Iowa View: Lead or get out of the way, Mr. Obama

Iowa View: Lead or get out of the way, Mr. Obama


The Des Moines Register published this Opinion Editorial by Bob Vander Plaats on July 5:

In my travels across Iowa and the country, I hear one constant demand from everyday Americans: They crave real leadership.

They believe our nation lacks leadership across the board, and that Washington, D.C., in particular is broken regardless of which party is in charge. More evidence of the brokenness of our nation’s capital was on display this week, when President Barack Obama announced he would suspend implementation of a key component of his unpopular Obamacare by delaying the employer mandate until at least 2015.

When Obamacare was being debated in 2009, the president and his allies insisted our health care situation was in such dire straits we needed to make their idea of reform happen immediately. This urgency of a government take-over for “needed” health care reform went against the people’s common sense demonstrated by their public outcry. The result was an uprising of America’s citizens, referred to often as the tea party, handing Obama and his Democrat party major political defeats in 2010.

The suspicion of the American people regarding this hostile takeover is now realized as we recognize the light at the end of the Obamacare tunnel is an oncoming train wreck for families and taxpayers. Now, those once demanding immediate action on Obamacare (including the president himself) are delaying its implementation rather than facing the wrath of the voters again in 2014. So much for “hope and change.”

I predict the administration will also postpone the individual mandate, because to provide corporations relief but not individual consumers is political suicide. Thus, if you’re someone like Congressman Bruce Braley running for the U.S. Senate next year, your standard “class warfare” strategy suddenly becomes obsolete and your campaign is exposed as a house of cards.

From the Defense of Marriage Act to immigration, this administration has shown an unprecedented arrogance to disregard laws it doesn’t agree with. Now in the case of Obamacare, it won’t even enforce the laws it does agree with. This provides an opening for Republicans to offer the country real leadership — for a real change.

While the White House was admitting this week its signature legislation is unpopular with those who provide jobs to Americans, a recent Fox News poll found that a record number of Americans want Obamacare repealed. If there was ever a time for conservatives to show bold leadership and courage in opposing something that will devastate American families, it’s now. That’s why I suggest the Republican-controlled House of Representatives stand up and let this administration know that it won’t extend the debt ceiling come September unless Obamacare is fully repealed.

If this legislation is really the threat to freedom, to jobs, and to family budgets that we know it to be, then desperate times call for principled measures. This unpopular legislation threatens our way of life in an unprecedented manner. It’s already hundreds of millions of dollars over projected costs before it’s even implemented, and insurers are already warning their consumers of the coming devastation. When you factor in what it also does to promote health care rationing as well as abortion, Obamacare is not just atrocious public policy, but it’s immoral as well.

Between now and 2014, Republicans should show the American people they will do whatever it takes to stop Obamacare from being imposed on them. This should be their primary focus and not just in Washington, D.C. Republican governors and state legislatures should vow not to implement it in their states. I encourage governors and state legislatures to embrace the lead of the South Carolina legislators who are working to make it unlawful to implement this disastrous policy.

Real leadership responds with boldness and clarity in times of real — not manufactured — crisis. Make no mistake, this is one of those times. If the leadership of the Republican Party wants to win again, it has to first earn the trust of the American people by showing principled leadership.

I believe the American people want leaders to lead — or get out of the way. It’s time to lead.


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