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Please begin with an informative title:

John Thune
Sen. John Thune urges his colleagues to maybe give some thought to jobs, economy
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Suspend your disbelief for a moment, and imagine that Republicans in Congress actually have any interest in governing, or in making smart policy that makes the country work. It's a tall order to imagine, yes, given their performance in recent years, but just pretend.

That's what Politico does in this story about Republicans in the Senate. Some of them, it suggests, think that they actually should come up with some policy ideas. They are butting heads, the article says, with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose explicit and only goal has been making Barack Obama a one-term president. Apparently, there are some other Republican senators who think they should at least make it look like they mean to do ... something.

The divide within the party is sharp. McConnell and other influential senators believe the party should avoid putting out a detailed platform and focus squarely on Obama’s record, while a range of junior senators—and some veterans like Sen. John McCain—think the conference should lay out a Contract with America-type agenda [...]

But the strategies all carry great risk. If the GOP rolls out an agenda, it will be picked apart and take the focus off Obama. If the party doesn’t bother, it risks giving the president more opportunities to slap the “do-nothing” label on Congress.

Actually, that needs to be clarified a little: If the GOP rolls out an agenda, it risks becoming even more unpopular with the American public. But here's something sure to tickle your funny bone:
At a closed-door lunch meeting on Tuesday, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota tried to put a finer point on the GOP’s strategy. [...]

“We need to call out the Obama-Schumer machine when they change the topic from a record they can’t defend,” said Thune’s presentation, referring to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. “After we call them out, get back on offense! Pivot back to what matters—jobs and the economy.

Back? Yes, if anything, the Senate GOP caucus has just been doing a bang-up job of focusing on jobs and the economy. More of that!!

As if anything the Senate Republicans do matters in this election. The House GOP is hellbent for crazy. No amount of positive spin from the Senate will cover that up. Seriously, not when they're dealing with people like Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, former chairman of the House Republican campaign committee, saying things like: "It's a very political year. The big thing for us is to not be part of the conversation instead of trying to inject ourselves into it."


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Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 01:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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