At the Weekly Standard today, John McGinnis and Michael Rappoport say the GOP should do more to help moderate Dems vote against Obamacare, by making a solid pledge not to hold their FIRST pro-Obamacare vote against them if they vote this time to kill Obamacare. They are absolutely right. I have long and repeatedly contended that Republicans do too little to actually talk with moderate Dems and build bridges, and do too little to give them positive incentives, not just negative ones, to vote more conservatively.
In fact, what they suggest is virtually the same thing I suggested back on Jan. 7, except the example I gave was for the Senate, not the House. Here’s what I wrote:
“Politicians being politicians, there absolutely must be at least one Democratic senator, or three more House members, who care enough about their own political skin to buck their party leaders. No single major proposal in generations has generated such strong opposition. With more than 60 percent of the public against Obamacare — and more opponents passionately against it than the combined total of all its proponents, mild or passionate alike — it is inconceivable that Republicans can’t talk a few Democrats into the more popular position. Sen. McConnell could pledge to Nebraska’s Democrat Ben Nelson, for instance, that if he joins a successful Republican filibuster then the National Republican Senatorial Committee would not raise even a single finger against him for re-election in 2012. The price would be worth it….”
Here, specifically, is the Weekly Standard take on it:
“The Republicans can defeat this argument by simply stating that they will not use the earlier affirmative vote for the House plan against any House member who subsequently votes against the Senate bill. To make that commitment clear and powerful, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee and the Minority Leader of the House should release a video making this declaration in no uncertain terms. They can tell the American people that Obamacare’s threat to medical innovation and the long term financial soundness of the nation are so dangerous as to justify a political armistice on the issue for those who give up their part in this wrong-headed crusade.”
So how about it, Pete Sessions? How about, John Boehner? How about it, Michael Steele? Isn’t it time to play ball?