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What happenned to the Republican Revolution?

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I think it was interesting listening to what U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo Issues Statement Regarding the Race to Succeed Him.

 

I also do not endorse people who I feel run sleazy, dishonest campaigns regardless of their political affiliation.

 

This broke Ronald Reagan's famous Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Joel Hefley took these words to his heart on what is happenning in Colorado.

 

In the August GOP primary to succeed him, Hefley backed his long-time aide, former administrative director Jeff Crank, who lost in a contentious six-way race to State Senator Doug Lamborn. Hefley was incensed at the tactics used in the election, particularly a mailed brochure from the Christian Coalition of Colorado associating Crank with "public support for members and efforts of the homosexual agenda." Hefley said that he "suspected, but couldn't prove, collusion between Lamborn's campaign, which is managed by Jon Hotaling, and the Christian Coalition of Colorado, which is run by Hotaling's brother, Mark." Hefley called it "one of the sleaziest, most dishonest campaigns I've seen in a long time," and, as a result, refused to endorse Lamborn

 

Joel Hefley joined the Ethics Committee in 1997 and became its chairman in 2001. Joel Hefley is known for his devotion to former President Ronald Reagan.

 

He [President Reagan] proudly became the father of political conservatism and made it possible for people like me to become members of Congress. In the late-seventies and early-eighties, those who espoused conservative political views had few outlets from which to share their philosophies, but Reagan ushered in an era of conservatism whose tide has yet to wane. The makeup of today’s political world is due, in large part, to the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

 

Joel Hefley was part of the 1994 Republican revolutionaries that pledged not to be seduced by the corrosive culture of Washington. But the 1994 Republicans, like the Democrats before them, were seduced by their newfound power, and became desperate to keep it. Eventually, even the leader of the Republican revolution, Newt Gingrich, was shoved aside. And Tom DeLay became the power broker on Capitol Hill. DeLay installed, as House speaker, Dennis Hastert. And Hastert leads by the principle that he can forget about the opposition. Only Republican ideas matter. In the 1960s and '70s, Congress met an average of 161 days a year. In the '80s and '90s, that number dropped to 139 days. This year, Congress will probably end up working just about 100 days.

 

You almost have to run a campaign for chairmanship, rather than letting your hard work speak for itself.

 

Republicans pledged to put the brakes on the reckless spending. According to CNN, the amount of pork has tripled since Republicans took over, from about 4,100 projects in 1994 to over 14,000 now. A river of money flows largely from the lobbying industry on K Street. There are over 30,000 lobbyists in Washington, a number that's ballooned since Congressman Jim Cooper's first tour of duty in the 1980s.

 

In the last Congress, we were honored to serve as chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively, of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and we were proud of its work. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our fellow members, the committee functioned as intended, taking up difficult issues in a calm, deliberative manner and making decisions that in nearly every instance had the support of all committee members, Republicans and Democrats alike.

 

But in the present Congress, a number of changes have been made to the committee's rules, and we are deeply concerned that they may spell the end of a credible, effective ethics process in the House. A crucial step in putting the process back on track is to repeal these changes, and we are

co-sponsoring a resolution to do so.

 

Why is repealing these new rules so important? There are two major reasons:

 

There cannot be a credible ethics process without genuine bipartisanship, yet these changes were made without consulting the House minority and were passed on a straight party-line vote.

 

If the ethics process is dominated by the majority party -- whichever party that might be -- it will have no credibility. It will almost certainly degenerate into a tool of partisan warfare and become a farce.

 

That is why the ethics committee membership has always been equally divided between the parties. In the conduct of committee business, there is no majority or minority side. Obviously, this alone does not guarantee that partisanship won't enter the deliberations. But such a structure is the cornerstone of a credible ethics process: It guarantees that no action will be taken without at least some degree of support from both parties.

 

When Speaker Dennis Hastert threw Hefley off the committee, for having the temerity to permit the ethics committee merely to admonish disgraced, departed and now indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is the day I looked differently at the Republican party. Speaker broke his vow to tighten the rules in response to these scandals

 

Hastert reconstructed the committee, appointing Representative Doc Hastings of Washington as its chair -- the same Hastings who will serve on the ethics subcommittee investigation of the Foley affair.

 

Resident Scholar, Norman J. Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute stated, "It is time for House leaders to think outside the box when it comes to restoring ethical standards and public confidence in Congress. Joel Hefley is not going to go off half-cocked on a prosecutorial crusade, nor will he conduct partisan vendettas. He will do the job fairly and firmly. Think about what a signal it would send to the country about the willingness of a new team to transcend the bitter bickering we have now to clean up the culture of corruption."

