American Elephants

Nancy Pelosi Lied — Now it Will Take President Bush to Clean Up the House by American Elephant

Nancy Pelosi and Democrats Lied about reforming earmarks, now it falls to President Bush to

As you may remember, Democrats ran their exceedingly dishonest 06 campaign hypocritically criticizing Republicans for pork, and promising earmark reform,  with Nancy Pelosi endlessly repeating the sound bite, “it will take a woman to clean up the house!”

Not to excuse Republican earmarks, but the idea that Democrats would be any better was risible then and has only become demonstrably so now. If anything, earmark spending has increased under Democrats, and become much less transparent since all pork is now slipped into legislation in the dead of night in committee where no one but Democrats has a chance to see, read or even vote on them.

But how quickly they have changed their tune! Now that Democrats are in charge, meaningful reform was dropped, Republican calls for tougher reform were ignored, and leading Democrats like Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emmanuel are trying to convince Americans that earmarks are actually good!

Now, Democrats have passed an appropriations bill laden with 9,000 earmarks, the majority of which were slipped in in committee.

But as John Fund explains, President Bush stands poised to show some real leadership:

This week President Bush will make one of the most important decisions of his remaining time in office. It won’t get headlines or lead the news, but it could play a major role in deciding whether this country ever gets any kind of grip on the constantly growing federal budget.

Just before Christmas, Congress sent Mr. Bush a $516 billion omnibus spending bill stuffed with 8,993 special-interest earmarks. To make matters worse, most of the earmarks aren’t even in the language of the law itself. They were slipped into a 900-page “committee report” that represented the wish-lists of the Senate and House appropriations committees. Almost no one got a chance to read that report before the budget was passed late at night and with barely a day for members to review it.

Mr. Bush agreed to sign the budget but said he was disappointed at Congress’s failure to overcome its earmark addiction. He announced he was asking his budget director, Jim Nussle, “to review options for dealing with the wasteful spending in the omnibus bill.”

What Mr. Bush knows, and Congress doesn’t want the taxpayers to know, is that the vast majority of the offending earmarks–the ones that aren’t part of the actual budget law and were instead “air-dropped” into the committee report–aren’t legally binding. A Dec. 18 legal analysis by the Congressional Research Service found that most of the committee reports have not been formally passed by both houses and “presented” to the President for signing, and thus have not become law. “President Bush could ignore the 90% of earmarks that never make it to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote,” says Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who has read the CRS report. “He doesn’t need a line-item veto.” [read more]

This is exactly the kind of fight President Bush and Republicans should pick! And we encourage them to draw as much attention to it as possible. There is no down side. It’s good for the country and good for Republicans. Democrats have utterly failed to pass any meaningful reforms, they’ve made earmarks less transparent, are passing just as many, if not more and the American people should be made aware of it.

I only wish he’d done it sooner.

Democrats’ Iraq Disaster by American Elephant

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

Democrats oppose the war in Iraq. We all know that…now.

They were for it — when it was going well — when it was popular. But when the going got tough, as it always does in war, Democrats saw an opportunity — Democrats got going.

They campaigned in ’06 promising to change direction in Iraq. They refused to say what that new direction would be, but when they won, they nevertheless claimed a mandate to pull out of Iraq.

The problem that has arisen for Democrats since then is that America has changed course in Iraq — things have gotten dramatically better on the ground, Iraqis are joining with America to fight terrorists and insurgents alike, Iraqis who had fled are returning in droves, and violence of all kinds has dropped exponentially.

In other words, thanks to President Bush and General Petraeus, the man Democrats smeared as a liar and betrayer of the nation, we are winning! And Democrats have fought that victory kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Now the Democrats are pinning all their hopes on the heretofore “lack of political reconciliation” in Iraq. (This from the party that has blocked desperately needed energy policy, social security, healthcare and other reforms for seven years.)  But the idea that America should leave an increasingly peaceful Iraq to descend into chaos, dragging the greater middle east with it because Iraqi politicians are guilty of being not even as viciously partisan as Democrats, will never fly with the American people. Nor should it.

I have little doubt now that Iraqi leaders will work out their differences. Not simply because reports suggest that that is precisely what is going on behind the scenes, but because they must. The Iraqi people have shown by joining the fight, that they will not accept anything less.

The fact is that Democrats have completely boxed themselves in.

