The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


44 The Obama Presidency

GOP's Big Names Try to Forge New Agenda

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Looking to rebrand a struggling Republican Party, a group of party heavyweights including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) are launching a new group that will hold town halls around the country and look to produce GOP ideas on issues like education and health care.

Republicans will announce today the creation of the "National Council for a New America," a group led by congressional party leaders that includes Bush, McCain, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as its "national panel of experts."

A letter announcing the group's creation does not specifically say that it is separate from the Republican National Committee, but controversial RNC chair Michael Steele is not involved in the effort.

"The NCNA will bring together citizens from across the country to begin a dialogue with the American people through a series of forums, town halls, and an online effort that will engage people in a discussion to meet our common challenges and build a stronger country through common-sense ideas," the letter says. "The NCNA will be a dynamic, forward-looking organization that will amplify the common-sense and wisdom of our fellow citizens through a grassroots dialogue with Republican leaders."

The letter says the group is not "a Republican-only forum." But GOP sources said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor played a top role in crating it. The group seems aimed at offering a conservative alternative at time when Democrats are lambasting the Republicans as the "Party of No" that simply attacks President Obama without offering policy ideas of its own. Its leadership does not include any Democrats.

"We do this not just to offer an alternative point of view or to be
disagreeable," the group's letter says. "Instead, we want to ask the American people what their hopes and dreams are. Since January, the President and the Democratic Majority in Congress have - rightfully so - put forward their plan for the future, now we must listen, learn and lead through an honest, open conversation with the American people that will result in building policy proposals that will yield the best results for our nation's long-term success."

The new initiative comes in the wake of a difficult 100 days for Republicans, who have watched Obama's poll ratings remain high while their own dip. Democrats moved toward a 60-seat majority in the Senate this week after Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter left the GOP.

The new group says it will focus on developing Republican ideas on energy, education, health care, national security and the economy. Its first town hall session will be Saturday at a restaurant in Northern Virginia. Cantor, Romney, Bush and other congressional leaders will attend.

Posted at 6:24 AM ET on Apr 30, 2009  | Category:  44 The Obama Presidency
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

They've been using the same old schtick since the 80's - too bad they're the only ones that don't realize that not many are buying it.

John McCain and Haley Barbour don't represent an image of the future to me...lipstick on a pig.

Posted by: houston_progressive | May 2, 2009 2:12 PM

From what I understand they've ordered up a couple tons of lipstick to put on the elephant and hope no one notices it's the same old crap. None of your ideas ever change, you just put a little window dressing on them and stir up some more fear and hate. Since the Reagan revolution, republican administrations have run up over $11 trillion in debt, deregulated the economy to the brink of disaster, ruined our military with their little adventure in Iraq that was based on a foundation of lies, violated the Geneva Conventions on torture, turned off our friends and allies, trashed the environment, and even now are attempting to regulate what we do in our bedrooms. Note to GOP: None of these things are conservative. Time to think of a new label for yourselves, like maybe regressives. Yeah, that's it.

Posted by: jd51 | May 2, 2009 11:13 AM

If the GOP was smart they would be begging Obama to prosecute Bush and Cheney.

What better way to break from Bush than to prosecute him.

Instead they have taken the same position that put them in the minority.

Support Bush policies no matter how stupid, inhuman, or illegal they are.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: langs13 | May 2, 2009 8:23 AM

Gee it sounds an awful lot like the 'Partnership for a New America' know, the bunch that called for a 9-11 back in 1994 to shake things up.

Oh and look, it's another bush...lets see, how many criminals are in this famlily of facists anyway? Can Silverado Bush be far behind? Or how about Marvin Bush, who ran the security company with two Kuwaiti terrorists that handled the security at the World Trade Center and Dulles airport?

So great, wonderful; the GOP going to have a travelling medicine show, come on by Jeb, a discussion of your family's disasterous impact on the planet would be marvelous. Bring the whole family, there's enough questions to go around for everyone.

You can fool some of the people some of the time...but those that fail to appreciate history are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: greenispeace | May 2, 2009 12:07 AM

Try as I may, I cannot get through to deliver a message to this new group, which is supposedly set up to get input from Republicans. If there is no way to contact them via email, then I question the entire concept of "change" via input.
The Party seems intent on driving away moderates and digging a BIG hole that it will not get out of for decades.Other than the Log Cabin group for gays, there is no voice for moderate Republicans who think Rush is wrong.

Posted by: TeddyRRepublican | May 1, 2009 8:27 PM

"National Council for America" huh? I believe that council already met in November -- in the voting booth. Guess they didn't like the result?