 

The Ethics Reform Act of 2006 would have provided increased investigative ability to the House Ethics Committee and ensure greater protections for committee members and staff. The bill would also improve disclosure requirements for gifts and private travel.

 

"The U.S. House of Representatives must have a fully functioning, effective, bipartisan ethics process if we are to restore the public’s trust in the institution. Members of the House must be able to police ourselves. To do that, the Ethics Committee must have the tools to properly investigate members and enforce House rules," said Hulshof.

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Lobby groups will not like the promises Nancy Pelosi is making to Americans. The real question is whether she will keep them.

 

BAN LOBBYIST GIFTS AND TRAVEL

Prohibit the receipt of gifts, including gifts of meals, entertainment and travel, from lobbyists. Prohibit travel on corporate jets.

 

CLOSE THE REVOLVING DOOR

Close the revolving door between the Congress and lobbying fi rms by doubling (from one year to two) the

cooling-off period during which lawmakers, senior Congressional staff , and Executive Branch officials are

prohibited from lobbying their former offi ces. Eliminate floor privileges for former Members of Congress and

offi cers of the Senate and House who return to lobby.

 

TOUGHEN PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF

LOBBYIST ACTIVITY

Expand the information lobbyists must disclose - including campaign contributions and client fees. Require them to file disclosure reports electronically and increase the frequency of those fi lings. Require lobbyists to certify that they did not violate the rules and make them subject to criminal penalties for false certifi cations.

 

SHUT DOWN PAY-TO-PLAY SCHEMES LIKE

THE “K STREET PROJECT”

End eff orts like the “K Street Project,” created by Republicans to pressure corporations and lobbying firms

on whom to hire in exchange for political favors.

 

DISCLOSURE OF OUTSIDE JOB

NEGOTIATIONS

Require lawmakers to disclose when they are negotiating private sector jobs and require Executive Branch officials who are negotiating private sector jobs to receive approval from the independent Office of Government Ethics.

 

PROHIBIT “DEAD OF NIGHT” SPECIAL

INTEREST PROVISIONS

Require that all conference committee meetings be open to the public and that members of the conference committee have a public opportunity to vote on all amendments. Make copies of conference reports available to Members and post them publicly on the Internet 24 hours before consideration

(unless waived by a supermajority vote). Disclose all earmarks.

 

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CONTRACT

CHEATERS

Restore accountability and openness in federal contracting by subjecting major contract actions to public disclosure and aggressive competition; criminally prosecute contractors who cheat taxpayers, with penalties including suspension and debarment; impose stiff criminal and civil penalties for wartime fraud on government contracting; prohibit contractors with confl icts of interest from conducting oversight or writing contract requirements they could bid on; mandate full disclosure of contract overcharges; create tough

penalties for improper no-bid contracts; and close the revolving door between federal contract offi cials

and private contractors.

 

PROHIBIT CRONYISM IN KEY

APPOINTMENTS

End rampant cronyism by requiring that any individual appointed to a position involving public safety possess proven credentials and expertise in areas relevant to the position.

 

Attached are all the Democrat promises being made. I am interested on how many are kept if they get into power.

 

thebook.pdf

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Guest human_*

If in congress they stop hiring kids, ONLY THEN WILL YOU SEE REAL REFORM. (Anyone under the age of 30 is a kid).

 

In the LongsWorth building they got a pretty good selection of food, and in the Rayburn you have a descent enough of salad bar.

 

Oh!!!! And in the OEOB, the restaurant in there SHOULD BE CONDEMEND. <~~~~~ I would LOVE to see a Study on the people who eat there on how HIGH their Cholesterol levels ARE.

 

 

"PROHIBIT “DEAD OF NIGHT” SPECIAL

INTEREST PROVISIONS

Require that all conference committee meetings be open to the public and that members of the conference committee have a public opportunity to vote on all amendments. Make copies of conference reports available to Members and post them publicly on the Internet 24 hours before consideration

(unless waived by a supermajority vote). Disclose all earmarks." <~~~~~~~ GOOD LUCK

 

 

 

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lobby groups will not like the promises Nancy Pelosi is making to Americans. The real question is whether she will keep them.

 

BAN LOBBYIST GIFTS AND TRAVEL

Prohibit the receipt of gifts, including gifts of meals, entertainment and travel, from lobbyists. Prohibit travel on corporate jets.

