Club For Growth: Make 2010 About Issues

It's not the conventional wisdom for Republicans, but Club for Growth President Chris Chocola is proposing that the GOP eschew the "safe" route in 2010 and make their midterm campaigns about issues.

In a Forbes op-ed, Chocola writes:

A buyers' remorse referendum on Obama's first two years might conceivably hand Republicans control of at least one house of Congress. But such a victory would leave them without any kind of mandate or purpose in Washington except as the opposition--and quite plausibly the eventual foil--to an Obama administration already moving toward the center in preparation for its 2012 re-election campaign...

On the other hand, if Republicans offer a detailed agenda specifically countering failed Democratic proposals still fresh in voters' minds, the 2010 campaign becomes not a referendum on a personally popular president, but a choice between his unpopular ideas and the free-market, limited-government ideas the American people support. Therein lies a mandate to govern.

Chocola recommends splitting Democrats and independents with a health reform package of interstate insurance competition and tort reform; "comprehensive, market-oriented solutions" on energy to compete with Democratic cap-and-trade; and school choice.

Chocola's group makes its living backing conservative candidates in Republican primaries and general elections. If the conventional wisdom prevails, and Republicans bash the Obama agenda as Democrats struggle to make the campaign about issues and a choice between two parties, the Club's agenda could get lost in the shuffle as moderate GOP candidates take advantage of the electoral landscape.