Won't Get Betrayed Again

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From my e-mail box, I gather that conservatives and libertarians are tired of punk liberals-in-journalists' clothing raining chum all over the GOP. And maybe they're right; maybe the GOP's purely negative campaign for re-election is what the American people are clamoring for. Just ask conservative icon Richard Viguerie.

The big-spending, high-deficit, morally-deficient Republican Party hasn't anything to offer conservatives except Halloween scare tactics about the Democrats. But since the GOP majority in Congress has engaged in an unprecedented spending spree, conservatives know that Democrats cannot be any worse and that divided government may lead to less spending.

And conservatives have learned that, while Republicans sometimes provide significant symbolism on social issues, in truth, many of them have a disdain for values voters.

Trying to frighten conservatives by yelling "Nancy Pelosi" and "Harry Reid" won't work this time.

Vigurie offers policy salves for the GOP both agreeable (complete termination of "earmarks" and pork barrel spending in appropriations bills, making permanent all of the temporary tax cuts and pushing for significant additional tax relief) and… less so (confirmation of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador). But at least he's proposing something. Meanwhile, one of the GOP's most endangered candidates is whining about sex scenes his opponent wrote in a novel.

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  1. Anyone see Radley’s piece on Webb’s novels at the Agitator? God I hope Allen loses bigtime.

  2. This must be one of those shill Republican pundits were were talking about a few days ago!

  3. Is it just me, or does Vigurie look a lot like “Red” from “That ’70s Show”?

  4. My god I cannot wait until this election is over. I am so sick of the same bobble heads bloviating over and over on every single cable “news” show.

  5. I’m thinking of hibernating till November 8.

  6. Is Dave Weigel the only reason contributor who is also a diarist for dailykos, or are there any others? Just curious.

    I only ask because I saw this story yesterday on kos’ site, and then here it is today, and then found Mr. Weigel’s body of work over there.

  7. It’s not the rooting for Republicans to lose that gets me — I agree they deserve punished — it’s the attempts to convince himself the Democrats will be better.

  8. Given Bush’s willingness to be a “uniter not a divider” (see godawful NCLB education bill and Medicare expansion), I doubt the divided-government strategy will work all that much better on issues of concern to libertarians if the Dems run Congress. I just can’t see Bush vetoing that many bills, and the legislation offered to him will be as bad if not worse than Republican-authored bills. Now, give me a Dem president with a Republican congress, and you might have some good synergies (see NAFTA, see also welfare reform).

    Just curious about Dave’s dig against Bolton. What’s the libertarian case against Bolton for the UN? Seems like it’s a good idea to have a guy willing to call bull$hit on such a non-libertarian institution as the ambassador to such institution.

  9. “It’s not the rooting for Republicans to lose that gets me — I agree they deserve punished — it’s the attempts to convince himself the Democrats will be better.”

    Who are you talking about?

  10. I dunno, I kind of like Bolton at the UN. Anyone who is willing to kick that bunch of parasites in the nads is OK by me.

  11. For Weigal it is John Bolton and the Dixie Chicks today. WTF? I agree with the Democratic President with a Republican Congress idea. There is only one problem with that though. A Democratic President could start a national gulag system and lock up 20% of the society and the media people like Weigal and the daily Kos crowd who scream about Bush wouldn’t have a problem with it. In one sense a Dem President could be one hell of a war President because he basically wouldn’t have anyone short of a few fringe libertarians no one listens to answer. In another sense, that is kind of a scary thought even to me as a member of the vast right wing conspiracy.

    If the Dems win Congress, Bush will give them every liberal pork project they want to pass in return for not hounding him with investigations and supporting him on the war. It is a deal made in heaven for both sides. Bush gets to run the war and not fight off investigations and the Dem Congress gets to pay off all of their constituencies and look strong on national defense. I am not saying the Republicans are going to stop spending anytime soon either. But, if you think a Dem Congress and Bush are going to control spending you are delusional.

  12. “A Democratic President could start a national gulag system and lock up 20% of the society and the media people like Weigal and the daily Kos crowd who scream about Bush wouldn’t have a problem with it.”

