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As part of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, these 12 Southern California fellows are engaged in a full-time, nine-month, graduate-level leadership training program that prepares individuals for public-affairs leadership.

The great Republican uprising

This week's health care summit presents Republican leaders with a difficult choice: (1) agree to support a plan that might be modestly changed to accommodate their ideas; or (2) oppose it on principle as too costly and intrusive and use the issue to try to gain political advantage in November. Which strategy offers them the best prospect of regaining power?

The Great Republican Uprising is coming. And when it does, it will be one of the most monumental political power shifts of our time. That is, of course, if you exclude the Great Democratic Revolt of 2008. Which, of course, was preceded by the Great Republican Insurrection of 2004. That shift, many political historians will point out, occurred after the Great Democratic Mutiny of 2000.

The ebb and flow of power between Democrats and Republicans is routine in Congress. Maintaining that power, however, transcends those historical trends. Democrats, whose political efforts have been stalled despite majorities in the House and Senate, face an increasingly hostile political environment. Voters seem tired of what they view as the Democrat's political powerlessness.

This frustration has fueled an increase in the popularity of Republicans and forced Democrats to consider compromising parts of their political agenda. Without these compromises, Democrats will have few results to show for all their political might. More importantly, they risk losing the significant numbers they've built in the both houses.

Meanwhile, the Republican's strategy, which is rooted in adamantly disagreeing and then immediately claiming political victory, is brilliant in the short term. They've stifled the production of the majority party and cast them as incapable of effective policy-making. However, in the long term, with the Republicans having no apparent policy plans and exhibiting an unwillingness to negotiate, the party seems destined to share the same fate as their Democratic counterparts. Slowing the seemingly inevitable power shifts requires that the majority party do all it can to pass legislation, even if that requires uncomfortable concessions. Ultimately, many voters just want tangible results.

At some point, Republicans will claw their way back into a majority, bask in their newfound dominance, and then have their agenda foiled by a potent, irrepressible Democratic minority. The length of their dominance, before it is interrupted by the next Great Democratic Upheaval, remains to be seen. --Lanre Akinsiku


The steamroller and the stop sign

It appears that Congress has settled into a predictable routine of late: the majority party (whomever they are) tries to steamroll their policies through both Houses while the minority party (whomever they are) tries to hold up a stop sign at every possible opportunity. It is a dull sort of play repeatedly enacted in front of the media.

We keep hearing about those Americans that are tired of partisan bickering. I am one of them. I would love to see Republicans go to the health care summit and I would love for Democrats to have a real conversation with them about the best ways to address our health care issues.

It's a bit of a personal issue for me. After paying a rather hefty bill for my health insurance just this morning, I would also love to see some type of regulation or reform. Health insurance hasn't come cheap since I got kicked off my parents' plan after graduating from college. I can't wait to land a job that actually includes group coverage, because getting a comprehensive individual plan has been a battle and a budget-buster. And I know that many, many people have it a lot worse.

At the same time, the stand-off between the parties is a lot more complicated than the actions of individual politicians. If Republicans go to the summit, they may position themselves to attract moderate voters and may even look like they are taking "the high road." On the other hand, they risk alienating their base. For individual Republicans, this may mean that the conservative base back home will try to oust them in favor of someone who isn't willing to deal with Democrats. After all, how many moderates--or "people tired of partisan bickering" -- actually vote in the primaries?

Regardless of what happens, let's remember that we elected these people. We are ultimately responsible for whatever they do. -- Liz Willis

By Coro Fellows

 |  February 23, 2010; 12:45 AM ET
Category:  Congressional leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The Republicans don't want pork? The Republicans are good at math? The current government is socialist?

It appears that teabaggers have heeded SpongeBob Squarepant's axiom: "You don't need a license to drive a sandwich."

Posted by: sharonsj1 | February 24, 2010 6:56 PM
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It's not a GOP uprising; it's a tantrum. It's designed to get attention and it has. So what? The voters who believe that constitutes governance will go for the GOP or far right independents. The great mass in the middle is still up for grabs.

