The conservative national paper of record, the Wall Street Journal, reported on the Colorado Republican Party “Platform for Prosperity” today, describing it as a “bold move” to win over the “restive tea party activists.” The tea partiers interviewed by the paper weren’t so impressed. Platforms mean little next to “gut feelings about whether a candidate would shake things up,” said one, recalling the crowds at the Palin book signings this week.
WSJ readers looking for substance in the Platform were also discouraged.
“Color me less than impressed,” writes someone named Colin, reporting at his “To Get Rich Is Glorious” blog. (The name of the blog is a quote from postmodern Chinese Communist Party leader and free market enthusiast Deng Xiaoping.) Colin criticizes the Platform as a sad mixture of not-very-conservative platitudes, “sops to various party factions” and borrowed thinking– some of it borrowed from pro-government Democrats!
Here’s how the WSJ summarized the Platform:
Key Points from the Colorado GOP’s ‘Platform for Prosperity’
* Oppose efforts to increase taxes and fees unless they’re put to a popular vote
* Restore a cap on state spending
* Invest in roads, bridges, higher education and workforce training
* Support a law to make health insurance portable from job to job
* Allow patients to purchase health insurance across state lines
* Promote responsible development of Colorado’s energy resources
* Expand charter schools
* Require employers to verify that their workers are in the U.S. legally
* Prohibit state grants for women’s health care to any organization that also provides abortions
* Oppose future stimulus bills
Here are some choice bits from sharp analyst Colin:
Of the ten items outlined, two of them — the first and last — aren’t even plans for action but rather statements of what the party will not do. Are they really so bereft of ideas that they must define themselves by what they are opposed to than what ideas they support?
What on earth does the third point have to do with limited government or conservative values? And have the Republicans really sunk to co-opting Democratic rhetoric about government spending being “investments”? Truly pathetic.
The fourth point shows a real lack of ambition. Serious health reform would not attempt to make employer-provided health care portable, but rather would seek to sever the connection between employment and health care. Introducing portability is simply another burden for business and helps to calcify the current system.
Where is the truly bold thinking? Solutions meant to address the true ills which face this country? Where are proposals for regulatory reform? Restoring personal freedom through a re-examination of drug policy (which diverts police resources)? A simplified tax code? Outsourcing government functions where possible?
If this is symptomatic of the national Republican party and the narrow thinking taking place in party corridors then Republicans deserve to wander the Sinai a bit longer.