These "town halls" are simply going to be another way to criticize and denigrate the current administration. Just another chance to spread more dissention and opposition across America.

Posted by: chelseafran | May 1, 2009 8:36 AM

Banks have huge debts, but they're getting a helping hand from the federal government. If you have overwhelming debt--perhaps from bad investments, or maybe a job loss, a medical crisis or just plain overspending--you're probably on your own. Check the website">">'>"> to see if they can help. I was also in trouble and I am glad I did check it before I talk to my CC company and it helped - Jane Jim, California

Posted by: janejim533gmailcom | May 1, 2009 6:04 AM

Ci2Eye- Blurped:

"No offense to anyone but some of the comments here are shockingly ignorant. So many of the posts here sound as if they came from people who only have a political knowledge of what’s happened in the last five minutes.

Just eight short years ago, the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, "

Reality Check there "Oh Informed" One!

Thanks to a previous "Spinctor", Tom Dashole (A DIMOCRAT) Controlled the Senate 2000-2002!

It WAS coincidentally the REMOVAL of said Jerk in 2003, that Sparked 4 Years of Economic Growth;

UNTIL, Peloser and Hairy came around in 2006!


Soooooo, Chrysler files Chapter 11?!

Didn't Mitt Romney suggest as much MONTHS, and $Billions Ago?! ;~)

The RINO McAmnesty, and others need to let Mitt align himself with someone such as General Petraeus for his Veep, and Promote the Executives!

Mitt's First Op-Ed about dealing with the American Auto Industry, his Congressional Recommendations for stimulus, and his recent Scathing Attack on Barry's imbecilic Timidness;


as the Guy! ;~)

Get the Newt involved as well!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 30, 2009 6:29 PM


It was John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, who used the phrase 'A rising tide lifts all boats' in the early 1960's when he proposed lowering the top tax rate from 91 percent to 71 percent.

Believe it or not, at the time JFK took office, the highest income earners had to give the government $9. out of every $10. they earned. Kennedy rightly lowered the rates and revenue to the Treasury soared.

In the early 80's Reagan further lowered it from the still outrageous 71 percent to around 30 percent.

Posted by: Ci2Eye | April 30, 2009 5:37 PM

The people who will attend these "town halls" will likely be the same fundamentalist, right-wing zealots the GOP has blown its credibility catering to, so I fail to see these meetings resulting in any "new" ideas. This announcement does confirm the rumor that the GOP as a party is bereft of new ideas, in light of the fact that party "heavyweights?" have resorted to asking mere commoners for advice, though not even THAT is a novel idea. Other parties have been doing it for years. I suppose the GOP cannot fall much farther without taking some kind of drastic action, but suggestion boxes might better allow all Republicans to take part, and might actually yield ideas, whereas these town halls will probably more closely resemble anti-Obama rallies than think tanks. At least McCain will be happy.

Posted by: TennMom | April 30, 2009 5:08 PM

These folks may talk a good game, but it's awful hard to forget the nasty sounds and images from the mccain/palin rallies. That's going to be awful hard to lose. The divisiveness to all non-white, non-religious, and non-hetero won't fade for a long time.

They've got a lot of hurdles...and I don't see this crew as the ones capable of pulling them out.

Posted by: bluesneakers | April 30, 2009 3:58 PM


It's called the Democratic Party. Maybe the first thing that can be learned is to abandon the childish disrespect that Republican politicians and their constituents show to their Democratic counterparts every time they employ that divisive tact.

Posted by: bbussey | April 30, 2009 3:29 PM

A difficult 100 days for the GOP? Boo hoo. It's been a REALLY difficult 28 years for middle class Americans. If "difficult" for the GOP means not being able to ride roughshod over our constitutional rights, moral values, and economic well-being, well, I wish them AT LEAST 28 years of it. They have preached that "a rising tide lifts all boats," and then figured out how to sink all our small boats. It's about time someone has gotten into office that is onto them!

Posted by: shadowknows | April 30, 2009 3:18 PM


George W. Bush never backed Romney for President. Bush didn't endorse anyone until the primary was over and then it was the party nominee, John McCain. That's true of Jeb Bush and George H.W. Bush too.

Posted by: Ci2Eye | April 30, 2009 2:30 PM

OH! GOD! even the dumb ones don't want another Bush, Rove's own children don't claim him, Romney's stock went to almost zero as soon as Bush stated he was backing him, McCain is just an old dreamer whose's most famous words was "I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO SHOW HER OFF TO WASHINGTON" and no one was impressed. Go to Oklahoma or West Virginia and promise them a coon dog and a gun other wise forget it.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 30, 2009 2:09 PM

No offense to anyone but some of the comments here are shockingly ignorant. So many of the posts here sound as if they came from people who only have a political knowledge of what’s happened in the last five minutes.