Posted by: st50taw | February 24, 2010 6:49 PM
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Sure the republicans could win the House and the Senate and then eight years from now no longer exist as a party.

The situation has become destabilized.

That's what the writer of this article is missing.

The public is angry - they want the problems fixed.

And as the problems seem to be more and more engraved in our economy more and more dramatic votes will ensue.

Things won't be pretty for either party if someone doesn't step up and lead us out of this GOP created mess.

Posted by: agapn9 | February 24, 2010 3:23 PM
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Unless Republicans discover the fountain of youth, there will not be enough of them around for an uprising. The demographics are clear. The generation that voted for Obama are to his left and they vote.

Posted by: karenfink | February 24, 2010 2:39 PM
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I remind posters of the timeless axiom "it's the economy (stupid)".

Americans are fearful of losing jobs, homes, and savings (those who haven't yet, anyway). In such times, conservatism rises. Distrust in government has also been waxing, thanks to the GWB administration horror show. Obama is the victim of timing in both instances. If the economy weren't tanking, I think he'd be in the catbird seat on health care reform.

In hindsight, Obama should've built a reputation as a doer as President before tackling something so monumental. Which means, probably, that it will be the next Democratic president in his/her second term that will get something really meaningful passed. Everyone knows the Republicans don't care about reform in this area.

Posted by: bitterblogger | February 24, 2010 1:12 PM
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Republicans love Americans and seek a balance between what is possible and what people want. In the "possible" realm, you will find questions such as "Can we afford this?" What are the constitutional implications?

But even before discussing a new and costly bureaucracy, what are the problems with the existing health care delivery systems? fraud and abuse
How do we manage fraud and abuse...what is our system...so as to prevent fraud and abuse in any other program?

Republicans don't want pork and feel that special interest groups should not get special consideration or elevated benefits over other Americans.

Republicans have a problem with the federal government stepping over its boundaries and mandating to Americans in areas that are states rights areas. Thank you, my state.

Republicans are good mathematicians and want to look at all of the variables in the health care plan. These would include:
1. Annual cost of providing free medical care to illegal aliens.
2. Annual costs of providing free medical care for immigrants. Is this the time to eliminate free medical care for illegals.
3. Annual costs of providing free medical care for Americans who will qualify for "state medical plan".
4. How will federal and state agencies cooperate in placing mandates and enforcement activities on health companies?
5. Tort reform...Texas has benefited from tort reform. But then, each state may address that on its own.

But wait - using that example and logic...means that "health care" - and its management and funding - is a states right, and that the federal government should have no right to control any aspect of health care, except to expand Medicaid and Medicare.

Then Democrats only have to cut pork somewhere to pay for it. No new bureaucracy needed.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | February 24, 2010 1:04 AM
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Tom Brokaw wrote in his book "The Greatest Generation" referring to a couple of hard working scientist that cared for all Americans and peoples world wide."They were interested in the human condition--they weren't out for themselves" I believe this is what we must measure all of our politicians by....."are they Humanist"? President Obama is a Humanist.He will be considered one the Greatest of this Generation. The Party of NO are squandering their opportunity to be brave and caring Americans. History will not be kind to them.

Posted by: Americacares | February 23, 2010 10:59 PM
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I thought republicans had already taken their revenge on democrats with the election of GWB. It goes without saying that they hold themselves completely blameless for the collapse of the banking system, a less than useless war that has only further imperiled the country, the lost lives of over 4500 of best and bravest, and the deepest recession since the 1930's when (coincidentally?) they also held the presidency. I don't know that the nation can survive any more of their sweet revenge.

Posted by: tm13 | February 23, 2010 10:14 PM
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Judging by the light turnout at the Tea Party Convention and the oddities like the eyebrow-plucked Jason Mattera at CPAC, it looks like the republicans better revamp their plan. Obama has given them tons of the tax cuts they've wanted and they are still bent on voting "no" on everything. They have no accomplishments that they can run on. At least Scott Brown realized that if he want's to stay in the Senate he has to vote for what's right for the American people. How can any of these obstructionist republicans look the public in the eye and say "I'm working for you" ? I just don't see how they can keep this up for the next three years and not come off looking like the fools they they are.

