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5/25/2005

Radical Republicans Show Their True Colors

The revolution has begun and the radical wing of the Republican party can feel their grip on power slipping away, and they can't stand it. As a result, we all get to watch a very public meltdown of these extreme right-wing groups and their leaders.

First the Senate actually finds a way to move forward on judicial nominees, while also staying open for business on other pressing matters, but the deal stops short of the Senate just rolling over to Bush's every whim so that has RadCon panties are in a bunch even though they are getting their precious up or down votes now.

Then, 24 hours later the House passes a bill clearing the way for more lines of stem cell research that could possibly lead to cures for diseases like "Lou Gehrig's Disease". They passed the bill even after the King George warned them that he would veto the bill if it hits his desk. Seems it's OK for fertility clinics to "dispose" of the embryos that would be used in this research, but it's not OK to use them to help find cures for people already on the planet.

All of this has the Bushies in full meltdown mode. Let's take a sample shall we?

First from the Sioux City Journal,

"Social and religious conservatives in Iowa warned that any potential presidential candidates linked to a U.S. Senate compromise on the use of the filibuster in judicial nominations will pay an enormous price in the state's leadoff caucuses.

"They won't get any help from us. None," said Norman Pawlewski, of the Iowa Christian Coalition. "We busted our hump to get a president who would appoint judges who would be more just. Republican senators betrayed us."

This next quote would be sort of funny if it wasn't so scary.

"It's very troubling," said Hurley. "This is the number one issue. Short of a nuclear war, it's the major issue. It's not an issue, it's the issue."

The issue? Really? Not Social Security. Not Iraq. Not the mounting deficit. Not the lack of health care for some and the rising cost of it for everyone else. No, it's packing the court with RadCon judges in a hopeless effort to outlaw abortion. Wow.

Then there is this gem from Iowa State Senator David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan.

"The goal was to eliminate the use of filibusters for judicial nominations," said Johnson. "If the 14 senators think they've resolved the issue, they haven't."

Really? Was I the only person to see Priscilla Owen get her up or down vote today? Then Johnson went on to vent his anger at Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

"He let them do this," said Pawlewski. "He's the leader of the Senate. If he's so weak as a leader of the Senate that he can't control his own troops, then he's not much of a leader."

Here is the word from Gary Bauer, president of the self-righteously named American Values.

"It's a rebuff of both the president, Senator Frist and the socially conservative base of the party by a handful of senators. The heart of the Republican Party is as unhappy as I can recall."

The "heart of the Republican Party?" Wait until the CEO's of the drug companies and the oil companies hear about this.

Then there is this joker from the infamous Bob Jones University, who apparently feels Bob Jones University should directly benefit from every judicial nominee and that Lindsey Graham is not all that intelligent.

"We're stunned. We feel somewhat betrayed," said Benj Buck, mentoring coordinator at Bob Jones University in Greenville and editor of SCHeadlines.com, a web site that focuses on South Carolina political issues. "Lindsey Graham has been considered a torchbearer for South Carolina conservatives. I respect the guy. I'm going to respect a guy who will stand up and go against the grain when he thinks it's in the people's best interest. But he hasn't told us where we're going to benefit. I haven't heard of anyone who's said, 'Hey Lindsey Graham's really smart. He really pulled a good one.' "

Well Mr. Buck. I think if you check your morning newspaper you'll see that you wackos have already benefited with the confirmation of Justice Owen. What exactly did you want? I'm sure that now that you have questioned Sen. Graham's intelligence you will have much more input into the judicial confirmation policy. I personally find that if you call someone dumb they tend to try to help you out even more. He has obviously studied at the Bush school of diplomacy.

Then there is this from Renew America's Chris Adamo.

"Three Senate Republicans who engaged in this week's treachery, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, and Mike Dewine of Ohio, are up for reelection next year. Conservative activists should immediately begin to organize efforts to see them defeated by any candidate who runs against them.

Conservatives had better come to grips with the fact that fifty-two real Republican Senators would constitute a better majority than fifty-five who think they can engage in such disloyalty with impunity. Otherwise, they must resign themselves to the grim prospect that such people do indeed run the country."

Bill Frist had four-and-a-half years to get Priscilla Owen an up or down vote and couldn't. These "traitors" got her a vote and now she on the bench. I agree. By all means lets get rid of the "traitors" so we can go back to keeping right-wing-activists like Owen off the bench. These people have lost any connection to reality they may have had previous to Monday evening.

While social conservatives fancy themselves the "heart" of the Republican party, the money of the Republican party, big business, has had enough.

"I'm inclined to support the Republican Party, but the question becomes, how much other stuff do I have to put up with to maintain that identification?" asked Andrew A. Samwick, a Dartmouth College economics professor who until recently was chief economist of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.

"I don't know a single business group involved in the judicial nominees," said R. Bruce Josten, an executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Nada, none, zip."

"The potential for high-minded policy reforms to fix entitlements and spur growth and prosperity has degenerated into a hopeless morass," Republican economist Lawrence Kudlow wrote yesterday on the National Review's Web site.

"It's an unbalanced domestic agenda," John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia Corp said. "If you're going to go to the wall on one particular issue, you're telling me you're going to sacrifice other issues, and history is full of stories of battles won at the cost of missing issues that have lost the war."

An important point for RadCons to consider is the point that Lindsey Graham made on Sean Hannity's radio show on Tuesday.

"If you pull the nuclear trigger, and there's not bullet in the chamber, then it's terrible for the Republican party." Then Hannity asked if he thought the votes would have been there for the nuclear option (keep in mind it only takes 50 in that case) and Graham said no.

So all of you RadCons who are in full hate mode, imagine how you would feel if this deal never happened and Frist tried to re-write the Constitution and failed. Then you'd have no deal and no up or down vote on any of your nominees.

The bottom line is this, rank and file Republicans would rather have the Senate close it's doors, than to reach a compromise that accomplishes the very things your arrogant, unconstitutional method would have achieved.

Did Republicans get everything they wanted? No. Did Democrats get everything they wanted? No. That's why it's called a compromise.

Still, watching the GOP come apart at the seams makes it all worthwhile.

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