Skip to comments.Duncan Hunter, RRRINO: Reincarnated Reagan Republican In Name Only
Posted on 03/09/2007 6:44:43 PM PST by LdSentinal
Periodically, I get e-mails from supporters of the presidential candidacy of Alpine Rep. Duncan Hunter who express disbelief, befuddlement or fury, or a mix of all three, at my flat contention that he is a populist demagogue and anything but a principled conservative. These folks cannot fathom any talk that he's not free-trade, small-government Ronald Reagan reincarnated.
Here's a typical example of Hunterista reaction to my comment that he's been against trade deals that have been important boons to our economy:
You're supposed to be a columnist, an informed person. This is not an informed statement.
OK. If you don't believe me about Duncan Hunter's RRRINOitis, here's what the influential, admired-and-respected-in-conservative-circles Club for Growth has to say about him:
Like most Republicans, he's strong on tax cuts, but he's been part of the big government spending spree of the last 6 years. He also has a protectionist streak in him. Here are some of the more troubling votes:
NO on NAFTA YES on No Child Left Behind YES on Sarbanes-Oxley YES on the 2003 Medicare Drug Benefit NO on CAFTA YES on 2005 Highway Bill YES on the 527 bill (like most Republicans, he flip-flopped, having first voted NO on McCain-Feingold) Hunter also went 0 for 19 on the Flake anti-pork amendments.
Despite being a member of the Republican Study Committee, Hunter frequently votes NO on their fiscally conservative annual budgets (2006, 2005, 2003...)
We gave him a 49% on the 2005 Club for Growth scorecard. That places him 187th within the House GOP conference, out of roughly 230 members.
National Taxpayers Union shows a more telling trend. He was strong in the early 1990s, getting "B's" and one "A", but as time went by, like most politicians, his score dropped. For the past few years, he's been getting "C's".
Those Cs are incredibly generous. As CATO noted last year, with Duncan Hunter cheering him on ...
... President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn't cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.
Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush's first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton's last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush's first term.
The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.
The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs.
And as bad as things are on the budget front, they're about to get a whole lot worse because of a pending nightmare that Duncan Hunter -- supposed tough guy, supposed truth-teller, supposed fiscal conservative -- has chosen to ignore. To borrow from what I wrote last year ...
... the single worst problem facing this country in coming years, with the possible exception of nuclear terrorism, is dealing with the massive fiscal impact of baby boomers retiring. As we slowly transition from a nation where there are 4 working adults for every adult getting Social Security and Medicare to a nation where that ratio is 2 to 1, we will face an incredible fiscal squeeze.
As a veteran member of Congress, Duncan Hunter knows this. He's heard the warnings, seen the bipartisan studies. So what did this self-declared fiscal conservative do in 2003? He voted to make the problem much, much, much worse by extending prescription drug benefits to seniors, three-quarters of whom already have coverage. The money that was saved by all the triumphant stands he claims to have taken is infinitesimal compared to the staggering long-term national debt he helped add with this one vote, which was tantamount to civic arson.
Yeah, right, our Duncan's a fiscal conservative. ... He loves spending your grandkids' money, and by the truckload.
Duncan Hunter is no Ronald Reagan. To those who say Ronald Reagan really wasn't Ronald Reagan -- that government didn't get smaller when he was president -- well, he tried harder than any president in modern times to get Congress to control spending and wipe out whole government agencies. By contrast, Hunter and the GOP Congress of 2001-2006 kept the national credit cards hanging on a string around their necks for easy and constant use.
Instead of whining about me , how about commenting on the merits of these accusations? Yes?
I agree. He's anti-free-trade agreements and that is just fine with me. I'm sure that will piss off the globalists in the GOP, but I don't care. OTOH, it will definitely be likeable by the blue collar "Reagan democrats" and would pull in a lot of Joe average moderate voters. In other words, I see it as a bonus.
His spending has been shown to be for military spending, which is the only thing the government SHOULD be spending big bucks on anyway.
He's still my guy. I never compared him to Reagan, the greatest president in my lifetime, but at this point I'll back him over anybody else in the running for the GOP. I'm liking the sound of a Hunter/Thompson combination.
I like Hunter more and more.
- YES on No Child Left Behind
GOOD! It was the right thing to do.
- YES on Sarbanes-Oxley
GOOD! Enron was a disaster, and we're in a war.
- YES on the 2003 Medicare Drug Benefit
GOOD! We needed it. Drugs ARE medicine nowadays.
- YES on 2005 Highway Bill
- YES on the 527 bill (like most Republicans, he flip-flopped, having first voted NO on McCain-Feingold)
DON'T LIKE IT.
- Hunter also went 0 for 19 on the Flake anti-pork amendments.
HE SPENDS MONEY. THEY ALL DO.
He votes against offshoring jobs to poor countries leaving Americans in desperate share. Good.
Personally I like Rudy and it sounds like he did a great job as mayor of NY but that doesn't mean I want him as president. The bulk of the USA will never be confused with NY.
Of course a lot of people will like it...he's their boy.
Obviously, he's the only candidate who will be perfect enough.
Not anymore. James Cameron took care of that. You must be thinking of Obama.
Gosh, Kevmo...it's been a whole 5 minutes since you last posted that. Get with it.
Rudy cut tax rates, and the money poured in.
He spent a lot of it to hire more policemen, and arrest all the criminals that the libs had ignored for years.
"When is Jesus going to announce?"
Spoke with him yesterday, he's not running.
When the liberal media wants Guliani instead of Hunter... I'll go with Hunter.
But I really hope Cheney retires and Rice gets appointed, and runs with Newt Gingrich (a guy can dream, can't he?)
On spending and Campaign Finance Reform, Hunter is a liberal.
I'm voting for Duncan Hunter unless someone better steps forward to run, which I do not see happening. I surely could not under any circumstance support Rudy, McCain, Romney, or Brownback.
"Maybe if some weren't trying to pass him off as "another Reagan" he would do better. He is unique, he doesn't need to be the new Reagan. Now them will be so let's just stop the comparisons!"
That is a good point, a "New Ronald Reagan" would not even be called the new Ronald Reagan, he would already be known from his impact as his own man, and have his own reputation, having cut his own swath, and earned his own base.
(Some where in there is some sense I think.)
I'll only believe it if John Edwards says it's so! He seems to have Jesus on his speed dial.
A man who is
For strong national defense--loves and supports the military
For protection of the unborn and the sanctity of human life
For real border security, including a fence and fair treatment of our Border Patrol
For traditional family values
For full 2nd Amendment rights for citizens
Sounds like a very questionable candidate--
Again with the apostrophe thing? Stick to issues, please. It doesn't speak well of you.
As for the topic...yes, I do agree that Hunter's fiscal conservatism is his weak spot. He's pro-tax cuts, and his position on trade seems to be mostly against those who have hostile intentions towards us (he did vote for a free trade deal with Austrailia).
Heads and shoulders above the other candidates that are running at the moment though. One could only hope that he'll be better, but his positives are far greater than his negatives (as the case was with Reagan).
I don't know if I recall ever claiming Hunter is another Reagan; honestly, I wouldn't know, as I was born in 88'.
But I think Hunter's the right man for the job in these troubled times.
Don't you have a ping list?
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