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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) is flanked by Senator John Thune (R-SD) (L) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) (R) as he addresses reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, February 4, 2014.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES
Can you blame them for trying to keep the lid on things?
Apparently Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks Senate Republicans need a 1994-style "Contract With America" to tell the country about all the great things the GOP will do if voters give them control of  both chambers of Congress:
“I think it’s a strategic mistake for our party leadership not to come up with a document that has four or five action items,” Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the House class of 1994, said in an interview. “I’ve tried to allow those in leadership to do this. If they don’t move forward soon, there will be a rebellion among the rank and file.”
This seems like a terrible idea. Neither Democrats nor President Obama have the greatest favorable ratings in the world, but they're still better than the GOP's numbers. I have no idea why Graham thinks the GOP should work to remind voters of this fact, but I sure hope he gets his way. Unfortunately:
At a Friday press conference in Louisville, McConnell demurred when asked about a GOP agenda if the party takes the Senate.

“I’m not prepared to announce what the agenda is going to be in January,” he said. “We’re not measuring the drapes.”

And:
“Even if we have a good election, President Obama is still going to be president,” Sen. John Cornyn, the minority whip from Texas, said when asked if his party should unveil a Contract with America-style agenda this year. “I don’t think we should be in the business of overpromising.”
These guys realize that it's a lot easier to sell attacks on President Obama, especially in places like Kentucky, than it is to sell a GOP governing agenda. No matter what Lindsey Graham may say, they don't want the election to be about what things would be like if the GOP ran the show in Congress because that's not the kind of election they think they can win. And that means it'll be up to Democrats to talk about what's at stake if the GOP were to win.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If the Republicans got their way ... (12+ / 0-)
    No matter what Lindsey Graham may say, they don't want the election to be about what things would be like if the GOP ran the show ...
    There would be NO minimum wage. Your employer would be allowed to pay you ZERO dollars.

    Next?

    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:02:33 AM PDT

  •  If you don't promise anything (9+ / 0-)

    then you can't break a promise. If you don't do anything to govern, you can't fail at governing. Simple.

    It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

    by Blue Intrigue on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:05:02 AM PDT

    •  then it stands to reason that you can't have (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, satrap, Blue Intrigue

      a governing agenda, which was going to be my comment until I saw yours.  These guys are incapable of governing.  Throwing hissy fits, mugging for the cameras, sure.  But governing.  Unless you call attacking anyone who doesn't agree with you governing, which I don't.

      The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

      by AnnieR on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:29:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As Paul Ryan said in 2012, If I tell you what's in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blue Intrigue

      my budget, you might not vote for me.
      The most honest words he ever spoke and yet more signs of brain damage among Republicans.

      Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

      by hawkseye on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:18:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Over promising? (5+ / 0-)

    Really? So, continuing to promise their idiot constituents that they will repeal Obamacare - the signature legislation of a sitting president - is what, a realistic promise?

    Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:07:15 AM PDT

  •  GOP Agenda (7+ / 0-)

    Rig elections.

    Gerrymander elction districts

    Prevent the poor from eating, working and medical care, call them moochers

    Hope for lots and lots of dead poor people.

    THAT is pretty much the GOP agenda and we have to just accept it until Nov 2014 when we get to each cast a single, ceremonial vote to oppose it.

    And that' probably won;t slow down the GOP agenda and it will continue unmolested after that November Tuesday when we all have the power of Gods.

    I wish I could damage the GOP half as much as they have damaged m y life.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:07:59 AM PDT

  •  GOP Majority... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, Pilotshark, Caniac41

    You want to see what a GOP Majority would look/behave like?  Take a look at the NC legislature.  Lots and lots of ALEC and Tea-centric legislation rubber-stamped by Art Pope's Governator, McCrory.  

    Even if Obama is there thru 2016, if the Dems lose in 2016, America will be the solely, wholly-owned subisidiary of RichGuy Inc, PLC, LTD.  Corporate motto "All 1% All the Time"

    Congress will be the ultimate ALEC triumph, and for enough money anyone who needs a law passed/repealed/modified to suit their business model will get it.  Consequences be damned.  

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

  •  GOP Agenda.....OBAMA SUX!!...something they all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    can agree on.

  •  Just compare the Republican Platform against (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    the Democrats.  A platform lists goals and spells out the philosophy of a party.  Of course, not all goals become law, but one has to bear in mind the mindset of the party they are electing; this goes for the Libertarian Party, as well.

    Most of us do not take the time to read the platforms of the major parties.  There are real differences.  There are real choices.

  •  What could they possibly say? We're for: (7+ / 0-)

    1. Abolishing the minimum wage.
    2. Denying millions of people the healthcare they finally have.
    3. Overturning a woman's right to choose.
    4. Making it harder for people to vote.
    5. Turning government over to corporations.
    6. Spoiling our air, land and water.
    7. Tearing down the little wall that's left between church and state.

    Because that is their platform. No wonder McConnell doesn't want to "measure the drapes."  

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:13:19 AM PDT

  •  They do have a agenda (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated

    and we have seen it the past 5 years, and well they also know that agenda will not work if they have to show case it, cause its not the agenda for America the many, but only a few.

