What Republicans say to each other
By Lee Russ
Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 03:34 PM
You can always find out what the Republicans want the general public to hear: just turn on the tv or radio and listen to the talking points of the day.
But what do they say to each other? To potential converts who explore their web sites? Are they really "the party of ideas" as they like to tell themselves, or are they "the party of no ideas except distortion and smear?"
1. From the address to the 2006 Republican Party of Texas State Convention by Tina J. Benkiser, Chairman:
Today, we are at war both at home and abroad. Regardless of the location of the battlefield, the war is for the very soul of our nation. We are fighting for the principles of traditional marriage, strong families, personal responsibility, limited government, but unlimited opportunity in a strong and sovereign nation in which rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. We are fighting to ensure that our nation operates under a credible rule of law applicable to all so that every law-abiding citizen can achieve the American dream. We are fighting for the very Constitution that has served us so well for over 200 years.
Our enemies attack on many fronts. Some attack our nation by physical violence. Others challenge our sovereignty or ignore our laws. Still others work to destroy our foundation by rewriting history and ignoring the Constitution. To keep our enemies from making further progress, we must draw that line in the sand and say "Not on my watch."
...The fact that I am here with you again, now seeking a second full term as governor, is extremely frustrating for our liberal friends. Just look at what the last four years brought them.
We have redrawn their gerrymandered districts, kicked the personal injury trial lawyers out of our doctor's offices, overcome a deficit by cutting spending, invested more in jobs, challenged the status quo in education, defended our border, defended traditional marriage, defended unborn children and delivered the largest tax cut in Texas history. If you were a liberal, you'd be mad too!
If you doubt whether conservatives are making a difference and winning the debate on ideas, consider the fact the other side cannot even admit what they are.
They have to run around calling themselves progressives, or "the new mainstream" or moderates because it sells a lot better than being called a left-leaning liberal.
How many major candidates do you expect will stand up at the other side's convention next week and say they are proud to be a liberal? But as sure as I stand before you today, I am proud to be a conservative.
Our families are better off because we have made a difference where it matters most: protecting the lives of our most vulnerable citizens: unborn children. We passed a parental notification law that has helped reduce the teen abortion rate by 26 percent. Because life and death decisions should not be made by children, I felt compelled to sign legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to get an abortion.
And what was the response of the critics? Did they express one word of concern for life? Of course not; they were more concerned that I signed that law in a religious school gymnasium. Seldom does their bias against pro-life people of faith get summed up so succinctly by one event.
We also protected family by standing up for the principle that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman. And by putting it in the Constitution with a 76 percent mandate, you put it out of the reach of judicial activists.
Some stand lurking in the shadows, ready to unravel our record of success in order to act on a recipe for failure.
They place their faith in government at the exclusion of all else. They tip their hat to fiscal restraint while making spending promises that add up to the single largest government expansion in state history. And they advocate the elimination of educational accountability because they believe it is more important that a child feel good about a diploma than be able to read it.
So when they look at our progress, they get angry; and they never miss an opportunity to complain and criticize.
We all know the kind. They're on the playgrounds of every grade school in America, pouting on the sidelines while the players take the field.
But the race is not to the chronic complainer or the shrillest critic; it is to the principled leader.
2B. From a Letter From Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn to Governor Rick Perry regarding the Perry Tax Plan, May 15, 2006:
Dear Governor Perry:
The Legislature is concluding its work on your tax plan. Your plan is fiscally irresponsible -- it includes an unconstitutional income tax on partnerships and unincorporated associations, the largest tax increase in Texas history and leaves the largest hot check in Texas history. What you should do is show true leadership and veto this legislation.
As the state's chief fiscal officer, it is my responsibility to spell out exactly what the Perry Tax Plan means to our state's fiscal integrity. As you have known since it was made public, your plan simply does not pay for itself. As of this moment, this legislation is a staggering $23 billion short of the funds needed to pay for the promised property tax cuts over the next five years.
In 2007, your plan is $3.4 billion short; in 2008 it is $4.3 billion short; in 2009 it is $5.4 billion short; in 2010 it is $4.9 billion short; and in 2011 it is $5 billion short. These are conservative estimates.
