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July 29, 2015

AoSHQ Interview With Dan Holler Of Heritage Action On All Things Conservative And GOP

First, sorry about my audio on yesterday's interview with Noah Pollak (If you missed it, it's all about the Iran deal. Listen here.). Not sure what happened. Today's sounds fine so no excuse for you there.

Dan Holler (@danholler) is the Director of Communications at Heritage Action where he does a great job of keeping track of the ins and outs of policy and politics from a conservative perspective.

You can listen to the interview (which is under 25 minutes) here.

We spoke late yesterday afternoon about a number of things including:

This weekend's clown show in the Senate where Mitch McConnell told conservatives where they could stuff it.

Why the battle to end the relatively small and obscure Export-Import Bank is so important for anyone who wants to shrink the size and scope of government. Fun fact: The law requires the bank to be closing up shop but in typical Obama fashion the head of the bank has said, nah.

We also discussed the first 7 months of the GOP Congress and the many ways and reasons it's been such a dumpster fire.

Dan tries to convince me that the GOP is salvagable without burning it down. I felt a little twinge of something in my cold, black hear. It might have been....optimism. But then it unlike any legislation conservatives support, it passed. You might have better luck.

To give you some fodder for discussion while you're listening (and hey, tell your friends!) Tim Carney writes today about something Dan touches on in the interview...Mitch McConnell's flawed vision.

Next fall, when Hillary Clinton and her proxies in the media point to government shutdowns to argue that Republicans aren't mature enough be left in charge, McConnell wants to point to two legislative years full of accomplishments. Already, he boasts of passing a budget (something Harry Reid basically never did), an update of No Child Left Behind, Trade Promotion Authority and a permanent "doc fix."


From a simply political perspective, there are reasons to question McConnell's strategy. The electorate complains about dysfunctional Congress, but are they really going to reward a Congress that passes small-fry bills that most regular people will never hear about?

Then there's the policy strategy: Can you possibly set the stage for an agenda of shrinking government by passing a bunch of bills that mostly increase government restarting an expired subsidy agency, increasing Medicare spending and increasing federal spending and revenue through a highway bill?

My argument is, no. If you don't make the case when you have the power (even if Obama vetoes everything), you can't sell people on the idea that if you give them more power you will use to do the exact opposite of what you spent 2 years doing. The lesson the GOP will learn is cutting deals with Harry Reid and Patty Murray comes with no cost from the right and in fact they will be rewarded for it.

Does anyone, other than McConnell and Boehner, think that if you keep handing the Democrats all these "compromise" bills (aka, government expanding laws) they will suddenly become more pliable if Jeb! is in the White House? Of course not. They will double down on their demands and obstruction. Then the argument will be, "well, we have to cut a deal with the big government types because the mid-terms. We have to show we can govern after all."

Either you make the case for what you want to do with to the public and let the chips fall where they may or you just simply accept that the job of both parties is to manage the growth of the government in a way that isn't to shocking to low information voters. If it's the latter, the GOP serves no real purpose other than as the right wing of the Democrat party.

Did I mention that the tinge of optimism from Dan didn't last long?

Listen for yourself. Maybe it'll work better for you.

Thanks to our own Andy for the technical support in getting these interviews up online.

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posted by DrewM. at 09:54 AM

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