Saturday, September 6

The RNC, summarized.

So basically, this is the Republican ticket in 2008: a "maverick" who votes with President Bush 90 percent of the time and a "reformer" who raked pork money into Alaska by the hundreds of millions and hired a lobbying firm connected to indicted Sen. Ted Stevens to figure out how to get more.

Heckuva job, GOP.

(Hat tip on the cartoon: Andrew Sullivan.)


Lowlife said...

The McCain ticket is so transparent. Most of their campaign, I believe, will backfire on them. They've lost the argument for experience and they've lost the argument for change.

I think The Daily Show summed it up best last night:

Especially the part where they show clips from Bush's 2000 acceptance speech and McCain's.

Anonymous said...

The change I'm looking for is some actual bi-partisan attempts to fix some these problems. McCain has a history of doing just that. Obama has a record of voting with Pelosi and Reid 97% of the time. They lead a congress that has even lower approval ratings than GWB.

I'm tired of the partisan "do anything possible so that the other side can't claim any success at the expense of all Americans" politics we've been practicing the last 20 years. By both sides.

I think McCain wants to change the way the game is played in DC. I think Obama's idea of change is "not George Bush" and his record, words and actions show that. That's not good enough for me

Anonymous said...

Uhh, comrade Doug, Obama voted 97% of the time with his fellow dems. Given that the dem congress has a lower approval rating, by a fair margin, than W, I'm not sure what your point is.

If you want to play the guilt by association game, and I don't know why you would open yourself up to it, but can you say Rezko? Wright? Ayers?

Biden and Obama voted for funding the Bridge to Nowhere, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief.

Sen. McCain did not vote on the Coburn Amendment, though he is on record as opposing the Ketchikan bridge earmark.

Pfleger, a campaign contributor to Obama, in addition to being yet another “spiritual mentor,” and Obama got a $225,000.00 earmark for Pfleger’s church when Obama was in the state legislature in Illinois.

Last year’s earmarks:

- Hillary Clinton: $340 million worth of earmarks (a top 10 placing among senators)

- Barack Obama: $91 million (placing in the bottom quarter of the senate)

- John McCain: $0 (one of only 5 senators to request no earmarks)

In 2004, Palin joined a Democratic representative in filing an ethics complaint against Republican Attorney General Gregg Renkes over a trade deal. Renkes resigned.

As a Murkowski-appointee to the Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Palin went after fellow commissioner Randy Ruedrich, also chairman of the state GOP, charging him with doing political business on state time. That investigation led to his resignation and a $12,000 fine.

In contrast, Obama’s record as a state senator in Illinois hardly represents reform. He spent eight years cozying up to the Chicago machine and failed to challenge status quo politics there.

Emil Jones, president of the Illinois senate and Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s enforcer, was Obama’s mentor. Obama often points to an ethics bill he “sponsored” in 1998 to bolster his reform and bipartisan credentials. The ethics bill allows Jones to retire next year and convert $578,000 (the amount he had in his account in 1998 minus income taxes) to his personal bank account.

Obama’s bill barred fundraising on state property and blocked lobbyists from giving gifts to legislators. It did not, however, end the pay-to-play system of patronage championed by another Obama associate — Tony Rezko. Don’t blame Obama, though. He didn’t actually write the law, as reported by author David Freddoso:

“[Obama] was not the one to propose the ethics bill in the Illinois senate. He was not even a cosponsor until the day it passed. Five months after the ethics bill was introduced, and more than one month after it reached the senate, Obama was invited by Emil Jones to become its chief Democratic cosponsor. As David Mendell writes in Obama: From Promise to Power, former Rep. Abner Mikva convinced Jones to let Obama handle the legislation. Sen. Dick Klemm (D.) was removed as chief cosponsor and replaced by Obama on May 22, 1998 — the very day the bill passed.”

Thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight, Doug.

Anonymous said...

Doug, I think you have summed up the RNC just about perfectly.

Will said...

