GOP’s agenda in 2018: Get more stuff done

GOPs agenda in 2018 Get more stuff done
Readability

GOP's agenda in 2018: Get more stuff done

It took them nearly a year to pass any­thing mean­ing­ful. This fact is absolutely ridicu­lous as they’ve had over six years to pre­pare for the inevitable con­trol of the House, Sen­ate, and White House once Oba­macare passed and sealed the short-​term fate of the Democ­rats. Com­ing into 2017 flat­footed and dis­or­ga­nized was inex­cus­able, but that’s what hap­pened. They can’t let it hap­pen again in 2018.

Most con­ser­v­a­tive pun­dits say their next task is sell­ing the tax cuts they just passed to the Amer­i­can peo­ple. This is some­what true, but it’s more of a game of attach­ment rather than hit­ting the streets and sell­ing it as some are sug­gest­ing. They need to hope the econ­omy stays strong and point to the tax cuts any time good things hap­pen. This doesn’t take much effort. They just have to be aware of their fis­cal surroundings.

Now, their goal must be to get more accom­plished if they have any hope of retain­ing con­trol of both the House and the Sen­ate with the 2018 elec­tion. Now’s not a pop­u­lar time to sound skep­ti­cal. Most Repub­li­cans have high spir­its, but this tax bill will not sud­denly con­vert vot­ers to sup­port them come elec­tion day. It can, how­ever, be used to drag some of them down. That’s the curse of a majority.

For full dis­clo­sure, my skep­ti­cism is rooted in a year-​long detach­ment from the GOP. I stopped being an apol­o­gist and started try­ing to build an alter­na­tive in the Fed­er­al­ist Party. I do every­thing I can to be fair, high­light­ing when Repub­li­cans do well and denounc­ing when they do things that con­tinue to expand the gov­ern­ment, increase spend­ing, or build more reliance on DC in areas they don’t belong.

I’m an Amer­i­can before a Fed­er­al­ist which is why I can, in good con­science, give the GOP advice. If they play it safe in 2018 and let tax cuts do all the talk­ing for them come elec­tion time, they’ll lose big time. They def­i­nitely won’t plan on doing that, but if they can’t come together in the Sen­ate, tax cuts may be all they really have. They need much more.

Here’s a short list of accom­plish­ments they need to add to their resume for 2018. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other things they need to do, but some of it will need to wait until after 2018. They need to get cer­tain things accom­plished before the elec­tion know­ing they may not have the same oppor­tu­nity after it. They also will have to save cer­tain issues until after the elec­tion. As badly as we need enti­tle­ment reform, I can’t see that being on the table until after the 2020 elec­tion no mat­ter how hard Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pushes for it.

Their 2018 to-​do list:

  • Repeal Oba­macare: This is non-​negotiable. It’s the rea­son they have a major­ity in the first place. They missed their oppor­tu­nity to do it early in the sum­mer when pub­lic sen­ti­ment sup­ported repeal­ing it. Now that sen­ti­ment has shifted under them, they may be tempted to table it. This would be a cat­a­strophic mis­take. The Repub­li­can base that gave them their Capi­tol Hill majori­ties will not be ener­gized by a request for two more years after being given every­thing they need to repeal it already. This has to hap­pen early. It can­not wait until around elec­tion time. They need to repeal Oba­macare before the sum­mer and then hit the road sell­ing what­ever plan replaces it.
  • Fund the Wall: Some would argue they should wait until 2019 so they can ride it to another term for Pres­i­dent Trump. There’s some valid­ity to this argu­ment, but what’s more valid is the ques­tion­ing they’ll get if they can’t deliver before the elec­tion. Who will be ask­ing those ques­tions? Pres­i­dent Trump. They can’t prompt him to turn on them.
  • Pass a Weak DACA Fix: I wish I could say they’ll let DACA die, but that’s not going to hap­pen. Even a good chunk of their base has fol­lowed the President’s lead in soft­en­ing on Dream­ers, so Repub­li­cans in Con­gress have a prob­lem. If they pass a strong DACA fix, the Democ­rats will make it their vic­tory. The only way Repub­li­cans can keep their own base ener­gized is to pass some­thing weak under Demo­c­ra­tic protest that still “fixes” DACA.
  • Defund Planned Par­ent­hood: If tax­pay­ers are still pay­ing for abor­tion come elec­tion time, the GOP will be offi­cially worth­less to social con­ser­v­a­tives. This isn’t an issue where the sen­ti­ment can be shifted. The lines are drawn. They must defund it and let them raise their own money. They’ll be fine on their own, and those who have luke­warm sup­port for Planned Par­ent­hood need to see they’ll be fine so it doesn’t become an issue dur­ing the election.
  • Tackle Cybert­er­ror­ism: George W. Bush won his sec­ond term because he had the war and a ter­ror­ist boogey­man keep­ing Amer­i­cans con­cerned. We sim­ply didn’t trust John Kerry to pro­tect us. Now that the threats against us have shifted, the GOP needs to build them­selves up as the party capa­ble of pro­tect­ing us from North Korea, Islamic ter­ror­ism, and cybert­er­ror­ism. The Pres­i­dent will help with the first two, so all Con­gress needs to do is make be proac­tive against the third.

