National Party News

National Party News

Steele’s Resolve

It’s no secret I’ve been critical of the job Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele has done in recent months, beginning with his hip-hop flop, and continuing on with other PR snafus.

The front page of The Washington Times today would lead you to believe that he has yet to turn a corner in his chairmanship. But let’s give some credit to the man for his recent leadership on this totally nonsensical notion that some in the party want to pursue in formally referring to the national Democratic Party as the “Socialist Democratic Party.”

Name-Changing Resolutions Won't Change the Game for the GOP

Political eyes will be on the National Harbor in Prince George's County, Md., as the Republican National Committee meets to consider what we're going to call Democrats.

With the GOP on the receiving end of back-to-back electoral smackdowns in 2006 and 2008 and the party's polls numbers still hovering somewhere below those of trial lawyers (though above John Edwards's numbers!), spending time and money on what is essentially a name-calling resolution — to rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat-Socialist Party" — is at best a waste of time.

Thin Ice

In baseball, when a team loses 10 games in a row, the owner starts thinking about firing the manager.

Whoever owns the Republican Party should start thinking about firing Michael Steele.

Steele’s run at the Republican National Committee (RNC) has been inauspicious at best, a complete disaster at worst.

The Misguided Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell has lost his bearings on what it means to be a Republican.

He certainly can be forgiven for supporting Obama over McCain. He can be forgiven for criticizing Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. He can be forgiven for criticizing the direction of the Republican Party.

However, he cannot be forgiven for disparaging the core of the philosophy of the Republican Party. At a recent conference, Powell stated, “Americans do want to pay taxes for services." He also continued that "Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less."

The Prophet of Positivism

Jack Kemp wasn’t a particularly good vice presidential candidate. He was a happy warrior, which made Bob Dole’s sourpuss more pronounced during his losing effort to gain the White House.

But Kemp was a prophetic leader of the Republican Party, whose efforts to expand the party base are all the more significant today.

Yes, Kemp pushed for tax cuts, and his supply-side philosophy would later become criticized as “trickle-down” economics. But Kemp never pushed to cut taxes because he wanted to help the rich. He pushed for tax cuts to help the economy grow, which in turn would help the poor.

National Council for a New America

Right after George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton, and things looked bleak for congressional Republicans, Haley Barbour, then the new Republican National Committee chairman, put together a strategy to basically re-brand the party. He founded the National Policy Forum, which held town hall-style conversations around the country to find out what the American people wanted from their government.

The National Policy Forum was not without controversy. The Democrats sensed how this exercise would threaten their majorities and their death grip on power, and they attacked its creation with lawsuits, investigations and innuendo.

Building Ideas to Move America Forward

You hear it every day — the GOP is either dying or dead.

These are not good days for the GOP. No one with a straight face can argue the point. This means Republicans throughout the country — the entire country — need to do some soul-searching and figure out what the party is and how it comes back.

It's not enough to be against President Obama — and, frankly, if that's all the GOP has to offer, the party might as well pack up and go back to its shrinking home.

Words That Don’t Matter

Just when I think the Republican Party has turned a corner in the arena of big ideas and a bold vision for the future of this country, despondency creeps back in.

The latest case of despair/rage comes in the form of the Republican vocabulary playbook. A story last week by John Harwood of The New York Times depicts the latest pursuits by the party to position its members to strike a chord among the American electorate — what words work and what do not. Harwood goes on to quote Saul Anuzis, the former Michigan state party chairman who lost to Michael Steele in a bid to become the head of the national party.

Dems Want to Talk About Anything Other than Obama

The economy is in deep recession, with massive layoffs announced every week; we're faced with war in Afghanistan and Iraq and now must battle a swine flu that threatens to turn into a pandemic, which puts public health at risk and has already caused the European Union to issue a travel warning on visiting the United States and Mexico. And yet what are we talking about? Whether or not Dick Cheney is the leader of the Republican Party.

Do Republicans Want to Win or Just Look Good Losing?

Pat Toomey is trying to get Arlen Specter booted from the U.S. Senate, and is entertaining the fantasy that he can be his replacement. As much I have disagreed with many of the Pennsylvania senator’s votes over the past two decades that I have been in Washington, I do appreciate his ability to win in the Keystone State.

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the Republican in charge of getting Republicans to take back the Senate, put it bluntly when he wrote: