The ‘solutions center’

THE ‘SOLUTIONS CENTER’…. Republican leaders on the Hill believe they’re more likely to get back on track if they improve their communications strategy. The party, leaders insist, has a genuine policy agenda. They just need to get the word out.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor — the man Democrats dubbed “Dr. No” — is taking great pains these days to prove he has a raft of ideas of his own.

Stung by the Democratic barbs, the House’s No. 2 Republican is unveiling a “Solutions Center” on the Web to address simple questions Americans are asking themselves in the face of economic calamity…. The goal is to answer the questions with Republican proposals that contrast starkly with legislation offered by President Barack Obama and his congressional allies.

Cantor acknowledges that Republicans “need to work to make sure the message gets out” around a still-popular president with a dramatic command of his bully pulpit.

Opinions vary, but I tend to think this is, in theory, a reasonably good idea. If Republicans want to be known as more than just a party that reflexively opposes everything proposed by the popular Democratic president, then it makes sense for the GOP to present their “solutions” to problems that matter.

It’s the execution that seems to be giving Republicans trouble.

Looking over Cantor’s “Solutions Center,” the questions seem pretty compelling: “How will I keep my job?” “How should we use taxpayer money?” “How will I grow my savings?” “How will I keep my house?” It’s the answers that don’t work. Every question leads to the same response: tax cuts, spending cuts, or tax cuts and spending cuts.

This is how the party is “taking great pains these days to prove he has a raft of ideas of his own”? Ouch.

Imagine having an iPod and putting your entire music library on the hard drive — consisting of only two songs. You can put it on shuffle, but all you’d hear are the same two songs, over and over again.

The Republican leadership’s economic agenda is that iPod — the same two songs for every situation. Worse, the songs aren’t just old, they were never especially good in the first place.