    Kos, perhaps. Weigel? Doubtful. There will always be people who give the wrongdoings of the current party in power because of partisan allegiance. But I just don’t see the overt democrat fellation from Weigel that you guys keep referring to.

    “If the Dems win Congress, Bush will give them every liberal pork project they want to pass in return for not hounding him with investigations and supporting him on the war.”

    I don’t think so. I think that he’ll certainly sign some of their stupid bills, like the min wage raise, etc. But at the end of the day, partisan animosity will certainly result in less of the “veto? what’s a veto?” crap that you see today. At the very worst, it’ll be the status quo—cuz I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but the GOP has had quite a porkfest over the last 6 years. If you’re suggesting that it’d be worse under a democratic congress, I’d have to call hogwash.

    “But, if you think a Dem Congress and Bush are going to control spending you are delusional.”

    I don’t think that’s the argument—what we’re saying is that gridlock is inevitable, and gridlock means less government action, which is a good thing. And if you think that the government spending/liberty-raping machine is going to run as smoothly with dems in there as it does with the GOP controlling everything, then you are the delusional one. Electing a dem congress won’t solve all our problems—it probably won’t solve any—but let’s not make the good the enemy of the perfect.

  13. John, bizarre post, man. I agree with just about everything before and after this part…

    A Democratic President could start a national gulag system and lock up 20% of the society and the media people like Weigal and the daily Kos crowd who scream about Bush wouldn’t have a problem with it

    Damn you so crazy.

  14. “If the Dems win Congress, Bush will give them every liberal pork project they want to pass in return for not hounding him with investigations and supporting him on the war.”

    Bush, his war, his disdain for science, his Katrina response, his torture policies, etc etc etc are so unpopular that Democratic Congressmen seeking to make themselves popular back home would rather have the investigations than the pork.

    I haven’t seen a lot of bitching on Kos and Eschaton about a lack of federal money for bridges and office buildings. If you’re going to make statements about your opponents, it helps to actually find out what they themselves are saying, instead of limiting your reading to what the people who hate them have to say about them.

  15. I haven’t seen a lot of bitching on Kos and Eschaton about a lack of federal money for bridges and office buildings.

    And the Democratic party started being run by Kos and Atrios fans exactly when? 🙂

  16. Eric,

    November 8, 2004.

  17. “Bush, his war, his disdain for science, his Katrina response, his torture policies, etc etc etc are so unpopular that Democratic Congressmen seeking to make themselves popular back home would rather have the investigations than the pork.” – joe

    Where do you live joe? It can’t be in the U.S… It just can’t be.

    Because your finger isn’t exactly on the pulse of the average guy on the street for one, and for another, your depiction of Democratic Congressmen is just bizarre.

    There’s no politician I can think of (on either side of the aisle) who would rather have an investigation than pork.

    Admittedly, politicians are infamous for wanting to have their cake and eat it too – and in a stretch I think they might want investigations in addition to pork.

    Even Republicans with plenty to gain by exploiting the scandal closed ranks against the DoJ for raiding Democratic Rep. William Jefferson’s $90,000 freezer stash worth of bribe money.

    The reason there is relatively little investigation going on is because both Repubs and Dems are usually in it TOGETHER.

    It’s like the joke about why sharks don’t eat lawyers out of professional courtesy… Except you can interchange Dems and Republicans.

    Why don’t (fill in the blank with Dems/Repubs) investigate obviously guilty (fill in the blank with Dems/Repubs)? Professional courtesy, of course.

  18. Were you people asleep in the 1990s? Bill Clinton abused the FBI, the IRS and the entire exectutive branch to smear his political emenies and any former bimbo who might want to talk to the media. The media and the now freedom loving and goverment mistrusting Democratic establishment had nothing to say about it. I can gaurentee you that folks like Joe had no problem with Clinton staffers reading Republican FBI background files, or DOD committing a felony by leaking Linda Trips DUI arrest and would not have a problem with anything a Democratic President might do with regard to civil liberties. I can’t imagine a civil rights abuse committed by a Democrat so vile that the media and rank and file Democrats couldn’t convince themselves that it was not as bad as what a Republican could do or completely justified to keep Republicans out of power.

