Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Well, it’s a start. I have been saying for many moons now that the Republicans desperately need an agenda that can reach people. In fact, I’ve written one out and I’m slowly discussing the book here. Imagine my surprise to read an article this last weekend in which various high profile Republicans agreed... if only they knew what they were doing!

Last week, apparently, a group of House Republicans were summoned to the offices of Majority Leader Eric Cantor. He handed them a blank piece of paper labeled “Agenda 2014.” The point to this was to tell them that after their recent disasters, they need a new plan to win over the voters they haven’t been winning. Essentially, they want to create an agenda to fix the harm they’ve done to the reputation of the party by:
● Shutting down the government, which drove their poll ratings to record lows (around 9%).

● Obsessively pushing debt reduction, which they’ve realized the public doesn’t see as affecting them personally.

● Futile and meaningless attempts to repeal Obamacare.

● Earning a reputation as being a party whose sole concern is opposing Obama.
Great. When you have a problem, the first step is admitting the problem and I’m happy to see that they now realize that the talk radio plan has driven them to the verge of extinction. That makes this a good start intellectually.

Even better, their goal apparently is to create an agenda to target “the real economic issues facing middle-class Americans.” Woo hoo. Fricken excellent. It’s the middle class who decide elections and appealing to them instead of the ideologues will be key to long terms success.

Better yet, they are starting with the premise of trying to solve problems rather than shoehorn in the same old garbage the electorate has rejected time and again. So what are they considering? Here’s what is known so far:
Energy Prices: Rather than focusing on more drilling, which the public hasn’t responded to in the last half dozen elections, they are focusing on how home energy prices have outpaced the rise in take home pay. Great focus. Let’s hope they come up with something worthwhile.

The Lack of Jobs: This is absolutely key. Jobs are the currency of elections and we haven’t had a jobs plan since Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, their plan seems to be encouraging private sector companies to provide job training. That’s crap, but this is an early phase, so we’ll see.

Education Reform: Cantor apparently wants charter schools. That’s a good start, though it’s entirely inadequate. Still, I’m glad they are finally focusing on education. This is a key point.

Poverty: They want to look at ways to reduce poverty. Good. Trying to help everyone in the country is the way to go about it, rather than just trying to help specific targets. Hopefully, they will tie this into jobs and education.

Cost of College: This one is key. Unfortunately, what I’ve heard is weak. They want to reduce college cost by getting more schools accredited and encouraging students to enter higher paying professions. Those ideas suck, but at least they are talking about the issue rather than grousing that people shouldn’t go to college.
At this point, this agenda remains worthless. It’s also clear to me that a big chunk of the party won’t like it because (1) they don’t want the party to grow, they want it to shrink to just the pure and (2) they don’t think the party should do anything but fight Obama. Nevertheless, I feel quite positive about this. I feel positive about this because it shows that the GOP hierarchy is finally getting smarter. They realize that they need to reach the middle class and that the only way to do that is to address the things that worry them. That’s a HUGE change for the GOP.

The next step will be them actually being able to spot the relevant issues and come up with worthwhile solutions. They aren't there yet, but at this point, it makes me happy that they have even gotten this far. Keep going, folks!


Kit said...

Good to hear.

Though, if any of those suits in the Republican leadership are reading this, a fellow named Andrew Price wrote a book w/ some pretty good ideas.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Kit! I think they could learn a lot from a certain book. In any event though, I'm encouraged that they seem to finally be getting it. Let's hope this goes somewhere.

Patriot said...

Andrew....In all seriousness. Like Kit above, the Repubs need to get OUTSIDE the pols and think tanks and start looking into ideas that people like you have put a lot of thought in to.

By sticking with the wonks, we will get 'tax credits,' and 'free market competition' all over again. I think they are afraid of even trying some things like Scott Walker did in "giving union members a choice" all the while reducing the state deficit and unfunded liabilities.

They don't really think they will have the votes, because, frankly, I think they are scared of the vocal backlash they would get from the activists and media (that's redundant, I know).

Again, I think if they emphasize the same thought process that the left is going through now with O'care...."I wanted to give everyone healthcare but I didn't think I'd be the one paying for it!"....and play up the record number of people unemployed, on food stamps, gas prices, etc....and let them know that by following liberal policies, this is what happens. EVERYTHING becomes worse and you pay more out of your pocket.

