Republicans Can’t Just Rage Against The Fiscal Cliff Machine

Encouraging Boehner to shut down the government is the surest way to end conservatism as a practical political alternative.

The GOP has no leverage in budget negotiations, and conservative denial won’t change that.

Use Game Theory

As I wrote on November 12, fighting Obama – voting down a budget in the House – results in the GOP’s worst possible outcome: total blame for anything that goes wrong and no credit for anything that goes right.

Obama’s not an idiot, and neither are the media. That’s why Obama proposed tax increases, executive power increases, and spending increases far beyond those previously proposed.

Obama holds all the cards.

Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Charles Krauthammer, Mark Lewis, and Ramesh Ponnuru all see it.

RushRepublicans should walk away from negotiations

NewtRepublicans should stop negotiating

The Hammer: Republicans should simply walk away

LewisRepublicans Are So Screwed

Ponnuru: No win situation

The cliché “elections have consequences” hasn’t gotten through some people’s heads. It will.

Expect Obama to get almost everything he demanded.

  • $1.6 Trillion tax hike—the largest in world history
  • Vast new powers for the president, including the power to raise the debt ceiling (or end the ceiling)
  • Big increases in social and construction spending
  • Effective elimination of the principle that the House originates tax and spend bills

In other words, it’s over. The Congress is going the way of the Reichstag—a formalized debate society that endorses the president’s dictates.

Fixing a problem requires, first, an honest understanding of the real situation. Passing a Republican budget in the House might make YOU feel good (“Yeah! Boehner. Way to stick it to the man!”), but it won’t change what happens:

  • Senate blocks
  • Obama goes on tour of 5 states hurt most by the fiscal cliff
  • Media runs 24/7 stories on the mounting “Republican Body Count” of Americans dying because Boehner drove the government train off the fiscal cliff
  • Panicked Republicans call on Boehner to pass the President’s tax cuts
  • House Republicans cave
  • Obama has a beer party
  • Obama’s power becomes effectively absolute.

If that’s what you want, then throw your temper tantrum and enjoy the consequences.

There Is Only One Option For House Republicans

Here’s the best strategy for Boehner to follow:

  • Walk away from the negotiations
  • Tell the president the House GOP will vote “Present”
  • Spend $2 billion over 2 years on marketing, networking, and advertising the dangers of doing what Obama just did
  • Focus on 2014

My solution might suck, but it’s what we, the people, voted for.

P.S. If you meet a “constitutionalist” or “conservative” who voted 3rd party, thank him for the worst-case scenario playing out before our eyes


Published by: bhennessy

Bill Hennessy is co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition, expert in persuasive design and marketing, and author of three books, including The Conservative Manifesto (1993) and Zen Conservatism (2009)

Categories Political Strategy7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Republicans Can’t Just Rage Against The Fiscal Cliff Machine”

  1. Bill – I don’t think “walk away” from the negotiations is the same as “sit on your hands”. Both Limbaugh and Krauthammer have it right: Pound Obama and the Democrats with $1.5 trillion tax increase/where’s the “balance”/where the spending cuts? Every GOP lawmaker and potential candidate should be out talking to every media outlet they can find. Don’t answer any questions about “revenue enhancements” until the Dems answer about spending cuts.

    1. You’re right, Michael. That’s why I’m talking pulling forward $2 billion from the 2016 elections for marketing TODAY. But just arguing with the idiots isn’t enough. We also have to inspire a new generation of conservatives. A net 3 million Republican voters died between 2008 and 2012. Another 3-4 million will die between 2012 and 2016. If we don’t grow new conservative voters, the GOP and the American Ideal are dead.

      That’s what I’d use the money for–a new generation of Americans who believe they can run their lives better than some bureaucrat in Washington.

      1. Bill – the easiest first step is recruiting candidates to run in more districts. There were 11 state rep districts in St. Louis County and 8 of 9 in St. Louis City with no Republican candidate running. The statewide and national campaigns can’t cover all that ground with an “air war” campaign of TV and radio ads that aren’t on stations that voters in those districts watch or listen to. We should be trying to find candidates now for the 2014 elections.

  2. Thanks Bill. You have the most sensible suggestion about how to handle the fiscal cliff. I agree 100% with you. Maybe you should go to Washington and advice the Republicans what to do. Your idea is much better than any of their ideas.

  3. McCain irks me.
    But the one thing he said during campaign speeches, was FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT.
    If there is any way for you to hear the beginning of Marl Levin’s show (97.1FM, Friday night, please do so!

  4. Bill – I completely agree with the marketing and advertising idea. I recently wrote Boehner and told him that each Republican should join together and fork over part of their office budget by paying a marketing firm to get the message out. IF BOEHNER and the HOUSE has a clear message on ANY issue – treat it as a campaign ad and GET THAT OUT IN ADVERTISEMENT FORM. (Obama has the compliant press – we don’t.) We’re just going to have to stay in capaign mode and pay the bills.

    Also, don’t forget – the 14 and 16 year olds of today are the voters in 2014 & 2016. So, educate & mentor them on everything from morality, history, personal responsibility, critical thinking, etc. I’m proud to say that I am helping to shape my 8 & 11 year old grandchildren in all of these areas. WOW – they have already mastered balancing my checkbook for me and are working on ENTREPRENEAURSHIP as one of their 4-H projects.

    1. You’re all over it. And so am I.

      Conservatives like to talk about the 3 million people who voted for McCain but didn’t vote for Romney. They keep trying to explain the phenomenon with political answers.

      I’ll give you the REAL reason Romney got fewer votes than McCain: a net 3 million reliable Republican voters died between 2008 and 2012, and the GOP is afraid to try to grow its base.

      I’m sick of it, and growing the base of people who believe in themselves and in their country and in their fellow Americans will be my ONLY political work in the next four years. I don’t care what it takes.

      I’ll leave this for anyone under 22:
      You can move out of your parents’ house
      You can drop out of school
      You can quit your dead-end job
      But how the hell do you escape the government?

      Think about that.

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