In this corner, Newtie exhorts the Cons to once again become the "party of ideas." Too bad they're all bad ideas:
Newt Gingrich told the CPAC audience the other day, "It's not our job to be the opposition party. It's our job to be the 'better solutions party.'" Sounds good to me. Let's hear some of those "better solutions."Wow, that's innovation, that is. Bold, Newt, very bold. You'll drag the Con party kicking and screaming into the 20th century yet.
James Joyner attended a CPAC breakfast yesterday with Gingrich "as part of the rollout for the American Solutions Winning the Future effort." The former Speaker had quite a bit to say about the various parts of his agenda, but ultimately, it's a 12-point plan. John Cole summarized them this way:
1. Payroll Tax Stimulus
2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief
3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate
4. Homeowner's Assistance
5. Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget
6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud
7. More American Energy Now (Energy exploration)
8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains
9. Protect the Rights of American Workers (from ... Unions)
10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley
11. Abolish the Death Tax
12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure
Half of the agenda -- six of the 12 -- are proposals for more tax cuts.
Looking over the rest of the list is no more productive. Even trying to balance the budget in the midst of an economic crisis is insane (not to mention the fact that Republicans "spent like drunken sailors" from 2001 to 2006, and more tax cutting makes balanced budgets impossible). More drilling is backwards-looking and counter-productive. Republicans en masse oppose infrastructure investment. And we round out the rest of the agenda with union bashing and deregulation.
And in this corner, Limbaughtomy screams "To hell with you, Newt! We don't need no stinkin' ideas!"
Today, Limbaugh came out swinging, insisting that conservatives need not concern themselves with policy ideas whatsoever and slamming conservatives who want to move beyond Reagan.
Everybody asks me — and I’m sure it’s been a focal point of your convention — well, what do we do, as conservatives? What do we do? How do we overcome this? … One thing we can all do is stop assuming that the way to beat them is with better policy ideas. […]
Our own movement has members trying to throw Reagan out while the Democrats know they can’t accomplish what they want unless they appeal to Reagan voters. We have got to stamp this out within this movement because it will tear us apart. It will guarantee we lose elections.
Just, please - not in boxing shorts. *shudder*