All Republicans have to do is clearly and repeatedly --without rancor and without over-the-top rhetoric-- explain why Obamacare is unacceptable, beginning with the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare that don't go towards saving the system, the parade of special deals, and the gigantic giveaway to organized labor. They have to make arguments, in other words, about why the president's prescriptions are much worse than the ills plaguing the system.
So too with the economy and the last stimulus-that-wasn't. They must argue, even against what looks like huge odds in the MSM, against allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, against adding crippling new assessments anywhere in the fragile economy, and for fiscal restraint. Again and again every Republican from Boehner and McConnell on down to the most junior House member must tell everyone who will listen that the deficit was a mere $161 billion in 2007 and looms at more than $1,600 billion next year! They must discuss the threats posed by so much devalued currency.
What they cannot do is urge that even more money be printed when that money is simply a layering on of D.C.-directed tax breaks to winners and losers. The absurd idea that jobs will be created by some combination of minor payroll tax relief and a $1000 tax credit would be hilarious if it wasn't so stunningly empty of merit. It is a gesture --a vastly expensive "We Incumbents care!" banner paid for with money the federal government doesn't have. Just shipping the money out to the states makes more sense than that, but there a dozen ways to better spend time and budget than on such relief or the "jobs bill.". How about the lightning-permitting-and-funding of a score of new nuclear plants? The president called for that in the State of the Union. Surely that would scratch their bipartisan itch.
Better yet, why not fix the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which has devastated thousands of small to large businesses? Why not order water deliveries resumed to California's Central Valley where as many as 40,000 agricultural jobs have been loss because of alleged threats to the Delta Smelt?
Why not practice repentance of mistakes made rather than re-enacting the blind shoveling of vast quantities of dollars at the stubborn unemployment numbers?
The Baucus-Grassley threatens to undo all the great work of millions of Americans to educate their neighbors and co-workers on the vast damage done to the economy by year one of the Obama agenda. Senators McConnell and Kyl need to take their old friend aside and explain that this is not the time for deal-cutting, but for principled opposition to any more upticks in the size and cost of government.
The GOP needs to stiffen its back and stand on its core principles. The MSM won't like it, but the majority of Americans will applaud long and hard.