Republican Plan for 2012

Shockingly, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are hoping to increase their numbers in Congress and take back the White House.

WSJ’s Kimberly Strassel reveals “The GOP’s 2012 Game Plan.”   Shockingly, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are hoping to increase their numbers in Congress and take back the White House.

Let’s just say he isn’t apologizing for recently suggesting that his priority is to deny President Obama a second term. This week’s message was that the American people want a repeal of health-care reform and an end to overspending and job-killing initiatives. If Republicans intend to make good on these public demands, says Mr. McConnell, the end goal has to be putting someone in the White House who won’t veto that progress.


The first help will be the 13 new GOP senators Mr. McConnell welcomes in January. Republicans failed to gain the majority, but Mr. McConnell isn’t complaining about a 47-strong caucus. “When you are down around 41, every man is a king and every woman a queen. Lose even one, and you are toast. Now I’ve got wiggle room.” He adds, with his dry wit, that he’s also got “23 Democrats up in 2012 who have a newfound appreciation for the problems of spending and debt.”


The broader strategy seems to hinge on keeping the focus on Mr. Obama’s mistakes, offering him opportunities to correct them, and placing the burden on him if he won’t. That means propelling the rollback of ObamaCare to the top of the national agenda, with repeated “proposals and votes for full repeal of health care.” The fallback is going after it “piece by piece,” attempting to defund it and delay it. The plan is to do the same with aspects of the financial services law and other damaging Obama regulations.

Mr. Obama can veto some of these efforts, but he’ll have to defend his actions. House ownership also allows the GOP to start bringing “serious, not frivolous” oversight to the ballooning Obama bureaucracy created for his agenda—from the EPA to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Also important will be the “mega issue,” as Mr. McConnell describes it, of “putting government on a diet.” Republicans will use their new heft to “concentrate on the basic work” of passing appropriations bills that “present the president with the opportunity to spend less.”

So, essentially, the plan is to 1) keep doing what they’ve done the past two years and 2) do the things they promised to do if elected.   Hmm.  Could work.

Of course, how successful all this will be depends almost entirely on 1) how the economy looks by late summer 2012 and 2) who the Republicans nominate for president and key Senate races.   The worse the economy and the better the candidates, the more likely they are to win.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. john personna says:

    It’s an interesting divide:

    Bernanke has said that fiscal stimulus, accommodated by the Fed, is the single most powerful action the government can take for lowering the unemployment rate, when short-term rates are already at zero … He has nearly pleaded with Congress for fiscal stimulus, but he can’t count on it.”

    The Republicans definitely played to a public resistance to “spending,” but a lot depends on Bernanke being wrong. You say it depends on whether the economy coming around. It may, but it’s more a hope than a plan, I think.

  2. SpotBanks says:

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a great idea. But do we need the GOV stepping in here or can we the people take charge? …