GOP: Gimmicky Old Party
A couple of weeks ago, I lamented the lack of Republican ideas that weren't from well-worn GOP talking points. I held out hope that an effort being led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) would be the answer to my plea. No such luck. Like Dana Milbank, I, too, spent some time on the "America Speaking Out" Web site that launched yesterday and came away completely underwhelmed and frustrated. Democrats and Republicans were sent to Washington to lead, not outsource government to cranks on the Internet.
McCarthy's goal is lofty. Engage the American people in a debate over policy (that adhere to Republican principles, of course). Participants can vote for or against ideas. And they earn rewards points, which would be worthwhile if the prize was roundtrip tickets to Anywhere, U.S.A. It's not. Anyway, McCarthy and his colleagues will then put all the viable ideas into a single Manifesto for America to be released in the fall. They insist this has nothing to do with the November elections. I should point out that even though this is America speaking out, the Republicans reserve the right to ignore America if the first, second or even third most popular policy proposal is not to their liking.
That may be for the best. Milbank spotlighted some of the same wacky ideas I noticed yesterday. My personal favorite is the one about how dolphins and whales aren't mammals. "If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period!" It reminded me of something Democratic Texas Gov. Miriam "Ma" Ferguson (1925-1927 and 1933-1935) famously said in opposition to Spanish being spoken in public schools: "If the King's English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for the children of Texas!" (That puts the whole Texas textbook massacre into perspective, doesn't it?) And there was this idea under "Environment/Energy."
If you were serious about conservation, you would outlaw all of the drive-thru service windows: food service, banks, etc. The only exception would be the Beer Barn, where the girls in outfits rivaling those of NFL cheerleaders climb ladders to retrieve 12-packs.
Voters sent McCarthy and 534 other people to Congress to enact laws that preserve and protect the American dream. They were sent to Washington to do the hard work of finding solutions to the nation's considerable problems. I wish they would spend as much time coming up with real proposals and alternatives to Democratic Party ideas as they did putting together this giant social networking gimmick that does neither the Republican Party nor the nation any good.
| May 26, 2010; 7:23 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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