Thursday, April 30, 2009


I'm sure you already know about this:

Coming soon to a battleground state near you: a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama's characterization of Republicans as "the party of 'no.'"

CNN has learned that the new initiative, called the National Council for a New America, will be announced Thursday....

Much of the chuckling in the left blogosphere has been about the mustiness of the marquee names (John McCain, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour) -- but I think the comedy gold in this could derive from the group's central plan, which is to have a series of town-hall forums, starting with one in Virginia on Saturday:

"This forum will include a wide open policy debate that every American can feel free to participate in," the announcement letter reads. "We do this not just to offer an alternative point of view or to be disagreeable. Instead, we want to ask the American people what their hopes and dreams are...."

Um, are these guys sure they want to have "wide open" forums right now, in which "hopes and dreams" are discussed?

See, their likely attendees are not really going to be a Norman Rockwell cross-section of the public. Their likely attendees are probably going to be full-fledged citizens of GlennBeckistan and AlexJonestown: Obama birthers, Soros conspiracy theorists, FEMA labor camp conspiracy theorists, people who lie awake nights worrying that Obama is sending ACORN volunteers to record the GPS coordinates of every house in America, etc., etc. Those folks plus the usual collection of seal-the-borders types (because the border is so sealable), as well as people who can't decide whether Obama is a socialist or a fascist because the commies and Nazis in old movies always had more or less the same accent.

Um, and these guys aren't planning to have the forums broadcast, are they? You know -- a C-SPAN camera in the corner sending out a live feed as they find themselves calling on some guy who, for instance, thinks Canadian troops will soon have to quell food riots in the U.S. caused by actions of the Federal Reserve?

That's who owns the GOP now. That's the crowd they're going to attract.


UPDATE: Chris Cillizza thinks Palin's in, too:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to play a role in the National Council for a New America, a new effort led by House and Senate Republican leaders designed to find ways to make the party more appealing to independent voters....

Oh, that ought to keep the discussion high-minded, right?

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