For the GOP folks, a hypothetical before I get back to drinking:
Could it be possible that Congress has a lower approval rating because they haven't really stood up George Bush?
They were given power in 2006 to oppose Bush, but:
1. Haven't gotten us out of Iraq
2. Authorized an abstinence-only sex-ed bill
3. Signed off on more warrantless wiretapping
4. etc.

Oh, and when you break the stats down, more registered Republicans approve of the current Congress than registered Democrats.

If Paul Volker and Warren Buffet approve Obama, I'll take that over Phil Gramm's McCain endorsement re: the economy.

Anonymous said...

I know it's not my blog, but if politics keeps showing up on it in lieu of college football, half-naked cheerleaders, and crude humor, maybe it's time to go. I'm not making an ultimatum, just a comment.

Anonymous said...

Doug - what do you feel about Politics being as partisan as possible.
I'd have more respect for Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin coming out at saying - "you know what, screw reaching across the aisle. Our way is better and here's why..."

The only thing worse that being politically stagnant is the illusion of cooperation.

Same thing goes for the News Media (print and otherwise). Why not come out and say - "yeah, I'm pulling for the GOP/Dems and here's why?"

Also - bully for UGA's offensive line. Good stuff on saturday.

Anonymous said...

Repubs like the current do-nothing dem-led congress because if the dems had their way they would strangle funding to the troops in Iraq before we could finish the job and forfeit at the brink of success; they would increase free healthcare for needy children to include not only children but 25 year-olds - an enttitlement increase to 10 million new enrollees; they would bar listening to foreign communications between terrorists; they would have killed the economy by now; they would limit our ability to increase domestic oil production and maintain our dependence on foreign oil.

Doing nothing is better than doing something the dem way.

All the dems have to do is the right thing and we can get something done. As long as they continue to toe the line set by Doug and Zen Bubba (aka Bill from JC and a Michael Moore acolyte) nothing will get done.

Anonymous said...

February 6, 2006

The Honorable Barack Obama
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Obama:

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.

As you know, the Majority Leader has asked Chairman Collins to hold hearings and mark up a bill for floor consideration in early March. I fully support such timely action and I am confident that, together with Senator Lieberman, the Committee on Governmental Affairs will report out a meaningful, bipartisan bill.

You commented in your letter about my “interest in creating a task force to further study” this issue, as if to suggest I support delaying the consideration of much-needed reforms rather than allowing the committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The timely findings of a bipartisan working group could be very helpful to the committee in formulating legislation that will be reported to the full Senate. Since you are new to the Senate, you may not be aware of the fact that I have always supported fully the regular committee and legislative process in the Senate, and routinely urge Committee Chairmen to hold hearings on important issues. In fact, I urged Senator Collins to schedule a hearing upon the Senate’s return in January.

Furthermore, I have consistently maintained that any lobbying reform proposal be bipartisan. The bill Senators Joe Lieberman and Bill Nelson and I have introduced is evidence of that commitment as is my insistence that members of both parties be included in meetings to develop the legislation that will ultimately be considered on the Senate floor. As I explained in a recent letter to Senator Reid, and have publicly said many times, the American people do not see this as just a Republican problem or just a Democratic problem. They see it as yet another run-of-the-mill Washington scandal, and they expect it will generate just another round of partisan gamesmanship and posturing. Senator Lieberman and I, and many other members of this body, hope to exceed the public’s low expectations. We view this as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to the Congress, and, most importantly, to show the public that both parties will work together to address our failings.

As I noted, I initially believed you shared that goal. But I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party’s effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn’t always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.


John McCain
United States Senate

ACG said...

That couldn't have been the real John McCain. He didn't call him "my friend."

Anonymous said...

You have to admit, that is one hell of a smack down letter. Very H.L. Menckenish. It also illustrates my point.

Will said...

Meanwhile, McCain will fix the to spend billions in Iraq AND cutting taxes above and beyond Bush's tax cuts.

He must have a magic fairy or something stashed away.

(Before anyone says it: no Obama's plan doesn't totally ad up either, but it is far far far less out of balance than McCain's.)

