GOP Health Care Memo: "Delay, Stall, Slow Down"

(AP)
A new strategy memo from Republican party leader Michael Steele urges Republicans to do everything in their power to block the Democrats' health care bill from moving forward in the Senate.

"I urge everyone to spend every bit of capital and energy you have to stop this health care reform," Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele wrote in the memo, obtained by CBS News. "The Democrats have accused us of trying to delay, stall, slow down and stop this bill. They are right. We do want to delay, stall, slow down and ultimately stop them from experimenting on our nation's health care. And guess what, so do a majority of Americans."

In fact, Steele's last point may be up for debate. A CBS News/ New York Times poll released last night shows that while most Americans are skeptical of the impact the Democrats' overall health care package will have, 60 percent of Americans still support the Democrats' proposal for a government-run health insurance option, or "public option."

One thing is certain, however: There is a segment of the conservative base that thinks the Republican party has not done enough to block health care reform.

"It's clear that the Senate Republican leadership doesn't know how to deal with this in the health care fight," conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said on his show. "I'm not a parliamentary expert. But I know a disaster when I see it. And I know that it's gotta be stopped, and whatever parliamentary steps are available to people who do know what they are should have been taken, every blocking tactic they had at this."

Added Limbaugh, "They act like this is just another day at the office. They don't have faith in our principles. They don't have the will or energy to go on offense. I'm talking about the Republican leadership, wherever you find it. And they're incapable of explaining our philosophy or our purpose."

Other conservative groups, like the Gun Owners of America, have expressed similar sentiments, the Hill newspaper reports. In an e-mail sent to its members in Kentucky, the group said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has helped Democrats advance "ObamaCare legislation," according to the Hill.

Along with its new health care memo, the RNC has made other attempts to appease its base. Some party members suggested a "purity test" for Republicans to follow -- a resolution of 10 principles that must be adhered to, such as support for the Defense of Marriage Act and opposition to President Obama's health care plan.

While the energized conservative base could prove to be a boon to Republicans, appealing to only the most conservative voters also has its risks, the Washington Post writes.

Comments