Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Republican Makeover...At an undisclosed Pizzeria in Arlington

So I heard the other day that the Republicans spent some time at a pizza place in my home town of Arlington this past week discussing the future of the Republican party. I'm so happy the Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Eric Cantor decided to eat somewhere other than Mortons, but really who are these guys to give a hope of a makeover to the party. Bush the third - sorry you're not going to convince anyone that your kindler and gentler. Romney - I think the Republicans decided you wouldn't be there leader last year when they voted for McCain after you couldn't take a stand on any issue for months during your campaign. Eric - I guess that makes you "the last guys standing" which is not a basis for a re-make of my much maligned Republican party.

So, I'm glad no Republican actually hoping for change knew where to share a slice with you, because if I walked in for a pie and saw you three there as the face of change I'd have puked.

Here are a few pointers for expanding the tent, but I doubt you can do it without losing the die-hard social conservatives that refuse to let go of their old ways and insistent on losing again and again because of it.

If you're looking for those Republicans that aren't currently voting for you - people like me, here is a start:

1.) Be the party of tax reform. Make concessions on marginal rates (which you'll probably have to anyway), but insist on eliminating phase-outs on things like ROTH IRAs, Education Debt Interest Deduction, Marriage penalty for dual income earners that punish the next generation of Republicans, not catering to the aged who will soon become Democrats again when they retire.

2.)Pay people for working not for lazing - Raise Military Salary and Benefits - these guys and gals risk their life for us, make it worth the risk and the while and solve the recruitment issue. Bring 50k soldiers home and they'll buy houses too.

3.) Don't tell people they can't get married - anyone. It's not your business and you have no right and you'll lose the debate, so give it up.

4.) Get control of healthcare. If you can't corral the businesses to get them working to make it sustainable to remain private, it will be nationalized. If you want to be the party of business this means not constantly bending over for them.

5.) Drop the illegal alien issue. Most want to work, most would pay taxes and buy up homes and create a bottom to housing. Don't scare away the highly educated foreigners either - these are the future, we've been welcoming them for 100 years and its served us well - its not taking jobs from Americans, its limiting job growth though.

A lot of these things run backward to the current Republican mantra, but right now you're backpeddling anyway - it is a sign that you went to far. Start with these, admit you were wrong (people like that) and ask them to trust you to make it right.

Gotta start somewhere.