By Karl K. Gruber
The results of the midterm elections showed that the electorate is dissatisfied with the direction of the country and they are holding Democrats responsible for that dissatisfaction. However, the electorate is happy with Republicans only to the extent that they are not Democrats. Not-so-subtle distinction as it was, it was enough to create a GOP win of historic proportions. So what now?
The Republicans have a year or less get to push their agenda before the next election cycle begins. They also must realize Obama and the media are going to savage whatever plans they put forward. With this in mind, the leadership should focus on a narrow strategy.
Avoid the immigration debate. No doubt this is a game changer and amnesty on such a large scale may achieve the Democrats’ goals of destroying the GOP; however with only one politically viable response available to them, this is not a topic to debate. The leadership of the House and Senate should get together and specifically defund any executive action that Obama attempts on grounds that he is acting unconstitutionally. They should state that they will work on and pass an immigration bill only when Obama rescinds his unconstitutional executive order … next question. No GOP member should drift off this talking point and get sucked into the immigration debate; there are other issues to address.
Take on the IRS. Push a round-the-clock, behind closed doors investigation: Take a page from Rep. Gowdy and prohibit grandstanding and show hearings. Put the screws to Lois Learner and her protectors at the IRS and get those e-mails. The arrogant flaunting of Congress’ oversight role by the IRS is a constitutional issue that needs to be addressed. It would be shocking if the targeting did not go directly into the Oval Office and involve Valerie Jarrett — and probably Obama himself. This abuse of power will further delegitimize the IRS and provide leverage to pass real tax reform.
This real tax reform would be to defund the IRS and replace it with a flat/fair tax administered by the Treasury Department. Propose, say, 16 percent on all income over $55,000 with national sales tax of 0.25 percent. There would be no deductions. Let Obama and the Democrats fight to defend the IRS. Obama may well sign such a deal in exchange for dropping IRS targeting charges against his inner circle.
Get rid of ObamaCare. Oh, they just did it by getting rid of the IRS. Without the IRS, the crucial enforcement arm of ObamaCare is gone and the program will die on the vine.
Following just these four points will dramatically change the trajectory of the country. It can be achieved in a year and has a real chance of getting passed. The only question is, is the Republican leadership too feckless and disorganized to act?
If this sounds like a sound strategy, please forward this to your representative.
Karl Gruber is a practicing surgical pathologist and a graduate of both The University of the South, and the Medical University of South Carolina. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina with his wife, Georgia, and three children.