Friday, February 8, 2013

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Jamelle Bouie notes how conservative politicians have been re-branding the same old policies in new rhetoric in The Plum Line.

Since November, a steady stream of Republicans have offered a “reform” agenda for the GOP. In speeches and interviews, up-and-coming Republicans like Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan have urged the party to craft solutions and build new appeal to ordinary Americans.  Of course, neither figure has proposed actual reform, or a departure from the arch-conservative policies that defined Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency. With the possible exception of immigration, they’ve pushed new rhetoric for the same policies, in an attempt to navigate between real political constraints (the GOP base) and a real need for change.

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined the fray with a policy speech that presented existing GOP policies on education, immigration, and entitlements, but placed them under a new “make life easier” banner, as if it somehow made a difference.  The press, to its credit, has been fairly dismissive of this new marketing. NBC News called it a “cosmetic makeover,” while National Journal dismissed it as a “charm offensive.”

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