The Republican Strategy: Be the Party of 'Hell No'

Inside the GOP's 2-year plan to harass and unseat Democrats
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2010 10:25 AM CDT
The Republican Strategy: Be the Party of 'Hell No'
House speaker-in-waiting Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio gestures during a news confernece on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In January 2009, when Democrats were high on hope and change, House Republicans held a strategy meeting. “If the goal of the majority is to govern, what is the purpose of the minority?” John Boehner and Eric Cantor asked. “The purpose of the minority, is to become the majority.” Boenher and Cantor laid out a bold plan, the New York Times reports. Boehner told his troops to be not just the party of no, but the party of “Hell, no.”

They also planned to use “guerrilla tactics” to push Democrats to retire, like harassing them with video cameras. Remember when Bob Etheridge manhandled that camera man? Strategists now admit they were behind the incident. The final piece of their plan? Using a stream of corporate money to fight Democrats all over the map—even long-serving and seemingly-safe incumbents. “We had the intention of expanding the field all along,” says Karl Rove, “to make them fight in more places.” (Read more John Boehner stories.)

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