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Bush, GOP Congress Not On the Same Page (Political treason or stupidity, you decide)
The Chicago Sun-Times ^ | March 4, 2004 | Robert Novak

Posted on 03/04/2004 1:19:52 PM PST by quidnunc

At 1 p.m. on Feb. 25, some 15 prominent Republicans invited to be surrogates in the coming presidential campaign gathered at Bush-Cheney headquarters in suburban Northern Virginia for a private briefing. Less than two hours earlier that day, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan detonated a political bombshell. To judge from the bland and uninformative briefing, nobody on the president's campaign team heard the explosion.

Former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, a Washington lawyer-lobbyist who last year resigned as figurehead chairman of the Republican National Committee to become figurehead chairman of Bush-Cheney '04, led the precisely orchestrated, one-hour briefing. He did not mention that Greenspan had just testified to Congress advocating reduced Social Security benefits. Racicot might be excused for being silent and unaware of the central banker's latest political mischief, since it also escaped the attention that morning of key Bush policymakers.

The invited advocates were handed a thick batch of talking points to ingest by the campaign's appropriately named chief of surrogates, Julie Cram. Nowhere in the handout did the forbidden words ''Social Security'' appear. ''The president's opponents are against personal retirement accounts'' is the closest the briefing material came to the dreaded subject. Many prospective surrogates left campaign headquarters profoundly depressed by the mediocre briefing and the material given them.

This fits the deepening malaise among Republicans in the capital. They are neither surprised nor terribly worried by polls that temporarily show George W. Bush trailing John Kerry. What worries the GOP faithful is the absence of firm leadership in their party either at the White House or on Capitol Hill.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at suntimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:
The Congressional Republicans aren't acting like a majority party, they're whining like a bunch of pathetic losers.

Dubya is taking political heat for some of the stuff that the doofus GOP congressmen should rightly be taking the blame for.

On bills like the farm bill and campaign finance reform individual congressmen voted to pander to their constituencies.

Now Bush is being given grief for not vetoing things which the GOP had the power to block initially.

The rallying cry of the Republican congressional delegations should be "Stop me before I spend again!"

During the administration of Bush (41), Congress passed bills just to force a veto, and those vetos were one factor in Bush (41)'s defeat.

Dubya warned Congress to be very sure that what they did was what they wanted because he wasn't going to spend political capital saving them from themselves.

1 posted on 03/04/2004 1:19:54 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
More of the same.
2 posted on 03/04/2004 1:23:35 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: quidnunc
I'm glad this is happening. It needs to happen. The cogressional Republicans are almost all milquetoasts who have a smarmy, entitled air about them.
What comes out of the White House is frankly incomprehensible in relation to conservatism, Republicanism, national security and concern for American jobs and living standards.
3 posted on 03/04/2004 1:31:55 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: quidnunc
Responding to anything written by Novak is a waste of time. The man is nothing but a trouble maker and never misses an opportunity to bash the President.
4 posted on 03/04/2004 1:36:31 PM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: quidnunc
"A few thoughtful GOP lawmakers ponder the record of the first time in 40 years that the party has controlled both the executive and legislative branches, and conclude that record is deeply disappointing."

Deeply disappointing doesn't even come close.

5 posted on 03/04/2004 1:38:44 PM PST by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: OldFriend
Few recall that Novak has always been a registered Dimwit. He might favor the GOP from time to time on economic issues, but the yellow dog comes out to bite the elephant when opportunity strikes.
6 posted on 03/04/2004 1:39:44 PM PST by Young Rhino (http://www.artofdivorce.com)
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To: quidnunc
What galls me about this story is that the presuppose that we would lose seats at midterm elections if Bush is re-elected.

That didn't happen in the 2002 election, the voting didn't follow an "historical" pattern, so why would they expect it to do so in the 2006 races.
7 posted on 03/04/2004 1:41:07 PM PST by dawn53
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To: OldFriend
I still wonder if Wilson is the one who planted the CIA leak story with Novak to cause havoc for the Bush Admin. I cannot help but wonder when I see so many of these pundits trying to be relevant or cause a media stir.

Just how close are Wilson/Plame to Novak? Which is another reason I'm suspicious about his dissension in the GOP ranks stories.

Let's face it, the Dems are the ones with an issue of who will control the party; typically whenever the Dems have a problem the thing the media does is deflect it to the Republicans.
8 posted on 03/04/2004 1:42:29 PM PST by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: quidnunc
The only reason the White House is entangled in the current WMD mess,for example, is because the President failed to use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to define and control the topic of Iraq.

