The disconnect between the Republican establishment and its grassroots constituency is manifest in the latest fundraising survey from the Republican National Committee (RNC). In the customary hyperbolic rhetoric of mail-order fundraisers, calling it “an urgent message to all Republicans,” this mailing is labelled “the single most important public opinion polling project issued by the Republican party this year.”
In addition to asking for contributions to “support this important polling project,” the survey asks for responses to nine questions in bold type and another 14 questions in small type. But they are mostly not the questions that voters want to be asked about.
Taxes do rank first on the RNC’s list. So far so good. But the question reveals the timidity about this vital issue: “Do you agree that the 106th Congress should take steps to start reducing spending and taxes rather than continuing to increase them?”
I thought it was the 104th Congress, elected in 1994, that was supposed to “start” to reduce spending and taxes. By the time we elected a Republican Congress for the third time, we should have already had an across-the-board tax cut, or a repeal of the Bush or Clinton tax increases, plus the elimination of some mischievous federal spending such as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Then the survey asks, “What do you think we should do with the surplus?” The options given are: “Let the politicians keep the surplus,” “Return the surplus to the taxpayers,” and “Undecided.”
The problem with that question is that the Congress already spent our Social Security surplus on Clinton’s war in Yugoslavia. Nobody asked us whether or not we approved of that.
The 23-question RNC survey fails to include a single question on foreign policy! The survey contains no question on the Yugoslav war (either bombing or ground troops), Clinton’s phony “peacekeeping” expeditions, our trade policies, China scandals or U.S. relations with China, or taxpayer handouts to corrupt foreign dictators, the International Monetary Fund, or the United Nations.
It’s obvious that the Republican National Committee is trying to remove from national debate all issues of foreign policy, foreign wars, foreign trade, and foreign handouts. Despite our two-party system, there is a curious unwillingness to confront Clinton on these major national issues that affect the lives of our servicemen, our tax burden, our jobs, and the future of American sovereignty.
Why didn’t the RNC survey ask: “Since Clinton has bombed six sovereign countries in the last year (Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania), do you favor cutting off taxpayer funds to preempt future follies?”
Actually, Republican Members of Congress, by large majorities, went on record against Clinton’s war: 93% voted to require Congressional approval before ground troops were sent in, 86% voted against the bombing, 80% voted against sending peacekeeping troops, 58% voted to withdraw U.S. forces after the bombing started, and 64% voted to forbid the use of defense appropriations for Yugoslavia without specific Congressional approval. It’s just the RNC and Republicans who have easy access to the media who refuse to challenge Clinton on these vital issues.
The RNC survey doesn’t include any question about what Congress should do to repair the damage to our national security revealed by the Cox or Rudman reports, Chinese espionage, technology transfers to China by the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, or Chinese political donations. The survey doesn’t ask whether Congress should approve Most Favored Nation or World Trade Organization status for China.
Here’s another question that ought to be asked. “Should Congress reopen its investigation into Chinagate and call as witnesses the non-governmental investigators who uncovered so many scandals, including Jeff Gerth of the New York Times, Bill Gertz who wrote “Betrayal,” and Ed Timperlake and William Triplett who wrote “Year of the Rat”? Optional answers could be: “Yes, we want to know who betrayed American security,” or “No, we’re afraid to pursue this because some Republican candidates and donors might be involved.”
The survey contains no question about the tremendous issue of health care. We’d like to tell our Congressmen that workers want them to end the current discrimination against individuals who want to buy and control their own health insurance, instead of having tax deductibility for health insurance locked into their boss’s plan.
So many issues that voters care about are completely omitted from this “most important” opinion survey: what Congress can or will do about gun ownership, immigration, affirmative action, or curbing activist federal judges. No question is asked about the many attempts by the Clinton Administration to monitor the daily activities of law-abiding Americans by entering on federal databases our banking records, our medical records, our immunization records, our cell phone usage, and our transfers to a new job.
The survey’s questions about Social Security, Medicare, crime, abortion, drugs, and education don’t offer any solutions or plans from which we can choose. This survey simply confirms why Bill Clinton is still dominating the legislative agenda with his phony talk of gun control as his “solution” for Littleton, and paying for prescription drugs as his “solution” for health care.