A few nights ago, Todd Harris, a top Republican strategist appeared on Hardball to talk about Republicans winning Congressional seats in this year’s midterm elections. Chris Matthews invites him to give a rundown of the accomplishments of the Republican Party in the last fifteen to twenty years. Watch what happens:
Harris doesn’t seem to be able to think of anything, until he tries “The Bush administration kept the country safe.” To which Matthews responds:
I just wanted to get the Republican bragging points straight here. So the Republican Party has kept us safe, except for 9/11. Is that the argument? No, really, because you had the worst attack on the American homeland in history, but you’re bragging about your ability to defend the country. … That’s your defense, right?
Harris doesn’t have an answer.
So is it really true that the Republicans don’t have any recent accomplishments? Interestingly, even the Republican National Committee website had trouble coming up with any real accomplishments in the last twenty years:
The Republican National Committee has a newly-redesigned website on which party leaders have highlighted the party’s accomplishments dating back 150 years. For the past 20 years, the page lists the following: a D.C. school voucher scheme (which didn’t work), invading Iraq (which didn’t turn out well), tax cuts for the wealthy (which isn’t exactly an “accomplishment”), invading Afghanistan (which Republicans didn’t handle well), welfare reform (which Clinton signed into law), and the Contract with America (which, again, isn’t an “accomplishment” in any meaningful sense of the word).
I think this might be the start of a new trend in Republican campaign slogans:
- The Republican Party kept us safe, except for 9/11 (well, and Anthrax, the shoe bomber, etc.)
- The Bush administration captured and brought to justice the top terrorists who threatened America, except for Osama bin Laden
- No US cities were destroyed under the last Republican presidency, other than New Orleans
- Bush has a perfect record on military invasions of other countries, except for Afghanistan and Iraq
- Republicans protected our constitution, except for habeus corpus and the bill of rights
Can you think of other campaign slogans for the Party of No?
President Bush and the Republican Congress lowered taxes and reigned in spending (except for doing the opposite on the spending)
Republicans want real healthcare reform that’s deficit-neutral (as long as you don’t bother adding up our numbers, ignore the CBO when it gives us unfavorable scores, and ignore the 100% deficit-financed Prescription Drug Benefit we passed in ’03)
The Republican Party represents real America (provided you don’t live in or near any major cities, are a practicing Christian, and live 100 miles away from either coast)
The Party of decency and decorum (except for a first-ever interruption of a Presidential address by an actual Congressman, a VP candidate who implied that her opponent was a terrorist, and the interchangeable use of 4 words to describe the Democrats as socialists, marxists, communists, and fascists)
“The Party of Lincoln.” No? How about “The Party of the Lincoln Town Car.”
Not even the right wing could name anything positive accomplished by Republicans in the last 20 years at the USMB. Oh, but they call names. Mention that PEW research found that only a measly 6% of scientists will admit to being Republicans or that the Gallup pol show the party around 90% white and mostly Christian and they go ballistic. They don’t believe it. The question is, “How could they not?” They even say it’s “statistically impossible”. I think the 6% number is vastly overstated.