In a continuing effort to make themselves even more irrelevant than their lack of political prowess over the last 6 years has already made them, the Republican Party has released their Eleven Principles. It is the establishment's way of telling voters what the party believes, sans any specificity. The Party bosses are hoping to urge a reenactment of 1994's Contract With America that gave the Republicans control of the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. Sort of like a Contract 2.0.
The problem with the Republican establishment's attempt to create a populace movement in the direction of their party, is that their contract is not a contract, but a list of duhs. They state fairly obvious "principles" with which no good American can argue, but they do not give those good Americans any inkling of how they will achieve them if they are handed over the reins of power to the Senate next month. The Eleven Principles merely says to voters, "This is what we believe." But it does not tell voters how those beliefs translate into legislative goals that will make the lives of Americans better.
What made Newt Gingrich's Contract With America a winning strategy in 1994 was that it spelled out ten specific legislative goals for which the Republicans were going to strive if given the majority in the House. They were not couched in flourishes of campaign rhetoric, which is the core characteristic of the Eleven Principles. Do not mistake my criticism, I agree with the Principles, but they are not going to inspire anyone to vote for Republicans. They are the kind of rhetoric that should be in a convention speech made by a nominee.
The release of the Eleven Principles is illustrative to me how the Republican Party has become the junior varsity team in politics to the Democrats professional operation. The Eleven Principles is not even analogous to bringing a knife to a gun fight, but bringing a flower to an all out war. I am flummoxed as to where all the competent Republican political strategists have gone. Since 2008, the Republican Party has not even "phoned it in," they have sent it in by pony express.
The mistake that the Republican establishment makes with its Eleven Principles that Newt Gingrich and the boys did not make with the Contract with America is that the former is a brochure about a wonderful destination, the latter, a map of how to get there. And with more people out of the work force than ever before, the national debt hovering around 18 trillion dollars, a completely impotent foreign policy that makes the world more dangerous ever day, the loss of Americans' faith in their own government because of ineptness and scandal, the voters next month are looking for a map, not a highly glossy brochure.