An Open Letter to Boehner and McConnell
By Steve Deace
Dear John and Mitch,
Indulge me today as we spend a few minutes looking at the trinity of scandals threatening the Obama Regime’s strictly through a political lens, and not just how they threaten the country by threatening the Constitution, rule of law, and public trust.
Of course those are the real priorities, but we have a political system we cannot ignore as you well know. Often these threats are dealt with via our political system, thus we can’t ignore political realties when confronting these threats. And the first political reality we must acknowledge is we still have you running the opposition party just as we did when it came to caving on debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs. That hasn’t changed, but this could be a rare time when it’s to our mutual advantage for you to be there.
Let’s face it. You’ve already proven that when it comes to substantive public policy debates you’re incapable of standing your ground against President Obama. That has helped to fuel the anti-establishment fervor within your ranks. Before these scandals moved from the conservative blogosphere to the mainstream media, you were faced with a potentially even bloodier primary cycle than you faced in 2010 and 2012. That’s when over 100 incumbent Republicans were defeated by primary challengers across the country.
But now you have the perfect vehicle to both do the right thing for the country as well as your own political futures. You can both defend the Constitution while avoiding several bloody primaries at the same time. These sorts of political versions of manna from Heaven don’t happen very often. Don’t blow this opportunity to win and win the future like John McCain did in 2008 with TARP and Mitt Romney did in 2012 with Chick-fil-a.
To not blow it you’ll have to adhere to the advice of two factions of your party often at-odds with one another: your base that wants you to go big and go home, and your “prevent defense” consultants. On the surface that may seem like a difficult balance to strike, but it’s not if you have something you normally don’t have that causes you to get caught back on your heels again and again.
That would be a plan.
Instead of being the reactionaries you typically are, double-mindedly caught between reacting to the liberal media and your conservative base, have a plan for what to do here. Your base is right this is the time to make a statement to the country about why we’re different (and whenever I refer to you and us as any variation of “we” it makes me nervous) from the Left, why Obama can’t be trusted, and why big government can’t possibly work and never has.
However, your consultants are also correct that you don’t want your reach to exceed your grasp here, and thus create a boomerang effect of sympathy for Obama. This was the lesson of the 1998 mid-term elections, when Bill Clinton became the only post-World War II president to ever gain seats in Congress in the mid-term election following his re-election. You can thank the American people’s negative reaction to Republican attempts to impeach him for that.
The IRS scandal is your best chance to avoid both selling yourselves short and out-kicking your coverage, that’s because one of two things has to be true here. At worst Obama is a Nixonian figure with even more power to dishonor his oath of office and betray the trust of the American people, because government is much bigger and more intrusive than it even was in Nixon’s day.
Or at the very least the abuse of power within the IRS itself shows this is simply too much power for government to have no matter who is in charge of it, and that’s why the IRS needs to be abolished and the tax code reformed. Or as Sen. Ted Cruz’s communications director Amanda Carpenter put it on Twitter this week, “This underscores the major flaw of big government – inability to be fair, honest, and keep promises. You can’t fix it but have to shrink it.”
Instead of going into this with the intent to get Obama, go into this with the intent to get the truth, because the truth is your friend here no matter which truth it is. If it turns out Obama is the boogeyman you’re the heroes that unmasked him. If it turns out the IRS is really a rogue operation with the power to terrorize the lives of patriotic Americans independent of its overseers, then that’s the justification you need to have a real (and long overdue) conversation with the American people about substantially changing the role of government in their lives via the Fair Tax or Flat Tax in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles—without fear of being demagogued by the liberal media.
Either way you – and more importantly the nation – win.
Now you’re offering solutions to people’s problems that include less government, not more. The reason you’ve seen the American people swing so violently in the last decade of elections is because they want both less government and solutions to their problems. The Democrats offer them solutions, but once the solutions are too much government they put Republicans in power. When Republicans offer less government but no solutions, they return power to the Democrats and vice versa as the tumultuous cycle continues.
Republicans win national elections when they inspire the base and then offer the country bold color, reformist contrasts to Democrats like Reaganomics, the Contract with America, and the Tea Party. These lose when the differences are just distinctions. Use this as an opportunity to draw a big difference between yourselves and Democrats, rather than using government to show you’re just like them.
We need you to think, and not emote. The light of liberty is flickering in America. We can’t afford for you to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again.
(You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow)