GOP tactics after healthcare reform passage.

There is no question to me that the GOP has benefited from how they’ve been able to spin the healthcare reform package and the process of making that sausage, and that the process to date has energized their core - some to the points of vandalism, racial epithets, and physical threats, but certainly energized. And while with or without this process they were going to make headway in mid-terms, I believe that the way it has gone to date will help them in particular in swing districts, if for no other reason by energizing their base much more than the Democratic base will be excited.

But now that it has passed how will it play to keep repeating the same anti-healthcare reform talking points from here? How will the current parliamentary stall tactics and the, at best low probability of success, attempts at repeal and lawsuits, play in the general public eye, and separately to their base, to the Democratic base, and to those who might swing either way? And how will the current declarations by GOP spokespeople, such as McCain, that “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” because the Democrats “have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.” play?

Please note I am not asking for a debate on who actually reached out and who slapped hands away and who fought dirtier; I am asking for analysis about whether or not the tactic of continued focus on the healthcare reform package from here, up to and including promising and delivering on gridlock “because” of its passage, is a winning approach for the GOP.

Thank you

I really think that depends on how successful the Dems are at pushing legislation through without cooperation from the Reps, and on how thorough Democratic operatives are at publicizing Republican obstructionism. By and large, Americans (IMHO -and George Patton’s) prefer winners over losers and don’t like whiners.

Nothing succeeds like success, and if the Dems can successfully present actual legislative achievements in stark contrast to Republican instransigence, this might help in November to at least minimize losses. As the OP points out, losses were expected in any case due to the red-meat-energized right wing base.

The Republicans seem to have doubled down on obstructionism. Therefore, if this Congress can pass any other “major” piece of legislation prior to November (say, a significant financial sector reform bill), it will by definition be another Democratic victory. I have trouble seeing that as at all helpful to a Republican landslide in the general elections.

Looks to me like they are setting themselves up to lose a major vote again. For the second time in one week the House will pass a Health Care Bill with no Republican support. They look less and less relavent.

Well the GOP has tried obstructionism before - Gingrich successfully shut down the government, twice, during the Clinton years. And if I recall correctly even successful obstructionism didn’t play out well for them overall then. Why do some believe it would now?

Yes, they need to appease the Tea Party crowd, that may actually be a small number but are the energized loud numbers; extreme rhetoric is what they need to hear and any compromise defines a conservative as a traitor, as one of them, see for example the “Baby-Killer!” statement as a case in point. And those up for close mid-term elections may benefit more right now from solidifying that activist flank (whose overall mood is anti-incumbent more than anything else) than they would from an appeal to moderate members of their party or swing voters - who may just stay home.

But overall elections are won not by the activist base alone. Let’s face it 45% of voters are going to vote one way and 45% are going to vote the other, almost no matter what. Victories require winning the fight for the lion’s share of the remaining 10% as well.

Will they block banking reform? Or will Republican obstructionist unaminity break down and those, like McCain, who advocate for no cooperation, look weak instead?

Any legislation that controls CO2 will have to be high on energy independence and many other of the points that many in the GOP want in order to win over many of the Democrats right now. Will they stay obstructionist there too?

And if they do, win or lose on that fight, does it have any chance of playing well with any one other than the hardcore activist base?

Well here’s some early numbers on how obstructionist tactics are going over from Quinipiac:

(And of course a full discussion of these numbers can be found on 538.)

I’m noting this: with passage the Democrats in Congress have significantly moved their negative approval spread from a dismal 32 to a much less dismal 19 while the Republicans in Congress have move theirs from an almost as dismal 29 to a less improved 24. And specifically among independents the Democrats in Congress have moved from an amazing 53 point negative spread (!) to a 24 point negative spread, while the GOP has moved from a 35 point negative spread to a 28 point spread.

Make of it what you will.