So, I had a post all set to go about the GOP’s Mount Vernon Statement, which is supposed to be the political blueprint for Republican success in November.
I was going to examine the 1994 Contract with America and point out how much of it the Republican Congress failed to pass, demonstrating how the GOP is long on making big election-year promises but short on delivering.
Problem is, I couldn’t do that. Why? Well, here’s the most substantive portion of the Mount Vernon Statement, which advocates:
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.
- It applies the principle of limited government based on the
rule of law to every proposal.
- It honors the central place of individual liberty in American
politics and life.
- It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and
economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
- It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom
and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that
- It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood,
community, and faith.
Yup, there’s the much-hyped Mount Vernon Statement–a list of cliched talking points without a single concrete proposal.
Are they serious? They want us to vote for them based on nothing more than vague notions like “the central place of individual liberty” and “the individual entrepreneur?”
Concerned about health care? On one side we have President Obama and the Democrats, who worked for more than 6 months and put together a health care reform bill that will reduce the deficit, help middle-class families buy good insurance and cover 31 million uninsured Americans.
On the other side you have Republicans, who didn’t even think health care was important enough to include in their little manifesto.
Care about jobs and the economy? President Obama and the Democrats passed the recovery act, creating 1.6 million jobs (with another million on the way). They’re also working right now on a jobs bill that will put millions more Americans back to work.
The Republicans are offering nothing but talking points about “free enterprise,” “the individual entrepreneur” and “economic reforms grounded in market solutions,” whatever those mean. If you ask them what they’ve actually done to fix the economy and create jobs, you’ll get silence.
Care about the deficit? President Obama and the Democrats are working to pass a deficit-reducing health care reform bill, as well as implementing a 3-year discretionary spending freeze.
The GOP didn’t even think the deficit was important enough to mention in their manifesto. And keep in mind that Republicans were the ones who pushed the ruinous economic policies that necessitated the bank bailout and the stimulus package in the first place.
Care about America’s energy independence? President Obama just pledged $8 billion in funding for two new nuclear reactors, the first new American reactors in 30 years. In addition, a significant portion of the stimulus is devoted to green energy and green jobs, which will both grow the economy and make America one of the world’s technological leaders once again.
Republicans didn’t even bother mentioning energy security or energy independence in their manifesto. They take every opportunity to mock green energy, apparently indifferent to the fact that America has fallen behind countries like India and China in terms of technological supremacy.
Care about national security? President Obama and the Democrats are bringing the war in Iraq to a successful end. They’ve also committed to victory in Afghanistan, implementing a new strategy that has already resulted in the capture of several high-level terrorist operatives. They’re also restoring America’s standing in the world, thus choking off terrorist propaganda and recruiting opportunities.
Republicans offer nothing but talking points like “advancing freedom and opposing tyranny,” as if any American actually opposes those things. And remember, they’re the ones who started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but failed to finish the job.
The GOP has done nothing but obstruct, they’ve offered no policies or ideas, and they just blew a major chance to prove to the American people they have a worthwhile policy agenda. They want to take back both houses of Congress this year, yet none of them have told us what they’re going to do to resolve the challenges facing our country.
Look, I don’t agree with everything President Obama and the Democrats have done–I think there are a lot of things they should have done better, or differently, or not at all. But at least they’re doing something to address our nation’s challenges, and nobody can deny they’re producing results.
We know that the GOP is the Party of No. Now we also know they’re the Party of No Ideas.
UPDATE: It’s funny that the Republicans cite “the rule of law” considering that these are the same Republicans who support Guantanamo Bay and the same Republicans who think that only some people deserve constitutional rights.
UPDATE II: You want to see the progressivement statement of principles?