Archive for February 7th, 2010

GOP sailing pretty far out to sea.

Feb 07, 2010 in Politics

If Reagan were alive today, would he serve as a moderating influence on the GOP, or would he be singing with the choir while ignoring his record? Whatever the case, his actual governing record wouldn’t pass the Republican purity test:

And what were those principles, exactly? No. 1—according to the resolution—was “smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes.” Let’s take those from the top. Smaller government: Federal employment grew by 61,000 during Reagan’s presidency—in part because Reagan created a whole new cabinet department, the department of veterans affairs. (Under Bill Clinton, by contrast, federal employment dropped by 373,000). Smaller deficits and debt: Both nearly tripled on Reagan’s watch. Lower taxes: Although Reagan muscled through a major tax cut in 1981, he followed up by raising taxes in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986. In 1983, in fact, he not only raised payroll taxes; he raised them to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Let’s put this in language today’s tea-baggers can understand: Reagan raised taxes to pay for government-run health care.

Then there’s plank number five: Reaganite candidates must “oppos[e] amnesty for illegal immigrants.” Really? Because if you look up the word “amnesty” in Black’s Law Dictionary, you’ll find a reference to the 1986 bill that Reagan signed, which ended up granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants.

Then there’s foreign policy. Plank number six demands that candidates back the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what did Reagan do in his biggest confrontation with jihadist terror? When Hezbollah murdered 241 U.S. servicemen in Beirut in 1983, the Gipper didn’t surge; he withdrew the remaining American troops, and fast. Plank number 7 calls for “effective [read military] action to eliminate” Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. But Reagan condemned Israel’s 1981 preventive strike against an Iraqi nuclear reactor. And plank number nine requires steadfast opposition to abortion. Yet two of Reagan’s three Supreme Court nominees voted to uphold Roe v. Wade. Turns out this Reagan guy wasn’t really that Reaganite after all.

Serves as a fairly useful reminder while Republicans are busy screeching about how radical and leftist Obama is. What they end up doing is making being a radical leftist sound like a pretty good thing.

-jb

Pork forever.

Feb 07, 2010 in Politics

I’m not reflexively opposed to pork. It’s a tiny, tiny slice of the pie, and John McCain’s campaign promise to balance the deficit by slashing pork was simply sad and funny. One state’s pork is another state’s well-targeted economic stimulus, so it’s hardly evident that eliminating pork would have a net positive effect.

That said, Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, is holding the Senate hostage on (yes, I’m going to join the bandwagon and add some emphasis here) all, all, ALL of Obama’s nominees, totaling seventy, until he gets two pork projects for Alabama. Yep, one Senator can do this. Yes, all standards have flown out the window.

This comes after Obama pointed out to the House Republicans in last week’s historic public trouncing that cutting spending can be difficult when every representative has their pet projects.

I’m pretty sure this wins the Blagojevich/Duke Cunningham award for 2010. So far, anyway. There’s an election approaching…but how can Republicans reconcile this kind of behavior with asking voters to believe a word they say about fiscal responsibility?

I think it’s simply become irrefutable that Republicans aren’t ready to govern nowadays. We’ve been stonewalled enough by the Republican minority as it is, but if they signal that they’re going to make every single Republican Senator a one-person blockade, electing any Republican who’s betrothed to the tea partiers is unsafe.

-jb

Rahm’s apology.

Feb 07, 2010 in Politics

They’d be embarrassed if they actually cared.

Feb 07, 2010 in Politics

Palin reads the answers to questions off of her hand:

Now we know how she made it through college.

It does sum up rather nicely the depth of conservative thought; one word bullet points written on your hand.

-mg

More disgusting liberal condescension.

Feb 07, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism, Librulz

This is one of my favorite demonstrations of what Gerard Alexander would refer to as “liberal condescension”. Daniel Ellsberg eviscerating the Very Serious ideas of great conservative thinker William Kristol.

Isn’t it a tragedy that liberals like Ellsberg arrogantly brushed aside the sage advice of this wise and humble man? Perhaps someday in a more civilized and intellectually honest future, conservative greats like Kristol, Krauthammer, Broder, Kaplan, Kagan, Vandehei, Barnes and Hanson can have a platform from which to speak freely.

-mg