Jim DeMint: We Won’t Back Down on ObamaCare

My title is taken from Jim DeMint’s Wall Street Journal op-ed of the same name.  In his piece, he makes the following points.

The reason [the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight] is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.


More and more people have had their work hours cut, their jobs eliminated and their coverage taken away as a result of this new law.

Further, research by Drew Gonshorowski of the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation indicates that

…the hardest hit by the increases will be young adults.  “A state that exhibits this clearly is Vermont…where the increase for 27-year-olds is 144% and the increase for 50-year-olds is still 60%, but far less.  All states exhibit this relationship.

DeMint has lots more; you get the idea.  However, he’s missing some key factors.  No Conservative, and almost no Republican—not just the Heritage Foundation—will back down on Obamacare, but they need three things in order to do more than “not back down,” in order instead actually to succeed concerning Obamacare:

They need better tactics.

They need better communication skills.

They need better candidates with whom then to win actual elections and thereby gain majorities in both houses of Congress and win the White House.  President Barack Obama was taunting Republicans when he said,

You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position.  Go out there, and win an election.

But he’s right.

Conservatives’ and Republicans’ current tactic of burning the bridge and then trying to cross the river won’t work.  Until elections are won, what must be done is to clear out some of Obamacare’s more blatant nonsense. This includes things that even Progressives in the Senate agree on, like the job-killing medical device tax; things that even Conservatives should be agreeing on, like the tax on union and big employer “Cadillac” health insurance plans (Conservatives also need to lose their Progressive-like knee-jerk resistance to anything a union might like.  Unions and Conservatives might never be friends, but there’s much about Obamacare on which unions and Conservatives can be allies.)  Conservatives also can push to repeal the administration’s OMB diktat that the law doesn’t apply to Congressmen and their staffers: that mendacious, taxpayer-funded subsidy for buying health insurance, on the Obamacare exchanges or anywhere else, needs to be withdrawn.

Until elections are won (and continuing after), they need actually to talk with their constituents—and with their Democrat neighbors’ constituents—directly, where these Americans, these voters, live.  Further, they need to do so with a unified, coherent message of how Conservative policies will help the individuals they’re directly speaking with.  It’s insufficient to send an occasional email (while then deciding not to respond when recipients email back), or to make speeches on the House or Senate floor, or to give sound-bite interviews on the steps or in the halls of Capitol Hill.

Finally, in order to win those elections, Conservatives and Republicans need to do a better job of selecting candidates in their primaries and then running them in the elections.  Their handling of the Cuccinelli candidacy in Virginia and the Lonegan candidacy in New Jersey is (and was)…poor.

When Republicans and Conservatives come up with a coherent message, when they improve their tactics, when they select better candidates—and support them—then Republicans and Conservatives will be able to answer Obama’s taunt and actually take control of the Congress and the White House.  Then, and not sooner, they’ll be able to replace Obamacare and, oh by the way, get spending and our debt under control.

3 thoughts on “Jim DeMint: We Won’t Back Down on ObamaCare

  1. Another factor is the party mouthpieces known as the “MSM” – those folks won’t cover any conservative position unless it’s “newsworthy” by their lights. So give then a story they can’t refuse to carry – and lay it out in at least neutral terms, trumpeted to the universe at large, limiting their ability to distort it for their ends. Control the narrative, for once.

  2. That’s certainly a worthy tactic. But Conservatives–and Republicans–can’t use the NLMSM’s mendacity as an excuse. This is the 21st century; there are too many ways simply to bypass the them and talk directly to the folks without the message being washed through the NLMSM, or spiked by it.

    The techniques of the 19th century–going to folks’ houses, their neighborhood libraries, rec centers, diners; letters to the local editors, interviews with the local radio and television stations (OK, that last is mid-20th century)–remain entirely viable.

    Eric Hines

  3. Pingback: Divisiveness | A Plebe's Site

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