Skip to comments.Their Own Worst Enemies - A bad midterm outlook for the GOP
Posted on 05/29/2002 8:44:38 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
Why should Republicans bother to vote GOP next November 5? Inexplicably, President Bush and congressional Republicans are giving their party base myriad reasons to go fishing on Election Day.
Republicans and Democrats have proven to be pigs in a bipartisan pen on pork-barrel spending. While some Republicans still treat taxpayers' dollars with reverence, too many more stand gleefully at the trough, snout-by-snout, with their Democratic colleagues.
This Congress is set to hike federal spending by 15 percent over just two years, more than quadruple the inflation rate. Most of this does nothing to fight terrorism.
On May 13, Bush signed a $191 billion farm bill that boosts agriculture subsidies by 80 percent. Congress even included $100 million to provide rural consumers "high-speed, high-quality broadband service." The Heritage Foundation estimates that this 10-year bill will cost the average U.S. household $180 in new taxes annually.
Bush's education department budget grows from $35.75 billion in 2001 (when he arrived) to a projected $57 billion in 2005. That is a four-year, 59.5 percent increase in federal school outlays. Bush's Leave No Child Behind initiative promotes testing and higher standards, but does little to advance school choice.
Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform law. It treats the disease of legal bribery with a prescribed overdose. As if there were no First Amendment, it will restrict political activists from purchasing ads critical of political incumbents within 60 days of elections.
Bush dropped an anvil on free-marketeers this spring when he imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported steel and a 27 percent tax on Canadian softwood lumber. This has created throbbing headaches among world leaders who have grown weary of Bush's self-mocking free-trade rhetoric.
Bush has applauded a Senate bill by liberal Republican Pete Domenici of New Mexico and arch-liberal Democrat Paul Wellstone of Minnesota that would force company health plans to insure mental illness and physical ailments equally. Costs will soar as employers underwrite medical care for anxiety atop angina.
A popular conservative president should steer Congress starboard. A May 14 - 15 Fox News poll of 900 adults found Bush's job approval at 77 percent (+/- 3 percent). Alas, like his father (who achieved 90 percent favorability after the Persian Gulf War), G. W. Bush guards his political capital like an heirloom rather than invest it for even greater gains.
When Democrats smeared appellate-court nominee Charles Pickering as a racist, Bush, for instance, should have held a press conference with Pickering and his prominent black supporters from Mississippi. As Charles Evers, the brother of slain civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, said: Pickering "was standing up for blacks in Mississippi when no other white man would." Bush avoided such bold action. A thousand cuts later, Pickering's nomination fatally hemorrhaged in the Senate Judiciary Committee last March.
Bush could have enhanced the prospects for petroleum exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He could have invited local Eskimos to the Rose Garden and let them explain how oil development would lift them from poverty. Better yet, Bush could have taken the White House press corps to ANWR to unmask its potential oil acreage as a barren mosquito farm. Bush avoided the ANWR fray, thus clinching that proposal's Senate demise.
Beyond speaking softly in his bully pulpit, Bush never has touched his veto pen. Had he threatened to reject some of this absurd legislation, fence-sitting GOP congressmen would have yielded and defeated (or at least improved) these bills. Absent Bush's leadership, they climbed atop the gilded bandwagon rather than fall on their laissez-faire swords. Republicans should worry that their demoralized stalwarts will do what they did in the last midterm election: Stay home.
The proportion of self-described conservatives at the polls fell from 37 percent in 1994 to 31 percent in 1998, Voter News Service reports. Frustrated with a "Republican Revolution" turned free-spending self-parody, the party faithful sat on their hands just enough to cost Republicans five House seats.
If they don't reverse this parade of white flags, Washington Republicans similarly may shrink or lose their House majority and dash their plans to capture the Senate not because they advanced their free-market principles but because they betrayed them and thus surrendered their claim to power.
You are right that there are differences, but unfortunately the score card no longer tells you what to expect from a candidate. Ever since the GOP bought into the "big tent" theory, the philosophy has been diluted to the point of being almost meaningless as a platform to be adhered to and defended. TPTB in the GOP are happy with big government, so long as they are in charge of it. And that frustrates me immensely.
Sometimes I let my frustration carry me away and I overstate my position. (But don't tell anyone. I use that in negotiating. LOL)
What's wrong with being a realist?
Since Dubya has the power to veto (the ultimate trump of an advocate of smaller government), he does not have the same excuse for the big government trend of his administration.
Another comparision is quite revealing: Clinton may have been hampered by Congress but he never proposed programs to reduce the size of government. Dubya, by contrast, has proposed many programs to increase the size of big government.
Why should I? I want a much smaller government, not a much larger one.
Actually, there lies of the problem with the GOP. In too many cased the GOP start the negotiations in a compromised position while the Dems start out with a left-wing extremist position, and the debate goes from there.
Those tall shiny buildings that were in Manhattan, did their destruction have anything to do with this? Are we at war now?
Are you upset at Jim Jeffords? Why, or why not?
My statement was regarding democrats in the sixties that held positions that pubbies are afraid to defend now. Whether Goldwater won on lost and on what issues is irrelevant to my point.
But during that era, those positions were simply American values, not liberal or conservative. They still are or should be, but the GOP (not all)has been intimidated and lacks the backbone to take a definitive stand in their defense.
