The republicans ignored or downplayed an array of compelling issues. This was a foolish mistake. They failed to exploit unpopular policies of Obama first term and left unanswered charges that proved harmful to Romney and other Republicans. They needed operation Push Back!
The only bite they have is 30 republican governors who can’t repeal obamacare but they can confound the Obama administrations plan for implementing it fully in 2014. they may force the president to negotiate on scaling back the program. With 49% of voters favor repealing it and only 44% would expand it or keep it intact.
Governors have unusual leverage here because the health care law incentivizes them to set up exchanges at which millions would purchase insurance. If governors balk, the federal government must create its own exchanges. But federal exchanges would be different. The law says subsidies for those who can’t afford health insurance are available only through state exchanges.
Obamacare expansion of Medicaid also gives governors an opportunity to put pressure on the administration. They can refuse to accept funds to increase the Medicaid rolls. Propose a deal —an expansion of coverage in exchange for vastly more flexibility even up to full block grant of the program. Many other programs ripe for pushback are the explosions of food stamps where 83 separate and overlapping federal welfare programs cry out for spending cuts. They cost $1.03 trillion a year.
Republicans paid dearly for their near silence in response to a Democratic onslaught on abortion and same sex marriage. The democratic insisted the republicans were waging a war of women—was an unforced error with dire consequences. Republicans failed to proclaim what the pro life position really involves—that is saving the lives of unborn children, not dismissing rape. The best Romeny offered was a timid TV ad insisting he favors permitting abortion for rape victims.
GOP candidates were accused of opposing contraception, blocking women’s access to health care and keeping women form regular cancer screenings. These largely went unanswered from republicans who gave up on an issue—abortion—from which they’d always benefited in elections.
On sex marriage they went into hiding.
The upshot was that Romeny and republicans refused to identify themselves with an issue that would have helped them. Meanwhile the gays voted overwhelmingly for Obama in the belief that republicans opposed gay marriage even if they didn’t say so.
Source—weekly standard, fred barnes


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