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Monday, May 12, 2008

Does the RNC finally get it?

by George Dienhart

The Washington Times has obtained a memo outlining what may be the Republican campaign strategy this fall. In part, the memo states:

"It starts with this: Washington is broken, the American people want it fixed, and Democrats in Washington have proven unable or unwilling to get the job done. Republicans will,"

This is addressing that “change” thing all the kids are so crazy about these days. It is also putting the lack of change over the last two years squarely where it belongs- right at speaker Pelosi’s dainty little feet. This is the first salvo of a policy that is designed to stem the massive hemorrhaging that is slowly killing the GOP.

It is all part of what the RNC calls "American Families Agenda"- which is scheduled to kick off on Wednesday. The Agenda is designed to address challenges confronting families and will seek to replace outdated laws to help women with children who work outside the home and families in which both parents work. These groups normally skew to the left, and are a growing part of the population. The first item on the agenda addresses rising fuel costs- this is good timing because prices will drop after the summer travel season ends. This will keep the agenda on people’s minds as the prices drop. Mmm mmm- that’s good politics.

Other parts of the agenda will address health care, the economy and national security. The Democrats have seized the health care issue as a tent pole in their own strategy. The economy and national security are normally GOP territory. This year the economy may be in play- but economic concerns are already ebbing as the dollar gains strength and employment numbers keep coming in better than expected. The economy grew last quarter, meaning there is no chance that the current slowdown can be rightfully called a recession- it takes negative growth in consecutive quarters for that. The economy will probably grow again this quarter anyway, albeit more slowly than I would like to see. Voters are not stupid and truth normally wins out at the end of the day. Barring any kind of catastrophe, the economy is likely to be a non-factor in this election.

As always, the devil is in the details. Politicians make promises all the time. The Democrats made their 6 in ’06 promises two years ago and dropped the ball on every one of the six promises. We all want cheaper fuel, but how are we going to get it? The first step is to enact a strong dollar policy- a stronger dollar will buy more oil per dollar than a weak dollar. We also need to drill, drill, drill, and drill. In short, we need to stop printing money as if it was the Sunday paper, and start developing our own oil fields. The strong dollar part of the equation could be done immediately by the fed buying back gobs of greenbacks. Europe would most likely agree to a similar buying spree as it is in their best interests as well. Developing our untapped fields in the ocean and in Alaska will take longer, but have long-term benefits.

As far as healthcare goes, I feel we are falling into a trap to outspend the Democrats on this. Even if we win elections, we may lose if the GOP jumps on any kind of healthcare plan that infringes on what is currently the best healthcare system in the world. We can drive down rates by allowing insurance companies to pool the members across the nation, as opposed to having separate plans for each state. The potential savings of truly national insurance are massive would open up the markets to millions of new consumers.

As far as national defense goes, we really need to differentiate ourselves from the Democrats here, and it comes down to one thing- do you want to surrender or win?, America will chose to win, by an overwhelming margin when the stakes are spelled out. This is an easy victory for us.

I will cover this more Wednesday after the news embargo on this is lifted. We will see how close I am.