It looks like the minority party is having a bit of an identity crisis:
Who am I? Why am I? Where am I going?
So very, very much for the Republican to ponder in this Winter of the Democrats’ Contentment. So many questions. Even the reliable color scheme has gone blurry. Isn’t that big-shot GOP strategist Alex Castellanos swirling Republican red with Democrat blue, and coming up with a Washington consulting shop called — heavens! — “Purple?” Why, yes.
“Sit tight,” the new firm’s Web site says. “We are still mixing the colors.”
What’s next? Republican tie-dye?
So many questions.
“We’re in this rebuilding time,” Monica Notzon, a Washington-based Republican fundraiser, helpfully explained this month. “Trying to figure out who we are.”
But what do Republicans do?
Who are they?
“That all needs to be sorted out,” [former aide to Trent Lott John] Czwartacki says. “Are we the party of fiscal responsibility? Are we the party of small government? Are we the party of smarter small government? Are we the party of property rights?”
None of the above. I’ll tell you what the Republican Party is–it’s the party of ‘No.’
No to ending the Iraq war. No to creating jobs. No to energy independence. No to fixing our economy. No to alternative energy. No to rebuilding our foreign policy. No to bipartisanship. No to the middle class. No to health care. For the past few years, the GOP’s mantra has been a steadily-increasing chant of ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no.’
Look, the American people want their government to work. When you offer no solutions, no policies, nothing but a steady stream of constant opposition without any ideas to actually support, then nobody has any reason to vote for you.
The Republican Party is the party of ‘No.’ Whether they like it or not, that’s their current identity, represented faithfully by last night’s vote. The question is, what–if anything–will Republicans do to change that?
UPDATE: Eric Cantor brings the stupid:
At a moment when the country needs our help, it would be a great mistake for the House GOP to turn inward and simply become the party of “no.”
Remember, this was published after last night’s vote. What was that if not a big fat ‘no’?
We want our new president to succeed, and America needs our new President to succeed, which is why we will contribute the full force of our ideas to help him navigate the choppy waters. That’s why our leadership met with the president three times to offer him our ideas on the stimulus, including among other proposals a reduction in small business tax liability by 20 percent.
So Cantor and the leadership met with Obama three times to pitch their ideas–some of which were included in the bill–but they refused to vote for the package. How is that not being “the party of no”?
And Cantor’s excuse for not delivering any GOP votes is just pathetic:
The onus is on Speaker Pelosi. She needs to meet with us. She needs to open her doors. We need to begin to work truly in a bipartisan fashion.
Oh come on–you guys had a direct line to the President of the United States but you’re complaining because the Speaker of the House wouldn’t meet with you? What kind of excuse is that?
It’s clear the GOP has no interest whatsoever in being bipartisan. Obama and the Democrats bent over backwards to make the GOP happy and the Republicans still left them out in the cold. Trying to pretend last night’s vote happened because the Speaker was mean to them is idiotic and dishonest.
Like I’ve said, Obama was smart in reaching out to the GOP just to get slapped down; because of that, Obama and the Democrats have a perfect excuse to ditch bipartisanship and ignore the Republican minority completely.
UPDATE: This is pretty brilliant:
That ad is running in four states targeting five Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Olympia Snowe of Maine. All of them–excerpt for Collins–are up for re-election in 2010, and all of them–except for Grassley–are potential busters.
What would be even more useful is a version of the above ad in reverse–showing prosperous businesses decaying and shutting down–used to target vulnerable House Republicans for voting against the stimulus.
UPDATE II: This is more brilliant:
Pushing back against the unanimous House Republican vote against President Obama’s stimulus plan, the White House plans to release state-by-state job figures “so we can put a number on what folks voted for and against,” an administration aide said.
“It’s clear the Republicans who voted against the stimulus represent constituents who will be stunned to learn their member of Congress voted against [saving or] creating 4 million jobs,” the aide said.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the lawmakers will have to answer to their constituents. And a Democratic official added: “We will run campaigns in their districts.”