by Max Brantley
Here's the full Republican playbook, a plan for the congressional recess, when Republican congressmen are supposed to go home and hold media events stocked with people prepared to deliver Obamacare/IRS/other horror stories. The congressmen will hold "impromptu" sessions with reporters to deliver message-tested lines. People harmed by the health care law and businesses fearful of the costs will be featured.
Be on the lookout for planted op-eds, "Fighting Washington for You." It's included in the packet. Be sure your mouth isn't full when you read about how the Republicans aren't about "creating partisan gridlock."
The IRS will be a featured whipping boy, naturally.
Health care providers are to be produced to complain about Obamacare. Sen. Missy Irvin's doctor husband would be a good example.
There will be jobs fairs.
There will be alternative energy sessions. (And then the congressmen will go back to Washington and continue to rail about green energy and tout the beauty of coal and tar sands pipelines.)
Tours galore are outlined — from farms to Main Street.
I encourage media to review this packet, because your manipulation through advance coverage, live coverage and impromptu press conferences is vital to the Fight Against Washington.
The packet does NOT suggest inviting participants who've benefitted from government programs, particularly the Affordable Health Care Act. Sick people who now have insurance; families who now can insure kids; seniors who now have adequate prescription coverage; uninsured people signing up for their first insurance coverage in years — none of these people are identified as target audience.
"Emergency" town halls are planned. Congressmen are encouraged to leave the podium and walk through the audience to solicit comments. Feel their pain, in other words.
PS — The Arkansas congressional media tour against Obamacare will be a touch uncomfortable, you'd think, given that the majority of Republican state legislators approved its implementation in Arkansas.