<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Rollins GOP's Little Battle Plan

The GOP’s Little Battle Plan


Obama is a despot. Climate change is a hoax. Health care is a bust. And wealth disparity is a liberal construct fashioned to divide the classes. These are but a few of the disingenuous, droning war chants emanating from the camps of 2016 Republican wanna- and might-bees.

These conservative battle cries — redundant though many are — were not chosen at random: one part Barry Goldwater and three parts Joni Ernst, GOP strategists have for months been polling and trolling to strike a winning balance of traditional conservatism and postmodern dynamism. As is the norm for major-party presidential primaries in this era, high profile Republican aspirants will soon be competing in earnest for sole ownership of such GOP “A-List” issues as jobs, immigration, Obamacare and Common Core.

Their urgency will be warranted, for as the big-name Republican probables and their handlwell realize, no modern candidate can gain office on the strength of a single-issue campaign; but neither can she or he hope to win without standing above the rest on a few marquee issues. Shrouded by these first rounds of presumptive candidates’ pulse-taking is what appears to be a stealthier strategy whereby Party lesser knowns are dispatched to excite the GOP’s wonkier wings on less sexy but worthwhile issues.

Ohioans have been given a front row seat to this secondary battle plan as their newly reelected Republica

ers n governor John Kasich in December began crisscrossing the West to plug a cherished cause: a federal balanced-budget amendment (BBA).

Party marching orders or no, Kasich’s passion for a BBA is not feigned. In a speech given before GOP Arizona state legislators he declared,“There is no more important issue than for Congress to balance the budget ... We are in a crisis today, a financial crisis caused largely by the fact that members of Congress have been unable to restrain themselves.”

Citing a balanced budget as the nation’s greatest need seems like a voice in the political wilderness until one considers Kasich’s cred and success on the issue: in his first term he influenced his state to join 23 others in passing resolutions calling on Congress to pass a flat-line budget amendment to the US Constitution.

Ohio-based nonprofit funding for Kasich’s Western junket is also in keeping with what has the whiff of a GOP stump recipe – an astute step to disarm accusations of abuse of state monies. Kasich is not without a small but vocal cadre of conservative critics. His hawkish colleagues have slammed him for tying the government’s hands in time of war, and the rabidly corporate-friendly among them have assailed him as an anti-business grandstander. But given Kasich’s overall positive reception, it may be that his detractors’ real quarrel is with the Republican National Committee itself – with a national plan to recruit and tacitly support able leaders with streamlined portfolios and credibility.

If so, it may be working.

Don Rollins is a juvenile court program coordinator and Unitarian Universalist minister. Email donaldlrollins@gmail.com.

From The Progressive Populist, February 15, 2015


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