2C. Letter to Governor Rick Perry from the Comptroller, April 6, 2006:
Dear Governor Perry:
This week Vought Aircraft Industries (Vought) announced the elimination of 600 jobs at Vought's Dallas and Grand Prairie manufacturing plants. As you know, in April 2004 you paid $35 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund to Vought in exchange for its pledge that it would create 3,000 new jobs in Texas by 2009. These funds come directly out of the pockets of Texas taxpayers.
As the State's chief fiscal officer, I am gravely concerned about the absence of meaningful oversight over the process by which these grants to Vought and other recipients are awarded, and the meager accountability that exists where, as in the case of Vought, there is gross default in the recipient's commitments to the State of Texas.
As you are aware, the Texas Enterprise Fund was established by the 78th Legislature to recruit new business for Texas and to promote the creation of new job opportunities. In House Bill 1938, the 79th Legislature amended the Texas Enterprise Fund provisions to require written agreements between your office and the recipients, annual progress reports by the recipient, and a report from you to the Legislature concerning the status of grants before each regular session.
While the Legislature should be applauded for recognizing the total absence of accountability before H.B. 1938 was enacted, its provisions provide no comfort where, as here, the recipient is in such financial straits that it faces job eliminations to survive. And, if there are accountability measures you have adopted internally, they obviously are not working.
I strongly urge you to immediately institute tighter controls on taxpayer dollars awarded from the Texas Enterprise Fund. I call on you to require the State Auditor' s Office to audit all contracts with grant recipients; to instruct the Texas Workforce Commission to verify all job and payroll information previously provided to you by any and all grant recipients and all grant recipients going forward; and to require quarterly performance reports by grant recipients in addition to the annual progress reports required under HB 1938. If any of these measures require legislative action, they should be added to the call of the upcoming special session.
Tighter controls are a must in order to provide the accountability that the people of Texas deserve.
...Dr. Armstrong is a born again Christian who accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior while a sophomore at Texas A & M. Dr. Armstrong also became a Republican that year because his strong pro-life beliefs would not allow him to abide the Democratic party's immoral position on abortion.
4. From a Republican National Committee (RNC) site purporting to warn people about "the real Dem Agenda"
THE REAL DEM AGENDA: INCREASE TAXES
Democrats Would Allow Tax Cuts To Expire, Allowing A $2.4 Trillion Tax Increase:
Failing To Extend The Tax Cuts Would Result In A Nearly $2.4 Trillion Tax Increase On American Taxpayers. (Office Of The Press Secretary, The White House, "Growing Our Economy: Keeping Taxes Low And Restraining Spending," Press Release, 5/3/06)
"Sen. [Harry] Reid [D-NV] Said Matters More Pressing Than Tax Cuts Need To Be Given Priority." (Edward Lee Pitts, "Frist Decries 'Obstruction' By Senate Democrats," Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2/15/06)
House Ways And Means Committee Ranking Member Charles Rangel (D-NY): "These tax cuts are beyond irresponsible." (David Cay Johnston, "Big Gain For Rich Seen In Tax Cuts For Investments," The New York Times, 4/5/06)
THE REAL DEM AGENDA: HIGHER GAS PRICES
If Democrats Had Their Way, American Families Would Be Spending At Least An Additional $950 On Gasoline Each Year:
The 1993 Clinton Btu Tax Would Have Increased The Price Of A Gallon Of Gasoline By Six Percent. At Today's Average Price, That Is A 17.4 Cent Increase Per Gallon, Or $191.40 A Year For A Family With Two Vehicles. (Robert Reischauer, Committee On Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 2/24/93; Energy Information Administration Website, www.eia.doe.gov, Accessed 6/13/06; AAA Website, www.aaapa.org, Accessed 6/13/06)