They have proven with their opportunistic vacillating that they are unfit to command the nation’s defenses. National security requires strength and resolve. Democrats have exposed themselves as weak and untrustworthy.

They long ago declared the increasingly successful war, “lost”. They have since done nearly everything in their power to bring about that result. They branded the highly successful surge a “failure”.

President Bush and Republicans are on the way to turning an avowed enemy of the United States with the capability to produce and disperse WMD into a moderate democracy and ally to America.

Democrats will never be able to claim any responsibility for success in Iraq — they are long past the point of no return on that flip-flop. And most importantly, the American people will hold them responsible for trying their best to scuttle it.

“Kharma” is coming for the Democrats, and it’s not happy.

Top Democrat Blasts Democrat Party Over Partisan-Driven Foreign Policy by American Elephant

Senator Joe Lieberman

Says Democrats are betraying principles, poisoning politics, and undermining America’s interests for partisan gain.

The man the Democrat party so respected and admired that they made him their Vice-Presidential nominee just a few short years ago, has leveled a scathing rebuke at the Democrat party for abandoning the principles of Truman, Roosevelt and Kennedy, betraying America’s interests and poisoning the American political atmosphere for political gain. He has blasted the Democrat base for their hate-driven “paranoia…delusion and deception.”…

In other words Senator Lieberman (who was overwhelmingly re-elected by his home state of Connecticut despite an attempt by radical leftists to throw him out) has admitted what all Republicans and thinking-independents have known for a long time — Democrats intentionally changed their position on Iraq for partisan gain when the going got tough and have since done everything in their power to undermine the war effort and tear apart the country for their own political gain:

“Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush.

Iraq has become the singular litmus test for Democratic candidates. No Democratic presidential primary candidate today speaks of America’s moral or strategic responsibility to stand with the Iraqi people against the totalitarian forces of radical Islam, or of the consequences of handing a victory in Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran. And if they did, their campaign would be as unsuccessful as mine was in 2006. Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there.

Part of the explanation for this, I think, comes back to ideology. For all of our efforts in the 1990s to rehabilitate a strong Democratic foreign policy tradition, anti-war sentiment remains the dominant galvanizing force among a significant segment of the Democratic base.

But another reason for the Democratic flip-flop on foreign policy over the past few years is less substantive. For many Democrats, the guiding conviction in foreign policy isn’t pacifism or isolationism—it is distrust and disdain of Republicans in general, and President Bush in particular.

In this regard, the Democratic foreign policy worldview has become defined by the same reflexive, blind opposition to the President that defined Republicans in the 1990s – even when it means repudiating the very principles and policies that Democrats as a party have stood for, at our best and strongest…

First, several left-wing blogs seized upon the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, offering wild conspiracy theories about how it could be used to authorize the use of military force against Iran.

These were absurd arguments. The text of our amendment contained nothing—nothing—that could be construed as a green light for an attack on Iran. To claim that it did was an act of delusion or deception.

On the contrary, by calling for tougher sanctions on Iran, the intention of our amendment was to offer an alternative to war.

Nonetheless, the conspiracy theories started to spread. Although the Senate passed our amendment, 76-22, several Democrats, including some of the Democratic presidential candidates, soon began attacking it — and Senator Clinton, who voted for the amendment. In fact, some of the very same Democrats who had cosponsored the legislation in the spring, urging the designation of the IRGC, began denouncing our amendment for doing the exact same thing…

there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.

For me, this episode reinforces how far the Democratic Party of 2007 has strayed from the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton-Gore administration.

That is why I call myself an Independent Democrat today. It is because my foreign policy convictions are the convictions that have traditionally animated the Democratic Party—but they exist in me today independent of the current Democratic Party, which has largely repudiated them.” [read more] Continue reading

2008, The Return of the Republicans by American Elephant

Rudy Giuliani and John McCain

Jim Geraghty at National Review makes a point that I’ve been increasingly realizing of late: 2008 is not 2006. And despite the the mainstream media’s propaganda-blitz to the contrary — Democrats are not a shoo-in for the Presidency or even to hold onto congress.

Remember, after all, how Democrats came to power — no progress was being made in Iraq, the media was pushing wall-to-wall Tom Foley coverage, the conservative base was demoralized, and in perhaps the biggest pot-calling-the-kettle-black moment of all time, Democrats were promising to clean up the so-called, “culture of corruption.”

