Dem 51
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Republican Study Committee Goes Off the Deep End

Yesterday, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) issued a very interesting report on the 2024 election, and GOP strategy. According to the RSLC's analysis, which it shared with Axios, running solely against Joe Biden is not going to be sufficient in 2024. While the President does not inspire wild devotion with too many people outside of Leslie Knope, he also does not trigger a burning hatred among many people, either. Or, at least, not among many people who are persuadable voters. So, the RSLC concludes that the GOP is going to need—hold on to your hat—an actual platform and actual policy ideas to run on. What a novel idea!

The members of the RSLC are no RINOs; the Committee's website says they are "AMERICA'S ONLY LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST SOCIALISM IN THE STATES," in ALL CAPS, just like that. They really want Republicans to win elections, and they have looked critically at the last three cycles to try to figure out what went wrong for the GOP.

As chance would have it, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), which is the single largest ideological caucus in Congress, and includes 166 of the 218 Republicans serving in the House (76%), anticipated this need. So, they unveiled a platform they call "Fiscal Sanity to Save America." It is their proposal for the FY 2024-25 budget and it is, in a word, bonkers. Let's run down some of the key elements, and then we will explain what we mean in describing it in that way:

What makes this bonkers is that it reads like a Saturday Night Live sketch, as if the RSC is somehow trying to lose as many elections as possible by helping the Democrats as much as possible. The RSCers might as well add planks embracing the kicking of puppies and the clubbing of baby seals to make sealskin toilet-paper cozies for Mar-a-Lago. Put another way, the RSC has taken the issues where the GOP is weakest and the Democrats are strongest, and has given the blue team lots and lots of ammunition to use. And again, this isn't coming from a fringe group like the Freedom Caucus, it's coming from a caucus that represents the great majority of House Republicans (and all of the leadership).

The Democrats have already jumped on this, as you might guess, with the White House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) all issuing statements lambasting the plan. And while a policy paper from a Congressional caucus is a little too "inside baseball" for most voters at this particular moment, you can bet that Joe Biden, et al. will be bringing this up a few times later in the cycle. (Z)

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