Republicans Lack a Unifying Platform

Friday, 27 Aug 2010 09:51 AM

By Susan Estrich

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
House Minority Leader John Boehner has a brilliant idea.

Nearly one in 10 Americans is out of work. The housing market stinks. The stock market is barely holding on. Republicans, much as I hate to say it, have a real opportunity in this midterm election.

And what is the brilliant plan from the man leading the charge in the House of Representatives?

Fire Larry Summers.

If you are a normal American, you might ask, "Who?" My guess is, if I were to stand on a street corner anywhere in America other than Harvard Square (where he used to be the local president), not a soul would recognize the man who served as Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton and now serves as a senior economic adviser to President Obama.

Is this really the man responsible for the faltering U.S. economy? Did he package all those toxic mortgages? Did he extend credit to people who were already overextended? Did he take on risks that were foolhardy on their face to up his compensation? Did he deregulate the financial sector?

Actually, no. Quite the contrary. Just a few short years ago, during the retrospectively golden years of the Clinton administration, he was widely regarded as an economic genius.

Indeed, even conservatives will tell you that among the president's economic advisers, Larry is on the conservative side. Although these days, I'm not entirely sure how "liberal" and "conservative" are defined in the economic debate.

Suffice it to say that, like him or not, almost everybody who has ever dealt with Larry (as I am happy to admit I have) recognizes that he is brilliant and honest, if sometimes too outspoken for his own good (e.g., the women in science business).

Larry is someone who understands both fiscal and monetary policy, knows his way around the Hill, and has even balanced some budgets in his time.

But the silliness of Boehner's idea goes beyond his poor choice of targets.

Republicans are seeking to wrest control of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and their platform consists of a change in the senior staff? Hello . . . ? Anyone home?

Back in 1994, when Republicans faced a similar opportunity two years into the Clinton administration, then-House Minority Leader Newt Gingrich turned to some of the smartest people on the Republican side to formulate and test his "Contract with America."

To be honest, I can't exactly remember what was in it, but it had all the appearances of being an honest-to-goodness "plan." It made the Republicans at least look like they were for something, as opposed to just being against the Clinton plan. It served to nationalize the election in an affirmative way. It swept Gingrich into the Speaker's chair.

It was everything that Boehner's plan isn't.

The only group with anything remotely resembling a "plan" on the Republican side is the tea party movement. But even there, the plan has yet to be translated into a national electoral platform that all Republicans can embrace.

The inexperience of many tea party favorites and the high negatives of others (hello, Sarah Palin) have created opportunities for some Democrats whose obits were all but written (hello, Harry Reid).

What Republicans need from their leaders in Washington, despicable place though it may be, is what Gingrich gave them in 1994: the appearance of a plan for governing the country; a set of answers other than "no."

So long as the best they can come up with is firing Larry Summers, Democrats have a fair chance of avoiding disaster.



© Creators Syndicate Inc.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

What Went Wrong in Ferguson

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 11:52 AM

The short answer is: everything. I'm not talking about the killing of Michael Brown. A tragedy, whatever the facts. But  . . .

The Uproar Over Hillary's 'Stupid Stuff' Comment

Friday, 15 Aug 2014 11:55 AM

If you are the last person in America wondering whether Hillary Clinton is running for president, her recent interview w . . .

Robin Williams Tragedy Spotlights Depression

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 09:41 AM

Why do even those of us who know better spend even a second when we hear of a suicide saying things like "He had everyth . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved