Some people are getting impatient. They are asking why the Republican Party doesn't have a party position for the mid-terms. Other people are looking forward already to a Republican Congress. They are asking how the Republicans should avoid the mistakes of 1995.
I think the critical thing is to tell the truth and shame the devil. That's Shakespeare, by the way.
For the Fall election it is critical for Republicans to promise what they really intend to do come January. It's not hard to come up with a doable agenda: continue the Bush tax rates and lower corporate income tax rates; repeal ObamaCare and start over on a non-bureaucratic approach to health care; cut wasteful spending.
The American people are not yet ready to cut entitlements. They need to see the entitlements system broken before they will agree to that. But there's plenty of other stuff to work on. There is the utter waste of government money in education, for starters. Then there is green energy, that is crony capitalism from start to finish. Then there is the fabulous ethanol program. There are tons of things that can be cut at the margin as governors like Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie have shown.
After the elections, whatever the result, President Obama will have to start working with Republicans. No more "I won," or telling people to shut up while he fixes things that Bush broke. Republicans should start working with the president, or at least urgently saying to the media that they need to get together with the president and solve the nation's problems.
The people have spoken, Republicans should say. But the president is still the president, and we are all Americans. We should work together. What the people have told us is that they don't like bailouts, they don't like stimulus, they don't like ObamaCare, and they don't like earmarks. So let's get together, Mr. President, let's clean up the nation's capital as you promised in 2008 and get about the people's business.
Personally, I feel that President Obama is no Bill Clinton, and that he just doesn't have the talent or the temperament or the experience to do a good job negotiating on the issue-by-issue process of day-to-day government. I think he's a guy that likes to say: call me in when it's time to call the big shots.
But the Republicans must treat the president as the president. If he won't deal straight--and I don't think he will--then they need to go to the media and the talk-show hosts and tell them about it.
But Republicans must start out in September with a clear and honest agenda, and then continue in January saying: let's get together Mr. President and let's work together for the American people.