Posted by: blarsen1 | February 23, 2010 8:29 PM
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Judging by Scott Brown, I'd say no. But it might be, if they joined him and got up off their useless 88888 to vote Yes.

Posted by: dudh | February 23, 2010 8:22 PM
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The Republicans should do everything in their power to foil all of the Democrats plans. If a Democrat wants to do it, it must be bad for the country. That is the mantra to keep hitting. Hopefully, this will tie everything up and things will just keep getting worse and worse, and the Republicans can lay it all on the Dems, and get power back.

Posted by: kamdog | February 23, 2010 5:22 PM
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The commetary in here is too funny. The Republicans are going to win back the House and have a good shot at getting back the Senate in November. All you liberals out there keep telling yourselves that it's not going to happen and stay home on election day. The more Dems that get knocked off the better. As for the BS about the Republicans being the party of no: who cares!! They are the minority right now and the Dems have given them zero input into their big government, socialist, and, worst of all for the Democrats, unopopular legislation. Up until Massachusetts the Dems didn't even need the Republicans to pass anything and they still couldn't get it done. How's that the Republican's fault. Wait until Nancy Pelosi is minority leader again and see how much input her Democratic colleagues get on Republican legislation. Revenge is sweet.

Posted by: RobT1 | February 23, 2010 4:29 PM
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Thanks for this post. It appears many commentors failed to catch the satire of the "Great Republican Revolution." The Republicans appear to be relying on their tried and true strategy of maintaining their base and playing the fear card to capture a enough independents to win a few elections. I'm not so sure this will continue to work. At some point, keeping the base happy will only antagonize the rest of the country. Then where are you?

Posted by: jp1954 | February 23, 2010 4:24 PM
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There is surge of increasing GOP-many are leaving the obstructionist box made for them and are becoming independent thinkers. Even to keep using Reagan's policies is a joke. Reagan increased the deficit under his administration. GOP's principle role has been to see this administration fail = see America not recover from the severe 2007-2010 Post World War II Bush Economic Financial Mortgage Reccession. GOP have stopped work in congress with filibusting over 90% of bills to restoring America. They have made our democracy a mockery of the people's choice in November 2008. They have no intentions to cut the cost of health care by reform because they are more heavily funded by the corporate industry rather than being funded by every day American people. GOP does not speak for the majority of American people.

Posted by: Vonnie932 | February 23, 2010 4:02 PM
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It's still early in the second quarter and just when Obama looks like he's gonna be sidelined, he goes for long, fadeaway jumper which will be a swish on the 25th.

I don't know how any republican can win an election by saying I tried to stop Americans from getting jobs or healthcare. That may play in some backwaters, but overall, the American people won't buy it.

Posted by: blarsen1 | February 23, 2010 2:52 PM
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To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.

Confucius

Posted by: JAH3 | February 23, 2010 2:48 PM
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Scott Brown was the first republican to step over the line and vote for the jobs bill - followed by 4 other nominally moderate republicans. The Republican governor of CA speaks in support of the stimulus bill. There's no real evidence of more than 1500 teabaggers at any political gathering. Ugly racist effigies of Obama don't count as people and neither does Fox Photo-Shopping. I hope republicans do keep up their talk of voters who can't speak English and President Obama as a nazi/socialist/communist/pick-a-pejorative. The republican "uprising" is a tempest in a teapot. Americans aren't as dumb or as racist as republicans would like to believe. Put forward a moderate candidate and someone might vote for them. Put forward a teabagger like you did in NY and they'll be crushed.

Posted by: tm13 | February 23, 2010 2:38 PM
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There is no Republican surge.


A Republican did not win in Virginia.

A Republican did not win in New Jersey.

A Republican did not win in Massachusetts.

The generic polls don't show Republican's ahead by nine points.

