In one of the more embarrassing moments for the Republican National Committee, members actually held something called an “extraordinary special session” last week to vote on a resolution to rename the Democratic Party the “Democrat Socialist Party.”
The resolution stated, in part:
“WHEREAS, the American Heritage Dictionary defines socialism as a system of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy…therefore it be
RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to…agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.”
Reminiscent of some kind of treehouse manifesto to keep girls out, the motion was, unfortunately for Democrats, and mercifully for Republicans, abandoned due to the prudent prodding of chairman Michael Steele and the unabashed ridicule of, well, just about everyone. (Note to RNC: Your chairman was right on this one, and you were frighteningly wrong.)
FOXNews anchor Neil Cavuto called this renaming business “quackery.”
State GOP chairmen James Greer and Dick Wadhams called it "stupid" and "absurd," respectively.
A blogger on My Direct Democracy wrote, “If this doesn't work, will the next step be [to name them] the Democratic Baby-Eating Party?”
In short, what was the RNC thinking? Self-important “extraordinary special sessions” are why Republicans are spoofed as out-of-touch geriatrics from the Cretaceous period. Official-sounding resolutions that begin “Whereas” are why many people think of Republicans as the monocled mascot from Monopoly. And cheap gimmicks like renaming the Democratic Party are why liberals think we’ve run out of good ideas.
Stunts like this are not the solution. The RNC needs to listen less to lifelong Republican bureaucrats who still check the weather by sticking their heads out the window, and more to avowed conservatives who actually have principles – and not just talking points – to fall back on. Whether those conservatives are young or old, urban or rural, men or women, white or black, Christian or atheist, doesn’t matter. But conservatism is what will restore the relevancy of the right, not Colonial-era resolutions. More tea party, less board meeting.
The situation, to be sure, is dire. Democrats are out of control with bloodlust, stalking everyone from Karl Rove and former Bush lawyers to the CIA, like undead zombies with an airborne virus. They seem motivated by revenge and an indefatigable determination to avoid inner peace. (Where is the insufferable glee we saw just a few months ago at Obama’s coronation?) If this is a party that truly believes in their own ideas, you’d think they’d spend more time pushing forward with them, and less time trying to childishly undo the work of the previous administration.
But it’s more complicated than that. At the same time, in a delightful twist of irony, Democrats are also realizing that Bush wasn’t all bad. Our strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan were pretty sound. Closing Gitmo isn’t that easy. And military tribunals are actually pretty effective. So now the Obama administration is forced to admit it’s sticking with them, but insists it will simply do them better.
This is where the RNC should be looking: The Democrats’ lack of vision and the proven efficacy of conservative -- not Republican -- policy abroad and at home. Limited government, lowering taxes, and a strong national defense are what should matter. And these three tenets, the RNC would be wise to point out, should be bipartisan. Everyone should approve of them.
The RNC also needs to stop litmus-testing the party. Social differences, while incredibly important to us all privately, are irrelevant right now. Gay marriage and abortion may be identity-defining issues, but neither will improve our economy, win the war in Afghanistan, or guarantee the end of terrorism. As we consider who our next leaders will be, the only questions we should ask are, “What has he or she done to limit government, lower taxes and strengthen our national defense?”
When all was said and done in the “extraordinary special session,” the RNC committee members did pass a more anemic version of that renaming resolution, which limply “calls on” Democrats to stop pushing the country toward socialism. And we're all on pins and needles to see how the Democrats will respond.
In the meantime, I’d like to offer my own officious “resolution” for the RNC, which I drafted over a “very ordinary, totally unspecial iced coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.” I respectfully submit:
WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee first convened in 1856, and it is now a full century and a half later, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that it stop using words like “whereas” and “resolved,” lest it continue to sound dorky and lame.
WHEREAS, the Republican Party draws about as much excitement as an accounting conference at the Newark Hilton, Ballroom A, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that drafting resolutions is a boring, bureaucratic, parliamentary relic that should go the way of the A-track and the Ford Pinto.
WHEREAS, Democrats are desperate to pin a target on the back of our next “anointed leader,” therefore it be
RESOLVED, that we will stop pointing them in the right direction and providing them the pins.
WHEREAS, people can see us when we go on television, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that we will conduct our inter-party policy squabbles off camera.
WHEREAS, Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Arlen Specter and the Obama cabinet are sufficiently scary, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that we will spend substantially more time criticizing them, and not our own chairman Michael Steele.
WHEREAS, people like Joe the Plumber and Carrie Prejean, while fun and nice perhaps, have no foreign or domestic policy experience, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that the RNC will stop pretending they do.
WHEREAS, people under 50 also have good ideas, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that the RNC will stop ignoring them.
WHEREAS, leading the country is a difficult, time-consuming, serious job, therefore it be
RESOLVED, that the RNC serve the best interests of the country, and not that of those who work at 310 First St. in Washington D.C.
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