Just eight short years ago, the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Everyone was writing the obituary of the Democrat Party. They said they’d sold out to all the fringe elements and no longer represented anyone in the mainstream and could never win again. There was talk of the party’s demise and Karl Rove glowingly talked of an ‘enduring majority’ for Republicans. But the Democrats got to work, the Republicans made mistakes and as we know their fortunes have quickly changed. Now the talk of the Republicans being washed up get bantered about. But the American people are notoriously fickle. Once we decide we are unhappy with the direction of the Nation, we vote for “change” and send in the other team. It happened in ’76, in ’80, in ’92, in 2000, and again in 2008 and it will likely happen again.

The Republicans rightly are analyzing what went wrong and will work to reinterpret themselves for a new generation but all this arrogant talk that they are finished and Obama is the great savior who has permanently banished Republicans to the sidelines just doesn’t respect the history of American politics; it’s a process that ebbs and flows. The Republicans will likely be back. They’ll have new faces, a new slogan and refreshed ideas but as surely as the tide has gone out for them, it will someday come back in. The question is how quickly they turn it around.

Posted by: Ci2Eye | April 30, 2009 2:00 PM

"We want to ask the American people what their hopes and dreams are"

However, if the hopes and dreams of the American people are that Obama succeed as a President and that all have access to health care and that investment bankers no longer control the economy, if those are the dreams they discover, well then this group will have answers...

Cut taxes on the rich, deregulation for all businesses and more regulations for gay people who want to get married.

Why do they bother with the pretense?

Posted by: BigTimePatriot | April 30, 2009 1:19 PM

The idea of these clowns coming up with something that will energize the "grand old party" is like a Laural and Hardy or better yet a Marx Bros. skit.
Comedy Central should be the sponsor of these "gigs", to the accompaniment of the old "Spike Jones Band". Now that would be more in line in what these clowns have to offer!

Posted by: jiggy1119 | April 30, 2009 1:06 PM

The idea of these clowns coming up with something that will energize the "grand old party" is like a Laural and Hardy or better yet a Marx Bros. skit.
Comedy Central should be the sponsor of these "gigs", to the accompaniment of the old "Spike Jones Band". Now that would be more in line in what these clowns have to offer!

Posted by: jiggy1119 | April 30, 2009 1:04 PM

Want new ideas? Alrighty, then. Here's three things I'd like to hear the Republicans say:

The election of 1980 is over, so lower taxes at the expense of civil services and the national infrastructure can no longer be supported. The Party concedes that reasonable taxes used for the common good is a civic virtue.

The Party understands that Wild West Capitalism is inappropriate for the 21st century, and that the persuit of corporate profits must be termpered with corporate responsiblity for consumers, employees, and the environment. The Party pledges to use government as a means to enforce this idea, not as a means to undermine it.

The Party recognizes that the Founding Fathers erected the wall between church and state as a necessary evil to preserve the domestic tranquility. Religion is a personal matter, to be practiced at a location and time of one's own choosing, and shall not be referenced in the Party's platform.

Of course, they will not say these things. They will continue to run on the 1980 platform, continue the senseless privatization that fuels Crony Capitalism, and will remain wedded to the religious right.

Posted by: Keith_A_Russel | April 30, 2009 12:11 PM

The Reps are living in a parallel least their "leadership" surely is. The list of loosers identified in the article cannot be relied on for developing "new ideas". The Reps need new leadership....moderate appeal to America's mainstream moderate majority.

Posted by: skiloypet | April 30, 2009 12:02 PM

OH! BOY! I love this idea. Now the just pissed off the LIPSTICK and what about John Boneheader from Ohio and if you don't include Drugball and Hannity it will really be great when they start cutting your throats. 21% and going down hill, go baby go.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 30, 2009 11:46 AM

"Its first town hall session will be Saturday at a restaurant in Northern Virginia. Cantor, Romney, Bush and other congressional leaders will attend."


America won't.

It has better things to do. Like taking out the garbage. Or cleaning out the bottom of a bird cage.

Posted by: pali2600 | April 30, 2009 11:43 AM

What a laugh I just had in reading about the experts in the GOP, the National Council for a New America. I guess they are too embarrased to change the party's name. By the way, who is the leader of this shallow doom and gloom party? Who prays the most for the Prez to fail? Their leadership is non existent. Perhaps they should choose Rush, the bigot, or maybe David Dukes, that noted civil libertarian. Do the experts not get it or could it be that, in fact, they have no experts?