 

CLOSE THE REVOLVING DOOR

Close the revolving door between the Congress and lobbying fi rms by doubling (from one year to two) the

cooling-off period during which lawmakers, senior Congressional staff , and Executive Branch officials are

prohibited from lobbying their former offi ces. Eliminate floor privileges for former Members of Congress and

offi cers of the Senate and House who return to lobby.

 

TOUGHEN PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF

LOBBYIST ACTIVITY

Expand the information lobbyists must disclose - including campaign contributions and client fees. Require them to file disclosure reports electronically and increase the frequency of those fi lings. Require lobbyists to certify that they did not violate the rules and make them subject to criminal penalties for false certifi cations.

 

SHUT DOWN PAY-TO-PLAY SCHEMES LIKE

THE “K STREET PROJECT”

End eff orts like the “K Street Project,” created by Republicans to pressure corporations and lobbying firms

on whom to hire in exchange for political favors.

 

DISCLOSURE OF OUTSIDE JOB

NEGOTIATIONS

Require lawmakers to disclose when they are negotiating private sector jobs and require Executive Branch officials who are negotiating private sector jobs to receive approval from the independent Office of Government Ethics.

 

PROHIBIT “DEAD OF NIGHT” SPECIAL

INTEREST PROVISIONS

Require that all conference committee meetings be open to the public and that members of the conference committee have a public opportunity to vote on all amendments. Make copies of conference reports available to Members and post them publicly on the Internet 24 hours before consideration

(unless waived by a supermajority vote). Disclose all earmarks.

 

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CONTRACT

CHEATERS

Restore accountability and openness in federal contracting by subjecting major contract actions to public disclosure and aggressive competition; criminally prosecute contractors who cheat taxpayers, with penalties including suspension and debarment; impose stiff criminal and civil penalties for wartime fraud on government contracting; prohibit contractors with confl icts of interest from conducting oversight or writing contract requirements they could bid on; mandate full disclosure of contract overcharges; create tough

penalties for improper no-bid contracts; and close the revolving door between federal contract offi cials

and private contractors.

 

PROHIBIT CRONYISM IN KEY

APPOINTMENTS

End rampant cronyism by requiring that any individual appointed to a position involving public safety possess proven credentials and expertise in areas relevant to the position.

 

Attached are all the Democrat promises being made. I am interested on how many are kept if they get into power.

 

thebook.pdf

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Human,

How would you approach reforming Congress? Age minimum should be raised? But, what about the lobbyist? How would you deal with them?

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For Lobbying;

I would not reform it AT ALL; there is no need for it. What the democrats are doing is just a political ploy.

 

How many times have we visited this issue on lobbying? Just enforce the existing rules. This is not rocket science.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Human,

How would you approach reforming Congress? Age minimum should be raised? But, what about the lobbyist? How would you deal with them?

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How come no one other than me downloaded that pdf report?

 

Don't you democrats care about what Nancy and your party is thinking?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

It looks like my friend in the aflcio was right after all about your group "democrats". (most interesting)

 

Just a side note; my friend is still trying to get me to go democrat, and I am still trying to get him to go republican. <~~~~~ we don't agree on many issues, but we did go to the community bbq.

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For Lobbying;

I would not reform it AT ALL; there is no need for it. What the democrats are doing is just a political ploy.

 

How many times have we visited this issue on lobbying? Just enforce the existing rules. This is not rocket science.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Elected officials should be charged with major felonies when they break the rules. People think shoplifting or bank robbery is bad. These fools are stealing billions of dollars that belong to the American People. They should be held accountable for their crimes.

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I was a lobbyist once for OTHER COUNTRIES, you know not of what you type about blingbling.

 

NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE WASHINGTON D.C.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Elected officials should be charged with major felonies when they break the rules. People think shoplifting or bank robbery is bad. These fools are stealing billions of dollars that belong to the American People. They should be held accountable for their crimes.

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You can fool fools, but not me Human. What do you have to say about before adjourning last week, the House and Senate passed a $436.6 billion military spending bill. Not surprisingly, it was jammed with earmarks -- and no written indication of who sponsored the requests.

 

Steve Ellis, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, says the spending package "doesn't have a single lawmaker owning up to an earmark." Fact is, Washington is full of slimy bastards.

 

Yessa, that seems like plain old bull crap to me. But, then again you support letting Congress fool us poor taxpaying Americans don't you.

 

I don't underestimate the city that I was born in. That is why I want all the money loving Republican gangstas thrown in jail for ruining our country.

