The RNC Make America Great Again survey showed up in my mailbox one day after the Republican Party repealed its self-proclaimed mission to replace Obamacare. The appeal to greatness was printed in big, bold letters. The survey asked about optimism. It talked about being proud. The RNC asked for a donation to help get the job done. My anger over what happened on Friday turned to shock and dismay. Do the people we trusted to right the wrongs of the Obama years and put the nation back together have the slightest idea how little of our confidence and contributions they deserve?
I have no doubt that the RNC great again survey came from a sincere desire to make America better for the RNC. At the least that means giving the appearance of doing something for conservative voters. Donations depend on the illusion of making good on at least part of that promise. The problem is that we have no reason to believe the GOP knows what greatness means.
RNC great again plan was about health care first. Now it’s not.
We deserve an abject apology for what Washington Republicans did to loyalists who opened their wallets last year because they had confidence in their party. Instead we got an RNC great again survey that masked a naked appeal for more cash. The survey was mailed before the health care fiasco took place, but it doesn’t matter. Backstabbing and failure was already on the Capitol Hill menu well before the historic two days of not voting to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The GOP has shifted its position. Now it’s “let Obamacare fail and we’ll pick up the pieces later.” That’s where we thought we were before the health care fix we were promised. Now we are back where we started, with more promises to make America great.
Don’t hold your breath and don’t take out your wallet.
Ryan can’t smooth over what Republicans did
Paul Ryan tried hard on Friday to turn what happened into a win. He praised the “long, inclusive, member-driven process.”1 The Speaker talked about growing pains, imperfection, and being “willing to give a little to get something done.”2 He spoke of “improving people’s lives.”3
Despite Ryan’s nod to doing better, the fact is that Republicans failed at their #1 mission. It wasn’t about health care:
We want American families to feel more confident in their lot in life.4
We thought that was the idea behind the GOP’s plan for a Confident America, but there is no confidence to be had in the “let Obamacare explode”5 fallback. That’s an excuse, not a strategy, a fix, or even a temporary repair. Letting our health care system destroy itself to make a point doesn’t help the people, especially Republican supporters who showed their faith with money and votes. Worse, we now have absolutely no reason to expect that the GOP is capable of replacing it.
Is this what we have learned to expect?
Real goal of RNC great again survey is this
The questions in the RNC survey are leading. The agenda is clear. None of it matters if we don’t have confidence that conservative politicians will do the things we elect them to do.
No political mailer is complete without a little fundraising. The RNC survey is no exception. There is a reminder to include your contribution with your answers. The problem is that we put the party in office for every reason included in the mailing, from taxes to national security and yes, health care. Now it’s the party’s turn to give back or at least have a workable plan for delivering what we were promised. Republicans should have the decency to fulfill, or at least not give up on their biggest promise before their leadership comes begging for more.
Can the GOP be great again? For now, let’s aim for good enough with the donations the RNC already has.
UPDATE October 1, 2017: no confidence in a Confident America
Six months have passed. So much for that Confident America. The only thing we can have confidence in is the failure of the GOP to stand by its words. For those of you who sent in money, do you feel like you got your dollar’s worth?
With the promise of a better health care system dead and gone, we heard this tantalizing bit of optimism on tax reform:
This week, House, Senate, and White House leaders unveiled a unified framework for tax reform, and the response from job creators has been overwhelming.6
Who cares? Job creators don’t pass legislation. Congress does. So far our GOP Congress has turned great again lawmaking into business as usual failure.
We will get a tax reform package passed but it won’t be from the Republican Party. Democrats are biding their time. They usually get what they want.
UPDATE February 18, 2018: Republicans are not so great again
This time it wasn’t a survey. It was a bald-placed plea for money or more politely, a “matching gift.” Perhaps the RNC is too focused on fundraising before the 2018 midterms to stand back and take a good look at itself. The letter asked that we assist Republicans with the resources to “support President Trump.” The party must be dead broke, because it doesn’t seem like they have spent any time doing that.
Health care reform failed. The Russia investigation continues hot and heavy despite the inability of anyone on Capitol Hill to define just how the election was impacted. The GOP seems more willing to play ball on immigration with Democrats than to fund the president’s security and border initiatives.
Yes, we got tax reform. It would have been foolish for Republicans to not force that one through in an election year. As to anything else that reflects their support for the president? Don’t hold your breath.
1. “Speaker Ryan’s Remarks from Today’s Press Conference.” Speaker.gov. March 24, 2017. http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/speaker-ryans-remarks-todays-press-conference, retrieved March 27, 2017.
5. “Remarks by President Trump on the Health Care Bill.” The White House. March 24, 2017. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/24/remarks-president-trump-health-care-bill, retrieved March 27, 2017.
6. “Job Creators Praise Unified Tax Reform Framework.” Speaker Paul Ryan. September 29, 2017. http://www.speaker.gov/general/business-groups-praise-unified-tax-reform-framework, retrieved October 1, 2017.
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