The polls don't show Americans against Obama's plan.

Obama's poll numbers are not falling.


Key Democrats are not quitting, rather than be beaten.


There is no Republican surge.


There is no Republican surge.


There is no Republican surge.

Posted by: Indpnt1 | February 23, 2010 2:10 PM
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Everything that you said is a lie. Ask the CBO, consult the polling numbers. If Americans are angry at democrats it's because they haven't been effective at refuting republican lies - not because they like republicans. Republicans broke the government and are doing their best to keep it broken. President Obama is making a very smart move by broadcasting his meeting with republicans on Thursday. Republicans will have a very difficult time repeating their lies when he's right there to refute them with facts. They'll think they've been back-slapped into oblivion when they see the next set of poll numbers. Go up rise somewhere else. We'll have done with you.

Posted by: tm13 | February 23, 2010 1:43 PM
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There is no Republican surge.

It is with incredulity that I listen to the same old GOP hacks crowing that the Tea Party will somehow throw all their weight behind the GOP in 2010 and reelect the same incompetent and corrupt crowd that the electorate rightly threw out last time. Little has been said or written about the influence of the “throw the bums out” effect. Perhaps at the last election this effect was much more effective than the main parties or the press care to admit, let alone discuss.

The GOP seem to be making a determined effort to identify with (and I suspect ultimately high-jack) the Tea Party. However, I believe there are a large number of people aligning themselves with the Tea Party ideas, who’s intent is once again to throw out the “League of Dishonorable Gentlemen” and all their hangers on. Incumbents should beware, no matter which political persuasion they honestly or dishonestly claim to be. Those who are compulsory retired for the good of the nation can do so on their full pensions in the certain knowledge they will neither be remembered nor missed.

Time to clean house. It will be in America’s interest in the short and long term

John Bradburn

Madisonville, Texas



John (Jack) Bradburn
johnbradburn@sbcglobal.net

Posted by: johnbradburn | February 23, 2010 1:37 PM
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Oh, quit.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 23, 2010 1:06 PM
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On the great uprising, don't count on it. If Immigration Reform gets on the agenda this year and the elected GOP feels it must continue to pander to its base there will be a bloodbath in November - especially if the jobs picture begins to improve. This bloodbath will give the Democrats a constitutional majority in both houses (2/3rds) and the great debate will be about whether the Democrats are too big.

Posted by: michaelbindner | February 23, 2010 1:06 PM
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Considering how much of the Obama Bill matches Romneycare in Massachusetts, you would think they would be for it. Romney could have proposed exactly the same bill and Democrats would have voted for it along with Republicans.

The GOP is simply trying to save face with their more extreme voices, since this bill will pass easily with reconciliation handling the things conference would handle (unless, of course, Brown votes aye to a compromise and they trust him if he says he will). Most health reforms pass this way, so GOP claims that this is a corruption of the process are hyperbole, as is the demand to start from scratch. When John Q. Republican is asked what he would want in a "start from scratch" bill he suddenly gets all quiet.

As soon as Stupak keeps 50 some votes in the Senate during reconciliation, this thing is done - and with the blessing of the Catholic Church to boot.

As for your premiums going down under reform, don't count on it if you are young. They likely won't - although you may get a subsidy to help.

Posted by: michaelbindner | February 23, 2010 1:02 PM
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For some reason, the Republicans seem to think that they are going to pick up a lot of new people in the congress in November.
What they seem to forget is that the American public is just as sick of them as we are of the Dems, neither party has accomplished anything that has benefitted the American people in the last year.
Still, the Repubs are talking like they are on a high horse.
Wrong, YOU BUNCH OF FRUIT LOOPS ARE JUST AS IRRESPONSIBLE AS THE DEMS ARE RIGHT NOW.
YOU ARE KNOWN AS THE PARTY OF no, AND YOU HAVE EARNED THAT TITLE.
INCUMBENTS FROM BOTH PARTIES ARE GOING TO BE VOTED OUT OF CONGRESS AND A LOT OF NEW PEOPLE VOTED IN.
NOT JUST THE DEMS.
sO rEPUBLICANS, GET OFF OF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND SMELL THE COFFEE.
YOU AND YOUR PARTY ARE IN NO WAY WHAT SO EVER IN FAVOR WITH THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AT THIS TIME.

