Despite a major defeat in legislation, Republicans in the House and Senate have successfully placed themselves in a very strong strategic position for the 2010 Congressional races and the 2012 Presidential race. The GOP was undeterred by President Obama's intimidation tactics, the medias decision to forgo investigative journalism into the stimulus, and their Democrat rivals duplicitous legislative wrangling.
This truly monumentous display of party unity and principles must not go wasted. The GOP must use this piece of legislation as a battlecry starting now and leading up to 2010 and 2012. Politico couldn't have said it better in an article yesterday,
House Republicans are hoping to salvage a big loss on the economic stimulus bill by making it a political millstone for moderate Democrats.
The article goes on to describe GOP strategy in weak or at least toss-up congressional districts currently held by Democrats.
The party’s campaign arm will start airing radio ads Friday in approximately 30 Democratic districts to argue that the bill violates the lawmakers’ campaign pledge to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington.
Respectively this is a great start. However, the GOP cannot stop here. Make this a campaign battlecry starting now. The Democrats were able to successfully use the Iraq War as a cannon fodder and a rallying point of opposition not only to President Bush but the Republican Party. Despite that a majority of their ranks voted to authorize the very thing they opposed. Republicans are on the winning side of this issue, and better yet, we have a clean voting record to prove it.
The only hickup to stand in our way is an Obama tidal wave that hasn't yet broken. Public opinion will even out, adulation will subside, as it did for the Iraq War, and we need to be there screaming. March on Washington, send out our own Cindy Sheehans to camp out and protest, have candle light vigils if need be, but beat this issue to a bloody pulp.
On this stimulus vote today, Republicans had less then 48 hours to review a bill over 1,000 pages long before they had to vote on it. But now we have 4 years to expose it.