Also, the liberated Iraqis have been saying for a while "thanks for killing Saddam, please go." Saddam's gone, the Iraqis want us to leave...what's left to "win"?

Anonymous said...

If this "the liberated Iraqis have been saying for a while "thanks for killing Saddam, please go." Saddam's gone, the Iraqis want us to leave...what's left to "win"?" is Obama's view of Iraq and the war on terror, it underscores McCain's claim that Obama has no clue. If it's just your view, then I apologize to Sen Obama for the incorrect attribution. What I have heard from his lips is so much pudding, it's been hard to find the meat.

Farsider said...

I think chances are good McCain/Palin win this election. McCain manager said this week that this election was "not about the issues". I think McCain campaign is one of the best marketing/packaging jobs I have ever seen. Their framing of the issues and separating themselves from President Bush (without really separating themselves from his record) is political alchemy of a type I've never seen before.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Steve, I absolutely concede that pulling our troops out of Iraq might result in an increased terrorist presence there. But what do you think staying in Iraq against the will of the people is going to do? Do you seriously think they're going to just sit back and say "Oh, well, guess we have to let you stay here for the next hundred years"?

We always knew -- well, evidently everybody except the neocons knew -- we'd eventually have to trust the Iraqis to run their own country. Apparently the Iraqis think that time is now; telling them "No you're not, we're building permanent bases here whether you like it or not" doesn't exactly sound like a great way of deterring future terrorist attacks.

Anonymous said...

The government of Iraq is not asking us to go now and have publicly stated that. Sure they want us out as much as we want to get out, but I think both realize they aren't ready to take control of their country. There is still a lot of work/fighting to be done before that is possible. The recent handover of Anbar to Iraqi control is a step.

The US also has to make sure that the Iraqi government creates a system that is relatively equitable to all factions before we walk away. We can't let one group overly dominate the others the way the Baath party did in the past or let the Iranians gain too much influence.

One of (and I'm sure folks here can list 100 of) the Bush Admin's mistakes here is not putting more pressure on the Iraqi government to reach the necessary compromises. It's not a simple thing to do, but I think they could have been a lot more effective. I don't know the answer.

Right or wrong, we now have a moral obligation to protect the ordinary citizens of Iraq from extremists from all quarters. The Iraqis, no matter how much they want us out, can not do that.

Even if you discount the increased terror threat, that you admit exist, I for one do not want to see another Rwanda, Darfur or pick your ethnic cleansing/genocide event, occur while the US stands by and watches.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

So you would've been in favor of U.S. military involvement in Rwanda or Darfur?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I guess I'd like to hear what, if anything, our military could do to help and what we envisioned leaving behind before I would cast a vote on that.

My point is more that the colonial powers gave complete independence to too many countries around the world too early and their citizens have paid dearly for it. Look at all the placed that the Brits, French, Dutch and Portuguese left abruptly, particularly in Africa, and look at those country's 30 to 40 years of history. Pretty much disasters.

I believe the US is currently in the same position that the colonial powers were in 40 years ago. If we learned anything in that time it's giving the people what they say they want isn't necessarily in their best interests.

Anonymous said...

The white mans burden is a mother fucker ain't it Steve.

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous, I have no clue what your point is. What do you think we should do or at least point out where I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

"We always knew -- well, evidently everybody except the neocons knew -- we'd eventually have to trust the Iraqis to run their own country."

Not exactly true, Douglas. Biden wanted to partition the country, a proposal that McCain said was a non-starter. Biden wanted out in 2007, McCain wanted the surge in 2007.

If Biden had had his way, An Bar would now be Al Qaeda West.

Today 13 of 18 provinces have been turned over to Iraqi security forces.

My biggest concern is what develops between Iran and Iraq after we leave. That's the wild card. However, I feel better that Saddam's gone and 550 tons of yellow cake have been removed from Iraq to Canada.

Anonymous said...

My William Ayers an Illini fan? I want to avoid tailgaiting too close to the guy if Illinois loses.