Just one of many reasons this column resonates out in the hinterland.

I await now the arrival of the Bushbots to thoroughly thrash me.

Best regards,

9 posted on 03/04/2004 1:46:21 PM PST by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: jpsb
"Deeply disappointing doesn't even come close."

Exactly, and the tenor of the posts to this thread seem to hold Dubyuh blameless for the rampant growth in the Federal Leviathan during Dubyuh's first term. Fact is, the Republican Congress has pretty much given Dubyuh what he's wanted, and that has included a whole lot of wasteful spending. I'm glad some of them are finally saying enough is enough and standing up against him on his lack of fiscal conservatism!!

That said, Dubyuh's made some statements that hint he's getting the message. For instance, after pledging that he'd hold domestic discretionary spending to an increase of 4% in his SOTU address, he heard the rumblings and changed that to 1% growth in his following Saturday radio address...he needs to make this a higher priority and make sure the lawmakers know that he will use his veto power to enforce this laudible goal. On another instance recently, he talked about 128 Federal programs that could be either eliminated or drastically cut...let's start seeing these programs disappear and I believe the Congressfolks will rally to his cause!!

FReegards...MUD

10 posted on 03/04/2004 1:47:19 PM PST by Mudboy Slim (RE-IMPEACH Osama bil Clinton!!)
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To: quidnunc
Sounds like some Republicans on the hill are trying to hide their own failure on the President's door step.

The Republican leadership continues to act like they are the minority party, while the Democrats learned very quickly how to be the minority part. They might want to concentrate less of being disappointed and more on trying to grow portions of their own anatomy.

11 posted on 03/04/2004 1:47:32 PM PST by CWOJackson
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Bush, GOP Congress Not On the Same Page....

Get on the same page, now. Next thread.

12 posted on 03/04/2004 1:55:07 PM PST by Consort
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To: BlessedByLiberty
I have to agree with your assumption; I too believe Wilson was behind the entire affair. You always wonder went a person protests so much; in this case to much.
13 posted on 03/04/2004 1:55:34 PM PST by wvnavyvet
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To: CWOJackson
Last time I looked it took both branches (legislative and executive) to enact bills into law. If Bush didn't like the bills then he shouldn't have signed them.
14 posted on 03/04/2004 1:55:52 PM PST by Alcibiades
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To: quidnunc
We're told the poeple like 'divided government.'

Well, it looks like they should vote straight Republican--they'll get it.

15 posted on 03/04/2004 1:57:16 PM PST by atomicpossum (Fun pics in my profile)
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To: Alcibiades
LOL! Like the way the Republican controlled Congress has done such a wonderful job in passing the President's judicial nominees.
16 posted on 03/04/2004 1:57:51 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: quidnunc
A few thoughtful GOP lawmakers ponder the record of the first time in 40 years that the party has controlled both the executive and legislative branches, and conclude that record is deeply disappointing.

The sad thing is that Novak is helping promote the dissention rather than trying to help people understand it.... He's a tool of the democrats to which he is a registered member as I understand it.....

They act like the Republicans have controlled the Executive and Legislative branches for many years when they use the above quote citing "40 Years". In reality the Republicans have had barely "one Year" of control of both branches and in the Legislature the Senate by a whopping majority of only "ONE" 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats and 1 Independent.... The malcontents don't deserve the attention they get, imo....

17 posted on 03/04/2004 2:01:27 PM PST by deport (For Sale: Iraqi rifle, never fired, dropped once)
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To: deport
Everyone on this site needs to vote for kerry and shut the hell up about it.I for one am tired of the constant f-----g wining.
18 posted on 03/04/2004 2:08:55 PM PST by cksharks (quote from)
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To: quidnunc
The problem with the Republican party can be stated with an athletic metaphor. It is pretty much a one man team, they do not have anything resembling a bench. If Bush is reelected who would run in 2008? If Chaney would have a health problem, who would replace him on the ticket. Ridge and Frist are not ready for prime time. I would hate to see the national party have to turn to the likes of Giulani or Schwarnegger. The congressional republicans are in such dire straits that when Newt stepped down the best they could come up with was Livingston. And then they got less than less than third rate with Hastert.
19 posted on 03/04/2004 2:13:15 PM PST by Biblebelter
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To: Biblebelter
It is pretty much a one man team, they do not have anything resembling a bench. If Bush is reelected who would run in 2008?