  •  Remind me: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryduck
    And that means it'll be up to Democrats to talk about what's at stake if the GOP were to win.
    What is at stake?

    The President can veto batshit bills coming from the House. Nobody's likely to get confirmed either way. GOP crazy will be on full display. Can they declare war on some hapless country without the President? Sounds like business as usual.

    Seems to me, Dems should talk about what they would do if they had a majority in both houses. A true and inspiring vision for the nation. Let the chips fall where they may.

    •  Used to be that way. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, Pluto
      Can they declare war on some hapless country without the President?
      According to the Constitution (I know, I know: LOL), Congress gets to "declare war." Not so much lately . . .

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:05:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Four or five points? Easy stuff. (0+ / 0-)

    That's just two repeals of the ACA & Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI!!!

    I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk. - Kasper Gutman

    by rasbobbo on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:18:28 AM PDT

  •  The biggest political story of our day (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, tb mare, jyssco, opinionated

    Is the fact that one of the two major political parties now refuses to govern, refuses to negotiate, and refuses to offer any realistic legislation of any kind.

    If we had a national news media like we did in the 1980s, this would be the story every single night on the nightly news: Why is the GOP breaking the government?

  •  Since the majority of GOP legislative actions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, opinionated

    over the last several years has favored the few over the many, and has directly worked against the will and benefit of the American people, I can't help but wonder what those four or five action items would be. Probably just more buzzwords:

    "Enable the job creators to operate without interference from big government."

    "Reduce the tax burden on hard working Americans."

    "Ensure the safety and well-being of the nation during the continuing War on Terror."

    "Continue to investigate and hold accountable those elected to lead in Washington."

    "Defend the Constitutional rights of all Americans."

    In other words, eliminate regulations, lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans, funnel more money to the military-industrial complex, Benghazi, and the 2nd Amendment.

    ...and face-painting for the kids. Fun for the whole family!

    We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.

    by EighteenCharacters on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:20:37 AM PDT

  •  Terrible idea for the (R)s... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet

    ...but essential for the (D)s to emphasize the (R) governing (and I use that term loosely) agenda.

    It astonishes me that any voters should need reminding, when (R) priorities have been out in the open for all to see since the 2010 election, but many apparently do, and I can't imagine why every (D) running for either house wouldn't make doing so - and highlighting...no, make that "hammering" the contrasts - a part of their campaigns.  

    And by doing so, reminding them as well of the hazards of midterm voter apathy.    

  •  Is the new strategy of both parties to promise (0+ / 0-)

    almost nothing specific?

    I understand why the Republicans would want to be vague about their intentions, but why can't the Democrats campaign on "If you give us back the House we will accomplish X goal"?

  •  The GOP problem is too massive to fix. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Caniac41

    First, they would have to develop an agenda in order to keystroke it, print it, and distribute it.

    Because Sen. L. Graham is very much as stupid as he sounds, and may be one of the dimmest bulbs in the scoreboard, that good ol' suthren po' boy does not realize that there is no agenda. If he put 5 of his henchthugs in a room together, they would come up with 25 different items that absolutely cannot work in US politics.

    Sen. M. McConnell, with his bulb at possibly 5 more watts, is well aware that no agenda could ever exist, and there is no leadership (i.e., himself & Cornyn) that could extract one from the herd.

    Oh, and somebody tell Trent Lott that he was not trying to herd "cats." Cats are smart. The GOP senators are a herd of Fox Gnus who will stampede at the sound of Benghazi.

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:25:01 AM PDT

  •  Well, dang, they won't have Cliven to ask when (0+ / 0-)

    they do write their platform.

    Cliven Bundy Leaves The Republican Party

    As one commenter said, if every Republican who thought like he does left the party, their base would be gone.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:27:57 AM PDT

  •  GOP Agenda (0+ / 0-)

    What Agenda?

  •  It's an offyear election. Remember, it wasn't (0+ / 0-)

    until Newt Gingrich that the congress caucus started to run on a national agenda.  They'll get away with it easy, now that they are past Tea Party challegers.

    Schedule permitting, PROOF WILL BE PROVIDED ON HOW I AM BEING "CONSTANTLY CALLED OUT" AND "UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED" FOR BEING BAD. Moreover, the dossier on my activities during the Bush administration will have an appendix concluding that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:29:13 AM PDT

  •  Well, this could be easy to effectively exploit. (0+ / 0-)

    Which is different from actually doing it.

    "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

    by Mr MadAsHell on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:31:08 AM PDT

  •  Whatever happened to "jobs, jobs, jobs"? (0+ / 0-)

    I seem to recall the Republicans campaigning in 2010 on nothin' but jobs. Oooh, we were going to have jobs coming out our ears and other orifices if the Republicans got control!

    Now, I realize that control of the House is pretty small potatoes when you can't get anything through the Senate, and there's a big ol' Veto pen waiting on the other side for anything that gets through Congress. But the House hasn't even gone through the motions of a can't-pass jobs bill to send on to die of asphyxiation in the Senate. Why not? They've sent plenty of other useless bills over to the Senate, but not a jobs bill.

