What the NCNA doesn’t want to talk about

WHAT THE NCNA DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT…. When prominent Republican leaders leaked word of their “National Council for a New America,” we got a glimpse of the party’s latest rebranding initiative.

At least that’s what it seemed like this morning. This afternoon, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Fox News, “[I]t’s not a rebranding effort. What this is, is an attempt to engage and begin a conversation with the American people.” I don’t know what this means. Neither, I suspect, does Cantor.

In either case, we’re starting to get a sense of what this “conversation” will focus on. Cantor’s office sent Ben Smith the NCNA’s “policy framework,” which highlights five areas of interest.

Economy: Real Solutions for Economic Recovery: As the country battles through the worst economic crisis in a generation, we must remain focused on the foundations and institutions that have made us the most prosperous people in the world and the ideas that create jobs and grow our economy….

Healthcare: Building a 21st Century, Patient-Centered System: …All Americans deserve access to high-quality, affordable care. But such coverage cannot come at the expense of their ability to choose their own doctor and have access to the right care, at the right time, in the right setting without waiting in line while sick….

Education: Preparing Our Children to Succeed: A high-quality education should not be dependent upon a parent’s income or address…. We must return power from Washington to parents and well-paid teachers who know what’s best for our children.

Energy: Solutions for Energy Independence: …We must implement a comprehensive energy policy that includes traditional fuels, alternative energy, and conservation resulting in affordable, reliable domestic energy….

National Security: Defending American Liberty and Freedom: The threats posed to our nation are more varied and evolving more than perhaps at any other time in our history. Modern communications, technology and the proliferation of weapons of all types have empowered our enemies and those who support them….

OK, so Republicans want tax cuts, school vouchers, and pretty much everything Republicans have pushed for a couple of decades now. The NCNA may not be rebranding initiative, but it certainly sounds like yet another weak attempt to tell Americans, “Don’t believe your lying eyes; the Bush/Cheney agenda really works.”

But what may be the most interesting thing about this new group’s “policy framework” is what it doesn’t say. There’s no mention of gays, abortion, state-sponsored religion, guns, or immigration. It’s almost as if Republicans don’t feel like fighting a culture war anymore.

Hey, activists in the GOP base, is sounds like the Republican Party is trying to throw you under the bus. Are you going to take this lying down?

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