Posted by: jbrubin | April 30, 2009 11:39 AM

"GOP's Big Names Try to Forge New Agenda"


The GOP has "Big Names"?

Perhaps they could start by telling the American public who these "Big Names" are.

The Washington Post was only able to dig up the same old gang of tired and rejected nobodies.

Posted by: pali2600 | April 30, 2009 11:38 AM

jenzinoh writes:
Well, let's see... same people, "new ideas"... is this going to be like Gingrich with his "new" ideas? The ones that were "new" in 1993?


First off, I don't see how the current administration can be called "new" either. Sure, you've brought forth a black president - that's new, no question. But the people that surround him? Biden? Clinton? Everyone he's got in a position of power is a reject from the Clinton administration.

And the ideas they have? They're ideas that the libs have been trying to get in place for decades!!!!

I applaud these Republicans for doing what they can to rejuvenate and re-energize the party.

My hope is that they stick to fiscal conservatism (limited government, low taxes, strong national defense) and stay away from the social issues entirely...libertarian-like philosophy.

Posted by: boosterprez | April 30, 2009 11:37 AM

Sail on oh Ship of Fools! Sail on! It's uncanny how Heironymous Bosch captured the high-powered Republican "brain trust" in his 1469 tryptic, "Ship of Fools." Surprisingly, one of the panels, "Death of the Miser," (hanging at the National Gallery on the Mall) just as ably depicts the fate facing the miserly old goats and the pack of young attack dogs that rule the party of plutocrats, once know as the GOP. Of course Pieter Breugel the Elder's allegorical 1568 painting, "The Blind Leading the Blind," (at the Museo Nacionale in Naples, Italy) also provides an apt version of Republican bigwig's confab/focus group/retrenchment meeting. The Bruegel painting is likely based on Jesus' quote from Luke 6:39: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?" Both paintings offer equally adept depictions of Jeb Bush, Romney, McCain, et alias, trying to discern the direction of a party that lost its bearings due to the its inability to balance its pledge for government not to meddle in the personal lives of its citizens while stoking its Cotton Mather-like moralistic crusade to conform American and world society to the rigorous discipline of the Old Testament laws of Leviticus. Why a Catholic, a Mormon, and McCain would want to walk into a bar together is unfathomable, much less try to find common ground in their uncommon failings to have the slightest clue why Big Business took a huge dump, thanks to the fiscal policies dreamed up by Phil Gramm and Bush "43" creating a fiscal laxative that promoted over-production of housing, cars, and credit card debt that washed up Wall Street and landed at POTUS Obama's doorstep. Rather than blaming Obama's success on "polling," the problem facing the GOP is demographics, the bane of all aging moralists who fear gay men and women, and cling to their guns to protect their lucre.
That's why it's Obama with the plunger, mop and bucket, while Jeb Bush, McCain, and Mitt Romney set up camp in the political wilderness -- wealthy, blind, and foolish.

Posted by: threestrikes | April 30, 2009 11:36 AM

First thing they can do is drop-kick the Christian Right out of the party. They have infested the party like a virus into a healthy body. Let them form their own party and see how successful they are. Second, less emphasis on social issues. Get back to running the country and EVERYBODY is part of the country. Not just C.E.O.s of major corporations.

Posted by: thomgr | April 30, 2009 11:33 AM

The republicans belong on Comedy Central! I've never laughed so hard in my life!

Posted by: patriot76 | April 30, 2009 11:27 AM

"Instead, we want to ask the American people what their hopes and dreams are."

Wow, a reality check?

Posted by: stdunstan | April 30, 2009 11:24 AM

Where's the meeting in No. VA going to take place?

Posted by: olgahrdz | April 30, 2009 11:10 AM

....the idea of a new America is ridiculous. We don't believe that the Government can do anything to make America better for Americans and we sure don't want a new America, WE want the old one... Posted by: dhodge101 | April 30, 2009 10:47 AM________________________

You sir, are the reason for the demise of the GOP-

The old America, that would take women out of polit seats, doctor's coats, Executive offices? The old America Where country-clubs, neighborhoods and job vacancies were color-coded? The old America where those who didn't like the elected president conspired and accomplished blowing the president's head apart? The Old America, where we invaded an Asian country, because obviously they didn't know how to choose their own political path or style of life?

The old America, is going out with the old white men who ran it.

Posted by: interactidiomas | April 30, 2009 11:05 AM

Well, let's see... same people, "new ideas"... is this going to be like Gingrich with his "new" ideas? The ones that were "new" in 1993?

Tax cuts, drill baby drill, abstinence only education...