 

http://www.taxpayer.net/TCS/PressReleases/...-29dodfinal.htm

Republican_Pork.gif

Edited by BlingBling

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Then I hope that everyone got "politicians" what they wanted for their Respective Districts.

 

After all Politics Really is Local.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can fool fools, but not me Human. What do you have to say about before adjourning last week, the House and Senate passed a $436.6 billion military spending bill. Not surprisingly, it was jammed with earmarks -- and no written indication of who sponsored the requests.

 

Steve Ellis, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, says the spending package "doesn't have a single lawmaker owning up to an earmark." Fact is, Washington is full of slimy bastards.

 

Yessa, that seems like plain old bull crap to me. But, then again you support letting Congress fool us poor taxpaying Americans don't you.

 

I don't underestimate the city that I was born in. That is why I want all the money loving Republican gangstas thrown in jail for ruining our country.

 

http://www.taxpayer.net/TCS/PressReleases/...-29dodfinal.htm

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That is the problem Human, these crooked politicians get what they want. This Congress will be remembered more for its scandals than for any legislative accomplishments. On Friday, Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) resigned from Congress after pleading guilty last month in the Jack Abramoff investigation, which has become the symbol of the 109th Congress's gluttony. The Washington Post called it the "biggest corruption scandal to infect Congress in a generation." In addition to Ney, five other congressional staffers and members of the Bush administration have pleaded guilty to giving legislative favors in exchange for perks from Abramoff, including golf junkets, foreign trips, sporting event tickets, and expensive meals. At least half a dozen other House and Senate members -- such as Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) -- have not yet been convicted in the Abramoff investigation, but their past ties to the lobbyist have been haunting their current re-election campaigns. In March, former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison -- the longest sentence ever given to a member of Congress -- for accepting $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for lucrative defense contracts. Two of the federal contractors charged in that scandal admitted to arranging for a prostitute for the congressman, in addition to throwing poker parties with **nerds** that high-ranking CIA officials and lawmakers possibly attended. FBI documents also allege Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) accepted bribes to help iGate, a small technology company, "win contracts with federal agencies and with businesses and governments in West Africa." Overall, "Mr. Jefferson and his family received more than $400,000 from iGate."

 

The conservative leadership of the 109th Congress wanted absolute power and set up a complicated pay-to-play system to obtain and retain it. Most emblematic of this system was the K Street Strategy -- set up by DeLay in 1995 -- which created the culture of corruption in which players like Abramoff and Cunningham flourished. DeLay explicitly stated he would operate by "the old adage of punish your enemies and reward your friends." (To gain influence over legislation, trade associations and corporate lobbyists were ordered to do three things: 1) refuse to hire Democrats, 2) hire only deserving Republicans as identified by the congressional leadership, and 3) contribute heavily to Republican coffers.) Despite being admonished by the House Ethics Committee numerous times for his conduct, DeLay's pay-to-play machine continued to plow full-speed ahead. In January, the Wall Street Journal wrote about the atrophy of Congress's principles, noting that "House Republicans have become more passionate about retaining power than in using that power to change or limit the federal government. ... Re-election unites them, however, so the leadership has gradually settled for raising money on K Street and satisfying Beltway interest groups to sustain their incumbency. This strategy has maintained a narrow majority, but at the cost of doing anything substantial. ... Ideas are an afterthought, when they aren't an inconvenience."

Edited by BlingBling

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Guest Americans 4 Freedom

The Sharon Statement

Adopted in conference at Sharon, Connecticut, on 11 September 1960.

 

In this time of moral and political crises, it is the responsibility of the youth of America to affirm certain eternal truths.

We, as young conservatives, believe:

 

That foremost among the transcendent values is the individual's use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;

 

That liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;

 

That the purpose of government is to protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice;

 

That when government ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power, which tends to diminish order and liberty;

 

That the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power;

 

That the genius of the Constitution- the division of powers- is summed up in the clause that reserves primacy to the several states, or to the people, in those spheres not specifically delegated to the Federal government;

 

That the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;

 

That when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation; that when it takes from one man to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;

 

That we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies;

 

That the forces of international Communism are, at present, the greatest single threat to these liberties;

 

That the United States should stress victory over, rather than coexistance with, this menace; and

 

That American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?

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Guest ALWAYSRED

Don't things are moving pretty quick. Look for the returing of Mike Duncun, and giving Michael Steele the boot.

 

So we do not have to worry about his Obamanation again. There is a REDistricting MAjority Project, or REDMAP - is a program of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which also works to elect Republicans to state legislatures and down-ballot offices like Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State.