Instead, Democrats have taken more trips funded by lobbyists than Republicans, have spent billions more on earmarks than Republicans, and have spent the last 8-9 months usurping powers that the constitution does not grant them (commander in chief, foreign policy, administration hiring, etc.), trying to sabotage their country in wartime, and abusing their powers to launch over 300 investigations that have discovered absolutely zero wrongdoing and to try to legislate themselves into a permanent majority (amnesty, union card-check, “fairness” doctrine).

This doesn’t even account for the fact that Democrats seem dead-set on nominating the most corrupt presidential candidate since, well, her husband. A woman who is married to an impeached president, who appointed an impeached federal judge to lead her campaign, and who is getting her national-security advice from a man who stole and destroyed top-secret documents to cover-up the incompetence, negligence and corruption of her husband’s administration. Indeed, Democrats seem hell-bent on nominating her despite the fact that we seem to be picking up with the Clintons right where we left off  — with them taking illegal campaign contributions from the Chinese!

No, 2008 is anything but a lock for Democrats.

Remember also that the American people elected Democrats to make things better, and poll after poll shows Americans approve less of the Democrat controlled congress than they ever did the Republican congress. Indeed, under Nancy Pelosi (Quinnipiac favorability rating: 22%) and Harry Reid (Quinnipiac favorability rating: 9%), this congress has marked the lowest approval ratings ever recorded. Compared to Democrat congressional leaders, President Bush’s Quinnipiac approval rating of 35% is downright stratospheric.

And then there is the Democrat agenda, which is increasingly at odds with the American people’s wishes.

Hillary just stepped in it big-time because she couldn’t come out and admit that she supports givng drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Why couldn’t she? Because voters oppose giving illegals drivers licenses by more than a 3 to 1 margin.

Charlie Rangel, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Democrat presidential candidates themselves have made it crystal clear that electing Democrats will guarantee monumental new tax-hikes.

Keep in mind also, that the surge in Iraq keeps working better and better. So much so that the GAO has declared it an official “trend,” and Democrats have opposed this winning strategy with gnashing teeth and slashing claws. And that Democrats, by playing to their pacifist base by denouncing military action against Iran have all-but promised they will practically give nuclear weapons to the mad-mullahs. This just after national polls show a majority of Americans would support military action to prevent the terrorist nation from going nuclear.

And finally, my fellow elephants, the “conventional wisdom” — which I think is neither conventional nor wise — that Democrats have 2008 locked up flies in the face of recent electoral history:

After the 1994 landslide “Gingrich Revolution,” Republicans thought Bill Clinton’s defeat in ’96 was all but a done-deal. Americans thought different. Defeated, they decided they weren’t going to do well in 98 and as such, some strong candidates decided it wasn’t the year to run. But the GOP did well in 98 and could have done even better had they not been so timid.

And Republicans are forgetting perhaps the most important point of all — that the media and the polls always say the Democrats are poised to win the next election when its this far out. Al Gore and John Kerry enjoyed the same type of early hype. But the closer the election gets, the more the American people are forced to examine the choice they are being offered, and in 2008 that contrast could be starker than ever. Democrats are almost unabashedly running a platform of socialism and retreat in the war on terror.

As Geraghty says,

Next year could be a surprisingly good one for the GOP, though it’s clearly not guaranteed. The party will need good candidate recruitment, message discipline, a clear, unifying agenda, and a bit of good luck. [read the whole thing]

But the 2008 election is hardly guaranteed to be the, “Democratic-Tsunami Part Two,” that the media are portraying it is destined to be.

I would also add that Republicans need to quit feeling gloomy, quit listening to the media and start contributing and volunteering. If we do those things, I think we stand a very good chance of not only holding our own, but doing very well indeed.

I think liberals are quite possibly in for a very rude awakening in November, 2008. And personally, I look forward to it most enthusiastically.

Romney’s Last Pitch by American Elephant
September 23, 2007, 7:52 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Mitt Romney With Bill And Hillary Clinton

“He reminds me of a used-car salesman.”

I can’t say how many times I’ve heard people use that phrase to describe the erstwhile Massachusetts Governor.

Willard Mitt Romney, used-car salesman.