    Could this be why the Republicans are so reticent about expressing any details of their agenda? Where are the jobs, Mitch? Where are the jobs, John?

  •  Another contract on America would be a big (0+ / 0-)

    mistake. Fool me once...

  •  Here's their agenda... (0+ / 0-)

    Cornyn says, " “I don’t think we should be in the business of overpromising." But you can bet your ass they've promised somebody something--those millions rich donors funneled to them didn't just fall out of the sky. Make no mistake, they have an agenda and if your in the 98%, you probably won't like it.

    Repeal ACA and replace it with ??? (I dunno, an ALEC written health plan, which should make you shiver at the sound of it). And with an ironic twist, they probably WILL have death panels.

    Send Obama the Ryan Budget, all passed through the House and Senate to defund all kinds of social programs and spend more on the military (MIC).

    Cut every single environmental regulation they can.

    Cut every single financial/banking regulation they can.

    Disband the Department of Education.

    Build Keystone XL.

    Repeal Capital Gains.

    Probably more tax cuts we can afford to primarily help the people who already have too much.

    Ban abortion and close all clinics.

    Put underage children in the workforce.

    In short, they'll do all they can do erase The New Deal and all the social, safety and educational advances we gained last century and replace them with nothing but Social Darwinism. With an agenda like that, it's no wonder they don't want to talk about. But don't let them bullshit you that they don't have an agenda--they definitely have one and they know you won't want it.

  •  McConnell is already doing the attacking (0+ / 0-)

    at least against Obama and trying to link Grimes to him.  There is very little about what good McConnell has done, other than stop some of Obama's policies that would supposedly hurt Kentucky.  I think the only "positive" agenda for McConnell is removing regulations for the coal industry, although that will not solve the issue of disappearing coal mining jobs in KY.  Otherwise, it will be all "Obama and Grimes suck" until November.

  •  We'll tell you later (0+ / 0-)

    Vote for the GOP. We're not going to tell you what we're going to do if we win back the Senate, just please vote for us so we can win back the Senate.

    They do this every election. They refuse to tell voters what they plan to do, but then ask for their vote. It makes no sense. It makes even less sense that rubes fall for it and vote for these clowns.

    Obviously, we know what they're going to do. Nothing.

    •  This is not entirely true... (0+ / 0-)

      George W. Bush told America exactly want he was going to do. He campaigned on it for a year:

      1.  Give Americans back their surplus through tax cuts for everybody (check - several rounds of tax cuts).

      2.  Pass an education reform/accountability bill (check - NCLB).

      3.  Eliminate the "Death Tax" (check).

      4.  Pass a prescription drug bill (check - Medicare Part D).

      5.  Appoint conservative judges/justices that will, not necessarily, overturn RvW (check - Alito, Roberts, and no overturn of RvW).

      6.  Return "honor" to the White House (check - at least there were no personal/sleeze scandals).

      7.  Get the government out of the way of business (check - mucho deregulation).

      8.  Humble foreign policy (not so much).

      Other than the foreign policy debacle, Bush delivered pretty much everything he promised - some of it in heaping doses.  Granted, number 8 was a big one, but overall, Bush told America what he was going to do, and then went and did it.  It was classic triangulation (talking left issues like HC and education - then doing them in a republican way), and it worked.  We can never say we weren't warned.

      Scott Walker did a lot of the same in WI, as did a lot of the other GOP governors of 2010.  The GOP has made it clear what they'll do if elected in 2014:  STOP Obama cold, and use the Congress to pressure him into enacting as much of the GOP agenda as they can.  Oh, and investigate him whenever they can.

  •  A Republican Agenda? When? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl

    Allow me to state the obvious and say that the republicans in this congress, particularly while Obama has been in office, have never had an agenda.
    I assume we know that the only Republican Agenda has been since even before January 2012 and that of course was to make President Obama a one term president, which Mitch McConnell made clear. Well, Romney's lack of appeal or connection to middle class Americans ensured their failure, as we witnessed.
    With this, we see an empty Republican agenda, bringing it all back to all the reasons why Obama is just.. well, apparently the worst. So what's in their plans for the future now?
    A party that has consistently preached in support of small government will never have an actual agenda unless it's in their own best interest.

    "Man is not free unless government is limited." - Ronald Reagan
    Government has every right, however, to tell an entire group of people whether or not they can get married, but hey.
    Even if the Republicans actually had even a secret agenda of things they would like to accomplish, it's been left to collect dust.
  •  Look to Wisconsin and North Carolina (0+ / 0-)

    if you want to know what they would do if they got into power to the point they could pass laws.

    It would be horrific.

    Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

    by karma5230 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:51:38 AM PDT

  •  The Koch Manifesto (0+ / 0-)

    Wee know what it is

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:52:13 AM PDT

  •  Republicans need a Contract On America (0+ / 0-)

    and Newt Gingrich is the man to lead the way!

    Newt should arrange contracts with SpaceX for one-way trips to the moon, and lead the Republican Party there in a mass Exodus to found a lunar libertarian paradise!

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:06:07 PM PDT

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