As many new outlets are reporting, the Republicans have been granted an audience with “the Anointed One”, reasonable people would like to hope that a divided government would give birth to the lost art of compromise.
The problem is Obama has never believed in compromise. Remember, he “won” twice. The delusions were also quite evident when he pointed out that two-thirds of the electorate did not vote in this election. He simply will not change. He has no interest in his legacy. He is not going to be the politician who will move to more centrist views in light of this clear rebuke from America.
Obama is an ideologue.
That is what the Republicans need to remember most of all. Now, the second thing Republicans have to remember is that they must show that they can govern which is something Obama has clearly shown he cannot, nor will, actually do.
The Republican Playbook
The Republicans have to institute a two-pronged approach to dealing with Obama (and the new deistic messiah of progressives, [mc_name name=’Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’W000817′ ]).
First off, the Republicans must govern the country. They can pass bills on straight party lines which is what the Democrats did with Obamacare. However, they have to move beyond partisan politics and actually build a coalition with some Democrats to isolate Obama as the true obstructionist in this whole disaster.
It would set them apart from the Obama Democrat as truly looking out for the best interest of the country. Should they cave on Obamacare, illegal immigration, or the soaring debt? No, absolutely not. However, those bills that are sitting on Reid’s desk that were actually passed with overwhelming bipartisan support should be the first things McConnell brings to the floor in January and delivered to Obama in the first week.
Inundate Obama with so many bills that his golf game is on hold until 2017. Force him to actually do his job. Otherwise, they should pin the gridlock in Washington squarely on him.
The second prong is that Republicans should still send over the straight party-line bills as well. It will continue to draw a clear distinction between Americans in general and the progressive ideologues like Obama, Clinton, or Warren who have a clear disconnect with reality.
Since Republicans do not have the veto-proof majority, Obamacare will not go away until the next election. It does not mean they should not chip away it in the mean time. Issues like Obamacare and illegal immigration should continue to be hung around the neck of every Democrat until 2016 as the reason why the economy is not recovering, you cannot afford to see a doctor, and Democrats want to treat actual criminals better than you.
The 2016 Election
If gridlock is the reason why the Republicans won, then they have to govern. They have to actually get something done. Go for the low-hanging fruit and take credit or figure out a way to get the federal government out of the way.
If it is because of the ideologue beliefs of Obama (and progressives like him), then Republicans have to continue connecting the dots between progressives and the worsening economic times we are dealing with now.