House GOP leaders today unveiled a listening tour called America Speaks Out that will start online and be expanded to a bunch of events across the country. “I saw this as an extension of our solutions group,” Minority Leader John Boehner said at the project’s unveiling at the Newseum in Washington. The same group, Boehner added, that came up with alternative legislation to the stimulus, the budget and health care reform. Apparently those were done without the input of the American people.
Of course this has been done before. As has the website. But this time it’s a super cool website. No really: “I personally traveled to Washington State to see a Microsoft program that helped NASA map the moon,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference and the guy who headed up this effort.
They chose the Newseum, McCarthy said, because of the First Amendment scrawled on the front of the building. “Last summer in small groups and in large groups people spoke out. They spoke independently and the spoke individually but their message was the same: listen,” McCarthy said. “America Speaks Out will return to them their voice and we will listen.” Because speaking to the people means speaking to the national elite press in a building erected in their honor.
Some caveats: don’t bother writing in curse words, or insulting people personally or asking to raise taxes – those comments will be scrubbed. Also discouraged, suggestions on amnesty or a path to legalization for illegal immigrants and anything pro-choice. “We know what our principles are,” McCarthy said. Apparently not banned? Hitler.
The ideas will be gathered into legislation that Republicans could start introducing as early as next week, Boehner said. Or, they might bundle it all together in September as say a Contract With America, er, bundle of legislation that reflects the will of the people Republican base and introduce it as a blueprint for what they could do if reelected by some miracle they regained the majority in the last month before Congress leaves for the year at the end of October. Boehner and every other House GOP leader swore that elections are NOT, NOT, NOT why they’re doing this. “This effort has nothing to do with elections,” Boehner said. “People are angry and the Democrats are clearly not listening. Well, we are.” Also, this was paid for by taxpayers’ money so, legally, they can’t say it has anything to do with elections.