There are plenty of other things that need to hap­pen, but this is strictly for the elec­tion itself.

It makes me cringe know­ing how many deci­sions are made in Wash­ing­ton DC based upon elec­tion cam­paigns rather than the well-​being of the nation. That’s the biggest prob­lem with a two-​party sys­tem. The rul­ing party’s agenda is dri­ven by party first, Amer­ica sec­ond. Some­times these goals are aligned. Other times, they’re in direct oppo­si­tion. We need to end the duop­oly. Oth­er­wise, we’ll con­tinue to be stuck with rep­re­sen­ta­tives who think no more than two years ahead with all of their decisions.

It took them nearly a year to pass anything meaningful. This fact is absolutely ridiculous as they’ve had over six years to prepare for the inevitable control of the House, Senate, and White House once Obamacare passed and sealed the short-term fate of the Democrats. Coming into 2017 flatfooted and disorganized was inexcusable, but that’s what happened. They can’t let it happen again in 2018.

Most conservative pundits say their next task is selling the tax cuts they just passed to the American people. This is somewhat true, but it’s more of a game of attachment rather than hitting the streets and selling it as some are suggesting. They need to hope the economy stays strong and point to the tax cuts any time good things happen. This doesn’t take much effort. They just have to be aware of their fiscal surroundings.

Now, their goal must be to get more accomplished if they have any hope of retaining control of both the House and the Senate with the 2018 election. Now’s not a popular time to sound skeptical. Most Republicans have high spirits, but this tax bill will not suddenly convert voters to support them come election day. It can, however, be used to drag some of them down. That’s the curse of a majority.

For full disclosure, my skepticism is rooted in a year-long detachment from the GOP. I stopped being an apologist and started trying to build an alternative in the Federalist Party. I do everything I can to be fair, highlighting when Republicans do well and denouncing when they do things that continue to expand the government, increase spending, or build more reliance on DC in areas they don’t belong.

I’m an American before a Federalist which is why I can, in good conscience, give the GOP advice. If they play it safe in 2018 and let tax cuts do all the talking for them come election time, they’ll lose big time. They definitely won’t plan on doing that, but if they can’t come together in the Senate, tax cuts may be all they really have. They need much more.

Here’s a short list of accomplishments they need to add to their resume for 2018. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other things they need to do, but some of it will need to wait until after 2018. They need to get certain things accomplished before the election knowing they may not have the same opportunity after it. They also will have to save certain issues until after the election. As badly as we need entitlement reform, I can’t see that being on the table until after the 2020 election no matter how hard Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pushes for it.

Their 2018 to-do list:

  • Repeal Obamacare: This is non-negotiable. It’s the reason they have a majority in the first place. They missed their opportunity to do it early in the summer when public sentiment supported repealing it. Now that sentiment has shifted under them, they may be tempted to table it. This would be a catastrophic mistake. The Republican base that gave them their Capitol Hill majorities will not be energized by a request for two more years after being given everything they need to repeal it already. This has to happen early. It cannot wait until around election time. They need to repeal Obamacare before the summer and then hit the road selling whatever plan replaces it.
  • Fund the Wall: Some would argue they should wait until 2019 so they can ride it to another term for President Trump. There’s some validity to this argument, but what’s more valid is the questioning they’ll get if they can’t deliver before the election. Who will be asking those questions? President Trump. They can’t prompt him to turn on them.
  • Pass a Weak DACA Fix: I wish I could say they’ll let DACA die, but that’s not going to happen. Even a good chunk of their base has followed the President’s lead in softening on Dreamers, so Republicans in Congress have a problem. If they pass a strong DACA fix, the Democrats will make it their victory. The only way Republicans can keep their own base energized is to pass something weak under Democratic protest that still “fixes” DACA.
  • Defund Planned Parenthood: If taxpayers are still paying for abortion come election time, the GOP will be officially worthless to social conservatives. This isn’t an issue where the sentiment can be shifted. The lines are drawn. They must defund it and let them raise their own money. They’ll be fine on their own, and those who have lukewarm support for Planned Parenthood need to see they’ll be fine so it doesn’t become an issue during the election.
  • Tackle Cyberterrorism: George W. Bush won his second term because he had the war and a terrorist boogeyman keeping Americans concerned. We simply didn’t trust John Kerry to protect us. Now that the threats against us have shifted, the GOP needs to build themselves up as the party capable of protecting us from North Korea, Islamic terrorism, and cyberterrorism. The President will help with the first two,  so all Congress needs to do is make be proactive against the third.

There are plenty of other things that need to happen, but this is strictly for the election itself.

It makes me cringe knowing how many decisions are made in Washington DC based upon election campaigns rather than the well-being of the nation. That’s the biggest problem with a two-party system. The ruling party’s agenda is driven by party first, America second. Sometimes these goals are aligned. Other times, they’re in direct opposition. We need to end the duopoly. Otherwise, we’ll continue to be stuck with representatives who think no more than two years ahead with all of their decisions.