This is one of those crossroads moments and decisions made over the coming months will set the course for the 2018 battles for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Democrats’ job is fairly simple: obstruct, oppose and attack. Keep the anti-President fires burning with their partners in the press. Make sure nothing succeeds.
Republicans have options, and with the media touting the President’s polling, the temptation is to play to the press and to Democrats who will not vote for us no matter how fervently they urge bipartisanship today.
What happens to teams with a lead in the final period who quits playing the game and tries to protect the lead.
“Prevent” defenses only prevent winning. Going into a shell and trying to withstand the bombardment just increases the bombardment.
With Congress and the Senate, and watching the first four months of this Congress, I’m thinking the Republican strategy must be: Play Offense!
Politics is still politics. Narratives still have value. Trump can’t do everything by executive order, and as conservatives, we shouldn’t want him to.
Pass laws. Repeal regulations. Cut taxes. Stop placating Democrats. More than a third of Congressional Democrats are from California, New York and Massachusetts. Hillary won those states by 22-30 points. They are not supporting us.
Stop fearing our own caucus. Republicans basically won on some key issues. Economic growth. Tax reform. Repeal and replace Obamacare with market-based health care delivery.
Democrats will attack us regardless of what we do. The media will attack us no matter what we do.
Fearing that guarantees a 2018 loss. Democrats only need to flip 24 seats, far fewer that Republicans did in 1994 and 2010 and fewer that Democrats did in 2006. The Senate could flip with only a few seats changing Party control.
An assertive conservative agenda based on what voters supported in 2016 is the only way to keep and even grow our majority.
Pass laws, Congress. Get things done. In the worst case scenario of losing majority control anyway, at least we will put changes in place that will be hard for them to repeal. The Senate did that with the Gorsuch nomination, and it was the high point of the first hundred days.
The only defense that should be played is by those Democrat Senators whose seats are up in 2018 from states Trump carried. Let them worry about their own re-elections.
Republicans should stop worrying about their majorities, stop hoping Democrats will suddenly support us, and start passing conservative bills the President will sign.
In an ironic way, trying to protect a majority at all costs is the surest way to lose it.