Conservatives Publicly Opposed Bill, Privately Sought Stimulus Funds

The Center for Public Integrity has issued a new report documenting dozens of members of Congress who "voted against the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," but "subsequently wrote letters requesting funds for projects in a massive, behind-the-scenes letter-writing and phone call campaign...."

Poster child for this massive hypocrisy is Texas Republican Pete Sessions, who publicly railed against the stimulus bill as a ""trillion dollar spending spree" that was "more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs," but later requested $81 million from the Department of Transportation for a project that "will create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve regional mobility and reduce pollution."

Transitive Law: GOP = Tea Party, Tea Party = racist, ergo....

As the Washington Post's Chris Cilliza reported earlier this month, media coverage characterizing the so-called tea party movement as politically independent is wrong. A July 2 Gallup poll found that nearly 70% of tea party supporters identified themselves as "conservative Republicans."

Guy Fawkes, Republican Hero?

Guy Fawkes was a 17th-century British soldier who spent ten years fighting for the Spanish Catholics in the Netherlands. During that time he became an explosives expert. In 1604 Catholic hopes for greater tolerance in the UK, and relief from the strictures established under Queen Elizabeth, were ended at a conference at Hampton Court. In 1605 Fawkes became part of a plot to kill King James I, his family and members of the government by blowing up Westminster Place at the opening of Parliament.

Tea From Grass (Roots)?

CNN created something of a buzz earlier this week when it reported that about 11% of those it surveyed claimed to have actively supported the tea party movement, while another 24% favors the movement but hasn't actively participated. The poll also showed that "Tea Party activists would vote overwhelmingly Republican in a two-party race for Congress," which, as JasonMBryant, posting on Political Wire observed, is:

... not a new group of people who are changing things. These are just the hard core conservative Republicans voters.

It's like looking at a pile of apples. If you separate the apples into two piles, one labeled "apples" and the other labeled "Granny Smith apples," you haven't really changed anything. It still just a bunch of fruits.

A Lesson in Bipartisanship from ... George W. Bush?

Noam Scheiber writes:

... [L]iberal use of reconciliation and other ostensible crimes against Senate protocol may be the Democrats’ best hope going forward. Moderates will complain that they risk a voter backlash by looking thuggish and partisan. But, as Bush showed, these tactics aren’t just a way to enact an agenda that the opposition is bent on blocking. They’re the most effective way to achieve bipartisanship in the process.

Relabeling the Failure of Bush & Conservative Economic Policy

... [T]he president's approval ratings are quite healthy in light of an unemployment rate that's gone over 10 percent and a nearly unprecedented destruction of personal wealth.

The conservatives' focus on ideology ... is an opportunistic way of distracting attention from the mistakes of the Bush years and the role conservative policies played in bringing us to this point. To cite ideology rather than the economy in explaining the poll numbers is like analyzing the causes of Civil War without any reference to slavery or the rise of the New Deal without mention of the Great Depression.

— E.J. Dionne in The New Republic

Beyond Palin Drome

Dubya Report contributor Publius wrote us recently:

OK, let me get this straight:

On the Republican side you have a candidate who was at the center of a major political/financial scandal that cost the taxpayers billions, who cheated on and ultimately left his disabled wife in order to marry an heiress worth 100 million, many years his junior, who herself stole prescription drugs from the non-profit she nominally headed in order to feed her addiction to prescription painkillers. He chose as his running mate a person who, despite the claim that she is a bold reformer, headed the PAC for the one of the more corrupt members of Congress, lied about her opposition to pork barrel gifts to Alaska, has evidently used her political power to fire on more than one occasion public officials who disagreed with her, or thwarted her will on purely personal matters, and is now parroting Bush/Cheney claims of executive power over the duly constituted authority of the State legislature seeking to investigate her wrongdoing. And this is not even talking about the lunacy of opposing contraception and advocating abstinence even faced with the unwed pregnancy of her 17 year old daughter.

On the Democratic side you have the son of a teenage mother who raised him as a single parent, who by dint of superior intellect and drive graduated near the top of the most prestigious law school in the country, eschewed corporate practice to work as a community organizer, and goes on to a life in politics, and has, by all accounts, an exemplary, monogamous family life, who chooses as his running mate a blue collar guy who, after his wife was killed, commuted every night from Washington to Wilmington so that he could tuck his kids in and feed them breakfast in the morning.

And the Republicans are considered the party of family values? It makes me want to scream.
-- September 2, 2008

"People Give Money to Buy Access" - McCain and the Lobbyists

On February 21, 2008 the , John Weaver, a top strategist in McCain's 2000 presidential campaign, acknowledged meeting with Iseman at Washington's Union Station to tell her to stay away from McCain. Iseman disputed Weaver's account but confirmed the meeting.

The report, McCain "acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman." Weaver subsequently clarified that his concerns had to do with claims that Iseman was making about "strong ties to [McCain's] committee staff, personal staff and to him."

At a news conference on February 22 McCain denied having had a romantic relationship with Ms. Iseman, asserted that aides had not confronted him about her, and claimed no knowledge that John Weaver had asked the lobbyist to keep her distance. Conservative commentators who only a few days earlier had questioned McCain's conservative credentials, calling him a "liberal" and a "Democrat" now rallied to his defense. Both the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee used the incident as an occasion to try to raise additional funds, and reported a "substantial return" on new email initiatives.

The Giuliani Shampaign

The image of Giuliani broadcast around the world, striding purposefully up a New York City street on 9/11, speaking with apparent calm to the news media, is nearly the entire Giuliani campaign. But as some pollsters have suggested that Giuliani's support is following a similar downward trend to that of McCain, the Romney campaign has begun to claim front-runner status among primary voters, and a firefighters union and family members of 9/11 victims have reminded the public that in the famous video footage, Rudy was running away.


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