
70479
Points
Riverman1 10/20/13 - 09:23 am
9
4

Thanks For the "Help"

EEL, those on the extreme left such as yourself, Obama and some of the Democrats should recall the Congressional 2010 massacre of the Democrats over the budget issue. People are fed up. Democrats know this and want no part of going up against the Tea Party again. Thanks for trying to “help” us though.

GaCopperHead, your Dickensian England and Uriah Heep like Democrats stealing from hard working people is what you should be concerned about. But since we are on this historical bent, know what happened to the poor unable to earn their way in communist societies? They ended up in the Gulag.

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 09:26 am
7
6

ymnbde

I add you to the short list, along with RMl and dees. You, like they, are upset with MR's editorial, but you almost completely misrepresent his views. His principled goal is the same as yours; his argument is over tactics. You, ymnbde, are confusing goals and tactics. As I have made clear, your confusion, and the confusion over goals and tactics of so many of far right crowd, is just fine with me. It's when Republicans change to more responsible means to achieve Republican goals that I might begin to worry.

Riverman1
70479
Points
Riverman1 10/20/13 - 09:35 am
5
6

The Leon Spinks of Confusion

EEL, trying to show us who is confused is like Leon Spinks telling us about dental hygiene.

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 09:36 am
6
6

Riverman l

Your "history" leaves out one very big thing. The 2010 "massacre" did NOT follow a Republican-inspired shutdown and default threat. 2010 tactics were quite different: Republicans sought change the way the Constitution provided, through the ballot. The more relevant history lesson is 1995, the last Republican-inspired shutdown. The result? I 1996 Clinton won an election he should have lost, and the Dems picked up seats in the House....

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 09:39 am
6
4

Leon Spinks

Nice, RMl, but how about rebuttal instead of insult?

Riverman1
70479
Points
Riverman1 10/20/13 - 09:48 am
6
6

Be Prepared to Take the Heat

When you say condescending things to others, you have to be prepared to take the heat. Heck, I thought Democrats always bragged about the debt being reduced under Bill Clinton? Come to find out he vetoed the Newt-led Republican cost saving measures and the 1995 government shutdown was a result. But see the bigger picture here. You are in favor of Democratic policies that spend more just as Bill Clinton was. Democrats tacitly admit he was wrong pointing out the reduction in the debt of his administration. Take a back seat now and let us straighten out this country.

ymnbde
7492
Points
ymnbde 10/20/13 - 09:48 am
4
5

1963

could anyone have beaten the party of Kennedy
so soon after the death of Kennedy?
38% my goodness... that was actually quite impressive
2013
the party of Kennedy is now the Tea party
they are quite comparable
i studied the party of Kennedy
i like the party of Kennedy
and democrats and liberals, you're no party of Kennedy
you've "evolved" into the party of Marx
oh, and eel, yes, i realize the aces editorial theme was tactics
but they didn't really consider the development of tactics
and how it is naturally occuring
they seemed a bit condescending, actually
(thick-headed and moronic? i obviously disagree)
on the motives for the shut-down
and the perceived harm, which was very slight

TrukinRanger
1554
Points
TrukinRanger 10/20/13 - 09:49 am
0
0

Conservatism?? Contrary to

Unpublished

Conservatism?? Contrary to popular belief.. the LEADERS of the Republican party are not conservatives. They use this word to fool the weak minded. They have fought to give the rich, the corporations, the religious institutions their own versions of welfare. Big corporations are the ones financing their "conservative platform". One of Obama's platforms was healthcare reform. He was elected twice and had the popular vote throughout the country (not his fault the south is still backwards). They came up with the ACA pretty much on their own since the GOP sat around the campfire sipping their kool-aid and planning to try and defund the ACA by shutting down the government when it came to put out a budget. If they had sat down with democrats and actually participated in health care reform we would have had a better package put into action. After the ACA became the law of the land, and the courts withstood over 40 tries to strike it down it prevailed. It is the law now. For the republicans to purposely try and hold the nation hostage because they lost, lost, lost... over the law of the land it should be considered sedition.. Now the republicans are fighting amongst themselves and the party is in disarray. I don't see the GOP recovering in the near future. When Mitt lost the election, he said that they failed because the American people did not understand their point of view. In fact, the American people DID understand it and it was a view of turning the clocks back. The problem wasn't with the American people but the republican (teapublican) party. They don't see that the majority of Americans do NOT have their views- period. They have alienated immigrants (the legal ones that vote), women, gays, poor, etc. Of course everyone wants to cut out wasteful spending and get the country back on course, but shutting down the government for about 2 weeks because they don't like a LAW is childish. The republican party needs to quit listening to the teapublicans and listen to Americans if they want to survive.

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 09:51 am
6
4

condescending?

RMl I was? Today? Where?

What I read in your response is a failure to respond to my goals / means distinction, and a rather obvious effort to change the subject.

Riverman1
70479
Points
Riverman1 10/20/13 - 09:59 am
5
2

Well, I sure didn't mention

Well, I sure didn't mention your name first. We should keep it on subject and leave the names out of it. Nobody cares about us, it's the points we make.

effete elitist liberal
2760
Points
effete elitist liberal 10/20/13 - 10:02 am
6
4

and?

And your point about my goals / tactics point was????

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