GOP governors get results despite Washington dysfunction

Gov. Bobby Jindal Louisiana Governor
Font Size:

To the American people, the drama in Washington is getting old. It was interesting the first forty times, but it’s not interesting anymore, it just points to failure.

What do leaders do? What do chief executives do? They lead their allies in unity, and they reach out to their opponents in search of consensus and converts.

The president has completely failed to do this, and the dysfunction in Washington is primarily his dysfunction. The buck stops at the president’s desk. What you are seeing is President Obama’s Washington. Washington dysfunction is the failure of leadership in the Oval Office.

Leaders don’t paint themselves as victims, as President Obama does routinely. They lead — and that includes working with members of both parties. That includes negotiating and looking for common ground.

President Obama made drastic changes to our health care system, without a single supporter from the other party, and without the support of the American people. He is now reaping the rewards of this failed strategy, and he’s trying to blame others for it.

The president likes to note that he was elected by the American people just last year. Fair enough. But he might also note that every single member of the House of Representatives was also elected by the American people just last year. Additionally, as a constitutional law professor he should realize that the power of the purse resides with the House of Representatives.

Whether every Republican agrees with the House’s latest offer, which moves off full repeal, and instead delays the employer mandate for a year and removes the exemption from Obamacare for members of Congress and their staffs, we can all agree the president needs to show leadership. Rather than considering this offer, the president remains stubborn and partisan.

With all this dysfunction, Republican governors are not going to take a back seat to anyone in Washington anymore.

Up until now, we have just lived with the brand that Washington gave us. Republican governors don’t just talk about conservative ideas, we put them into action. The answers aren’t coming from Washington. Republican governors are driving the American comeback.

We are no longer going to outsource the Republican brand to the folks in Washington.

Partisan battles and legislative infighting are not unique to Washington. Every one of the thirty Republican governors faces their own challenges in every legislative session. We all have to work hard, with members of our own party, and members from the other party, to find solutions that work. We all do it. There is no reason the public should not expect the same in Washington.

Obamacare is bad for the country. We would like to see it repealed and replaced, not to score political points, but to save our nation’s health care from higher costs and lesser care. We appreciate all the Republicans in Washington fighting to do just that. What we don’t appreciate is Republican disunity and fratricide in Washington.

Republican governors are not going to take it anymore. We are not going to allow the Republican Party to be defined by the dysfunction in Washington.

Republican governors are amassing great results outside the beltway. They are taking conservative ideas, putting them into action, and it is working. It’s a story that doesn’t get told in Washington, it’s missed by the national news media, partly because of the lack of failure or drama. I would bet that most journalists don’t even know the names of many of our governors.

Conservative principles, when turned into actual policies, are working out in the real world. But the dysfunction in Washington casts doubt on conservative ideas and whether they work or not.

Many folks like to say that Republican governors should be the face of the Republican Party. But the truth is, because we don’t live inside the media bubbles of D.C. or New York, it just doesn’t happen. We are going to make it happen.