Republicans need leadership and respect for one another.
Both major political parties appear to be floundering, like beached whales, but in different ways. Democrat legislators and members of the Executive Branch always know their talking points, and you always get the same answers from them. Generally, they vote as a block, and they follow the Democrat leadership, unless they are coming up for re-election and the issue is dangerous for them.
Republicans, on the other hand, are divided. If you ask two Republicans a question, you sometimes get three opinions. Republicans in the federal and state governments need to come together. For that purpose, we need intelligent leadership. This isn’t easy to come by.
The Republican Party is a loose coalition of moderates, libertarians, Reagan Conservatives, Christians, and Tea Party folks. While they mostly agree on strictly fiscal objectives, they’re all over the place on other issues. They often agree on the overall objective but disagree on the details. It doesn’t help that Republicans are out of power, so there’s no president to lead them. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, may be the nearest thing to the party leader, but isn’t followed by many. The Chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, doesn’t have the clout to lead the actions of Republican elected officials. That’s what needs to change.
Every party has a platform; the Republican platform can be seen at Republican Party Platform. But, the platform is too general. It differs little from that of the Democrats. What the party lacks is specifics. For each plank, there should be specific plans, made available to all members, to reach the general goal they address. In the area of health care, for example, it’s not enough just to repeal Obamacare. Republicans need a plan of their own. They should be pushing Paul Ryan’s health care plan at every opportunity, assuming that’s the only one out there. They should have internal, possibly secret, debates on the merits and the downside of his plan, until they reach a consensus. These debates could be held in conventions or online (but encrypted). If the consensus is good, then every member of the House should push it. They should be looking at other plans to see if a better one can be found.
Without consensus on an issue, Republicans shouldn’t act. Immigration Reform is an example. Don’t do anything rash, or go along with the Democrats just because it’s fashionable. Decide what you want to do. Do that at the highest level, debate it internally, reach consensus. With consensus, there will always be dissenting members; they should swallow their pride and go along with, or at least not obstruct, the Republican majority.
When Republicans criticize Democrat plans, it sounds like ill-natured carping unless they have a plan of their own, for which they can argue on the merits.
United we stand, Divided we fall should be the motto of every Republican. Once we have adopted a plan, the party should then work out a strategy to put it into play. On the left, Progressives have long term goals, which they never stop pushing. Republicans should do the same.
Republicans should respect each other. Tea party folks want most of the same things as moderates. They should work together, under enlightened party leadership, to achieve the things they agree on. They need specific plans, and a specific strategy. These things don’t have to be known outside the party. Fighting each other in public and on the House floor should be eliminated.
The Republican Party needs to focus on their goals, defined down to specific legislation, and work on how to get there, including strategy and short-term tactics. Improved leadership would really help. The House has passed a lot of good legislation which was ignored by the Senate. Republicans need to maintain a list of such bills and keep them in front of the American public. They need a readily available and easily understood summary of bills and their status, including whether or not the Senate has acted on them.
And, it can’t be emphasized enough: Republicans in office need to act as one party. We need a true leader.