I’ve thought the same thing — just about every time I’ve heard him speak. Sure, his suit is undoubtedly more expensive, but aside from that, the comparison is spot-on:

A big smile you never feel is quite sincere, year-round tan, slicked back brylcreem hair, and a hearty, enthusiastic pitch for his product. He seems friendly enough, and he sure says just about all the right things, but in the end you’re left with the distinct impression that he doesn’t believe a word of what he’s just told you — he just wants to sell you a car.

I’ve been wrestling with that impression as the campaign’s progressed. I’ve tried to be open-minded and listen to his pitch, but no matter how many times he tries to show me the car from a new angle, it’s as if some kid were there on the lot, playing with all the horns.

Mitt shows us how the model has a gun rack, and mentions he’s always been a big advocate for the second amendment. HONK!

He tells us this model doesn’t come with insurance, and that drivers should be free to choose the insurance plan thats right for them. HONK! (Didn’t he sign off on socialist health care?)

He says he’s pro-life. HONK! Pro-gay rights! HONK! Or was that anti-gay rights? HONK! Tough on spending! HONK! Will enforce immigration laws! HONK!

And now he tells us this model is just the change we need. HONK! HONK! HONK!

The ever-evolving Mitt has apparently decided, in his latest pitch, that the way to ingratiate himself to Republican buyers is to haul off and smack them in the face with some of his competitor’s false advertising and tell us everything wrong with the auto industry is our fault…

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scolding his party in a nationally broadcast ad Sunday and in an open letter to party leaders that asserts that the blame for Washington’s dysfunction does not rest just with Democrats.

…In the ad and in the letter, Romney wags his finger at the party, portraying Washington Republicans as riddled by scandal and profligate spending. Without naming them, he also distinguishes himself from President Bush and two of his main rivals on the subject of immigration.

“Washington is busy pointing fingers, assigning blame, and spending too much money. There is too much talk and too little action,” he writes in his letter, which will appear in full page ads Monday in New Hampshire’s Manchester Union-Leader and the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.

“The blame, we must admit, does not belong to just one party. If we’re going to change Washington, Republicans have to put our own house in order.”

That’s it! Forget it! …I’m not buying! Mitt Romney is a lemon!

Yes, Republicans spent too much. But they’ve already been thoroughly excoriated by the base for it. Mitt may not have noticed, but there’s been an election since then in which a great many Republicans lost their seats, and the remaining Republicans lost their majority. Not because Americans were so enthralled with Democrats, but because a great many disenchanted Republican voters stayed home.

And yes, there were a few Republican scandals — a few — which Democrats and their propaganda department, the mainstream media, managed to smear the entire party with — but I might remind Mr. Romney that Republicans have kicked those members out (with the exception of Larry Craig, who is being shown the door).

Meanwhile, Democrats have not only fought to spend vastly more than their GOP counterparts on every single issue facing congress since 2000, but they’ve been trying their hardest to raise taxes and increase spending ever since they took control.

Where is that commercial?

They’ve also had a whole slew of scandals that have gotten nowhere near the same amount of attention. Real scandals, not toe-tapping, but war-profiteering, destruction of top-secret materials, embezzlement, corrupt land deals, and major fund-raising scandals just to name a few. Yet not one of them has been kicked out of the Democrat party, or even suffered so much as an uncomfortable question from the press. Indeed one of them is well on her way to coronation at the Democrat National Convention.

“Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

~ Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment

If Mr. Olympics thinks the way to win is to bash President Bush and pig pile on Republicans with the media and Democrats — eager to rehash the 2006 election instead of fighting the 2008 election — then its past time for him to go.

Republicans are tired of being attacked and tired of leaders that don’t stand up to Democrats’ lies and false accusations. More than tired, we’re sick to death of it. We’ll take our lumps when we deserve them, but we’ve been absolutely bludgeoned with a seemingly endless string of phony charges and trumped-up scandals. And its time for someone besides the little guys to do something about it.

The point is this: We can tolerate differing opinions, the Republican party is a big tent, and the debate is healthy. But there is an enormous difference between disagreement, or criticism — and disloyal opportunism. Mitt Romney has shown an enormous lack of character in employing the latter, and we shouldn’t tolerate it.

The last thing Republicans need or want is this self-serving, flip-flopping, used-car salesman bashing our President and our Party in order to promote himself. There’s plenty of that to be had on the other side.

It’s time to kick Mitt Romney, and the lemon he’s selling, to the curb.

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