Posted by: JimW2 | February 23, 2010 12:59 PM
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When ever will MODERATES take over this country and bring some sanity?

Posted by: schaeffz | February 23, 2010 12:56 PM
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I am from South Carolina....AND I AM VOTING THEM ALL OUT.....goodbye and good luck....South Carolina is in a miserable condition and what have you done about it? JUST SAT THERE & SHOOK YOUR HEAD NO ...AND showed extreme crude behavior....

Posted by: gritsgirl | February 23, 2010 12:51 PM
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The problems comes from the fact the Republicans have been offering the same set of solutions that has not worked but keeps saying if we keep doing it, we will have different results.
Those results are nothing more than transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich while spending obscene amount of money for military adventures on the basis of lies, offering prescription benefits both without paying for it and buying votes by showering various constitutencies with pork laden projects just to maintain majority.
Lance's comment is clouded by the fact he's a Republican and believes that the GOP's solution will solve what ails us when the fact it has been on a downward trend for quite sometime (since 1979). He needs to read history before he sprouts of of the Great Republican Uprising by ignoring the votes of the Independents who are sick and tired of the crap talking points both parties put out without offering details.

Posted by: beeker25 | February 23, 2010 12:08 PM
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Ummm dude

The uprising and backlash is directed at both parties.

Both parties are Anti middle class and you will both be made to pay for the insanity you have brought down on us.

Posted by: scon101 | February 23, 2010 12:08 PM
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Would not count my chickens before they hatch GOP. We are not stupid we see who is voting against something just to vote against it. We see who are making negoitations open so all can see. The economy is a mess. After 8 years of GOP rule. Now they get religion when they had none in Bush years. Lots of spending went on voted by surely by some conservatives....mostly voting as a block. Frankly watching the TP and CPAC gave folks a good idea who these guys are. Angry white men who are very violent (if their word choice speaks for them). If Glenn Beck is their hero we are in worlds of trouble. If Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh are their leaders then the day of real statemen in the GOP party are gone. They take their ideas and orders from entertainers. This is serious business men. Doing the peoples work is hard. I heard one GOP Sen. ( Colburn?)say he was not going to pass any legislation. Why they hell does not find another less stressful job (wonder if he passed lots when Bush was in power a spending bill or three).

Posted by: patisok | February 23, 2010 12:01 PM
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If the Republicans take control again, America is doomed and I will be looking more seriously at moving to a country that isn't headed towards ignorance, fascism, lies, corruption, delusions, failed policies and hate-mongering.

Posted by: rurik | February 23, 2010 12:00 PM
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Are all Republicans out of touch? They made such a hash of it during their Bush years that the USA we love will never get back the prominense it had.

They so damaged the economy that the working middle class will never get back the the real income levels they had achieved.

I still insist that Bush and co. should be put on trial for their disgraceful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I can't see anything that can win them votes other than their skill in fear mongering and negativism. Oh, and their chosing of good looking candidates however inept they might be: Palin,Brown, Marco, etc
Semper Fi
Hank

Posted by: marketeck | February 23, 2010 11:46 AM
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But the Republican Party is the enemy of the “public good”. It has no concept of their even being such a thing. The completely identify the so-called public good, as being wholly the Party’s own the sectional, racial, ideological and class interests that it represents.

The Republican Party, in the fifty (50) years since Dwight Eisenhower has become the most disciplined hyper-ideological, fanatical, political faction in American life. The Party has in the News Corporation a multi-billion dollar in-house Propaganda Ministry completely devoted to the promulgation of the Party’s ideals and ideology; and the ruthless propagandizing and programming of the populous to support the party’s ideas and interests.

