Nothing secret about it

NOTHING SECRET ABOUT IT…. The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein obtained a copy of a private RNC memo, detailing the party’s strategy for defeating President Obama’s health care reform campaign. As Stein noted, “While documents like these commonly are passed around behind the scenes by like-minded partisans on both sides of the aisle they usually don’t make their way into the public.”

That’s true. What I found interesting about the memo, though, was just how few surprises there were. The Republican strategy against health care reform is entirely transparent. It’s like watching a football team that doesn’t bother huddling to call a play in advance, but instead just tells the other team exactly what they’re about to do.

Reading over the 12-page RNC memo, we learn that there are key phrases Republicans are supposed to use …

Obama’s plan for health care is deemed an “experiment” and a “risk” that could bankrupt the country and dangerously change the doctor-patient relationship.

… while trying to slow the reform process down so they can kill legislation …

“The Republican National Committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush while promoting sensible alternatives that address health care costs and preserve quality,” the memo affirmatively declares.

… while resisting the very idea of reform itself.

As for a Republican alternative to the president’s agenda, the RNC memo doesn’t offer much in the way of details, save to make the argument that the status quo isn’t as bad as it is being painted.

In other words, Republicans are saying the same things in private that they’re saying in public — and they’re effectively daring the majority to overcome their opposition.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.