  19. Bolton is a no-talent ass clown.

  20. Senate: 50 Republicans 50 Democrats

    House: 217 Republicans 217 Democrats 1 Libertarian

    Would be wonderful if each side would go all out to block the other side from doing anything. Unfortunately, they tend to get all ‘bipartisan’ when the opportunity to spend arises.

  21. November 8, 2004.

    Damn. Then us folks who want the Republicans electorally castrated are screwed. 🙁

  22. This libertarian loves to see punk liberals-in-journalists’ clothing raining chum all over the GOP.

  23. rob,

    I live in Masschuetts. It’s the second bluest state in the nation, has 10 Democratic Congressional districts, and has a fairly high level of poltical involvement.

    You may find it stunnning to hear that Democratic voters are more interested in holding Bush accountable than in pork, but I assure you it’s true.

    Where do you live again, that you can state with such confidence that highway dollars are more important to Democrats than bashing George Bush?

    “Admittedly, politicians are infamous for wanting to have their cake and eat it too – and in a stretch I think they might want investigations in addition to pork.”

    Back in the real world, the Democrats who controlled Congress during 1993-1994 spent several hundred hours holding committee hearings to investigate allegations of misbehavior by the Clinton administration, including the handling of Waca, the FBI files case, and the hiring of a different staff for the travel office.

  24. The libertarian case against Bolton is his resume. He is the guy most responsible for ensuring that that CIA did not fact check the Iraq WMD data and that “pro” data analysis was rewarded and that “anti” or mitigating data analysis was punished or shelved. Along with Bush Sr.’s and Clinton’s defunding of the CIA, Bolton also gets a great deal of the credit for making the CIA the government intelligence laughing stock that it currently is.

  25. To be fair to the CIA, they were always very careful to explain the inconclusive nature of the evidence for an ongoing Iraqi WMD program, and steadfastly refused to have anything to do with Iranian stooge Ahmed Chalabi.

    So much so that the administration had to misrepresent their reports in order to make the case for the Iraq War, and form the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon in order to get reports that supported their policies.

    BTW, can anyone tell me for certain that we were not duped by an Iranian agent into overthrowing that country’s most powerful regional enemy, and handing power over to a Tehran-friendly government? Anybody willing to stick their neck out far enough to declare that this is not what happened?

  26. This libertarian loves to see punk liberals-in-journalists’ clothing raining chum all over the GOP.

    Me too. Waited almost 4 years for this, and never though i’s see the day. It’s niiiiice.

  27. It’s an Everyone-Hates-Weigel pile-on!!! Woohooo!!!

    Run, David, Run!!! They’re coming with torches and pitchforks and vegemite!!!

    This election is too touchy for me. I’m going to sleep. Wake me up when the (reduced) balanced budget and flat tax are popular again.

    Ack!

  28. joe – I’ve been stationed mostly in the South (and Utah) for the last 3 years.

    “You may find it stunnning to hear that Democratic voters are more interested in holding Bush accountable than in pork, but I assure you it’s true.” – joe

    Voters, maybe (regardless of political party). But actual Democrats OR Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate? Not so much…

    “Back in the real world, the Democrats who controlled Congress during 1993-1994 spent several hundred hours holding committee hearings to investigate allegations of misbehavior by the Clinton administration, including the handling of Waca, the FBI files case, and the hiring of a different staff for the travel office.” – joe

    Oh, you mean like the Republican-controlled Congress “investigated” 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Abu Ghraib, etc?

    Rightly or wrongly, whether it was the Dems in 93-94 or the Repubs more recently, the outcome of those investigations was essentially finding that no one was not at fault.

    You really think that the Dems will change their spots in this regard? Especially when they would prefer to have their own Congressional misbehaviors left in the dark?

    Caveat: Obviously the Repubs are no better.

  29. Joe,

    So if Democratic politicians in Massachusetts don’t do the bidding of the base are they going to vote Republican? Money is what politicians want. They will listen to who ever is going to give them said money through thier ear-marks.

