The Republican Strategy Revealed…And It Shows Just How Hopeless They Really Are

Written by Chuck Gruenwald on January 9, 2016

In what is now a personal tradition, I finished my 2015 Christmas shopping two days before Christmas. While perusing the scale model aisle of a local hobby store, I found a box containing a pseudo-historically-modified model of the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.

From a distance, the box was littered with pictures of an orange Dodge Charger. However, the most prominent feature on the car from the TV show was noticeably absent: the Confederate flag that is supposed to be on the roof.

While there are valid reasons why ignoring parts of history — in the name of not making some people feel uncomfortable — will ultimately lead to making the revision of history an accepted practice, the decision by some influential Republicans to declare that the fight to keep the Confederate flag displayed in public is a lost cause, is more indicative of those Republicans’ willingness, or lack thereof, to handle political confrontations.

The refusal by the GOP collective to use the federal budget as a tool for compromise with their Democrat counterparts was a sign to those of us who are affected by cronyism that just like some kids on a school playground who surrender their proverbial lunch money in the hopes of being liked by the school bully, the Republicans — who forgot that during the 2014 election season they promised to represent us against growing federal government intrusion – gave their chosen Democrat overlords more than they could have asked for, just ask Senator Chuck Schumer, or Representative Nancy Pelosi.

One reason why the timing of this budget deal is suspect is due to the fact that the House of Representatives recently passed a bill that is intended to repeal Obamacare. Without a tool to bargain with, such as the federal budget, have Republicans in Congress knowingly set this bill up for a veto that has little chance of being overridden?

When the House of Representatives was under Republican leadership between 2011 and 2013, there were several bills passed in the House that were intended to repeal Obamacare. But with Senator Harry Reid as the Senate Majority Leader, those bills were symbolic at best, since Mr. Reid had no intention of advancing a bill that would negate such important legislation for the modern Democrat Party.

However, despite Republican control of both houses of Congress since January of last year, this present bill had taken almost one year to surface. Although it could have taken that long to draft a bill to repeal such a complex law, there had been little talk of repeal by Republican leaders between then and the recent passing of that bill.

Around the time of the 2013 shutdown of the federal government, Republican strategists such as Karl Rove were suggesting that Obamacare should go into effect unobstructed, so that Americans will feel the “full pain” of that law, and then vent their anger in the voting booth. In other words, the end justifies the means.

Yes, Obamacare did go into effect. And yes, Americans have felt the pain of that law; some of whom face financial ruin as a result. And in the year that Republicans have had majority control in Congress, it had taken almost one year to address the subject of Obamacare in some manner?

With the passing of a bill to repeal Obamacare, and the only tool available to bargain with for its possible passage – the federal budget – literally given to Democrats just days earlier, it is easy to question whether or not the leaders within the Republican Party are committed to repealing Obamacare, or if they sincerely believe that they could negotiate with a political party whose members’ negotiation policy is, “give us what we want now, in exchange for a promise to be broken later.”

As for the modern Republican practice to choose which causes are “lost,” and which ones are worth fighting – at a later date, perhaps there is a lesson worth learning from Democrats.

According to the actions of modern Democrats, no issue is worth abandoning.

Americans who support the Second Amendment of the Constitution have won their battle in the court of public opinion. However, Democrat politicians will not admit defeat. Instead, those Democrats will continue to their effort to circumvent the Second Amendment, regardless of the constitutionality of their tactics.

The recent attempt by President Barack Obama to use Executive Orders to practically redefine gun owners as gun dealers is proof that if the law cannot be changed to outlaw firearm ownership, then perhaps, citizens could be scared away from gun ownership.

This is a big, and frightening, difference between professional Republican politicians, and Democrat politicians. Why do those Republicans declare defeat with some issues, even though the repercussions of not fighting will eventually ripple to other issues, while Democrats believe that no issue, despite how seemingly-trivial, is worth abandoning?

There are Republicans who still believe that in the name of civility, they must sacrifice some of their principles in order to advance what they claim is the common good. How well did former-President Ronald Reagan’s compromise regarding the 1986 Luxury Tax work out? Other than Americans in the boat manufacturing industry losing their jobs when “the rich” stopped buying yachts, and Democrats failing to keep their end of an unenforceable deal, the Democrats won.

What did former-President George H.W. Bush have to show for signing a gasoline tax hike into law? Not only did he believe a similar unenforceable lie, but he negated his credibility by breaking his “no new taxes” promise.

There is a breakdown in the Republican Party. Professional Republicans believe that conservative voters are too uneducated to comprehend the political practices of the GOP, while conservative voters now see one difference between Democrats and professional Republicans: Democrats institute intrusive, bureaucrat-laden laws and policies that restrict the rights of American citizens, as well as choke the ability of the free market to operate via crony capitalism, while professional Republicans perpetuate those laws and policies.

As is the case with the Confederate flag, the General Lee is a glimpse of what is yet to come by choosing to lose a battle. Since Trans Ams are Pontiacs, should Knight Rider be purged from the airwaves, and future models of KITT portray that car as a Camaro? After all, the Pontiac division of General Motors was named after an American Indian. Should college campuses and government buildings have parking lots that ban such cars as Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees, Mazda Navajos, Toyota Sequoias, and yes, Pontiacs?

When Republicans choose to lose, Democrats are left with no choice but to win.


Share if you think the Republicans could learn a lesson from the fighting Democrats.

Born in Chicago and raised in northwest suburban Cook County, Chuck Gruenwald developed an unfavorable opinion of machine politics quite early in life. In addition to cars, electronics, law enforcement, and politics, Chuck enjoys writing, and is also a horse racing fan. He has recently written op-eds for