Posted by: rc115shepherd | February 23, 2010 11:45 AM
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1. The first step in regaining power is to understand why the Republican Party is now led by unelected demagogues.
2. The next step is to reevaluate the party's current ideologic premise: 'Government is innately evil.'

Posted by: tojby_2000 | February 23, 2010 11:27 AM
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Republican uprising?? They've only been gone for 1 year after running the House and Senate for 14 years. Republicans always hate spending and love small government unless they are running the show then its spend whatever you want and who cares how we pay for it. Bush got everything he wanted, Republicans could have cared less about how much anything cost. But as usual now they are consumed with guilt about all their spending so it should stop. Because we, now "we" means everyone in general, spend too much, why not just say because Republicans spent too much for the last 8 years. I just wish the media and Republicans would stop claiming that they speak for all Americans. I hear it all the time Americans want this and Americans are tired of that. No one has ever asked me my opinion and no one I know has ever been asked theirs and we are all Americans.

Posted by: rj2008 | February 23, 2010 11:15 AM
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It is the apex of naivete to believe that the democrats can fix any mess that the republican party hands them.

The mess is big this time and if the GOP refuses to manup vote them out - don't be afraid a trained animal could do better than Joe Wilson and his kind.

The american electorial process twice selected (because elected might not be correct) an inferior candidate and that person - GW Bush and his republican cohorts ran the american economy into the ground.

GW cut taxes when the numbers clearly showed that he needed to raise taxes. And if he wanted to push two war actions he needed to raise taxes by at least 500 billion a year instead of cut them by 200 billion.

But GW lacked courage and was afraid his war actions would be questioned once people realized how much they actually cost.

Now Gw's remaining cohorts also lack courage - a few of them have admitted off the record that they knew the Bush tax cuts were going to be very destructive - but they just went along with their President.

And one of those men is considered a moderate republican. Yet he acted in the most reckless of ways - abandoning his own judgment, his own conviction in order to just go along - we don't need his kind in congress anymore.

Posted by: agapn9 | February 23, 2010 11:12 AM
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There are so many incorrect assumptions in this piece, it's hard to begin...
But hey, even the lousy grammar "..who's political efforts have been stalled.." Do you proof read?

The biggest boner is the claim that Republicans are now popular..in what country was that?
Whether the media gives noticeably more air time to the CPAC show than they ever did to liberal confabs, the public still is not buying it. It doesn't read as, "this is going to help me in my real life" to real people. Only CEO's and right-wing hucksters are invested in the viewpoints expressed such as,"we're better off with gridlock"-T Coburn.

Posted by: hrayovac | February 23, 2010 10:40 AM
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This is absolute nonesense. The author of this article and many commenters here are acting as if the Republicans actually have an alternative health care plan, they don't! They were in power for 8 years and never put forth a single proposal to insure the 30 million Americans that the Democratic Party plan attempts to insure. The Republican party was in power for 8 yrs and never once proposed a balanced budget, turned a 200 billion budget surplus into a deficit, forced several pieces of budget busting legislation through congress via reconciliation and spent hundreds of billions of dollars on two wars without ever suggesting how they would be paid for. Now they want to get religion and tell the American people that they stand for something when they actually stand for absolutely nothing? Give me a break!

Posted by: wsblount | February 23, 2010 10:33 AM
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Of course Republicans should work with the Democrats on health care. This does not mean, however, that they should accept the President's plan with "modest" changes. Polls repeatedly show that the public opposes the Democrat's plan, developed with no Republican input, and would prefer a more incremental approach. Cooperating, i.e., working to pass an incremental plan while refusing to accept the current plan, is a complete winner for Republicans.

Republicans and moderates have always supported sensible health care reforms aimed at reducing costs and increasing access to health care. What they oppose is another Trillion dollar spending spree and accompanying massive new taxes, proposed by the President and backed by Democrats, that will hurt the economy and put hard working Americans out of work.

The only losers here, unless Republicans are foolish enough to completely cave, are the Democrats who overreached with their "near socialist" plan developed in the Capitol's smoke filled back rooms with the special interest lobbyists and its political payoffs.

American's are not fools. The President and his party's agenda is now clear, and we don't like it. Republicans don't need to play politics. All they have to do is demand what is good for America and the people will reward them in November.


Posted by: Obamasux | February 23, 2010 9:59 AM
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muawiyah wrote:

GHWBush LOST Republican support for his 1992 campaign because he cooperated with the Democrats to foist the largest tax increase in American history on the people and crush them into the ground with a needless recession.

--
muawiyah provides us with error-filled revisionist history.

The immediate cause of the early 1990s recession was delayed economic action from the 1988 stock market crash -- a crisis of economic confidence caused directly by the large public debt built up by the economic policies signed into law by Republican President Ronald W. Reagan.

Conventional wisdom in those days held that a Republican would more likely to make the policy decisions needed to prevent a recession after the crash -- the election of Republican George H.W. Bush soothed the markets ... for a while.

muawiyah forgets why George H.w. Bush signed the tax increase offered by the Democrats -- because Bush fundamentally disagreed with the Reagan theory on tax cuts. Bush, as a candidate for president in 1980, famously criticized the Reagan plan as 'voodoo economics.'

In fact, Bush was hewing more to traditional Republican ideas of government administration and financial management than to the revolutionary Reagan view that counter-intuitive moves like cutting taxes while increasing military spending could actually raise revenue that would avoid deficits.

muawiyah's history is also selective, in that it ignores what happened next -- Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was elected in 1992. The budget agreement he drafted -- which doctrinaire Republicans opposed to the point of shutting down much of the federal government for a time -- when adopted actually reduced the federal debt for the first time since 1981.

By the time of George W. Bush's election, the federal public debt was declining, annual federal budget surpluses were being produced, and the nation was in the longest sustained economic expansion since World War II.

All this because George W. Bush disagreed with 'voodoo economics.'

Again, the revisionist spin above would blame the early 1990s recession on a tax increase, when it was due to the federal debts piled up under Reagan because of ill-advised tax cuts.

The revisionist spin also ignores the events that directly followed the 1992 election -- namely, actual reduction of the debt, the return of the federal government to surplus and sustained, deep and wide economic prosperity.

It is noted that these things -- lower debt, government surplus, and economic expansion -- ended within months of the election of a Republican president and Congress in 2000.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | February 23, 2010 9:43 AM
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Republican rhetoric may be insurgent, but the Republican is not, and will not for years to come.

The article is an interesting strategic and rhetorical assessment, but it is completely divorced from the practical realities of party politics in the United States.

Politics requires not only successful rhetoric, but people and money. The Republican Party, even with its modest state-election gains and the election of U.S. Sen. Brown in Massachusetts, only holds significant advantages in voter registration and fundraising in a small swath of the nation roughly from west Texas to Charleston, S.C., and from Charlotte, N.C., to just north of the Miami metropolis.

Also, for a party absolutely dependent on corporate financial support for success, this sustained period of low or no corporate profits denies to the Republicans the mother's milk of politics -- money.

I also dispute the contention that the health care summit provides anything other than a Hobson's Choice for Republicans.

And in any event, leaderless movements usually don't succeed. So if there is to be Republican come-back, who is leading it? U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell or Rep. John Boehner, both figure who are less well known to the public at large than the fourth-place runner-up on 'American Idol?'

Money. People. Leadership bench strength. There is no short cut back to power for Republicans that does not involve at least a decade of investment in these things.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | February 23, 2010 9:26 AM
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From the article: ". . . in the long term, with the Republicans having no apparent policy plans and exhibiting an unwillingness to negotiate, the party seems destined to share the same fate as their Democratic counterparts."

