I’ve been writing about it for a while now at America’s Right. In fact, it first came about in early July when I asked why “no” was such a bad word, and went on to write that I would say just that to someone who asked to come into my home and rob me down to the studs, or to someone who asked to provide my three-year-old with a home loan, or to a utility provider who provided me with the option to pay twice as much for electricity and gas.
When it came to matters of cap-and-trade, I wrote that a “no” from Republicans translated into a “yes” for American business stifled by increased regulatory burdens, for the American people bracing for higher taxes and energy costs, and for an America losing its grip on prosperity and growth. A “no” from Republicans on that issue, I wrote, was exactly what America needed.
But, I acknowledged, it is far more complicated than “no.” While there is value in “no,” flat obstructionism is rarely productive. That’s where the Doctrine of Constructive Obstructionism came in. Hardly anything groundbreaking, it nonetheless entailed a four-part process.
- Propose quality, feasible, fact-based common sense alternatives.
- Unify behind those alternatives.
- Repeat #1 mercilessly, giving zero ground to Democrats looking to undermine American freedom, liberty, growth, prosperity or security.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been delighted to see Republicans in Washington, D.C. doing just that. So far, when it comes to the Democrats and their plans for health care reform, the GOP has completed steps one and two, and is gathering the support necessary to complete step three.
Today, House Republicans released their own plan for health care reform, and the draft bill they put together came in at roughly 230 pages instead of Pelosi’s 1,990. In it, they highlighted what they deemed “common-sense, responsible solutions that address the rising cost of health care and other major problems.” Consider the Republicans’ focus on cost, as opposed to how Kentucky Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth admitted, in a Fox News interview today, that on his side of the aisle “nobody ever believe we can actually bring costs down.”
In opposing the policies of the Obama administration, and in siding with freedom, liberty and the American people in the process of doing so, the Republicans have been derided as obstructionists, as counter-productive, and as the “party of ‘no.’” And if the response to H.R. 3962 and its predecessors had indeed been limited to “no,” I would agree with the critics in the media and in the Democratic Party.
The thing is, however, Republicans haven’t merely stopped at “no.” They’ve instead been continuing on with specific alternatives and ideas for common sense reforms which will actually reduce health care costs and increase access to coverage without stifling the ingenuity inherent in our free market system, without sacrificing care for seniors, and without driving a nail into the coffin of American small business.
Instead of just maintaining that “no, Nancy Pelosi’s proposal is just too darned expensive and will not reduce costs,” Republicans have been saying: “No, Nancy Pelosi’s proposal is just too darned expensive and will not reduce costs, but if we (a) open the private insurance market to interstate competition and allow American families and businesses to purchase coverage across state lines, if we (b) allow businesses and individuals and trade associations alike to essentially buy coverage in bulk in the same way large corporations and labor unions do, if we (c) return power to the several states and facilitate their ability to enact their own reforms, and if we (d) put a stop to frivolous legal action and the defensive medicine which results, we can harness the power of the free market, bring down health care costs for everyone, increase access, and do it all without sacrificing ingenuity, innovation and the American economy.”
That’s constructive obstructionism. And that’s exactly what the Republicans did today by penning draft legislation of their own. And that’s what Republicans have been doing all along, whether it be through the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2009 introduced in May, the Medical Rights & Reform Act or the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act introduced in June, the Empowering Patients First Act or the Improving Health Care for All Americans Act or even the Promoting Health and Preventing Chronic Disease through Prevention and Wellness Programs for Employees, Communities, and Individuals Act of 2009 introduced in July, or the Improved Employee Access to Health Insurance Act of 2009 and Health Insurance Access for Young Workers and College Students Act of 2009 introduced this month.
Any Democrat or mouth-breathing left-wing pundit type which insists Republicans have been roadblocking and nothing else is either lying to your face or hasn’t looked away from Keith Olbermann’s television program long enough to form a cogent thought. Plain and simple, this is the Doctrine of Constructive Obstructionism in action, and that the GOP has completed steps one and two means only two more steps remain — unify, and stand fast.
Neither can be accomplished without the people. First, pressure needs to be placed heavily upon those in danger of wavering: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina comes to mind, as do Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine. Second, the same pressure must be placed upon any Democrat senator or congressman with even a shred of common sense. Call them. Fax them. Visit their offices. Make them understand that a vote for health care reform will secure their defeat at the next election. And mean it. Make sure they know you plan an all-out assault on their candidacy, and make sure they know you bring friends. Millions of them. Finally, call your Republican congressman and senators. Fax them. Visit their offices. Let them know you appreciate their adherence to the ideals of our founders and the idea of a limited federal government. Make sure they know you stand with them. Make sure they know you bring friends.
Back in July, I wrote that “no” is good, but “no, here’s why, and here’s what we’ve proposed” is a whole lot better. By employing the Doctrine of Constructive Obstructionism, the Republicans ensure that their counterparts on the left don’t just pass legislation — they own it. They own every bureaucracy created, every tax increase needed, every job lost, every small business shuttered. They own it all. By employing the Doctrine of Constructive Obstructionism and coming on record with draft bills and finished ones, a unified GOP and conservative base will have the unique opportunity to watch in real time as the Democratic Party crumbles and wastes away under the weight and corrosive nature of their own long-standing policies and ideas, and if united we will be in a position at this time next year and in three years to ensure that America can be put back on the path to freedom, liberty, growth, prosperity and security that our founders envisioned so long ago.