Every now and then I get anxious about the perception that there is a lack of creativity in the Republican Party, and sometimes I worry some of the criticism Republicans receive for lacking an affirmative agenda is on the mark. But then I’m reminded that all politics is relative. And compared with the Democrats — who are the governing party, I might add; Republicans only control one-half of one-third of the federal government — the Republicans have an agenda that is more robust and specific than the alternative.
Take the latest pablum released by the Democratic Policy and Communications Center (DPCC). Led by Senate Democrats, the group is touting a 10-point agenda (presumably coordinated with the White House) that shows just how exhausted the Democratic Party is. I don’t think I do Republicans a disservice by drawing attention to this agenda. The Democrats’ contrived, meaningless, tired words and phrases reflect the complete lack of energy coming from the party as a whole.
According to the DPCC, Democrats are boldly for things like “revitalizing manufacturing” and “infrastructure” – as if it just occurred to them, after more than five years in power, that these might be important. And in the case of infrastructure, apparently just using the word is reason enough to vote for Democrats, no explanation needed. Of course, the Democrats’ ideologically driven, punitive tax increases are promoted as “tax fairness,” and there’s nothing on the list about anti-growth environmental regulations, a capitulation-based foreign policy, the calamity of Obamacare or meaningless, expensive global warming gestures. Their real agenda has to stay hidden.
By way of comparison, take a look at the Republican Study Committee’s “Jumpstarting Opportunities with Bold Solutions” (JOBS) Act. While the title doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, Rep. Steve Scalise’s jobs bill is infinitely more prescriptive and specific than the agenda of the party that is actually running the government.
If the Democrats’ 10-point agenda is the best the governing party can come up with, then it says something about the state of American politics. It’s a little early in a president’s second term for a party to be as moribund as this. Maybe President Obama isn’t just bored, as White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett famously reported. Maybe the leadership of the Democratic Party is just tired of governing. And if governing fatigue has set in, the Democrats can’t make the case for why they should keep the Senate in 2014.
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