  30. rob,

    “Voters, maybe (regardless of political party). But actual Democrats OR Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate? Not so much…”

    Politicians tend to like those things that make the voters like them. Pork, for example – they like because it makes their constituents grateful. And I’m telling you, any Democratic politician that waves some documents in Dick Cheney’s face is going to get a lot more bang for his buck than if he spent the time rounding up support for an ice skating rink.

    “Oh, you mean like the Republican-controlled Congress “investigated” 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Abu Ghraib, etc?”

    No, I mean they actually spent hundres of hours deposing witnesses and subpoena-ing documents.

    “You really think that the Dems will change their spots in this regard?” Even is was to adopt the faux-wordly “pox on both houses” pose so popular among disaffected Republicans, I would still say that a Democratic Congress investigating a Republican president would be more thorough and agressive than a Republican Congress.

    Paul,

    Votes, power, and social standing are what politicians want.

  31. I cannot conceive of a more wrong opinion than thinking that there are politicians more interested in investigations than pork.

  32. “If the Dems win Congress, Bush will give them every liberal pork project they want to pass in return for not hounding him with investigations and supporting him on the war. It is a deal made in heaven for both sides. Bush gets to run the war and not fight off investigations and the Dem Congress gets to pay off all of their constituencies and look strong on national defense.”
    Joe, I gotta go with John on this one. (!)
    Think back to the Central American Carter/Reagan/Bush wars. Complely bi partizan, & the “investigations” stopped far short of any actual revalations of how this country actually operates abroad. Why? Because the Dems want to preserve the option of secret wars, secret funding of death squads, bankrolling scumbags of all stripes.
    what investigations there were were jokes, the few bigshots who couldnt weasel got pardons, & the whole sorry lot is still around, pulling the wings off flies.
    Nope. A Dim majority in the House will be way too busy “doing the peoples business”-blowing $ for votes, or blowing voters for $, you choose. – to look into massive crimes it might want to commit itself, at some future date. Look how Kerry folded when Inouye told him to stop looking into contra drug running. He was more interested in his career than elemental justice. They all are. (Except for Barry, RIP)

  33. Bolton also gets a great deal of the credit for making the CIA the government intelligence laughing stock that it currently is.

    Oh, I dunno. The CIA was a laughingstock long before he got there.

    Besides, anyone willing to break it off in Kofi Annan’s ass gets a plenary indulgence from me.

  34. I cannot conceive of a more wrong opinion than thinking that there are politicians more interested in investigations than pork.

    Um, yeah, because they’re gonna want investigations AND pork. Duh.

  35. Politicians tend to like those things that make the voters like them. Pork, for example – they like because it makes their constituents grateful. ” – joe

    Patently false. Because most voters don’t directly benefit from pork, only specific (usually wealthy) consituents usually benefit from pork.

    “And I’m telling you, any Democratic politician that waves some documents in Dick Cheney’s face is going to get a lot more bang for his buck than if he spent the time rounding up support for an ice skating rink.” – joe

    Riiiight. Because the Dems currently in power have done that to such great response. The only thing I can even think of is the “mock impeachment” by Conyers that was played mostly for laughs.

    “In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.” -http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/16/AR2005061601570_pf.html

    The land of make-believe, where people like joe who believe that you’ll ever see gov’t – Dem or Repub – investigate itself, live.

    “No, I mean they actually spent hundres of hours deposing witnesses and subpoena-ing documents.” – joe

    All of those investigations listed – your list AND mine – wasted hundreds of hours deposing witnesses and subpoena-ing documents. That doesn’t change the fact that the outcomes of all of those investigations was essentially the same: protection of the status quo.

    “Even is was to adopt the faux-wordly ‘pox on both houses’ pose so popular among disaffected Republicans,” – joe

    Once again I think you deserve full credit for your partisan blinders, joe.

    “I would still say that a Democratic Congress investigating a Republican president would be more thorough and agressive than a Republican Congress.” – joe

    Sure. And vice versa for a Republican-controlled Congress investigating a Democratic president. But considering the “professional courtesy” involved amongst the various scoundrels (both blue and red) I think my cynicism is warranted – most members of Congress don’t like investigations because any investigation is likely to turn up wrongdoing on both sides of the aisle. (See also Abramoff, Jack.)

