A simple but powerful strategy for Congress against Obama


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I’ve read a lot of analysis offering many ideas on what the Republican Congress should do to combat Obama in the next two years, but the best proposal I’ve read yet was posted as a comment to this website earlier today by mpthompson:

The best thing the Republicans can do would be to craft small, simple pieces of legislation that have the broad support of the American people (hmmmm,hmmmm border enforcement) and dare the Obama to veto. Do this week after week until it’s drilled into the electorates heads as to who is really the obstructionist.

Regarding Obamacare. Craft a one page amendment to the law that removes the mandate so that people can choose for themselves whether they want to participate (a pro-choice amendment so to speak). Then another amendment that removes the restrictions on they type of coverage a company can offer (another pro-choice amendment). Then let the public see the Dems for the big-government fascist they are.

There are a host of proposals that could fit this strategy. In addition to the ones suggested above, what about the approving the Keystone pipeline, cancelling the Obamacare medical tax, limiting the abuses of the IRS, limiting Obama’s travel expenses, and punishing the National Park Service for its partisan administration of the law during the Occupy movement and the government shutdown.

I am sure that my readers could think of many many more.

Update: It appears that the new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), might be planning to follow this strategy, at least when it comes to Obamacare.

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7 comments

  • Rick Edwards

    At the least, modify Obamacare to where customers can delete items they don’t need. IE maternity and birth control

  • Publius 2

    The most frustrating aspect is that the House Republicans could have accomplished much of this over the past two years by choking off funding for Obamacare, frivolous travel, IRS and Justice Department abuses, and more. Need I remind everyone that the national debt has grown under the GOP House majority? The incoming Republican freshmen and women are an impressive bunch, but John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are still running things, and they have generated a lot of mistrust among conservatives — particularly by their contemptible behavior toward the Tea Party. As some commentators have already written, the voters who made this wave election possible need to place Boehner and McConnell on notice that their continued reticence to combat the president’s arrogance and his administration’s lawlessness will no longer be tolerated.

  • Jake

    Rush offered a brilliant idea yesterday. He advised Congress to attach to each bill that was passed a full listing of polling on the contents of the bill to show the overwhelming support of the American people. For example, the Keystone Pipeline has something like 70% support, and even over 50% for Democrats. If this type of data was included in a memo to the President and provided in a press conference it would assist the Republicans greatly. And the Republicans should not act as if they were opposing President Obama, but instead act as if they are doing the will of the American people and calling on the President to follow the will of the American people.

  • Garry

    I’m not sure that will work with this particular president; he knows what he wants, and I get the feeling he’ll push for what he wants regardless of public opinion. He’s a true believer, unwilling to even reconsider any of his opinions; in his mind, 70% of Americans may want X, but they’re not as smart as he is and can’t possibly have any insight into what’s good for them and/or the world. Since he can’t run for re-election, there’s no longer any compelling reason for him to compromise.

    However, this might be a very effective tactic to help persuade Democrats in Congress, although the prospects are dim for getting any significant veto overturned. More importantly, if the people are shown that Congressional Democrats and the President consistently oppose measures that are very popular, it may go a long ways towards the 2016 elections.

    For any of this to happen, the Republican leadership has to have a spine, and so far there’s scant proof of that.

  • Edward

    It is a nice thought, but I don’t see this strategy working against Obamacare.

    Several of the unpopular things in ObamaCare that McConnel may be targeting, such as the 30 hour work week, were not in the law but were instigated by one of the many regulators/department/panels that determine how the law is implemented.

    Indeed, the disperse nature of the number of different groups determining and enforcing ObamaCare makes it an unmanageable nightmare to implement and to comply with. Different groups can create conflicting rules (with the same power of enforcement as the original law) which cannot be mutually followed.

    (South Lake Tahoe has/had a similar problem. There is/was one law that requires homeowners to clear all pine needles from around their houses to hinder the spread of any forest fires (the place is built within a forest, not in place of the forest), and another that forbids changing the environment, such as clearing pine needles. As a homeowner, which law do you break?)

    Then there are the panels and departments that get to violate our rights with impunity, just by making a rule — Congress has not made a law that violates our rights, but violated they are.