In 1993, 53 Senate Democrats And 218 House Democrats Supported The Clinton Btu Tax. (S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #40: Rejected 46-53: R 43-0; D 3-53, 3/18/93; H.R. 2264, CQ Vote #199: Passed 219-213: R 0-175; D 218-38; I 1-0, 5/27/93)
In 1993, 50 Senate Democrats And 217 House Democrats Voted To Increase Gasoline Taxes By 4.3 Cents Per Gallon, Costing A Family With Two Vehicles An Additional $47.30 A Year. (H.R. 2264, CQ Vote #247: Adopted 51-50: R 0-44; D 50-6, With Vice President Al Gore Casting The Tie-Breaking Vote, 8/6/93; H.R. 2264, CQ Vote #406: Adopted 218-216: R 0-175; D 217-41; I 1-0, 8/5/93; AAA Website, www.aaapa.org, Accessed 6/13/06)
The Kyoto Treaty Would Add 65 Cents To The Price Of A Gallon Of Gasoline, Or A Total Of $715 A Year For A Family With Two Vehicles. (Bernard J. Wolfson, "Study: Global Warming Treaty To Spike Energy Costs," Boston Herald, 6/26/98; AAA Website, www.aaapa.org/pdfs, Accessed 4/27/06)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): "In defiance of the overwhelming evidence of global warming, the Bush Administration has rejected the Kyoto Protocol and international cooperation." (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, "Rep. Pelosi: 'Bush Administration Clinging To Role Of World Obstructionist On Climate Change'," Press Release, 2/15/05)
THE REAL DEM AGENDA: ETHICS
As Leader Of The Abramoff Democrats, Sen. Harry Reid Is Marked By Ethical Problems; Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) At Center Of A Bribery Scandal:
"Reid Had Separate Meetings ... With Two Abramoff Tribal Clients And Edward Ayoob, A Former Staffer Who Went To Work Lobbying With Abramoff. ... Ayoob Also Threw A Fundraiser For Reid At The Firm Where Ayoob And Abramoff Worked That Netted Numerous Donations From Abramoff's Partners, Firm And Clients." (John Solomon, "AP: Sen. Reid Accepted Free Boxing Tickets," The Associated Press, 5/31/06)
"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Who Has Criticized Republican Ethics, Accepted Free Ringside Tickets To Three Professional Boxing Matches From Nevada Officials Who Were Trying To Influence His Federal Legislation Regulating The Sport." (John Solomon, "AP: Sen. Reid Accepted Free Boxing Tickets," The Associated Press, 5/31/06)
"Rep. William J. Jefferson ... [I]s Infamous Nationally As The Louisiana Democrat Who Stashed $90,000 Of Alleged Bribe Money In His Kitchen Freezer. ... [J]efferson Became Known Early On For A Pursuit Of Money That Earned Him The Nickname 'Dollar Bill.'" (Ann M. Simmons and Faye Fiore, "Poverty Marked 'Dollar Bill'," Los Angeles Times, 6/2/06)
THE REAL DEM AGENDA: OBSTRUCT QUALIFIED JUDGES
Democrats Would Hold Up President Bush's Judicial Nominees - Just As They Have In The Past:
As Chairman, [Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Pat] Leahy Spent "18 Months Bottling Up Dozens Of Judicial Nominations In 2001 And 2002, Including Key Appellate-Court Appointments. Altogether, 28 Judicial Nominees Failed To Get Votes In Mr. Leahy's Committee." (Editorial, "And The Chairmanships At Stake," The Washington Times, 3/26/06)
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Voted To Filibuster Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito (Even Though He Had Clear Majority Support) And Voted Against The Nomination Of Chief Justice John Roberts. (Roberts Nomination, CQ Vote #245: Confirmed 78-22: R 55-0; D 22-22; I 1-0, 9/29/05, Reid Voted Nay; Alito Nomination, CQ Vote #1: Motion Agreed To 72-25: R 53-0; D 19-24; I 0-1, 1/30/06, Reid Voted Nay; Alito Nomination, CQ Vote #2: Confirmed 58-42: R 54-1; D 4-40; I 0-1, 1/31/06, Reid Voted Nay)
THE REAL DEM AGENDA: OBSTRUCT ANWR
Democrats Repeatedly Say "No" To One Million Barrels Of Oil Per Day:
Oil In ANWR Could Produce "[A]bout One Million Barrels Of Oil Per Day - About 20% Of Our Domestic Daily Production." (Department Of The Interior, "Facts: Environmentally Responsible Energy Production In Alaska's ANWR," Press Release, 9/7/05)
A Majority Of Senate Democrats Voted Against ANWR Exploration At Least Nine Times In The Last Five Years. (S. Con. Res. 83, CQ Vote #74: Adopted 51-49: R 50-5; D 1-43; I 0-1, 3/16/06; H.R. 2863, CQ Vote #364: Motion Rejected 56-44: R 52-3; D 4-40; I 0-1, 12/21/05; S. 1932, CQ Vote #288: Rejected 48-51: R 7-48; D 40-3; I 1-0, 11/3/05; S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #81: Adopted 51-49: R 51-4; D 0-44; I 0-1, 3/17/05; S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #52: Rejected 49-51: R 7-48; D 41-3; I 1-0, 3/16/05; S. Con. Res. 23, CQ Vote #59: Adopted 52-48: R 8-43; D 43-5; I 1-0, 3/19/03; S. 517, CQ Vote #71: Motion Rejec ted 46-54: R 41-8; D 5-45; I 0-1, 4/18/02; S. 517, CQ Vote #70: Motion Rejected 36-64: R 30-19; D 6-44; I 0-1, 4/18/02; H.R. 2217, CQ Vote #229: Motion Rejected 42-57: R 38-10; D 4-46; I 0-1, 7/11/01)
A Majority Of House Democrats Voted Against ANWR Exploration At Least Six Times In The Last Five Years. (H.R. 5429, CQ Vote #209: Passed 225-201: R 198-30; D 27-170; I 0-1, 5/25/06; H.R. 6, CQ Vote #122: Rejected 200-231: R 29-201; D 170-30; I 1-0, 4/20/05; H.R. 4513, CQ Vote #239: Adopted 226-193: R 218-2; D 8-190; I 0-1, 6/15/04; H.R. 4513, CQ Vote #238: Motion Agreed To 221-198: R 221-0; D 0-197; I 0-1, 6/15/04; H.R. 6, CQ Vote #135: Rejected 197-228: R 29-194; D 167-34; I 1-0, 4/10/03; H.R. 4, CQ Vote #317: Rejected 206-223: R 34-186; D 171-36; I 1-1, 8/1/01)
5. From the RNC site's blog:
Dems Defeatist Plans Get Defeated
June 23, 2006: The Washington Post reports "The Republican-controlled Senate, embracing President Bush's handling of the unpopular war in Iraq, rejected two Democratic efforts yesterday to begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops from the three-year-old conflict. Displaying cohesion that has eluded Democrats, Republicans voted overwhelmingly to leave deployment decisions in the president's hands."
The Vice President had harsh words on the Dems cut-and-run proposal yesterday on CNN's The Situation Room, saying "It is - absolutely the worst possible thing we could do at this point would be to validate and encourage the terrorists by doing exactly what they want us to do, which is to leave."
Dems Are Deeply Divided, But They All Agree On Abandoning Iraq
The Democrat Party is in a mess over exactly how to run away from the progress in Iraq. Bloomberg reports this morning "The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to defeat two competing Democratic measures to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq that Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee described as a strategy of `cut and run.' The proposals -- one calling for full withdrawal of U.S. troops by July 1, 2007, and an alternative that has no timetable -- have split Democrats...analysts said."
The Real Danger Of Cut-And-Run: Ending The Stream Of Progress
June 21, 2006: RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman was on MSNBC's Hardball last night, proving the danger of Rep. Jack Murtha's cut-and-run plan. Chairman Mehlman said "If we had followed the approach that Mr. Murtha suggested, we would have withdrawn last November. Think of what's happened since November that wouldn't have happened if we had followed his approach. We wouldn't have gotten Zarqawi; 40,000 troops, Iraqi troops, would not have been trained; the government probably would not have been formed; would the election have been held? That's all happened since then."
There's also new word out this morning on Murtha's activities that have helped other Dems, including Nancy Pelosi, secure defense appropriations that have benefited their relatives. An editorial in the Washington Times puts the pieces together, saying "Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported how the ranking member on the defense appropriations subcommittee has a brother, Robert Murtha, whose lobbying firm represents 10 companies that received more than $20 million from last year's defense spending bill ....In early 2004, according to Roll Call, Mr. Murtha `reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco.' Laurence Pelosi, nephew of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the time was an executive of the company which owned the rights to the land. The same article also reported how Mr. Murtha has been behind millions of dollars worth of earmarks in defense appropriations bills that went to companies owned by the children of fellow Pennsylvania Democrat, Rep. Paul Kanjorski."
