GOP: Shall We Dance?
You like to-MAY-tos. I like to-MAH-tos. Let’s call the whole thing off…
Who knew the lyrics penned by George and Ira Gershwin for the 1937 movie Shall We Dance would be so applicable today — not only to an argument with my husband this week, but also to the issues facing the GOP in 2012 as they attempt to dance around tax increases while dealing with the looming fiscal crisis.
In his wisdom, my husband noted I should not be surprised by the number of Republicans caving on the tax issue. I believe his exact words were, “don’t expect the GOP to hang (read to-MAH-to) themselves on the tax issue.” To which I replied, “hang (read to-MAY-to) themselves on the tax issue? They’re not hanging (again to-MAY-to) themselves on the tax issue, they’re trying to save our country. Can’t you see that?”
It turns out my husband could not see the subtle difference between my use of the short “a” in hang and his use of the broad “a.” Apparently, neither can the leaders in the GOP.
If the 2008 election and 2012 reelection of Barack Obama taught the GOP anything, it’s that what is in the package is not nearly as important as the packaging itself. On this point, those dismayed by the Romney/Ryan loss can agree. While the GOP may be fractured on the ultimate cause of loss, the common thread uniting the reasons is this: the GOP has a packaging problem.
How else does one explain the reelection of a POTUS with this abysmal record:
- 7.9% unemployment;
- 47 million people on food stamps (almost double the amount when he took office in 2008 — 27 million); and,
- a foreign policy coming apart at the seams.
Is the GOP candidate the issue? Let’s compare Romney’s record:
- Republican Governor in a blue state;
- history of working across the aisle;
- successful businessman; and,
- a proven track record of turning around failing ventures.
No, the GOP’s issue is not the candidate nor is it the substance of the message. The GOP’s issue is packaging.
This leads me back to the discussion with my husband.
Rather than accepting the Democrat and main stream media narrative that the GOP’s only interest lies with protecting the wealthy from tax increases, and then caving, I submit that the GOP should attempt some much-needed repackaging. No longer using the to-MAH-to response appealing to the evil rich, but instead using the to-MAY-to response appealing to every American.
For example, the GOP does not stand for the wealthiest among us, we stand for America. We stand for preserving the American dream we were blessed to have experienced, and many from nations around the world come to America to pursue. While the Democrat party wastes precious time pitting the American people against one another based on income level, we stand for uniting the American people on the basis of doing what is best for all Americans, not for only segments of America. It is unfortunate that it takes a fiscal crisis of this magnitude to get the Democrats to the adult table — the table of doing what is right for America — doing the hard work of solving the tough problems we face as a nation to honor our obligations, while preserving the American dream for all who will pursue it.
History shows the Democrat party’s unwillingness to address entitlement reform without the pressure of a situation, much like the fiscal crisis we now face. While the Democrats will attempt to paint our position on taxes as standing for only the wealthiest among us, we will gladly hang ourselves on the tax issue. The magnitude of the financial crisis we face threatens the very fabric of America.
Supporting an agreement for increasing taxes on the wealthy without addressing entitlement reform does little more than kick the can down the road. We will not compromise with a divisive, short-sighted and irresponsible plan.
The GOP does not believe this is what the American people elected their officials to do. We believe the American people understand the financial crisis we face. We believe the American people understand taxing without entitlement reform will not work. We believe the American people understand we could tax the wealthiest among us at a 100% rate and the revenue generated will run our government for only one year. And, we believe the American people know this is not a solution that will work for all.
We will hang ourselves on the tax issue, doing so not to protect the wealthiest among us, but to protect the American dream for all.
How about those to-MAY-tos!
- Boehner to GOP: Stick together (politico.com)
- GOP Shouldn’t Abandon Call for Lower Taxes, Pro-Life Stance (usnews.com)
- Poll: Public would blame GOP more than Obama if fiscal talks fail (thehill.com)
- Strategy: Give Obama and the Democrats (and America) what they want (crushliberalism.com)
- A big disconnect as ‘fiscal cliff’ clock ticks (news.yahoo.com)