Its Time for Republicans to Lead

Thursday, November 13, 2014
posted by elizabeth @ 9:09 PM

Republicans won big in the past election.  They picked up enough seats in the U.S. Senate to be in the majority and control legislation.  They even gained seats in the U.S. House.  Although Republicans swept the country, it was not a mandate.  This was a message from the American people that they want something different.  This is an opportunity for Republicans to lead.  In a recent article in the Arkansas News, U.S. Senator John Boozman, Republican from Arkansas, said “Republicans need to remember that this wasn’t a huge vote of confidence in them. The public is concerned about the direction of the country, and they want change…We are being given the opportunity to lead and govern, and we need to step up and make the most of that.”  Republicans should not overreach.

I expect some politics and positioning by both parties as they prepare for the presidential election.  We all understand that is part of the process.  But, the American people are more fickle than ever.  They are more demanding than they have ever been.  This is due in large part to the fact that they are informed.  They have access to information quickly.  The days of one party having a strangle hold on a one or both chambers of Congress for more than 2- 3 cycles is essentially a thing of the past.

Republicans need to realize they will not get everything they want at one time.  More so, they need to realize now that they will not get everything they want.  Leadership means having a plan. It means working the plan, being realistic about what will be achieved as well as communicating that plan effectively.  They cannot be smug, arrogant or snarky.  Leadership means discipline, hard work, diligence and managing expectations for their team.

Some of the public policy issues Republicans should be focusing on are energy issues, like getting the Keystone pipeline done.  This project means jobs.  It means jobs for hard working blue color, union members.  Another important issue is tax reform for individuals as well as corporations.  The tax code is a horrific burden on individual tax payers, a beast for small business owners, and we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.  The tax code needs to have certainty and predictability for everyone who pays it.   Healthcare is something Republicans should focus their time on.  Over turning Obama Care is not realistic.  It is not going to happen.  Be solutions oriented.  They need to prioritize what needs attention first and have a fix for it.

Strategically, the Republicans cannot lead if their own house is not in order.  They cannot have infighting.  That means leadership does not insult other factions of the party like calling the Tea Party names.  We all know what happened to former Congressman Eric Cantor.   Like-wise, the conservative faction within the Republican Party needs to keep the public name calling private.  There used to be something in the Republican Party called the 11th commandment.  It is essentially the old saying your dad taught you about keeping your family’s dirty laundry in private.  Don’t speak ill of your fellow Republican in public.  You can publicly disagree with them on public policy issues. But, don’t call them names or undermine them in public.

As I am prone to say, now it is time to put on your big boy pants and lead.  Yes, Republicans can savor the victory.  But, there are issues that now require responsibility and leadership from those in power.  It is time to act deliberatively and with wisdom.

All that being said, Mr. Obama needs to be responsible, put on his big boy pants and lead as well.  That means not digging in and refusing to compromise.  It means recognizing his way is not the only way.  It means he is not always right.  Hubris can be self-destructive.  Don’t take your ball and leave the field if you don’t get your way.  Photo opps are not substance nor are they real leadership.

 

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