As has been widely reported, Republicans have put together an “organization” called the National Council for a New America that is supposed to revitalize the Republican Party by bringing in “fresh ideas” with a nationwide listening tour. It’s somehow supposed to be nonpartisan or bipartisan or something grassroots, except for the fact that it’s entirely composed of GOP stalwarts like John McCain, John Boehner, John Cornyn, and some other Republicans not named John like Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, and Roy Blunt. The group’s website is actually hosted on the website of GOP Minority Whip Eric Cantor, for cryin’ out loud!
I can understand including John McCain to some extent. Even though he’s a pretty reliable conservative vote, he’s dallied on a few high profile issues with non-conservatives, so he has drawn the ire of conservative activists and correspondingly made a name for himself as a “maverick.” And he remained relatively popular throughout his run for presidency, certainly much more so than the national GOP. So even though he’s the previous GOP nominee for president and ordinarily would be discredited, there is some logic to having him associated with an effort to revitalize the party.
But Roy Blunt? Even his bio on the site screams tired:
Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt came to the United States House of Representatives in 1997 with a background as a public servant, university president and administrator. He became the Majority Whip earlier in his career than any Member of Congress in the last eight decades and also served as Majority Leader.
Blunt is now the second-highest Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Yup. Someone who was in leadership and worked hand in hand with Tom Delay during the last period that Republicans held control of Congress, a leadership that was resoundingly rejected by the American people in one of the most crushing defeats the Republican Party has ever seen, yeah, that’s someone who’s supposed to lead the Republicans out of the wilderness.
I was also amused to see Andy and Amy Blunt referred to as simply attorneys from Jefferson City and Kansas City, respectively, as if they just handle traffic tickets or something. Andy is a lobbyist and Amy counsels firms on “developing strategies to achieve their public policy goals through legislative and administrative advocacy and strategic planning.” In other words, tells them how to effectively lobby. And she’s a lobbyist.
One more thing: Fired Up notes that even Rush Limbaugh thinks this is a scam. Maybe so, but in the end, it’s probably good for the national GOP to create the impression of distance with Rush Limbaugh, since he is wildly unpopular with the broader American public. And we all know that Rush Limbaugh will back the Republicans in the next election anyway.