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With Just Six Words, Ron Paul Can Box in the Republican Establishment in November
May 28, 2010
The six words are: Public Law 111-148 is hereby repealed.
Public Law 111-148 is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is the compulsory health insurance law that Democrats rammed through Congress and Obama signed.
The Republican Party voted unanimously to oppose it. Most of them did this for low-risk grandstanding reasons. Had George W. Bush proposed the bill, they would have voted for it, just as they voted for his prescription drug law.
Ron Paul can force their hands in November. By introducing the bill, he will guarantee that the Democrats will never let it get out of committee. That is to be expected.
Once it is bottled up in committee, it becomes politically active. At that point, Tea Party voters can ask their Republican candidates, "Do you promise to vote for Ron Paul's bill to repeal Obama's health insurance package if the Democrats lose in November? Do you also promise to vote for it without any amendments or any other modifications until it is signed into law by a Republican President, no matter what?"
That will put the fire under them. At that point, they will begin to mumble. They will say that Obama will veto it. Answer: "That's true. Kiss Obama's chances goodbye in 2012."
Next, they will say that the timing is wrong. Answer: "The timing is never wrong to repeal government-controlled medical care."
Next, they will say that . . . well, who knows what they will say? They are wafflers. Do not vote for them if they waffle.
The Tea Party people can run a rival candidate in the Republican primary. If the local primary is over, they can run a write-in candidate or an independent. It does not matter how they do it; they must see to it that the waffler is defeated in November. Then, in 2012, Tea Party candidates can run. They can run on a promise to repeal Obama's health insurance law.
The reason why a bill to repeal this widely hated law would be effective in November is this: it will expose big-spending Republicans for what they really are. They are "me, too" Democrats. They are salami-slice Keynesians who believe in big government, but big government imposed by law at a slower rate. They want big government to subsidize big business and regulate entry in order to keep existing big businesses big. This has been the Republican Party's tradition ever since 1861.
The only reason why Republicans seem conservative these days is that, after Woodrow Wilson won in 1912, the Democrats have overtaken them in the spending category. George W. Bush did his best to reclaim the Party's position as the biggest spender, but Pelosi and Obama have fought back. The Democrats still hold the position as #1.
A bill to repeal Obama's health insurance law would force Republican candidates to fish or cut bait. It would force them to take a stand against centralization in order to get elected. They would have to commit to vote for a bill so short -- six words -- that it could not be modified without gutting it, which is what Republicans really want to do.
By introducing this bill, Ron Paul would cut off their escape route. If they do not promise to vote for it as-is, without modification, they risk losing in November. The Tea Party people are the largest new swing vote on the scene. They are not for any compromise on this issue. They want the law repealed.
Ron Paul is correctly seen as the Tea Party's representative in Washington. Such a bill will be seen as a Tea Party bill. The media will attempt to tar and feather it as such. But if it leads to the defeat of wishy-washy Republicans in November, this will be a Tea Party victory. It will send a message to future Republican candidates: "Don't cross the Tea Party voters."
Fear of defeat motivates politicians. Most Americans oppose the health insurance law. A bill to repeal it would gain traction with Republican voters, independents, and even some blue-collar Democrats. It would be a major threat to the "go along to get along" game in Washington. It would force Republicans to follow through on their unanimous vote against the bill. It would push Republicans out of grandstanding mode, in a vote they knew they would lose, into a repeal mode that will pass in 2013.
If they promise to support the bill if Republicans take over in 2011, and then they waffle after the Republicans take over, they will be sandbagged in 2012. The Tea Party will get its revenge.
The Republicans can win on this issue in November. But the price of victory in 2010 will be a commitment.
The Tea Party voters are narrowly focused and hard-nosed. They are unwilling to go along to get along. They will not forget a betrayal. They will get revenge in 2012. "You promised. You backtracked. You're gone."
Republican mush-mouths don't like being boxed in publicly. This bill will box them in.