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Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Direction of the RNC

Think Progress » RNC Adopts Wingnut Agenda: Calls ‘Obamacare’ Socialism, Bans Cap-And-Trade, Condemns Obama’s ‘Czars’
The RNC adopted three resolutions yesterday that give a pretty good indication of where the party is heading:

1) RNC resolution calls “Obamacare” a march toward “socialism.” For months, right-wing members of the RNC have been urging Michael Steele to call Obama a “socialist.” They even proposed a resolution renaming the Democratic Party the “Democrat Socialist Party.” But Steele pushed back, saying, “We don’t see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist.” In recent weeks, however, Steele has succumbed to the right-wing’s influence and started calling Obama’s health care proposal “socialism.” Now, the RNC has adopted a resolution that “recognize[s] that Obamacare is marching America further towards Socialism and urge that it be stopped.” The resolution proposes “true cost savings” can be realized by encouraging seniors to opt out of Medicare:

RESOLVED, that true cost savings be achieved by allowing Medicare patients to opt out of Medicare program to pay for their own catastrophic insurance, and allowing Medicare participating physicians to discount their service fees for cash payments;

2) RNC resolution says Obama violated Constitution by appointing czars. For months, the right-wing fringe of the Republican Party has been railing against Obama for the appointment of policy “czars,” despite the fact that President Bush engaged in the same practice. Fox News has been pushing the conspiracy that Obama is acting unconstitutionally, even while the network’s own correspondent has acknowledged that the myth is false. The RNC has now adopted a resolution condemning Obama for his appointment of these policy liaisons:

RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee recognize that the current concentration of powers in the Executive Branch is a violation of the powers of the President of the United States as defined in the U.S. Constitution and is dangerous to the citizens of America;

As ThinkProgress has noted, many of the “czars” that the right wing is up-in-arms over are actually Senate-confirmed positions. Moreover, the history of presidents appointing high-ranking policy advisers goes back over hundreds of years.

3) RNC adopts resolution to kill cap-and-trade. The RNC’s resolution on cap-and-trade declares that the cost of it will “greatly exceed any benefit.” It also declares that global warming is merely a “pretext” for passing cap-and-trade:

RESOLVED, that we urge Congress to vote no on Cap-and-Trade and to reject all efforts to use global warming as a pretext to increase federal revenues;

The language appears to be an attempt to mollify the global warming-denier base of the Republican Party. Expert analyses have found that Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation will cut pollution and create wealth over time. The EPA estimated that the bill will lower electricity bills by 2020.

For a Party attempting to broaden it base, these resolutions that pander to the conservative “wacko wing” are extremely unlikely to help that cause.

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