(The following is not official GOP guidance, but rather my advice on advancing the Conservative Agenda)
We’ve all heard the complaint. Many of us voice it ourselves:
“First Republicans said they needed the House to stop Obamacare—but nothing happened! Then they said they needed the Senate—but nothing happened! Then they said they needed the White House—and still, nothing happened! It’s hopeless! We give up!”
Let me state this as clearly as possible: If we give up on the GOP right now, we are fools. Fools of the highest order. Epic, legendary, and almost unprecedented, F-O-O-L-S.
Take a step back and ponder what just happened with the healthcare "failure." We drove the ball to the opponent’s 5 yard line, but couldn’t punch it in—for now. This isn’t over. In fact, if we pull together over this next year, I can assure you Obamacare will be repealed, replaced, and burned to the ground…by Republicans.
Healthcare will be saved. Why?
Because 2018 should be a banner election for Senate Republicans. 25 Democrat seats are up for re-election, and only 8 Republican seats. Of the 25 Democrat seats, 10 are in states Trump won—5 of those by double digits. On the GOP side, nearly all the Senators are safe.
Even by pessimistic standards, Republicans should expand their Senate majority to 55-45. By more realistic standards, we should see a 57-43 majority after 2018.
Remember, Obamacare was rammed down our throats by a 59-41 Democrat majority, and a couple of today’s Senate Republicans are weak (GOP voters in Arizona and Alaska, you owe us YUGE apologies). Anyone expecting major repeal with a weak 52 seat majority is kidding themselves. They really are.
This isn’t McConnell’s fault—he lacks the votes. This isn’t Cruz’s and Paul’s fault—they’ve been team players like McConnell, voting for good amendments and several bills to end Obamacare.
Ultimately, this isn’t even the fault of McCain and Murkowski. They are who they’ve always been, but GOP voters in Arizona and Alaska chose them anyway. Want to blame someone? Blame Republican voters in those fairly safe states. Heck, I’ll join you.
But if you think it’s time to give up because Republicans promised repeal if they had the House, Senate, and Presidency, then you’re not watching the game. Seriously, you’re not! Looking at 2018, we aren’t just on the opponent’s 5 yard line. No, to complete the football analogy, our opponent just committed interference in the end zone, and we’ve got first down and goal at their 1 yard line.
And yet, we’re ready to punt! ARE WE CRAZY?! WHO PUNTS FROM THE 1? WE’RE ABOUT TO WIN!
So how do we win? That’s an easy, 3-step process:
1. Open your eyes and see the goal line in front of you. Just do it! Complaining about lost votes and broken promises feels good for a moment, but it doesn’t save America. Want America saved? We’re only a yard away, people! OPEN! YOUR! EYES!
2. Every Republican should get trained in easy talking points on the problems of Obamacare, then convince one unaffiliated voter—just one each—to want real repeal after 2018. Move the voters this much, and a healthier Senate majority will gladly make sweeping changes.
Win some American voters. Just one each. Hey, just mention soaring deductibles making coverage worthless, and you’ll win several! Also, 16 million of the 23 million who supposedly “lose coverage” with repeal only “lose” it by choice—because they’re no longer forced to buy it. Mention this, and you’ll shock every CNN viewer at the gym. I could give endless examples, since bashing Obamacare is about as hard as bashing Colin Kaepernick at a Tea Party rally.
Young Republicans should convince at least 5 voters each, since they know more independents, and Obamacare is a fiscal assault on the young. Think about it. When everyone pays to cover everyone, the young and healthy pay far, far, far, far, far more for the coverage they use! It’s the ultimate rip-off! Plus, Obamacare’s incredible Medicaid expansion piles hundreds of billions on the National Debt that is paid by—you guessed it—young people!
My goodness, if you’re a young Republican who can’t win 5 people on Obamacare Repeal, then you can’t sell water to a flapping fish on the pier. You can’t sell weed in Boulder. You can’t sell…did I mention weed in Boulder?!
3. Unite in 2018! Punch that ball in the end zone.
Quit demanding “my kind of Republican!” Welcome back the Tea Partiers, Christian Right, Libertarians, Moderates—anyone you’ve dismissed. Unlike our rival Party, we Republicans are free thinking individualists, not collectivist drones. So allow some free thinking, ‘kay?
In redder districts, run redder candidates who move the agenda. In bluer districts, run more moderate candidates who hold the line on some issues. This means working with Susan Collins in Maine, but we can do better in Arizona and Alaska. Think strategically, people!
Fellow Conservatives, this is no time to give up! This is no time to bemoan missed chances and unfulfilled promises. 2018 is coming. The ball is at the 1. Our opponents are terrified. All we have to do is open our eyes, win some people over, and unite. That’s it! The only thing stopping us is our own complaining!
So smile and relax, people! Why pout and lose ground when we have a year to move voters and finish the job? Is this the time to abandon our one viable political party that can win? Really?
2018 is coming. Our opponents are reeling. It’s first and goal on their 1, and they know it. And yet, here I am, giving the most unexpected advice I could ever give to a team in this position: