Dude, Where's My Strategy?

From the diaries by Erick. What he said!

Instead of using every trick in the book to defeat Sen. Harry Reid’s government-run health plan, Senate GOP leadership is idly sitting by while Democrats tweak the bill to buy off votes.  Instead of doing everything in its power to block a bill that is solidly opposed by more voters than not, Senate GOP leadership is allowing Sen. Reid to process amendments and move the trains as if this bill, the largest government takeover of the private sector in American history, represented nothing out of the ordinary.  With each passing amendment, Democrats become closer and closer to buying off the all-important 60th vote.

To fully grasp the near-criminal ineffectiveness of the party’s current strategy, just peruse the following news stories and ask yourself, “Do narratives like these increase or decrease the likelihood of Senate approval of government-run health care?”

  • AP“The 61-39 roll call Thursday by which the Senate adopted an amendment to safeguard coverage of mammograms and preventive screening tests for women under a revamped health care system.”
  • Reuters“U.S. Senate bolsters preventive care for women”
  • BloombergSenate Approves Plan to Boost U.S. Mammogram Testing

Top GOP leaders have mistakenly convinced themselves that the key to defeating the bill is to process a number of Republican “messaging” amendments while letting Democrats offer whatever amendments are necessary to buy 60 votes.

There are three fatal problems with this strategy: 1) leadership insists on pushing its own too-clever-by-half “message” instead of listening to the clear message faxed, e-mailed and phoned to every elected official in Washington (“KILL THE BILL!”), 2) as evidenced by the articles above, the current “messaging strategy” is an abysmal failure, and 3) by allowing amendments to be processed at no cost to the majority party, GOP leaders are merely greasing the skids for government-run health care.

In the movie “Braveheart,” William Wallace tells Robert the Bruce, a noble who had the desire but not the guts to do the right thing, “Men don’t follow titles; they follow courage.” It would be refreshing to see more of the latter from those with the former in the United States Senate.