6. From an RNC site on "Iraq Facts News for the Week OF JUNE 19, 2006"
billed with apparent pride as "A Product Of The RNC Research Department":
DEFEATING THE TERRORISTS:
"A Document Purportedly Captured In An Al-Qaida Hideout Portrays The Insurgency In Iraq As Being In 'Bleak' Shape, Saying That It Is Losing Strength ..." (Patrick Quinn, "Al-Qaida In Iraq Terrorist Blueprint Shows A Weakening Insurgency," The Associated Press, 6/16/06)
"Arrests, Weapons Seizures And Money Shortages Are Taking A Heavy Toll On Al-Qaida's Insurgency In Iraq, According To The Three-Page Transcript ..." (Patrick Quinn, "Al-Qaida In Iraq Terrorist Blueprint Shows A Weakening Insurgency," The Associated Press, 6/16/06)
"American And Iraqi Forces Have Killed 104 Insurgents In 452 Raids Nationwide Since Al-Qaida In Iraq Leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Was Killed Last Week, The U.S. Military Said." (Patrick Quinn, "Al-Qaida In Iraq Terrorist Blueprint Shows A Weakening Insurgency," The Associated Press, 6/16/06)
"A Key Terror Leader, [Sheik Aqeel] Linked To The Deaths Of At Least Six Coalition Soldiers Was Captured In Karbala ..." ("U.S. Military Says Key Terror Leader Captured In Raid In Karbala," The Associated Press, 6/1 6/06)
"'Aqeel Command[ed] A Karbala Terrorist Network And [Was] Wanted For Assassinating Iraqi Citizens And Planning And Ordering Attacks Against Iraqi And Coalition Forces,' The Military Said In A Statement." ("U.S. Military Says Key Terror Leader Captured In Raid In Karbala," The Associated Press, 6/16/06)
Iraqi Soldiers And American Soldiers Conducted The Assault Raid Against Aqeel's Compound "Without Firing A Shot." ("U.S. Military Says Key Terror Leader Captured In Raid In Karbala," The Associated Press, 6/16/06)
ADVANCEMENTS IN THE GOVERNMENT:
"The U.S. And The New Iraqi Government Have Made Contact In Recent Months With Elements Of The Largely Sunni Insurgency That Hadn't Previously Been Willing To Talk ..." (Greg Jaffe and Yochi J. Dreazen, "U.S. And Iraq Make Inroads With Insurgent Groups," The Wall Street Journal, 6/22/06)
"Iraqi And U.S. Officials Are Talking With As Many As 'Seven Different Strands Of Political Folks' ... Compared With Only Two Or Three Such 'Strands' In Early 2005, According To Gen. George Casey, The Top Military Commander In Iraq." (Greg Jaffe and Yochi J. Dreazen, "U.S. And Iraq Make Inroads With Insurgent Groups," The Wall Street Journal, 6/22/06)
"[Gen. George Casey] Added That, With The Political Process Moving Forward, He Thought Some Sunni Insurgent Supporters Realized That Their Opportunity To Participate In The New Government Was Slipping Away." (Greg Jaffe and Yochi J. Dreazen, "U.S. And Iraq Make Inroads With Insurgent Groups," The Wall Street Journal, 6/22/06 )
Construction Is Complete On Two Water Units In The Baghdad Province. These Water Units Will Create A Healthier Living Environment For Approximately 150,000 Iraqis. (State Department Website, www.state.gov, Accessed 6/22/06)
Construction Is Complete On Three Schools In The Baghdad Province. Over A Thousand Students Will Now Enjoy New Classrooms And Schoolyards. (State Department Website, www.state.gov, Accessed 6/22/06)
Electricity Output Is Seven Percent Higher Than It Was At This Time Last Year. (State Department Website, www.state.gov, Accessed 6/22/06)
Republicans: no action or statement can be so clear that it can't be distorted and turned rightward for political gain.
And right wingers think they can bitch about Howard Dean? Dean's a F'ing saint compared to any of the slimos above.