I have yet to hear anything genuinely new come out of the GOP... and given they are driving moderates out of their party, I don't expect to.

Posted by: jenzinoh | April 30, 2009 10:54 AM

Once again the GOP has their heads up their hind ends. The last National Council( of Churches) gave us Homosexual Pastors in many Protestant churches. And the idea of a new America is ridiculous. We don't believe that the Government can do anything to make America better for Americans and we sure don't want a new America, WE want the old one that had values and respected hard work and ethics. No thanks GOP Try another tack to try to get me back

Posted by: dhodge101 | April 30, 2009 10:47 AM

I find it really odd that the Republican party is more than happy to distance itself from a lot of Bush's policies yet seem more than eager to embrace the degenerate practice of torture.

I cannot figure out why anyone would want to be coming down on the side of torturers. I would think that would be the FIRST thing to go.

Posted by: artmann11 | April 30, 2009 10:45 AM

The names that might have some power to accomplish their avowed mission should include Olympia Snow, Colin Powell, Chuck Hagel, Megan McCain and Lincoln Chaffee, Sarah Parker, Christopher Buckley. These people have credibility along the middle path of the electorate.

If they want to make a convincing splash- they should publically and repeatedly disavow any dominant religious affiliation, admitting and apologizing for having promoted a fundamentalist Christian screed; disavow, inciters of ignorance and radical-right activism- (Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter- that still leaves plenty of hard right pundits, while pruning the insane "Goebbles-flavored" shout-persons)

AND They should acknowledge the mood and the trajectory of the nation by seeing where the can add positive contributions to the current administrations efforts to save us all; vs. the GOP trying to save itself.

As much as I despise the current GOP, they are the party that featured Abe Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, and Ike. What a contrast to Joe MCCarthy, Richard Nixon and Sarah Palin

Posted by: interactidiomas | April 30, 2009 10:31 AM

I think this kind of effort is what's needed by the GOP.

When one looks at polling, Obama is personally popular but many of his programs are not and the vast majority of Americans are concerned about the rapid rise in spending and crushing debt that his administration is creating.

If the Republicans want to rebuild themselves their message will have to be built around fiscal responsibility and a reduced role of government in people's lives.

My big criticism of what I have read of this effort though is that it needs to reflect an effort to move the party forward and I don't see how that can happen with John McCain involved. The country rejected him last fall and most Republicans have never been enthusiastic about him or his ideas.

Romney is a great person to have as would be Eric Cantor. Although Jeb Bush has always been smarter than his brother he is somewhat damaged by his last name but not so much so that he shouldn't participate but McCain needs to go back to the Senate. He is NOT the future of the Republican Party and including him makes the effort look like more of the rejected politics of the past.

Posted by: Ci2Eye | April 30, 2009 10:22 AM

The last thing we need is another Bush telling us anything. What happened to the contract with America? It was nothing but a weasels farce. This is the new plan by the republican stink tank to destroy any gain that the country might make. This party and these men are looking for stupid people they can manipulate. They will not cooperate with the democrats on anything. This is something the democrats need to take into consideration. The republicans will not cooperate and to talk about bipartisan cooperation with them is a total waste of time. They have never cooperated since Gingrich trained them all to do nothing but disagree, cheat, and spin everything. They will make sure that health care, medicare and social security sink until they are no more. They will raise the deficit and spin it over to the democrats. This will be nothing but a propaganda crusade to destroy Obama. The town hall idea will be just a front to promote their agenda and deter progress by the Obama administration. You can be sure that Jeb Bush will be campaigning for president in the process of these town hall meeting. Who will be paying for their grand tour costing millions of dollars? Its just amazing to me that all of a sudden they want to hear some idea's from America. They just need a new excuse to apply their own agenda. All smile's and handshakes it will be. I hope they get run out of town but I'm sure that they will have the deck stacked like usual and be loved and cheered everywhere they go. You can be sure Fox news camera's will catch all of it and back it with their regular babble.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | April 30, 2009 10:20 AM

I honestly don't see how the GOP can save itself. It's made one too many deals with the devil for short-term political advantage, and now its soul is in thrall.

It's time for a new, true, reality-based conservative party that assiduously distances itself from the likes of Fox, Limbaugh, and the, ahem, "moral majority," one that defines itself as much in opposition to the existing GOP as to the Democrats. Such a development would be good for the country. It's not going to arise from a Jeb, Cantor, or Romney, though.

Tom Davis of VA, that's where conservatives should start looking if they want to reboot.

