Do you trust the Congressional GOP to do everything they can to repeal Obamacare if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and if at least 51 GOP senators are elected and the House GOP majority maintained?
Do you trust them to move as quickly as possible to do so?
I do, because the political consequences of failing to do so would be so immense as to cost the GOP their newly won majorities in 2014. If empowered by the voters, the failure to repeal Obamacare will result a massive repudiation of the GOP by its own base.
But large numbers of voters don't see it the way I do. (I hear from them Monday through Friday, on air and off, in person and via the new media.) These activists point to a disappointing 2011 as their reason for skepticism. They point to a series of House votes in 2011 that did not cut spending as deep as they had expected and to the negotiations over the supplemental appropriation in the spring and then the debt ceiling in the summer which did not bring home even one major symbolic victory like an end to NPR funding.
Millions of voters worry that the old line "party of appropriators" will take their time in the spring of 2013 and cut deals just like the Democrats did in the run-up to the passage of Obamacare. They believe that the Beltway culture is one of elitism and privilege and that whatever excuse can be offered for inaction will be offered while the fundraising and lobbying goes on and on.
There is a credibility gap, and that gap could cost crucial votes in the handful of states which Mitt Romney needs to win to get the White House back in responsible hands.
Governor Romney needs to huddle with Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and come up with a strategy that combats this suspicion, which is deeply held and far wider than most GOP insiders want to admit. That suspicion is going to hobble turnout and it is already a dead weight on enthusiasm and contributions.
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