After Congress' failure to pass the American Health Care Act, a lot of people are wondering where we go next.  What lessons are there to be learned?  How can we avoid finger-pointing and start to work productively towards achieving the legislative goals we want to see that expand our freedom and personal liberty?

IWV's President & CEO Heather R. Higgins has a new piece in The Hill that has four key suggestions for revising the conservative playbook for success.  Here's her first recommendation:

First, GOP needs work at the art of the deal. No side was without blame. Pretty rudimentary stuff needs correction.

For example, for those who wish to negotiate successfully, don’t have someone agree to your terms and then decide you actually need more. Also, trying to squeeze the last incremental gain out of a deal is more likely to be a deal breaker than a deal maker.

And while GOP leadership clearly believed they had been inclusive in producing this strategy and plan, to paraphrase the Wizard talking to the Tin Man — “It’s not how much you feel you’ve included people, it’s how included people feel they are.” Different strategies by some reports were never even considered. Many on the right were completely in the dark about the contents of the plan until it was released. And among those who were included, a number were surprised at how different the bill was than what they had been lead to expect.

Accordingly, as GOP leadership need to channel their inner-females — this is about inclusion and consensus, not apocalyptic fast track. Long, long before any legislation is made public, it would help to ensure that all stakeholders, including potential conservative critics, feel that they are part of the process, understand the constraints, agree on what a win looks like and how to get there, and are not blind-sided by the final product.

The failure of the AHCA is not as big a deal as it may presently feel: The issue will reprise, and this was just the GOP’s first big game of the season, with lots of green junior varsity players, too many quarterbacks, and weak coaching. And the cheerleaders on the sidelines, who thought their team was running to the wrong end of the field, rather than rallying the crowd, called for the tackling their own players. Even some of their players first disagreed on, and then moved, their own goalpost.

Sigh. But with practice, this team will get better.

You can read the rest of Heather's strategy recommendations here.

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