Well, it appears that I was wrong when I predicted that the new GOP rebranding organization, the National Council for a New America, was going to attract a lot of crazies to its town hall forums. The first forum was yesterday in increasingly Democratic northern Virginia, and the crowd was polite.
The angry folks were outside, and they were fellow Republicans:
...the handful of peaceful protesters out front weren't Democrats -- they were conservatives upset over the new group's agenda and leadership. They brandished signs criticizing McCain, calling the NCNA "RINOs" -- Republicans in Name Only -- and urging them to push for stricter immigration enforcement.
The anger is also in the blogosphere, where A-list righty bloggers are accusing the new group of deviating from Correct Thinking. Right Wing News:
It's supposed to be a listening tour to accompany their launch of the National Council for a New America. So, where do they launch it?
With the party at its lowest standing in several decades, Republicans on Saturday launched a listening tour in the heart of the Democratic suburbs, where several of the party's leading voices steered clear of hot-button issues and instead emphasized the need to advance new policy ideas to revive the party's prospects.
There's a great idea. Let's listen to Democrats. That should get the Conservative base involved!
That's right -- just going to an area where Democrats liveis now politically incorrect for the GOP.
At the forum, there was little talk about the president's recently passed budget and stimulus proposals, which were vigorously opposed by Republicans. Instead, the GOP trio talked about bread-and-butter issues that directly impact voters -- the rising cost of health care, merit pay for teachers, and the price of college tuition.
Really? These are the issues they discuss? Democrat issues?
That's right -- it's not even acceptable for Republicans to talk about issues Democrats talk about. I guess Republicans can't even do it if their positions are different -- just mentioning these issues at all is heresy.
Dan Riehl adds:
Jeb Bush has another new Federal Education Plan and Romney wants to talk Health Care reform? Who would have guessed. They've both been doing the same thing for years. This is a PR stunt and one that's doomed to fail if it's going to produce Democrat-lite.
A year ago, Jeb Bush was working to get a referendum passed in Florida that would sneak government money to religious schools. Around the same time, Romney was seen by some wingnuts as the guy who could someday lead them back to glory; he was crazy enough to deliver a speech at the '08 Republican convention in which said the current Supreme Court is too liberal. And a few months before that, he delivered a Buchananite speech at the CPAC conference:
Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality....
The threat to our culture comes from within....
...we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture....
But these guys are now seen as unacceptable moderates (or, more likely, out-and-out liberals).
The Talibanization of the GOP continues apace. Tim Pawlenty can't certify Al Franken's victory unless he wants to give up all national ambitions within his own party forever. The same goes for any GOP senator who thinks it will be acceptable not to participate in a filibuster of whoever is nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama (watch it, Lindsey Graham). And now anyone who participates in this group is courting instant pariah status.
And it's crazy, because these guys are still Republicans:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney compared the GOP to Americans fighting the British during the Revolutionary War. "We are the party of the revolutionaries, they [Democrats] are the party of the monarchists," he told the overwhelmingly Republican crowd...
Wow. Let's see: this group includes Romney, Jeb Bush, and John McCain. How many houses do those three have among them, those three scions? And the party of Barack Hussein Obama and his wife from the South Side of Chicago is the monarchist party?