Well,,,at least they are going through the motions as in your article above.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, They absolutely need to leave "the system" for ideas. If they just keep going back to the same people, then the beltway crowd will give them the same wonky stuff that no one cares about and their activist fringe will give them the stuff that scares the hell out of average people. The need a new perspective.

I'm hoping this is that new perspective because they are finally asking the right questions. Instead of asking, how do we sell what we stand for, they are taking the position of "what does the public actually want."

Will they really do this? I don't know. But they are asking the right questions at least, and that means something.

On Obamacare, I agree that they need to push how bad things get under Democrats, but I that alone won't work. They need an alternative that people think sounds good.

T-Rav said...

Rather off-topic, but I had to post it:

HuffPo has a new poll out in which they, too, admit that Obama's approval rating is in the toilet; 42% approve, versus 55% disapprove, with dissatisfaction over 404Care rising to new heights. Amusing in itself to see them admit this, but the comments were more interesting; for once, there were a bunch of people complaining to the effect of "Great, he's officially doing a worse job than Mr. Peanut {Carter}" and "What does it matter? We're stuck with him for the rest of his term." So, either he's starting to lose some of the Huffington crowd or a bunch of conservatives have been unleashed on the message boards. I suspect it's something of both.

Not that all the libs had gone away, of course. One woman complained that since neither she nor any other HuffPo leftists had been polled, the results were illegitimate. (snicker)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I love the last comment about the numbers not being legitimate. LOL!

I have seen for a long time that the left is abandoning Obama and I think Obamacare has finally pushed them to despair. They know he failed and he won't ever give them what they want, so he is now a disappointment to them. And disappointment on the left leads to anger.

I would look for them to go out now and find a new hero and then attack Obama as "he was never really one of us!"

tryanmax said...

Well, it's a start. At least the top three items aren't end abortion, end abortion, and end abortion, followed by "keep dem Mecksykins" outta har," and "pray the gay away."

BevfromNYC said...

I even heard Mike Lee (R/UT) ruminating on how the Republicans need to stop being against stuff (my word) and start developing a coherent and positive platform that people will want to vote for. They are coming around at the same time that the wheels are coming off the bus for Obama et al.

I must say that I am impressed how in the midst of this drama, Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are maintaining "there's nothing wrong, we did not lie, it's the Republicans fault, nothing to see here" talking points on Obamacare. it's as if Pelosi's brain has been frozen in 2010 by the Botox injections when all was well and she was loved by all. And, well Debbsie-Wasserperson has spent so much time lying she doesn't know how to do anything else. I mean, they are really impressive.

Patriot said...

I think we need to follow the Mayor of Toronto's example as what a leader should look and act like. That circus just keeps getting better and better. I didn't think the Canadians had it in them to be so f'ing blatant!!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Abortion is passe. The new issue is "Defend the constitution... that's all you need to say and people will flock to you."

This issue actually got noticed at Daily Caller last night, but I haven't venture over to see the comments yet because I'm busy fighting the Popeye Wars at the film site. I suspect however, that most of the comments will be along the lines of: "When will these RINOs learn? All you have to do is say Defend the Constitution and no Amnesty."

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I guess the Koch Brothers left me off the email again. Could you post a link? I'm not sure which DC article you're referring to.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The fringe started saying that during the shutdown. They realize that they were vulnerable without having a platform they could point to as what they wanted. So they actually accused the rest of the GOP of being the party of no (talk about hypocritical) and then shot out a handful of laughable platforms. Most read like this:

1. Repeal Obamacare to create jobs.
2. Let insurers compete across state lines.
3. No amnesty.
4. Shutdown the fed.
5. Stop gay marriage/abortion
6. Stop common core
7. Allow the Keystone pipeline

There, now you can't say they don't stand for a positive agenda.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'll be damned. It's gone. The link was there last night (it appeared on our site actually in the sidebar). I clicked over and saw the article. Now it's completely gone from the site.