    So how does this change things for your Democratic investigation of the Clinton administration examples? Oh, right, it doesn’t.

    “Votes, power, and social standing are what politicians want.” – joe

    And pork will always get them more of that than investigations. Investigations are risky, especially when you’re also guilty of something.

  36. Wow. What MUTT said!

  37. I guess we’ll see, fellas. I guess we’ll see.

    BTW, rob, “any investigation is likely to turn up wrongdoing on both sides of the aisle. (See also Abramoff, Jack.)”

    LOL! Quick, tell me more about MY partisan blinders.

  38. MUTT,

    You mean like Iran-Contra?

    BTW, if you don’t think the public likes to see federal dollars brought home and spent on public works, you don’t have the foggiest clue what you’re talking about.

  39. “LOL! Quick, tell me more about MY partisan blinders.” – joe

    You mean the ones that prevent you from seeing that these guys AREN’T Democrats involved in the Abramoff scandal?

    “Among the biggest beneficiaries were Capitol Hill’s most powerful Democrats, including Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) and Harry M. Reid (Nev.), the top two Senate Democrats at the time, Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), then-leader of the House Democrats, and the two lawmakers in charge of raising funds for their Democratic colleagues in both chambers, according to a Washington Post study. Reid succeeded Daschle as Democratic leader after Daschle lost his Senate seat last November.”

    – From http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/02/AR2005060202158.html

    WASHINGTON – The top Democrat on the Senate committee investigating Jack Abramoff?s Indian lobbying is returning $67,000 in donations in response to Associated Press reports that he collected tribal money around the time he took actions favorable to those Abramoff clients.

    While Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., never met Abramoff and didn?t take any actions at the lobbyist?s behest, he nonetheless wants to return the money to avoid any appearances that tribal money was directed to him by the controversial lobbyist, his office said Tuesday…

    AP reported in three stories over the last month that Dorgan did not disclose during the probe that he took actions favorable to Abramoff?s tribal clients, often around the time he collected donations from Abramoff?s firm or clients.”

    Here’s the REALLY rich part – “Dorgan is the senior Democrat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that has spent more than a year investigating alleged fraud in Abramoff?s representation of Indian tribes, which were charged tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees between 2001 and 2004.”

    – From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10451500/

    So, while libertarians like me are able to despise both parties, you’re left holding the bag and trying to defend “your team.”

    Good luck with that… and the partisan blinders that enable you to pretend that its not ugly all over.

  40. Here, here Mr./Ms. Harpua – you are absolutely correct in your assessment.

  41. ooopps – that should be Hear, Hear

  42. rob,

    Having someone write a check to your campaign account isn’t a scandal.

    “While Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., never met Abramoff and didn?t take any actions at the lobbyist?s behest…” What was it you were whining about again? Tom Delay is about to go to jail for violating federal law.

    Committing money laundering, or writing appropriations into a bill for their clients – those are scandals. What you’ve shown is that some people who hired Jack Abramoff also wrote checks to Democratic Senators.

    I’ve told you this before – false equivalencies are a manifestation of biased, just as much as false distinctions.

    Posing as hipper-than-thou with shallow statements like “it’s ugly all over” is quite nice if you’re into that sort of thing, but being able to draw distinctions based on evidence is a lot more useful for understanding what’s going on.

  43. BTW, if you don’t think the public likes to see federal dollars brought home and spent on public works, you don’t have the foggiest clue what you’re talking about.
    Said Joe.
    Public works- sure. Infrastructure- sure. Sweetheart payouts to big contributors? No. And I daresay folks know the difference, even in Mass. A vertiable cesspit of squandered pork……..

  44. “So, while libertarians like me are able to despise both parties, you’re left holding the bag and trying to defend “your team.”

    Bravo rob, your ability to despise is indeed a virtue far superior to any character trait of anyone who makes a distinction between the major parties. You are indeed a model for us all to emulate. You impress yourself mightily.

  45. rob,

    What I am trying to say is…

    I’m more smug than you are

    ;~)

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