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July 21, 2009

GOP: We “Don’t do Policy”

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, GOP Hypocrisies, NJDC News, Opinions

Originally published in Talking Points Memo (TPM)

By Ira N. Forman, CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC)

The theory that the Republican Party of 2009 has any interest in public policy was destroyed over the past 24 hours. Sensing that the momentum for health care reform has slowed, one GOP talking head spoke about the biggest domestic reform in decades using the most brazen partisan and cynical terms. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) joyfully told a conservative group, f we are able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

William Kristol reached back to the GOP’s tactics of 1993 to 1994—urging in The Weekly Standard that we should now “go for the kill” and then disingenuously arguing that we can get to bi-partisan reform next year. I am certain Kristol genuinely forgot that next year is a congressional election year when the chances of “bi-partisan” reform are slim to none…and slim just left town.

GOP Chairman Michael Steele was the most entertaining. Today, Dana Milbank of The Washington Post documented how Steele was cribbing, nearly word for word, from Republican pollster Alex Castellanos’ poll-tested memo which stated, f we can slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it.” Steele used every hackneyed cliché in Castellanos’s memo to attack health care reform. However, when he was asked, G-d forbid, a policy question—does he favor requiring everyone to have health coverage Steele could only respond that “I don’t do policy.”