Posted by: nodebris | April 30, 2009 10:16 AM

Reminds me of the old Ringling Bros. Circus when a small car pulled into the ring and clowns started piling out. I wonder how many of these clown can fit in a small car? Not many because their egos would not allow them to fit. It would be an especially tight fit if Rush was in there. Chances are he would need a car for himself. These people are special in their own minds but thank goodness they are still clowns in the minds of everyone else.

Posted by: racam | April 30, 2009 10:14 AM

Let's just hope that these brave repubs read these posts, that is if the home-schooled idiots actually can read.

Posted by: GrannyAnnie | April 30, 2009 10:01 AM

"THE GREATEST HOAX' ..... In American History, is how the Republican Party , schemed to elect George Bush. And the role that Rove Rasputin managed to create . They took an imbecile from Texas , wrapped the American Flag around him, and the Neo-Cons and promoted them as Patriots, and the Deciples of Christ, as Pat Robertson and Falwell sprayed Holy Water with Garden Hoses as they all sat in the front row of the Churches in Wash. in D.C. The Photo-ops of Condi, Cheney, Rove, Bush, Rumsfeld ,John Yoo, Bill Kristol in his Temple, sitting in the front row of St, Johns was truly terrifying as you realize that they had already planned on the War for Oil and the Torturing was getting ready to proceed. Some great Movies will eventually be made of these Deferment, Orientated Cowards, the True Patriots of the Republican Party. And now the biggest COWARD of all, Dick Cheney has come crawling out of his Mental Black Hole to justify TORTURE. Just great isn't it!!! No wonder the Republican Party is despised around the World and here, with a 21% approval

Posted by: orionexpress | April 30, 2009 9:56 AM

The Party of "NO" wants to change, but look who they had for a Presidential candidate. A very old has-been, who wanted to coast on auto-pilot, with "continue to Bush tax cuts" which was supposed to solve Bush's economic meltdown, that was caused by excessive tax cuts causing some of the $10 trillion national debt for the children and grandchildren to pay.

Posted by: PatMaGroyn | April 30, 2009 9:54 AM

artmann11 is correct.

Republicans really believe we did not need to torture our enemies to save American lives during WWII but this time we just had to.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2009 9:51 AM

Posted by: Frank57 | April 30, 2009 9:01 AM

"But my litmus test is tax cuts. Tax cuts that create deficits are not a genuinely conservative idea. Until Republicans renounce that cynical tactic, I will know they are not serious about being conservatives. Cut spending first and pay the debt. Then cut taxes because we do not need them. That's conservativism."
Good summary.

Pretty pathetic that the GOP needs to have that pointed out to them, but that would require them to stop running for office on a radical social agenda long enough to actually govern.

Posted by: st50taw | April 30, 2009 9:50 AM

The Republicans have no new ideas, just tax cuts for the wealthy, demonize opponents and ideas they can't comprehend, and torture baby torture. It's true that there were intelligent and progressive people in the GOP once. We call them independents and Democrats now. And Reagan was a massive failure, a mediocrity, and was almost impeached, only being saved by his “faulty memory” and Oliver North’s fanaticism and willingness to throw himself on his sword.

Posted by: ElectricBill | April 30, 2009 9:30 AM

I believe that they are only as good as their last job.

I don't think America is ready or will ever be ready by 2010-12-16 or 2020, to have the fox guarding the henhouse again. Enough chickens have lost their jobs, their homes,
their pensions and most of their wealth, while the income gap grew 2000%.

I don't think saying I'm sorry (which they will never do) will carry any water with J.Q. Public!
Re-inventing your party won't work either.
Apparently they haven't been attuned to what Americans have been saying during and since the primaries, or at any of the town hall meetings. If you weren't paying attention then, why would we believe you suddenly acquired listening skills.?

Posted by: victorlove1 | April 30, 2009 9:24 AM

They need to do more than rebrand the party. They need to change. They need to include minorities. They need to offer real solutions that actually help ordinary people, not just the rich. They need to find ways to work with some of Obama's changes and not to be so doctrinaire.

Right now the GOP is what I saw it called on the Internet the other day, "A Small Southern Rump Party." It's only real constituency is old, neo-conservative Southern white men and their hangers on. There is no room for moderates or minorities in the GOP.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | April 30, 2009 9:24 AM

Does the GOP ever do anything that isn't in regards to their party, politics and elections?

But now that I think about it what does it matter. These are the same people that very unsuccessfully tried to convenience a dismayed and shocked America that Sarah Palin was qualified and ready to serve this country as our Vice President.

The GOP's follow our words and not our deeds mantra is no longer working my friends. No matter how you mask it.

