Monday, May 19, 2008

Really, Voters Want MORE Republican Policies

The GOP's Socially Conservative wing refuses to acknowledge just how unpopular their policies and ideas are for the majority of voters, which will make their upcoming political woes even more devastating.

Now is NOT the time to be running as the reddest of Republicans.

bypass registration with this Bug Me Not link

May 20, 2008

House Conservatives to Offer Ideas for G.O.P. Message


WASHINGTON — Conservative Republicans in the House plan to urge their colleagues to rally behind a new manifesto that mixes antispending initiatives and tighter restrictions on government benefits as the party seeks a fresh message after a string of election defeats.

Leaders of the Republican Study Committee intend to use a closed-door party meeting on Tuesday to present a seven-point proposal calling for a constitutional limit on federal spending, a new simplified income tax alternative and a proposal to require recipients of food stamps or housing aid to meet work requirements.

“Clearly, we have been sobered by three special election losses in a row,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the group of more than 100 Republican lawmakers. “We are sobered by the massive cash advantage that Democrats have to get their message out.”

Mr. Hensarling said that getting off the political defensive would “take unity, and it is going to take unity behind a handful of messages.”

The proposal from the group of conservatives is likely to be just one of the ideas circulated at the session as Republicans look for ways to right themselves heading into what is promising to be a difficult election year.

The party leadership in the House has already begun to roll out its own agenda under the rubric “The Change You Deserve,” but some lawmakers have said the party needs to be more aggressive. Others are skeptical about overreacting to the elections or embracing too strong a conservative theme.

A spokeswoman for Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 2 Republican in the House, said the leadership was open to constructive suggestions from lawmakers.

“It’s healthy and good for our members to weigh in and put forward ideas,” said the spokeswoman, Antonia Ferrier. “That’s how we get the energy leading into November.”

Several Republicans have said it is not their goal to force changes in the House leadership team. Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said Sunday that he intended to remain in his position.

Some of the ideas from the conservatives have been circulating for months, including an immediate moratorium on seeking money for the pet home-state projects known as earmarks. But other Republicans have rejected that idea, arguing it is a chief responsibility of representatives to win federal aid for local initiatives.

A draft of the conservative agenda calls for the endorsement of a constitutional amendment to prohibit federal spending from growing faster than the economy except in times of war or national emergency. The plan seeks support for an income tax overhaul that would provide a simplified flat tax and allow people to choose between it and the current system.

The conservative proposal seeks tax credits for buying health insurance, more domestic energy production and a streamlined terrorist surveillance program. The draft also said that House Republicans should extend existing welfare work requirements to food stamps and housing assistance “so that those who are not old, young or disabled are either working in the private sector or serving in their community.”

Mr. Hensarling said his group was emphasizing fiscal policy because polls and recent electoral experience showed that voters viewed Republicans as having strayed too far from the party’s tradition on spending restraint. That approach could also mesh with the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the party’s presumed nominee, who has made his opposition to excessive federal spending a central theme.

“We have to get back to our core identity,” Mr. Hensarling said, adding that “there is work to be done.”


Refusing To State The Obvious

This PNAC letter doesn't use the obvious word "draft" in its text.

Letter to Congress on Increasing U.S. Ground Forces
January 28, 2005

Dear Senator Frist, Senator Reid, Speaker Hastert, and Representative Pelosi:

The United States military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume. Those responsibilities are real and important. They are not going away. The United States will not and should not become less engaged in the world in the years to come. But our national security, global peace and stability, and the defense and promotion of freedom in the post-9/11 world require a larger military force than we have today. The administration has unfortunately resisted increasing our ground forces to the size needed to meet today's (and tomorrow's) missions and challenges.

So we write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps. While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.

There is abundant evidence that the demands of the ongoing missions in the greater Middle East, along with our continuing defense and alliance commitments elsewhere in the world, are close to exhausting current U.S. ground forces. For example, just late last month, Lieutenant General James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, reported that "overuse" in Iraq and Afghanistan could be leading to a "broken force." Yet after almost two years in Iraq and almost three years in Afghanistan, it should be evident that our engagement in the greater Middle East is truly, in Condoleezza Rice's term, a "generational commitment." The only way to fulfill the military aspect of this commitment is by increasing the size of the force available to our civilian leadership.

The administration has been reluctant to adapt to this new reality. We understand the dangers of continued federal deficits, and the fiscal difficulty of increasing the number of troops. But the defense of the United States is the first priority of the government. This nation can afford a robust defense posture along with a strong fiscal posture. And we can afford both the necessary number of ground troops and what is needed for transformation of the military.

In sum: We can afford the military we need. As a nation, we are spending a smaller percentage of our GDP on the military than at any time during the Cold War. We do not propose returning to a Cold War-size or shape force structure. We do insist that we act responsibly to create the military we need to fight the war on terror and fulfill our other responsibilities around the world.

The men and women of our military have performed magnificently over the last few years. We are more proud of them than we can say. But many of them would be the first to say that the armed forces are too small. And we would say that surely we should be doing more to honor the contract between America and those who serve her in war. Reserves were meant to be reserves, not regulars. Our regulars and reserves are not only proving themselves as warriors, but as humanitarians and builders of emerging democracies. Our armed forces, active and reserve, are once again proving their value to the nation. We can honor their sacrifices by giving them the manpower and the materiel they need.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution places the power and the duty to raise and support the military forces of the United States in the hands of the Congress. That is why we, the undersigned, a bipartisan group with diverse policy views, have come together to call upon you to act. You will be serving your country well if you insist on providing the military manpower we need to meet America's obligations, and to help ensure success in carrying out our foreign policy objectives in a dangerous, but also hopeful, world.


Peter Beinart Jeffrey Bergner Daniel Blumenthal

Max Boot Eliot Cohen Ivo H. Daalder

Thomas Donnelly Michele Flournoy Frank F. Gaffney, Jr.

Reuel Marc Gerecht Lt. Gen. Buster C. Glosson (USAF, retired)

Bruce P. Jackson Frederick Kagan Robert Kagan

Craig Kennedy Paul Kennedy Col. Robert Killebrew (USA, retired)

William Kristol Will Marshall Clifford May

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey (USA, retired) Daniel McKivergan

Joshua Muravchik Steven J. Nider Michael O'Hanlon

Mackubin Thomas Owens Ralph Peters Danielle Pletka

Stephen P. Rosen Major Gen. Robert H. Scales (USA, retired)

Randy Scheunemann Gary Schmitt

Walter Slocombe James B. Steinberg R. James Woolsey