 

REDMAP's goal is to increase GOP majorities in state legislatures around the country.

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Guest Wes Benedict

I'm sure we'll hear an awful lot about "limited government" from the mouths of CPAC politicians over the next few days. If I had a nickel every time a conservative said "limited government" and didn't mean it, I'd be a very rich man.

 

Unlike libertarians, most conservatives simply don't want small government. They want their own version of big government. Of course, they have done a pretty good job of fooling American voters for decades by repeating the phrases "limited government" and "small government" like a hypnotic chant.

 

It's interesting that conservatives only notice "big government" when it's something their political enemies want. When conservatives want it, apparently it doesn't count.

 

* If a conservative wants a trillion-dollar foreign war, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants a 700-billion-dollar bank bailout, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants to spend billions fighting a needless and destructive War on Drugs, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants to spend billions building border fences, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants to "protect" the huge, unjust, and terribly inefficient Social Security and Medicare programs, that doesn't count.

* If a conservative wants billions in farm subsidies, that doesn't count.

 

It's truly amazing how many things "don't count."

 

Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh can't ever be satisfied with enough military spending and foreign wars.

 

Conservatives like Mitt Romney want to force everyone to buy health insurance.

 

Conservatives like George W. Bush -- well, his list of supporting big-government programs is almost endless.

 

Ronald Reagan, often praised as an icon of conservatism, signed massive spending bills that made his the biggest-spending administration (as a percentage of GDP) since World War II.

 

Some people claim that these big-government supporters aren't "true conservatives." Well, if a person opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opposes the War on Drugs, opposes border fences, and opposes mandatory Social Security and Medicare, it's hard to believe that anyone would describe that person as a conservative at all. Most people would say that person is a libertarian (or maybe even a liberal).

 

Obviously, most liberals don't want limited government either. It's just that their support for big government leans toward massive handout and redistribution programs.

 

The fact is, liberals and conservatives both want gigantic government. Their visions sometimes look different from each other, but both are huge. The only Americans who truly want small government are libertarians.

 

An article posted at CNS News, linked prominently from the Drudge Report, noted that the Obama administration is on track to beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration in terms of average federal spending as a percentage of GDP. However, the article failed to note that the Reagan Administration already beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration easily. Roosevelt's average was 19.4 percent of GDP, while Reagan's average was 22.3 percent of GDP. (Source: White House OMB data)

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I just took a political quiz and the results classified me as a CENTRIST

 

My PERSONAL issues Score is 60%.

My ECONOMIC issues Score is 50%.

 

CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice.

 

Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind,

 

tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what

 

they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

 

I am definitely not a Statist (Big Government)

 

Statists want government to have a great deal of power over the economy and individual behavior. They frequently doubt whether economic liberty and individual freedom are practical options in today's world. Statists tend to distrust the free market, support high taxes and centralized planning of the economy, oppose diverse lifestyles, and question the importance of civil liberties.

 

political-quiz.png

 

Take the quiz and see where you are on the political map.

 

http://www.theadvoca...uizp/index.html

Edited by Luke_Wilbur

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Guest American For Progress

This past weekend, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) featured two immigration events that provided a dissonant narrative on how conservatives view immigrants and the relationship some are seeking with a voting bloc for whom the issue is "deeply personal" -- Latinos. While one panel portrayed Latinos as part of an immigrant "invasion," the other identified them as integral to the future of the Republican Party. The immigration discord at CPAC wasn't a scheduling mistake. If anything, it was a microcosm of the growing internal debate raging within the conservative movement. Ultimately, immigration is one of many issues that concerns the Latino electorate. However, polling of Latino voters reveals that demagoguery on the issue is what has largely tarnished the Republican Party's image and sparked a surge in hate crimes and racial profiling that the community is collectively experiencing. Yet, while many Republicans recognize the need to adjust their immigration rhetoric and regain the trust of a growing demographic that might otherwise be voting Republican, a significant faction of right-wing politicians and candidates remain belligerently stubborn.

