At any rate, I'm writing to you members of the Republican National Committee to warn you that your chairman, Mike Duncan, has gone bonkers and must be deposed immediately. Evidence of Duncan's lunacy ought to be obvious from the memo he recently sent you:
I am pleased today to announce the creation of the Center for Republican Renewal, a new office of the Republican National Committee that will identify, generate, and promote public policies that advance Republican principles of sound governance. . . .This is so bass-ackwards that I can only conclude that Duncan is nuts. It is not the job of GOP HQ to generate ideas that it then imposes downward on the party. The Republican grassroots needs to dictate policy to the national party leadership, not vice-versa.
Indeed, about 90 percent of what's gone wrong with the Republican Party over the past eight years is the GOP's adoption of this very same top-down method of operation which Duncan now proposes to formalize by creating a bureaucratic "central committee" type structure within RNC headquarters. Your response to Duncan and his cuckoo "Center for Republican Renewal" idea should be not merely "no," but HELL, NO.
This vision of the Republican Party as a centralized, professionalized, ideological bureacracy, dictating policy to its members, is the antithesis of successful politics. It is a waste of time and money. Duncan needs to be told to cease and desist in the creation of this internal apparatus, pending his removal from the chairmanship just as soon as you can convene and vote him out.
There is no shortage of idea-generating think tanks, advocacy groups and policy-oriented journals to which Republicans can turn if it is "new ideas" you're after. (Frankly, as a conservative, I think old ideas are always the best ideas, but that's just me.) But wherever your ideas come from, they ought not be dictated from above. For eight years now, Republicans have basically looked to the Bush administration and their allies for direction: What does the President want? Smart people can see how this top-down method of party control by the Bush coterie has led to a withering of the party's grassroots energy, and resulted in the disastrous election just completed.
Stop Duncan's plan now, and encourage him to take a vacation somewhere pleasant, someplace with a professional psychiatric staff to help him realize that he's been under an awful lot of stress lately so maybe he should just relax and attend art therapy classes for a few weeks until he feels more rested.
Probably Duncan's delusions will go away on their own, but if not, perhaps you can find him gainful employment as a columnist for the New York Times, like David Brooks, who continues to insist to his friends that he is a "conservative Republican." (His friends humor him, since it's always dangerous to contradict the fantasies of a madman.)