    Dismantling this onerous and unconstitutional violation-of-all-that-is-good-and-right must be done in its entirety, not piecemeal. Otherwise we may accidentally leave some of this cancer behind to spread and continue to do its freedom-hating, life-threatening harm.

    This election demonstrated that we have already noticed that big government is the problem, and those who have not noticed do not pay close enough attention to see it through presidential vetoes.

    Robert and mpthompson may be correct that this strategy could put great pressure on Obama to do the right thing on various other matters. On the other hand, he may not care about pressure and continue to use his pen and phone for unconstitutional actions.

  • You are probably right that this strategy will fail to dismantle Obamacare. That really isn’t its point, at least in my mind.

    Its goal is to highlight where Obama and the Democrats stand, in as stark a manner as possible. By introducing reasonable and small changes or proposals on a very regular basis the Republicans would either force the Democrats and Obama to go along, or force them to show everyone where they stand. And standing in favor of Obamacare, again and again and again, is certainly not a winner when it comes to elections.

    In addition, vetoing these bills repeatedly will also make it obvious who is the real obstructionist in the government, no matter how much the press will try to spin the story otherwise.

    It is for these reasons I like this approach. I see it as a very effective way to persuade more people that they have good reason to reject the modern Democratic Party.

  • Edward

    Robert,

    That sounds good when said really fast, but it has serious dangers. Try this for a bad-case scenario (I would call it worst-case, but ObamaCare is full of landmines that get laid not by the law itself but by the many, many panels, agencies, and bureaucrats who have the power to make up rules that hold the force of law — e.g. mandatory birth control coverage):

    McConnell et al. pass a law returning full-time weeks to 40 hours. Obama signs it into law. Everyone is joyful, then they declare that something has now been done to solve ObamaCare’s problems, at least the ones that the Supreme Court hasn’t deemed Constitutional, and no one ever fixes any more of ObamaCare.

    Only one small portion is rescinded– and one that does not violate our rights, thus maintaining government tyranny over us. And it wasn’t even a part of the law. The rest of this hideous atrocity stands, and we may never get rid of the worst parts, including the ability for unelected minor government functionaries to create rules that have the effect of law. (Punishment without representation.)

    When it comes to ObamaCare, it must be swept away completely.

    Without any other stupid law to replace it, we would end up with free-market capitalism, which would be better than the mess that we had before ObamaCare 7#@|<ed up the country.

    As for the other miserable laws that could be attacked, I say overwhelm Obama and the Democrats with repeal after fix and put as much pressure on them as possible. It is long past time that the word "compromise" come to mean a move toward freedom, rather than toward tyranny. (When did the Democrat Party come to stand for tyranny, anyway? And why does it seem that the Republican party is only half a decade behind them?)

    As you have said in another post, it is the actions once in office that count most (although I disfavor the "ends justifies any means" philosophy). However, among other actions, when Republicans tried to vote on a law that both funded and defunded ObamaCare, and left it to the Democratic Senate to choose to fund it (thus the Republicans could claim that they voted to defund, keep the evil law, and still get reelected), they showed that their true stripes were not in saving us from the tyranny of the government.

    Meanwhile, I expect Obama to continue to act like the unassailable king that he is and ignore the pressure as best he can. The Republicans have taken the teeth out of anything that they can do to make him presidential instead of dictatorial.

    These previous actions taken by the Republican leaders are why I have little faith in the Republicans, right now. I dearly hope that their actions over the next two years renews my faith in them.

    Further, highlighting where Obama and the Democrats stand may get some people to see the obstructionists for who they are, so it is worth an effort (except not the piecemeal dismantling of ObamaCare, which must be completely destroyed, like the cancer that it is), but I suspect that there are others who blindly favor the handouts and the safety hammock — er — net and do not realize that they are enslaved by this lifestyle. Sort of like the bird in the gilded cage, except they only see the gold and not the potential of the freedom beyond. These people need to be convinced in another way. These people will continue to see the Republicans as the obstructionists.

    Regaining the freedom that we grew up with will require many approaches, tactics, and strategies, and the one that you advocate here is a small part.

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