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March 31, 2010

Shocking...GOP Already Starting To Go Wobbly On Repealing Health Care Reform Monstrosity

10 days! The GOP can't even muster courage for two whole weeks before they start thinking that maybe, just maybe they are being too strident about the whole health care repeal thing.

Somewhere, but not the offices of AEI, David Frum is smiling.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who chairs the committee responsible for electing GOP senators this fall, said in an interview, "The focus really should be on the misplaced priorities of the administration" and Congress' Democratic leaders.

"The No. 1 concern of the public is jobs and people losing their homes," he said. "The administration has been obsessing on this health care bill."

Asked if he advises Republican Senate candidates to call for repealing the law, Cornyn said: "Candidates are going to test the winds in their own states. ... In some places, the health care bill is more popular than others."

On Tuesday, Cornyn issued a 1,280-word campaign memo that mentioned "repeal" only once. It did not advocate repeal but noted that in a recent poll, "46 percent of respondents support a full repeal" of the health law.

Three weeks ago, Cornyn told reporters he thought GOP Senate candidates would and should run on a platform of repealing the legislation.

Cornyn and others increasingly are focused on several corporations' claims that a provision of the new law that cancels a tax benefit will hurt profits and hiring. This approach places a greater premium on pivoting to the economy instead of dwelling on the legalistic process of trying to repeal the complex law.

"The health care debate provides a natural segue into talking about the economy and jobs," said Nicklaus Simpson, spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference, a policy group.

Now part of this is AP spin to protect their guy in the White House but let's not pretend there isn't a go along-get along reflex embedded in just about every politician. If the path of least resistance is to nibble at the edges of this law, that's what most Republicans will do. It's our job to keep them focused on the task and more afraid of what happens if they go wobbly than not.

That's not to say every Republican campaign this fall should be one word long, to the exclusion of every other issue. As I said last week, talk about whatever you want but always bring it back to the fact that health care and its impact on the economy are the issues that frame everything else. And at the bottom of that issue is one word, repeal. Sure the GOP will put something else in place (I wish we didn't have to, unfortunately that's not in the cards) but first and foremost we will repeal this nation killing health care law.

It might not be a winning formula for every election. That's ok, we don't need to win every election. We need to win enough on a clear mandate to start taking steps in 2011-2012 to repeal this law and build moment going into 2012 for the final push.

Repeal is going to be hard and it's going to be a long process. Look how long it took to get the damn thing in place. We have 3-4 years, not 100 so we need focus and determination because if we don't succeed, nothing else matters.

Man up GOP.

Added: The Club For Growth has a "Repeal It" pledge website. See if your candidate has taken it and if they haven't, ask them why.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:32 AM

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