Before September 11, he was in a much weaker position in this regard (with or without Jeffords). In any case, I doubt that an argument can be made that Dubya's budget busting farm bill, steel tariffs, mental health parity, refusal to support drilling in the Gulf, has anything to do with do with the war against terrorism.
Are you my ex? She was 'always right' too. But you are exactly right. To win any negotiation, you must start from an 'extreme' position and then give up some ground - which is really no or little groud at all. The rule for success in negotiation is not how much you give, but in HOW MANY TIMES you give. If you make several minor concessions, you will come out much further ahead than if you only give once or twice, but start from a weakened position or give too much each time.
But it is always easy for unprincipled politicians to negotiate away our money, rights, and freedom for their own power and glorification, isn't it? The b@stards.
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!!
Is he the President (one of three branches of our government), or is he a dictator?
The only way what you state gets accomplished is if he were a dictator, and had no resistence to his mandate(s). Ergo, I will ask the question again: Are you upset at Jim Jeffords?
Do people not think that Zell Miller will do anything to see the RATS elected and thus get a committee chairmanship as a reward? Why do they think he was such a big a hit at the NRA? The RATS have all been told to be more pro-gun, etc. to get elected and when they do the pro-gun lobby can sit back and ask what happened when they don't vote like they want!
People need to think and ask why they are listening to new posters and posters that have been anti-Bush from the beginning! Libertarians are no friends of Republicans -- they have already cost us the Senate by running candidates in NV and WA -- people need to really look at what they stand for or any other 3rd party! And they need to start looking at what President Bush has done that is conservative instead of listening to the Anti-Bush crowd and be so easily led!
Just think, with their line reasoning, we will never get Conservative judges and what will happen to the War on Terror or DoD scares the living daylights out me.
Something is wrong on here! New posters sounding like old timers -- give me a break. I have kept my screen name forever and don't need to come back on as someone else to scam people! Not to mention some new names have old sign-up dates -- what gives with that?
I am going out to mow grass myself and take frustration out on the grass!
I voted for him in 2000, and unless he puts a pro-choicer on as VP, I will almost certainly vote for him in 2004.
H.R. 7 -- should indeed be blocked
H.R. 3210 -- should be blocked
H.R. 3529 -- link doesn't work, but I bet it should be blocked
H.R. 1900 -- couldn't care less
H.R. 2505 -- should be blocked
H.R. 3762 -- should be blocked
H.Con. Res 353 -- link doesn't work. But by the title alone I wouldn't mind it being blocked. ;)
H.R. 586 -- hey, sounds alright
H.R. 496 -- couldn't care less
H.R. 624 -- should be blocked
H.R. 1992 -- couldn't care less
H.R. 724 -- who cares?
H.R. 2983 -- ditto
H.R. 476 -- should be blocked
H.R. 2146 -- o.k. I guess
H.R. 1542 -- o.k. I guess
H.R. 2985 -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it
H.R. 974 -- should be blocked
H.R. 1408 -- probably should be blocked
Ugh, I can't go on. Only one thing I like so far.
Remind me again why I should vote Republican? I say,"Thank God for gridlock!!"
The criminal never blames his crime for his imprisonment. Like the GOP, he just thinks those mean conservatives are picking on him, are out to spoil his fun.
"Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes,"
George W. Bush - SOURCE
No To 'Compassionate Conservatism'
"Marvin Olasky, the former Marxist journalism professor who coined the term. But he and George W. Bush are barking up the wrong tree if they think "compassionate conservatism" is going to rally popular support necessary to effect the real change needed to turn this country around."
The surest way to bust this economy is to increase the role and the size of the federal government."
George W. Bush - Source: Presidential debate, Boston MA Oct 3, 2000.
Gore offers an old and tired approach. He offers a new federal spending program to nearly every voting bloc. He expands entitlements, without reforms to sustain them. 285 new or expanded programs, and $2 trillion more in new spending. Spending without discipline, spending without priorities, and spending without an end. Al Gores massive spending would mean slower growth and higher taxes. And it could mean an end to this nations prosperity."
George W. Bush Source: Speech in Minneapolis, Minnesota Nov 1, 2000.
"People need more money in their pocket, as far as Im concerned."
George W. Bush - The Tampa (FL) Tribune Oct 26, 2000.
I was deeply concerned about the drift toward a more powerful federal government. I was particularly outraged by two pieces of legislation, the Natural Gas Policy Act and the Fuel Use Act. It seemed to me that elite central planners were determining the course of our nation. Allowing the government to dictate the price of natural gas was a move toward European-style socialism. If the federal government was going to take over the natural gas business, what would it set its sights on next?"
George W. Bush - Source: A Charge to Keep, p.172-173 Dec 9, 1999
Bush Says He Wants to Let Clinton 'Move On'
"Listen, here's my view: I think it's time to get all of this business behind us. I think it's time ... to allow the president to finish his term, and let him move on and enjoy life and become an active participant in the American system. And I think we've had enough focus on the past. It's time to move forward." - George W. Bush.
Bush Won't Dwell On Clinton Affair, "We're Moving Forward"
"B/S, Mr Bush. Clinton is a criminal and a traitor. We demand a thorough investigation and prosecution. Our Republic is dead and our liberty is at stake if the next administration does not clean up this mess for now and forever more. Corrupt politicians must pay the price for subverting our Constitution and using their offices for personal gain."
4 Posted on 01/20/2000 14:17:56 PST by Jim Robinson
"Thats why Im for instant background checks at gun shows. Im for trigger locks."
George W. Bush - Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000.