 

AN INTERNAL STRUGGLE: At CPAC, one of the two immigration panels, The Rise of Latino Conservatism, was sponsored by American Principles Project's (APP) Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles which claims to "represent a form of conservatism that is welcoming to people of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds." The second event featured anti-immigrant poster boy, former Arizona congressman and current Republican senate candidate J.D. Hayworth, who provided an introduction to a screening of the documentary Border War: The Battle Over Illegal Immigration, a film that has been described as a one-sided, offensive, and negative portrayal of Mexicans. At a separate panel, Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation stated that immigrants naturally "vote for free stuff." Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, who participated in the first panel, was reportedly "taken aback by assertions he has heard that Latino immigrants are lazy and weaken Western culture." In an editorial posted on World Net Daily, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) wrote that CPAC 2010 "failed the conservative movement" through its attempt to "redefine" the immigration issue and develop "a strategic partnership with Latino activists." However, earlier this month, Tancredo shared the stage at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who recently agreed with right-wing hero Glenn Beck that the U.S. should "make it easier to bring people in." Meanwhile, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey has referred to Tancredo as the "cheerleader of jerkiness in the immigration debate," opposed the Republican purity test's harsh immigration language, and called building a border fence "stupid" -- specifically because it alienated Latino voters. Nonetheless, Armey is at least partly responsible for giving "nativist extremists" the opportunity to exploit the anger of tea partiers and inspiring anti-immigrant tea party sideshows.

 

COURTING LATINOS: Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Ed Gillespie has pointed out that the Republican nominee could lose by 14 points in 2020 if voting trends remain the same. With that in mind, he's advising the GOP to restrain itself from "indulging in the anti-immigration rhetoric" of the past. Current RNC Chairman Michael Steele is also trying "to tamp down fiery anti-immigration language." The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles reportedly plans on spending at least $500,000 to help pro-immigration Republican candidates this year. A handful of politicians appear responsive. Former Speaker of the House and rumored 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich recently stated that "it ought to be easy, not hard to get a visa" and has also launched a political bilingual news website called The Americano. In Texas, George P. Bush, the son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, founded Hispanic Republicans of Texas to promote Latinos running for state and local offices. In California, the GOP gubernatorial front-runner is Meg Whitman, a former eBay Inc. chief executive officer who explicitly supports a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. Even a former opponent of immigration reform and chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), has been reportedly meeting with Latino leaders to resolve points of contention.

 

RACES TO WATCH: In many upcoming races that will define the 2010 midterm elections, immigration has already become a hot-button issue amongst Republicans. Hayworth has formally challenged Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) re-election bid and is running on the same anti-immigration wedge strategy that members of his own party claim cost him his House seat back in 2006. With Latinos comprising 11.7 percent of Arizona voters, McCain may want to rethink his decision to allow his immigration position to get pushed further to the right. In the run for Texas governor, Gov. Rick Perry ® has fared relatively well with Latinos thanks to his "careful immigration stance." Meanwhile, Texas tea party-backed candidate Debra Medina jumped into the gubernatorial race as the first candidate to release Spanish-language TV ads and appeared on CNN with Rick Sanchez yesterday affirming that "everyone contributes to our society whether they're here legally or not." Medina is still behind both Hutchison and Perry in the polls, but her surprising popularity has increased the odds the race will be thrown into a runoff. In the Florida Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Gov. Charlie Crist and former State House Speaker Marco Rubio are both candidates with mixed immigration records who have chosen to take a hard line on the issue. Given the fact that they're seeking to replace ex-Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), a champion of immigration reform, the strategy may hurt more than it helps whichever candidate gets past the primaries. Democrats may face a day of reckoning with Latino voters this November. Ultimately, while the GOP's divisions are more visible and polarizing, the Democratic Party will be judged on its progress in delivering on its promise of immigration reform and the broader package of change that most Americans voted for in 2008.

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Guest Frank Rich

The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.

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Guest American for Progress

Frustration with Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele is growing within the GOP in the wake of the committee's payments for a visit to an L.A. strip club. One GOP lawmaker said Steele's relationship with Republican leaders in Congress is "not good at all." Over the past year, top donors have abandoned the RNC and are instead giving to other GOP campaign arms.

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Guest Governor Tim Kaine

It started the moment we passed health care reform.

 

Mitt Romney said, "the act should be repealed" and Michael Steele announced that Republicans would make "every effort" to do so. Yesterday, Rep. John Boehner said that it's still their "number one priority."

 

But now we're learning that their ambitions don't stop there. Last week, Newt Gingrich promised a conference of conservatives and tea partiers that Republicans "will repeal virtually everything" passed by Congressional Democrats and President Obama.

 

That's the new goal for the GOP -- win this fall, then roll back all that we've accomplished.

 

This is the next phase in our fight for change, and our challenge is two-fold: First, spread the facts about how these reforms are improving lives. Then, win in November, so they won't get a chance to undo everything we've worked so hard to achieve.

 

Please chip in $5 or more to help us win the fight.

