Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alas! for the Republicans

Oh, dear. I've tried to make it clear in this blog that I would welcome the appearance of a Republican Party with ideas. Strangely, Republicans don't seem to be listening. The latest salvo of blanks comes from ten members of the Republican National Committee, who, Yahoo! News reports, have proposed that any candidate wanting support from the RNC agree to at least eight out of ten items on a list of conservative positions. (Only eight out of ten, lest anyone think there's no room in the Republican Party for diversity.)

The most notable thing about this list is that six of the ten points are of the form "We support X by opposing Y." Not, you understand, "We support X and oppose Y." No, in six of ten cases, the authors find it unnecessary to propose any policies to support their principles; it's enough to be against whatever the Democrats are for. And in the one case where they say they're for something and against something else, it's phony: "We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government-run healthcare." This would be somewhat more compelling if the Republicans actually had a plan for market-based health-care reform.

But Republicans seem to be using the phrase "market-based" like the blank in Scrabble, to mean anything that's convenient in that space: "We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation." Excuse me, but cap-and-trade is a market-based energy reform. Granted, it's not necessarily one that enriches supporters of the Republican Party. The market can be a bitch that way.

Saddest of all was this comment: "A Republican strategist and former Bush White House official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Yahoo! News that the resolution 'bodes well' because 'Republicans are continuing to discuss policy positions and principles.'" For people above the age of two, "No" does not constitute a discussion.

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