David All argues that the proliferation of competing “agendas” now emanating from individual Republican House members misses the point. I agree, but for very different reasons than David. His essential argument is that Republicans should ditch any hope for a Contract-style agenda:
Gone are the days of Newt Gingrich’s Contract for America, a plan which every Republican got behind and backed. A unified agenda back in 1994 was possible because of Newt Gingrich’s intoxicating personality and strong leadership style; but it was also a different time, a time before the Internet inspired a culture of choice and information.
Today, thanks to the Internet, each Member of Congress can and should be fighting in the trenches for the hundreds of issues which drive their voters to the polls under the banner of the Republican Party. The Internet provides a medium to distribute our message like never before. We can fight on thousands of fronts.
Rather than being forced to to pick a few, limited set of agenda items, House Republicans should change the game and act more like iTunes and NetFlix — offering conservative, libertarian, and independent voters a lot of different choices — all of which can only be found under the larger brand — Republican.
This overlooks the most salient example: Obama, the epitome of the new net-centric candidate. Obama has actually thrived on a very strong, unified message.