“If the goal of the majority is to govern, what is the purpose of the minority?”
November 4, 2010 1:27 PM Subscribe
How They Did It - A Republican Strategy Session 11 days before Obama's inauguration.
posted by VikingSword (143 comments total)
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'How they did it is the story of one of the most remarkable Congressional campaigns in more than a half-century, characterized by careful plotting by Republicans, miscalculations by Democrats and a new political dynamic with forces out of both parties’ control.'
'At that Republican retreat in January 2009, gathering inside a historic inn in Annapolis, Md., the group — led by Representatives John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, and Eric Cantor of Virginia, the whip — did not tolerate the hand-wringing that consumed so many Republicans that dark winter.
Instead, they walked through a by-the-numbers picture of Democratic vulnerability that had been lost in the excitement over Mr. Obama’s election.'
'They began an aggressive recruiting effort for top-flight candidates in districts that seemed to be virtually owned by some of the longest-serving Democrats in the House.'
'They also tried to push Democrats into retirement, using what was described in the presentation as “guerilla tactics” like chasing Democratic members down with video cameras and pressing them to explain votes or positions. (One target, Representative Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, had to apologize for manhandling one of his inquisitors in a clip memorialized on YouTube. Only this week did Republican strategists acknowledge they were behind the episode.)
Improbably, Mr. Boehner’s team turned the notion that Republicans could not afford to be the “Party of No” — or, in his words, the party of “Hell no” — on its ear, successfully portraying it as a virtue in the face of Mr. Obama’s legislative priorities. But even that team never predicted the sort of victory they experienced Tuesday night.
“I remember people laughing at me back when they thought Republicans were a lot like dinosaurs,” Representative Pete Sessions, the Texan who leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in an interview. “Our mission statement was to retire Nancy Pelosi. That was the whole mission statement.”'