Here's the same article though at Newsmax: LINK The comments are predictable.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. My favorite comment is: "These RINOS are morons. They need to be primaried." Right, because it's stupid to try to win over the public. What a retard.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I am getting a real kick out of watching this guy implode! Holy cow! :D

Patriot said...

Heard that Ann Coulter is actually stating that the TP'ers and R's need to work together and quit fighting each other in order to elect R's who can beat lunatic D's.

(Did I just feel a rumble of the galaxy shifting?!)

BevfromNYC said...

Actually, Mike Lee said that last week, not last month. And it is quite the opposite tone from the "agenda" you list for him:


I am not saying it will last, but it appears that someone is getting the message that you have to have an agenda to sell before you can sell it.

tryanmax said...

Wait! What? Did WaPo actually use the term "compassionate conservatism" without being sarcastic?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's new. Good for Lee. If his own troops don't eat him alive, then maybe things are about to change/?

Here's some of what the article says.

In a series of speeches, Lee made the case that populist resentment has little lasting influence without policy innovation and political outreach. “Frustration is not a platform,” he recently told a Heritage Foundation audience. “Anger is not an agenda. And outrage, as a habit, is not even conservative. . . . American conservatism, at its core, is about gratitude and cooperation, and trust, and above all, hope. It is also about inclusion. Successful political movements are about identifying converts, not heretics.”

Lee has been proselytizing for a “comprehensive anti-poverty, upward-mobility agenda” — making him one of the few Republican politicians talking in any sustained way about stalled economic mobility, stagnant middle-class wages and economic inequality. To this, Lee has added a dollop of populist “anti- cronyism,” proposing to simplify the tax code and rein in the big banks.

AndrewPrice said...

Sound familiar, by the way? I believe I've been saying this for quite some time.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, That is pretty earth shattering, but I'll believe when I see it. Coulter has been one of the more crazy people of late.

AndrewPrice said...

This just in!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Team Obama let slip today that they "haven't built" the payment mechanism for Obamacare yet. They're planning to build it in January. So even if you sign up, you can't pay for your policy. I guess you could mail a check, but good luck with that.

Incompetence just isn't a strong enough word.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, the Post Office has to saved somehow, right? If 50million people have to mail something then they are saved! Solves one problem by creating 20 more...It's what the government does best, right?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's ingenious! LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - See, Obama really IS the smartest guy in the room...if it's full of idiots...and we know it is.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That he is! Fortunately for him, any room that will have him is packed with idiots.

Koshcat said...

I recently spoke to our lobbyist and everything lost (polls) by the shutdown has been regained with the poor roll out of ACA. He also stated that if Obama really thought that the roll out was going to be this bad, wouldn't he have negotiated a delay with republicans to save face? So either he didn't know which makes him a poor manager, did pay attention to the warnings which makes him an idiot, or he wasn't going to allow the republicans a win at any cost which makes him a bad politician. I think it is all three.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I go with all of the above as well. I don't think he knew, but now that he knows, he's not going to give an inch.

I also think he knows that if he starts to let this unravel at all, the whole thing will likely implode. I really think he was counting on the Republicans helping him fix it if there were problems. Whoops.

El Gordo said...

"Coulter has been one of the more crazy people of late."

Andrew, I don´t really follow her but she has been good in this respect.

She was a guest on two podcasts I heard last week. She said in no uncertain terms that RINO hunting is wrong. To paraphrase key points: The GOP needs a majority first of all. Ideological purity will not help. The base is overemotional and behaves more like you´d expect from liberals. "They need to recognize that not every state is Utah." Don´t run people for political office who belong on talk radio. Those who say there is no difference between parties are wrong. Mitch McConnell has been great.

Clearly she wants to keep getting invites to those D.C. cocktail parties :-)

Her bugbear is unskilled immigration and "amnesty" but so be it.

She says the same things in this here column. One can disagree with some of it but the essence is, "Fight the Democrats, not Republicans".


AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, I'm glad if she's saying this because everything I've seen from her in the past several months has been along the lines of "we need to kill the RINOs." And her illegal immigration stuff has been beyond obnoxious. She decided there are really 30 million of them and they're all child rapists basically.

Mitch McConnell will be the key battleground coming up. The fringe is investing heavily in beating him and if (when) they fail, I think the GOP will kick them to the curb.

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