 

If Republicans get their way, they'll roll back everything we've done to lower taxes, create jobs, ensure fair pay for women, and restore funding for stem cell research.

 

To win this fight, we're building the top rapid-response team in politics, putting talented organizers on the ground in all fifty states, and running hard-hitting ads to expose the Republican agenda.

 

We'll show that we have the strength to take on the tea party, Republicans, and special interests who are teaming up to repeal all that the President and Democrats in Congress have done with your help.

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Guest American4Progress

RADICAL RIGHT -- VIOLENCE AGAINST CENSUS WORKERS HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED SINCE 2000: For the past year, paranoid conservatives have engaged in aggressive census fear-mongering, and some are now suggesting that their recklessness may be partially responsible for a sharp increase in violence against census workers this year. The Washington Post reports that as of Friday, there had been "at least 431 reported incidents of violence," including "140 threats with weapons and 91 physical attacks." Weapons that have been used include "[g]uns, knives, lawn chairs," and "animals"; one man in Alaska even threatened a census worker with a bulldozer. When the last census was conducted in 2000, fewer than half as many violent incidents were reported. Last week, Rep. Jerry Moran (D-VA) said on the House floor that right-wing members of Congress and conservative media personalities bear some responsibility for the increase: "I'm afraid that some of this abuse may be tied to some of the anti-government rhetoric from some people in this body and the Republican noise machine, in other words, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and other so-called shock jocks." Indeed, the radical right's census hysteria has been widespread. Erick Erickson, the editor of the conservative RedState.com and a CNN contributor, said he would "pull out" his "wife's shotgun" if a federal employee asked him to fill out the Census Bureau's supplementary questionnaire, the American Community Survey (ACS). At least a dozen census workers have been shot at on the job. Last June, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) notoriously pledged to break the law by not filling out her entire census form, and she falsely alleged that the FBI could use census data to round up Americans into internment camps. Beck, meanwhile, claimed that the federal government is using the census "to try to increase slavery." As the attacks on census workers indicate, many Americans have echoed the far-right's paranoia; one woman in Texas said, "I don't need the blankety-blank government snooping in my business" right before throwing a metal patio table at the census worker visiting her.

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Guest American4Progress



On Friday, a video surfaced of Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele speaking at a fundraiser in Connecticut about the war in Afghanistan. While some of Steele's comments about the war were clearly inaccurate -- such as his claim that the war was of "Obama's choosing," even though President Bush started it nine years ago -- he also made reasonable, debate-worthy arguments about the wisdom of engaging in a prolonged land war in Afghanistan. Yet conservatives -- from neoconservative thought leader Bill Kristol to former GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) -- lashed out at Steele, choosing not just to refute the historical inaccuracies in his statements but to lambaste him for daring to voice skepticism about the war. The controversy over Steele's comments sheds light on a wider truth about the modern conservative movement: With few exceptions, escalating wars has become their favorite foreign policy, and they tolerate little dissent from those in their ranks who believe in other ways to conduct our international affairs.

SLAMMING STEELE'S STATEMENTS: Speaking at the recent RNC fundraiser, Steele blasted the war in Afghanistan. Starting off his comments with a historical inaccuracy, he said, "Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively pursued or wanted to engage in." He later moved on to a wider critique of the war, asking of Obama, "Has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan." It wasn't long before voices on the right were calling for Steele's head. While calling for Steele to step down, Kristol called the chairman's comments "more than an embarrassment" and "an affront...to the commitment of the soldiers fighting" in Afghanistan. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said Steele's remarks were "totally unacceptable" and he should therefore "apologize and resign." Former Bush State Department official and Keep America Safe co-founder Liz Cheney said that the chairman's comments were "deeply disappointing" and it is "time for Steele to step down." RedState founder, leading movement conservative, and CNN contributor Erick Erickson said Steele has "lost all moral authority" and called for the chairman to immediately resign. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) demanded that Steele "apologize to our military" and said Republicans "need a chairman who's focused." McCain said there was "no excuse" for Steele's comments and added that he is "going to have to assess as to whether he can still lead the Republican Party." Steele quickly apologized for his dissent, issuing a statement saying that the war is "a necessary one" and there is "no question that America must win the war on terror." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joked that Steele was "backtracking so fast he's gonna be here fighting in Kabul soon."

