Death by a Thousand Meetings
One of the primary reasons Capitol Briefing chose to become a journalist (aside from writing the first rough draft of history, informing the public, and all of that) was his desire to avoid having to attend lots of boring meetings. Capitol Briefing is very happy not to be a Republican House member right now.
The House GOP held its third closed-door full Conference meeting in a week Tuesday, the latest evidence that the entire party appears anxious to emulate stereotypical meetings-and-memos business executives.
Tuesday's meeting was designed for the conservative Republican Study Committee to unveil its own agenda for what ails America, and the GOP. The "action plan" was crafted with the help of Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster/focus grouper/master of catchy slogans, and it consists of either eight points or six points, depending on which mimeographed handout you were looking at. Also available for members to peruse was the "Suburban Agenda," the handiwork of the Suburban Agenda Caucus, many of whose members are part of the moderate Tuesday Group, which is very similar to the Republican Main Street Partnership.
These documents should not be confused with the five-point action plan unveiled by Republican leaders last week. That blueprint -- or "toolbox" -- was the product of several different bodies, including the "Reasons to Believe Working Group" and the WIN project, as well as the Republican Policy Committee (which actually put together an agenda on an audio CD, recorded by a "band" of members). The Policy Committee is itself divided up into five subcommittees, one of which is named the "verities subcommittee" and is tasked with "creating an overview of the universal truths and traditional societal foundations of America's moral order." Good luck with that one.
Over at the much-maligned National Republican Congressional Committee, a new 12-member advisory group was recently put in place to help right the course. Nearly everyone in that group already sits on the existing 40-member NRCC Executive Committee which, of course, is also divided up into subcommittees.
More changes may be afoot at the NRCC. Will there be a new task force? A working group? A working group on task forces? To hear the latest, you'll have to get up early this morning to get the news from Republican leaders -- at another Conference meeting. Refreshments will be served.
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