Posted by: SEADOGMB | April 30, 2009 9:23 AM

And what are you going to do about torture? As long as the party continues to defend it I will consider them degenerates unworthy of any vote. The longer they take to purge torture the less likely I will ever vote Republican again.

You can't wish torture away or try to reclassify it as patriotic. You can't ignore it either.

You aren't going to be able to sell a crap sandwich as a ribeye.

Posted by: artmann11 | April 30, 2009 9:22 AM

Hannity kept excoriating Specter yesterday and kept harking back to the golden age of Saint Ronnie when principles mattered...

I almost gagged. Last time I checked the "reality based" records I believe St. Ron was a party switcher as well.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | April 30, 2009 9:02 AM

Ahhh... The good old Bush-style Town Hall!

Parading across the Red States selecting their audiences -- with bouncers at the door to make sure no one with any hard questions or fancy ideas of free speech may attend!

As a former republican, I am incensed that these lost, confused, dimwits have stolen my party and thrown it to the panty-waisted, gutless, superstitious, ignorant, Limbaugh-worshiping, whining dregs.

The GOP used to be the party of the strong-willed, the libertarian-minded, and the intelligent. What the Bushes and the likes of McCain/Palin have done to the 21st century Republican Party is set us back decades -- and it is unforgivable.

Now they're no doubt plotting to put Jeb Bush up front and center -- I'll vote for Bozo The Clown before I'll vote for that witless tool.

A terrorist plotting to set off some bombs gets arrested, then water-boarded 182 times. Bush, Bush, McCain, Bush, and Cheney help to destroy the hopes and dreams (not to mention the retirement funds) of millions of Americans, and then get talk-show spots and book deals -- and they STILL carry the GOP Flag. Well -- not for me - not any more.

God Help Us -- Where the hell is Bill Buckley when we need him the most?

Posted by: Frank57 | April 30, 2009 9:01 AM

A genuinely conservative party would be a good thing. We have not had one since Reagan fell for the Laffer Curve. It would help us to hear from a party that genuinely believes in fiscal responsibility rather than magic tax cuts, and caution rather than "cowboy" as an international theme. Right now, the Democrats have more credibility than the Republicans on those traditional conservative values of responsibility and caution. That's why Specter is now a Democrat. That's why I voted for Ford and, without changing my mind about much of anything, have been voting for Democrats for decades now.

But my litmus test is tax cuts. Tax cuts that create deficits are not a genuinely conservative idea. Until Republicans renounce that cynical tactic, I will know they are not serious about being conservatives. Cut spending first and pay the debt. Then cut taxes because we do not need them. That's conservativism.

Posted by: NomoStew | April 30, 2009 9:01 AM

The GOP's attempt to reinvent itself (read as...fool people yet again) is just more hypocrisy and lies.

Until we wrest power away from the military industrial complex which controls the government, nothing will change. We will keep killing the planet and valuing money over life.

There is a limited amount of time left to turn this around.

Posted by: mtnmanvt | April 30, 2009 8:54 AM

Here is the punch line:

"The new group says it will focus on developing Republican ideas on energy, education, health care, national security and the economy."

I just can't stop laughing. My kids think I am crazy, laughing at the computer like this.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2009 8:54 AM

Don't forget to bring your stuffed monkey dolls.

Posted by: TOMHERE | April 30, 2009 8:46 AM

Just how F***ING STUPID can one "group" of people be?

Posted by: TOMHERE | April 30, 2009 8:44 AM

poliltimmy's comment, about Jeb Bush couldn't be more correct. Jeb Bush is a LOSER AND A BUM. He screwed up Florida for 8 miserable years. Speaking as a Florida resident, we Floridians would love to see that religious moron (just like his nazi brother) take a trip to Mexico City and let everyone sneeze on him...and not come back. That would be a wonderful day...

Posted by: gcook1 | April 30, 2009 8:39 AM

Nothing new here.

same old birds, same old ideas. I can hear it know. There is nothing that can't be solved with a tax cut.


The Republican Party is trapped. They can't come up with new ideas because they are confined by certain ideologies that none of them have the guts to break out of.

Posted by: dpand1 | April 30, 2009 8:35 AM

They already have a "rebrand" in the eyes of most Americans; they are the Party of Old White Conservative Angry Men (+ 1 angry Sarah Palin and "no stimulus money for me, unless off camera" Bobby Jindal).

Posted by: wmboyd | April 30, 2009 8:28 AM

Conservatives reached their zenith under W, they better enjoy Siberia.

The GOP message is Reagan's simple truth -- Conservatism is the philosophy of slavery. Slavery of the middle class to the Forbes 400.