So you are saying that President Bush was groomed and ready back in 1999-2000 by whomever was in charge of the 'bench'? I agree that at some point someone needs to step up and take a leadership position or at least command enough support to be ready for 2008..... Cheney isn't going to be the nominee, imo.. If he continues for the full time in the VP slot then look for someone out of the Governors ranks again to come forward... I'm not that impressed with the Senators to be the group to produce the 2008 nominee.
20 posted on 03/04/2004 2:20:46 PM PST by deport (For Sale: Iraqi rifle, never fired, dropped once)
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To: Biblebelter
And then they got less than less than third rate with Hastert.
Don't forget there are 2 parts to the legislative body..all of the president's bills have flew through the House and get constipated in the Senate!(remember, the senate is 50/50 due to RINOs)
21 posted on 03/04/2004 2:23:57 PM PST by kaktuskid
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To: Mudboy Slim
Yes, he does appear to be getting the message, so maybe there is reason to hope and reason to vote Bush in this election. But there is every reason to believe Bush is by nature a big spender, big government Republican. So blind support of Bush, is in affect, badly hurting the GOP and the chances of ever electing a conservative president. Blindly supporting Bush is suicide for conservatives.
22 posted on 03/04/2004 4:06:39 PM PST by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: Biblebelter
The one Bush I actually like is waiting in the wings. Jeb Bush. I wish he was running in the GOP preimaries this year. I'd vote for him.
23 posted on 03/04/2004 4:10:43 PM PST by jpsb (Nominated 1994 "Worst writer on the net")
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To: cksharks
I for one am tired of the constant f-----g wining

No such word.

Are you tired of winning or whining?

24 posted on 03/04/2004 4:35:41 PM PST by Republic If You Can Keep It
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To: Republic If You Can Keep It
So I left out an h you must have got the point. So sue me.
25 posted on 03/04/2004 4:46:43 PM PST by cksharks (quote from)
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To: jpsb
"...blind support of Bush, is in affect, badly hurting the GOP and the chances of ever electing a conservative president. Blindly supporting Bush is suicide for conservatives."

I agree...and I'm keeping both eyes wide open from now until November...MUD

26 posted on 03/04/2004 4:59:35 PM PST by Mudboy Slim (RE-IMPEACH Osama bil Clinton!!)
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To: atomicpossum
Well, some Republicans have a lot more to lose via a Kerry win than others.

Social conservatives are the ones with the most at risk here – rally-the-troops rhetoric aside they are fighting rear-guard actions on most issues, their hopes really hinge on two or three friendly SC appointments which would clear the way (perhaps via vouchers) for Federal and state funding of religious elementary and secondary education - which would make it much easier to raise their children according to their values.

The economic elite have the least at risk – over the last decade they have already received substantial tax relief (reduced dividend taxation, lower long they capital gains rates and the like) - in a high deficit environment all they forgo is the elimination of the estate tax.

"Pragmantic" Republician politicians have long courted the former - while delivering the goods for the latter.

So it does not strike me as surprising that the political priorities and tactical decisions of the congressional Republican leadership (who can expect to be there long after the Current administration has departed) might be at odds with those of an Administration that looks only as far as the next election in shaping it's appeal to these two very different groups of voters.
27 posted on 03/04/2004 5:22:24 PM PST by M. Dodge Thomas
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To: quidnunc
Perhaps this might help:

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a40bb29017b.htm

Best regards,

28 posted on 03/04/2004 9:45:00 PM PST by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: Biblebelter
The political parties never really have "benches". The difference is that the press reports widely on the democrats and ignores the republicans unless the news if negative for one of them. The democrats just recycle the same tired old people (Kerry, Daschle, Gephart). Republicans run with a different set of nominees every time. Many of the Republican nominees are not elected officials (Buchanon, Forbes, Keyes)or they are governors so they return to obscurity, at least nationally, but the Dems are generally senators or representatives that remain in the spotlight. If Kerry loses the press will start on the 2008 election in December and it will be Hillary vs. Edwards. The press will keep them in the spotlight for years.
29 posted on 03/05/2004 10:18:07 AM PST by Alcibiades
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To: Alcibiades
I am not sure if it is accurate to say the Republicans run a new set of nominees every time. Robert Dole or George Bush was on every presidential ticket from 1976 through 1996. In the 1996 election, Dole was one tired recycled Washington insider. Republican governorships have been a source of new blood for Republicans. I follow politics beyond what the lamestream media covers, and I do not see any rising stars in the governorships.
30 posted on 03/05/2004 1:23:30 PM PST by Biblebelter
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