There’s a saying it’s better to light a single candle than curse the darkness. The Washington Examiner notes that the GOP is finally realizing there’s a leadership vacuum that needs filling and is actually trying to chart a course distinct from the “yes-but-not-so-fast” attitude they’ve taken toward the president’s proposals. As one wag once said the only idea the GOP ever had about a Democrat proposal to burn down something was to suggest it be done in gradual stages. But maybe that’s changed.
While the GOP is not planning to draft a new Contract or Pledge, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are working to develop an agenda based on a handful of proposals on issues such as taxes, jobs, energy and health care that will give candidates something to tout in their campaigns.
Gone will be the endless repeal-and-reject votes on issues such as Obamacare, said insiders. Instead, Cantor is bringing together several ideas on issues like health care to develop a single plan for each.
One initial example is a resolution just offered by House Republican Policy Committee Chairman James Lankford of Oklahoma, one of the party’s fast rising stars. His idea: Help states enter into health care “compacts” to offer insurance, putting the power in local hands, not Washington. Several states have already adopted the idea, and the Tea Party backs the idea, which would even allow those with Obamacare to keep it.
Offering conservative alternatives to what the Democrats want is “essential” to identifying the party, Lankford told Secrets. “The 2012 campaign really ran on the concept of ‘We’re not them’ and really didn’t help. People need to know who we are. People want to know who they support, not just who they oppose,” he added.
Note the mention of the Health Care Compact. The Health Care Compact, readers will recall, is one of the ideas that was kicked around on this very site. Back then it seemed like a crazy long shot. Now that 8 states have signed on to it (Kansas is now considering it) and a request for the Compact’s approval is now moving through the Federal Government, it doesn’t seem like such a long shot any more.
And now Boehner and Cantor have discovered it. Why? because it might be a winner. In general they’ve found that doing something can sometimes be preferable to just throwing peanuts from the gallery. Of course the Health Care Compact is not the only alternative to Obamacare being proposed. The National Review described the 2017 Project. And of course there’s the Coburn-Burr-Hatch counterproposal.
So much the better. As Lankford said in the video above ‘may the best man win’. The unique thing about the Health Care Compact approach is that it isn’t really a jealously exclusive option. It allows Democrats to adopt an alternative to Obamacare without necessarily choosing a Republican branded option. That’s because the HCC is about “who decides”, not prescribing what you do.