Obama's agenda breeds government helping the public instead of government helping the Forbes 400; conservatism is slavery to the Forbes 400. This nation's owners figured that out by the last election.

Posted by: Garak | April 30, 2009 8:19 AM

Dear Jeb,
You have to go home now and stay there. You have screwed Florida and your country. Your brother, who you and the courts, including the highest in our land, illegally appointed as President a criminal. Your family has no morals. But then again, what can we expect from the grandchild of a Nazi sympathiser that sold Hitler the compounds to make his gas. Even after we entered the war. Your family better hope their is no god, 6 million of his chosen people were killed so your family could wallow in wealth. Who says crime doesn't pay?

Posted by: poliltimmy | April 30, 2009 8:17 AM

This will be interesting to watch: The public forums be open to the general public and not republican-only invitees.

Watch to see how the NCNA deals with the Kooky Konservative Kristians who will inevitably show up and attempt a coup d'etat of the leadership.

And watch to see how the NCNA deals with the "general public's" requests that NCNA support for gay rights, freedom of choice, religion out of classrooms, etc.

The NCNA could be a desperate outreach for ideas by politicians who have no answers among themselves. Or....It could be a real attempt to moderate the right wingnut faction of the party.

Only time will tell.


Posted by: dastubbs | April 30, 2009 8:14 AM

Liberals have reached their zenith right now, they better enjoy it.

The GOP message should be Reagan's simple truth -- Conservatism is the philosophy of hope.

Obama's agenda breeds government dependency; socialism is slavery. This nation's owners will figure that out by the congressional elections.

Posted by: papers2 | April 30, 2009 8:12 AM

"Party heavyweights?" Isn't that a oxymoron when applied to anyone in the republican party except for Limbaugh and isn't he a waddling oxycontin? Oops, a slight slip of the tongue there

Posted by: cfeher | April 30, 2009 8:08 AM

Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.

Posted by: Midknight | April 30, 2009 8:03 AM

Limbaugh yesterday pretty much blamed the entire demise of the GOP on McCain. He was in full-tilt, mock-voice, child-rant attack mode against McCain and was within inches of asking some nutjob to kill Obama.

This is the GOP.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | April 30, 2009 7:51 AM

yes, a new agenda

homophobia, racism and tax cuts for the rich don't seem to be what Americans want

but how to get beyond the issue of torture, GOPers?

only one solution:

let your Cheneyites answer to the charges of war crimes.

No rebranding the Party of Torture until then, sorry :(

Posted by: lichtme | April 30, 2009 7:51 AM

How about staying in Washington, or New Orleans or whatever district/state you represent/govern and DO SOME WORK instead of pandefring to the masses? Geeez..we just finished an election and you Repubs are out there campaigning already for the mid-term elections. Stay in Washington, and as the President suggests, do something besides object to EVERYTHING the Dems suggest?

And by the way Jindahl, "brilliant" idea to reject Fed Unemployment extension money! Yep, just let those poor folks tighten their belts, while you personally and your family, staff, etc. for sure have 3 square meals available daily.

Posted by: ehphd | April 30, 2009 7:51 AM

Until the crackpot wing of the GOP is brought to heel, any move to "ask the American people what their hopes and dreams are" will be crushed by the ideological purity tests that the Limbaughists demand. The Democratic party ranges from Specter and the Blue Dogs to MoveOn....That kind of party is much more representative of the American people that the "rump" that the GOP has become.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | April 30, 2009 7:47 AM

George & Jeb, McCain & Jindal, Cantor & Steele, oh my, what a crew of loosers! You forgot Palin & Bachmann.

Rejigging the same old, same old, party of "NO!" can be likened to reinventing the tax code but with a new! improved! lexicon.

Let me clue you in: the rich get all the advantages (tax cuts, favored legislation, unfair playing field) while the rest of the American people get screwed.

Posted by: shapiromarilyn | April 30, 2009 7:45 AM

From the desk of The Joker: Am I the only American who thinks this is a crock? These are the same people who lost the last two elections and are now trying to regain some form of control. They did not listen for 8 years. Why go to one of these meeting just to hear them say the same old things? Not in my schedule...The Joker

Posted by: NativeSonofTexas | April 30, 2009 7:41 AM

These are 'big names'???

Haw, haw, haw......

Posted by: 2by2 | April 30, 2009 7:30 AM

"National Council for a New America"
Well har har hardy har har, to quote Jackie Gleason.

No matter how much lipstick the repugs put on that old pig, it's still the same old pig.

What a joke and what a bunch of clowns.

Posted by: rcubedkc | April 30, 2009 7:14 AM

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