GOP rehashes national service program |

GOP rehashes national service program

A handy way of predicting the future agenda of the Republican Party may well be to take the present platform of the Democrats and pencil in a date three to five years hence. The reliability of that test is illustrated by the GOP’s eagerness to embrace the “USA Freedom Corps,” George W. Bush’s slightly retooled version of Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps national service program. (To be fair, AmeriCorps was similar to an initiative sponsored by the first President Bush.)

While “President Bush takes credit for his USA Freedom Corps, Clinton has every right to grin,” gloats Ben Fritz of The American Prospect, a leading journal. Fritz notes that “groups like the Heritage Foundation, which once labeled AmeriCorps a ‘$575 million boondoggle,’ haven’t said a word” opposing President Bush’s version. And “conservative” congressional leaders such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have embraced the program as a key tenet of “national greatness conservatism.” Fritz concludes that “few will dare oppose the program at a time of renewed national unity and with Bush and McCain as strong supporters.”

(Copied from The New America, March 11, 2002)

Ruth Gessert

Grass Valley

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