And they need to stop trying.
The political dynamics as we head into 2014 seem ideal for Republicans. But we all know Republicans are experts at shooting themselves in the foot, largely because they seem intent on silencing the people who most believe in the ideals that are supposed to be those of the GOP.
I’m talking specifically about the Tea Party, which the GOP establishment fears because we’re really talking about the divide between the political class and the working class.
If you don’t believe the political class is distancing itself from the working class, you haven’t been paying attention. Look at all the ObamaCare taxes that are taking place this year. Look at all the deception that took place last year relative to ObamaCare.
Look at the anemic recovery. We haven’t even reached the employment levels we were at before the recovery started. The number of jobs created monthly by the private sector is less than 200,000 jobs a month. Compare that with the number of jobless claims a week, which exceed 350,000 jobs a week. Something’s wrong.
The year-over-year GDP growth rate is around 2 percent. Don’t be fooled by these quarterly reports, which on a rare occasion top 3 or even 4 percent. The statistic you want to focus on is the year-over-year number, which has been and remains dreadful.
So we’ve got to work doubly hard to have a happy new year. The new normal is that these lousy employment numbers are presented as just fine. No, they are not.
But in 2014, while Democrats will be running from ObamaCare and the rest of their record, Republicans are in danger of shooting themselves in the foot and not being able to take advantage of this debacle.
Democrats will try their best to change the subject. This is what liberals do. S.I.N. Shift the subject, ignore the facts, and name-call. They’ve taken name-calling to a whole new level by suggesting that any criticism of President Obama is because he is black. What a crock.
This is about accountability for failed policies.
Democrats want you to forget about the fact that 6 million people have lost their health insurance, and focus on 2 million people enrolling. They will try to focus on the minimum wage, CEO pay, even the idea now being pushed by their loyal propagandists at the New York Times that Benghazi really was all about a video.
And even as Democrats run from their policies on the campaign trail, they are still saying full speed ahead, and that’s because they have created more distance between the political class and the working class. Business owners and individuals are letting their representatives know how they feel about this, and the political class does not care about their pain.
This would seem to be a golden opportunity for Republicans, but it is possible for them to screw this up. As Laura Ingraham said the other day, you can’t just hang all your hopes on ObamaCare. What’s more, Republicans have to offer an alternative. There is a great alternative called H.R. 2300. Republicans need to get behind it and not be running around with 15 different ideas.
Second, establishment Republicans have to get off the idea that they can squash the Tea Party. Scott Reed, who was Bob Dole’s campaign manager when he ran for president, now works for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is putting lots of money into establishment-type Republican candidates.
I was an advisor to running mate Jack Kemp during that campaign. Dole lost, because Scott Reed wanted to run an establishment-type campaign. Now we have Karl Rove, who is trying to raise money for candidates who want to run the same kind of campaign today. People like Scott Reed and Karl Rove are saying, well, we don’t want any losers on our ticket.
What is this “our ticket” stuff? Even though Karl Rove has some things to his credit when he was working with George W. Bush, of late he hasn’t achieved much.
But here is the reason they can’t squash the Tea Party. The Tea Party is an attitude – an attitude of the working class that goes against the political class. The Tea Party’s attitude says live within your means and stop taking away our liberties. The political class is just the opposite. They want to settle for what they can get, like this last budget they want along with. They’re more worried about being blamed for stuff than they are accomplishing stuff.
The Tea Party is not one organization or one figurehead. When someone emerges to lead this movement in Congress, like Ted Cruz and a few others, the establishment wants to quiet him down.
You might be able to silence a few voices, but you’re not going to silence an attitude. And if the Republican Party ever wants to win, it needs to stop trying and start trying to actually accomplish the things the Tea Party stands for.