ADDICTED TO WAR: There was a time when major conservatives championed pragmatic foreign policy that saw war as the last resort. Yet as the Steele incident shows, in the modern era, the right has become addicted to war and hostile to any attempts at diplomatic resolution of foreign disagreements. During Bush's tenure, conservatives championed unprovoked wars against countries like Iraq that did not seek conflict with the U.S. When explaining the rationale for going to war with Iraq rather than focusing on al Qaeda, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained that "there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq." This addiction to war permeated the ideology of major conservatives. Former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan explained, "I have heard Bush say, only a wartime president is likely to achieve greatness. ... In Iraq, Bush saw his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness." Former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner told filmmaker Oliver Stone that Bush rebuked his suggestion of a new Marshall Plan for the global economy as a "crazy idea of the Democrats" and instead told him that "the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has grown stronger with war." During the presidential campaigns, GOP nominee McCain jokingly sang about bombing Iran and suggested that he'd be fine with occupying Iraq for a hundred years.

DISSENT IN THE RANKS: There are a handful of conservatives who have stood up against the rise of ultra-hawks in their movement. While most Republicans were either staying neutral or demanding Steele's resignation, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) -- a longtime Iraq war foe -- defended the embattled chairman, saying that he is "absolutely right" and that Republicans "should stick by him." In a private e-mail obtained by the Huffington Post, Jon Fleischman, the vice chairman of the California GOP, is quoted expressing the same skepticism about the war as Steele. "For what it is worth, I'm an officer with the CA Republican Party and I can't figure out what we are achieving in Afghanistan," he wrote. And during the recent vote on the war supplemental bill, nine House Republicans joined nearly 2/3 of the House Democratic caucus to vote for the McGovern-Obey amendment that would have required Obama to submit a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Although nearly every Republican in Congress voted to authorize Bush to attack Iraq, and most major conservative institutions -- like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation -- backed the war, a handful of conservative voices, like the libertarian CATO Institute and paleoconservative The American Conservative magazine, strongly opposed the conflict. While it is clear that the conservative movement has an obsession with war, the American people do not. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans agree with Obama's stated timeline of July 2011 to begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is up to the President to hold to the timeline and provide an alternative to the right's foreign policy philosophy and addiction to war.

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Guest Ann Coulter

It has been idiotically claimed that Steele's statement about Afghanistan being Obama's war is "inaccurate" -- as if Steele is unaware Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after 9/11. (No one can forget that -- even liberals pretended to support that war for three whole weeks.)

 

Yes, Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after 9/11. Within the first few months we had toppled the Taliban, killed or captured hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and arranged for democratic elections, resulting in an American-friendly government.

 

Then Bush declared success and turned his attention to Iraq, leaving minimal troops behind in Afghanistan to prevent Osama bin Laden from regrouping, swat down al-Qaida fighters and gather intelligence.

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Guest American4Progress

On a daily basis, many Republicans are out telling their constituents and the national media that Democratic policies are dangerous. Republican Ken Buck, who's running for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, recently said that the "greatest threat to our liberty" is "the progressive liberal movement that is going on in this country." Mississippi state Sen. Alan Nunnelee ®, who is running for a congressional seat in the northern part of his state, said last month that Democratic policies are "more dangerous" than 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. So what's the GOP alternative? If some Republicans get their way, those ideas will be kept secret. Last week, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) told radio host Bill Bennett that Republicans shouldn't "lay out a complete agenda" because then people would be able to scrutinize it and make it "a campaign issue." And far-right candidates like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul are avoiding taking tough questions from traditional media outlets. According to the Washington Post, behind the scenes, GOP leaders are urging their members to "avoid issues at all costs." Underscoring the intellectual deficit in the GOP leadership, yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) -- the Party's congressional campaign committee chairs -- what Republicans will do if they return to power. Sessions simply said that the public "understand" the GOP will be "standing with the American people back home," and the two men were unable to name a single "painful choice" that Republicans would be willing to make to live up to their deficit-cutting rhetoric. After Labor Day, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) will reportedly roll out "a blueprint of what Republicans will do if they take back control of the chamber," but it's unclear if candidates will "actually want to run on those ideas."

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Guest Big Apple

Here is a great example of how Democrats should be responding to the party of no. Anthony Weiner Rips Apart Republicans on 9/11 Health Bill.

 

 

I just think it is ironic that a party that wrapped itself in 9-11 doesn't want to give health care to 9-11 first responders. Go Figure

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Guest Rebecca

I don't get it. Republicans want to protect the constitution when it comes to the right to bear arms. But, Republicans fight against the repeal the constitution when it comes becoming a citizen.

 

So are Republicans for the Constitution or against it? Or are Republicans just for a Constitution that suits their needs.

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