Although this allegation is a standard Democratic talking point, it isn't true that Republicans lack plans. GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America sets out the most detailed, concrete plan to place America on a path to avoid Greece's fate and fulfill prevailing expectations of government on a sustainable basis -- rationalizing safety net programs; cutting welfare to the non-poor (farmers, investment bank bondholders, and favored industries and unions); controlling discretionary spending; insisting the rest-of-the-world step up to the plate to share in the cost of global security; eschewing earmarks, pork, and other taxpayer-funded political payoffs; and so forth. (See: http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/ )

This plan, which numerous GOP candidates this fall will pledge to support in a nationalized congressional contest, is the starting point for an essential national discussion. Those who deny we have the collective will to change course and save our future are now the "No, We Can't" crowd. But interestingly, they are wrong; the next few election cycles will show the American people have ample will to pursue a fiscally responsible future, confining government to a balanced role in our economic lives.

Posted by: rboltuck | February 23, 2010 9:13 AM
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Gee whiz, someone went and forgot that Ronaldus Magnus (Ronald Reagan) was followed by ANOTHER REPUBLICAN, George H W Bush.

GHWBush LOST Republican support for his 1992 campaign because he cooperated with the Democrats to foist the largest tax increase in American history on the people and crush them into the ground with a needless recession.

No, there was never a repudiation of Ronald Reagan.

There will be a massive repudiation of the Democrat party this coming election as they are seen for what they really are ~ job killers with out compassion.

Posted by: muawiyah | February 23, 2010 9:01 AM
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I do not care which strategy wins. I only care about which strategy governs. Thus far, neither party has made a convincing argument. I look at Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell and weep for our nation.

Please, God, deliver us from these two reckless parties. Deliver us also from demagogic populists. We have real problmes to solve, but no courage to solve them, no leadership to address them, no vision to see them.

Posted by: BaltimoreCotls59 | February 23, 2010 9:00 AM
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Yes they hope and are doing their best to keep the economy from recovering.That is their election plan.
And by the looks it is not going well.

Posted by: groetzinger4404 | February 23, 2010 8:45 AM
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wowee ... I want some of the drugs the republicans are on because they are tripping hard if they think they are going to have a big win come the fall.

Posted by: topwriter | February 23, 2010 8:37 AM
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I agree with Volleyball that our schools often miss the mark when it comes to a correct understanding of the American republic, which he (or she) states is the "public good." But I want to clarify that the public good is not preserved by anything resembling the sort of health care reform being peddled by the Democrats and the Obama administration. Indeed, as far as the Framers were concerned, repelling invasion and suppressing domestic insurrection were the noblest and most active ways by which the U.S. government could protect the public good.

Otherwise, they believed, the best method of protecting the public good was by hamstringing the U.S. Congress. Publius explicitly says as much, especially in Federalist Nos. 62 and 70, where he observes that "facility and excess of lawmaking" is a "disease" and that "promptitude" in the legislature is more often an evil than not.

So while I agree that factional disputes are not the central aim of good government, I think it is important to understand that those disputes can be used (often unwittingly) to serve the true interest of good government, which is the public good; which, in turn, is best preserved by a limited interference from the federal government.

Posted by: villarrj | February 23, 2010 8:02 AM
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i think the difference here is that now america has got a lesson in unbridled liberalism/progressivism. and where it leads. bye dems and rino's.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | February 23, 2010 7:34 AM
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Marvelous point, Volleyball. It's no wonder that we keep acting out the same political story over and over again. Republicans campaign on candy and Democrats campaign on Brussels sprouts. Is it any wonder that Republicans regularly mop the floor with Democrats at the polls except when it briefly becomes spectacularly obvious that Reaganism is a disaster, like the end of G. W. Bush's tenure?

Posted by: hayesap8 | February 23, 2010 7:31 AM
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Which strategy offers them the best prospect of regaining power?


Wow, good thing they remember the actual goal of policy; the public good. This is how we get partisan politics, because schools teach kids how to argue that they're right because it'll get them elected, not because it's what is really best for the constituents. I don't care which side of the debate you agree with, this article begins with a question that demonstrates the problems with Washington, and certainly doesn't speak well of the Republicans trying to take back congress.

My grade for this student, F, for failure to write a paper that addresses the real topic.

Posted by: volleyballpdt14 | February 23, 2010 7:10 AM
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