Tag Archives: Dick Cheney

Eisenhower and Reagan Quotes Are Still Pertinent Today

I posted the following two posts on Facebook recently:

“President Eisenhower supported trade unions, Social Security, and progressive taxation. Ike said that opponents of trade unions were “fools.” He called opponents of Social Security “stupid.” And he said that the way to balance the budget was to “tax the rich.””

 

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” ~Ronald Reagan”

I received a comment that basically implied that a past quote does not make it pertinent in today’s context. I think there is a lot of relevancy in those quotes today.  I think you would have a hard time finding a quote from FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter or Clinton that so contradicts the current Democratic agenda of national healthcare, the rights of worker, the importance of a strong public education system, the need to eliminate poverty or a fair taxation system.  Those are all major tenets today of Democratic policy, as they have been for decades.  And while the Democratic Party has moved to the right during that time, the Republican Party has moved rapidly and unsustainably far to the right recently.  The quotes from the above Republican standard bearers reflect that that move to the right. 

The Party is becoming so dogmatic that icons of the party would probably be excluded today.  Recent attitudes have seen moderate Republican after moderate Republican drummed out of the party.  Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chafee, Lisa Murkowski, the Override Six… Jim Ramstad, a good Congressman, probably would have had GOP opposition in the last couple elections if he had stayed, and Arne Carlson is a pariah. 

I think there will be a return to moderation at some point.  I think Republicans who are more willing to follow Reagan’s ideals rather than using his name as some sort of conservative badge to prove their worthiness, will begin taking back the party. There are Independents today who are true Republicans, but have left the party officially because of Tom Delay, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner and even celebrities like Glenn Beck.  These people are not mainstream Republicans like Reagan was who appealed to so many independents.  They are not the future of the Party.  They are temporary attention seeking zealots in the mode of Joe McCarthy. 

They place Reagan on a pedestal, but only seem to remember the things that pertain to today’s agenda.  They ignore the deficit growth, tax increases, his hatred of nuclear weapons and his desire to avoid conflict.  One of the stupidest things I heard around the recent election was a series of interviews with Republican candidates who were asked living or dead who they would like to have dinner with.  A few conservatives said a family member or Jesus, but the majority said Ronald Reagan.  It seemed very contrived to me.  These no compromise, no middle ground Republicans don’t belong in Reagan’s company.  Reagan said if 80% of what he wanted passed, it was a success.  80% is a loss in the mind of so many Republicans in power, Walker, the Fitzgerald brothers, Boehner, Pawlenty…  The only correlation between Reagan and some of these extremists is the little “(R)” after their name.  It certainly isn’t intelligence or an understanding of political success.

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Who Are We Going To Trust? The Maverick or the New McCain?

After more than a year of running as a Bush-Cheney Republican and courting groups of the electorate he has never wanted the support of before, and after more than three days of a convention full of negative, derisive speeches with more punch lines than policy, John McCain took the stage and was his old self again, at least for part of the speech.

McCain criticized the Republican party, talked about how the party has lost the respect of many Americans and called for an end to our nation’s growing partisanship, which has been fueled by Bush, Cheney, Rove and Delay.

There were periods of the speech that I felt like the crowd was unsure of whether they should cheer or not. For part of the speech he was the maverick again. But he tried to have it both ways, he never mentioned global warming or immigration, two issues that used to be his major concerns outside of the war. He questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism, and lied about Obama’s positions. He criticized congress as if he wasn’t a part of it.

Who are we going to trust? The maverick or the man who changes to please others? Do we trust a man who derides Barack Obama as an elitist, despite the fact that he worked his tail off to get were he is, or the elitist whose wife wears a $250,000 outfit to the convention, and who has to decide whether to spend his time at the Ranch in Hidden Valley, the 7000 sq. ft. condo in Phoenix, the beach-front property in California or the other beach-front property in California.

Do we trust the man who used to call for political contribution reforms, but gets millions of dollars from a few donors, or Barack Obama who get a few dollars from a million donors.

John McCain is no longer a maverick, he showed glimpses of it last night to appeal to independent voters. They would have voted for him in 2000, but there are too many voters like me who were moderates in 2000, but are now strong Democrats because of the last 8-12 years, and we want a change in Washington. There is hope.

The Great Hurrican Gustave – RNC Debate

There is this debate going on about why President Bush is so concerned about New Orleans this time when a hurricane is going to hit. I read one comment that said it was the Democrats who screwed up last time, another who blamed the residents, and third that said only Republicans know how to handle a crisis.

Those commentators are forgetting that despite the faults in the pre-hurricane preparedness, when the state failed, the federal government needed to step up but it didn’t. I don’t expect President Bush to get in a helicopter and pick people up off of roofs himself, but when he cancels a speech at the RNC out of concern for a city, which before he had told “Brownie” he was doing a great job of letting people die in chaos, it seems a little disingenuous and political.

One person who claimed he was a Republican said Bush and Cheney would only hurt McCain’s election chances if they were part of the convention, so he was glad they were not going to be there. I think he is right. The media might be making Hurricane Gustav bigger than it should be because as 21st century Americans, the best thing we seem to do is react after an event. Katrina wasn’t the first, you can include everything form 9/11 and terrorism, to how we deal with drugs, our education system, or our response to the 35W bridge collapse. We spend too many resources trying to rebuild something once it is broken, rather than reform, repair, or reorganize.

I do believe this is political. The RNC is “scaling things back” out of respect for those affected by the hurricane, however, with President Bush’s approval rating still in the twenties, and Cheney’s even lower, it really only helps McCain to shorten the convention. Add that to the fact that the DNC was a smash hit for those on the left and for independents. It would be really hard for RNC to compete against that electric event with headline speakers like Bush, Cheney, Joe Lieberman, Rudy Guiliani, Norm Coleman and Fred Thompson, wait let me rest, I’m getting bored just writing their names.

Despite my criticism, I think McCain is doing the right thing from a political standpoint. The Obama acceptance speech is fresh in the minds of independent voters, and responses were very high among that group. McCain’s speaking style and message will not resonate as much, so instead, he can demonstrate his leadership abilities compared to President Bush by taking charge of an event that the media is driving so hard.

By the way, I have to think George Bush’s approval rating has to be going up, I loved the fact that he hung out at the Olympics and relaxed and enjoyed himself, of course I guess that is what he does best.

Where have you gone John Edwards?

As I rode into work today, I listened to the beginning of the Stephanie Miller Show. The first caller said she would never vote for Hillary Clinton, and the second caller said he would never vote for Barack Obama.

This is an imperative year for the Democrats to win, especially from a Supreme Court standpoint, And as usual the party is shooting itself in the foot.

Howard Dean pulled out his 50 state strategy at the perfect time. The 50 state strategy worked because of the poor decisions made by Bush, Cheney, Delay, Lott and the like. It can still work this election, but the infighting between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp is really jeopardizing what should be an easy win in the presidency.

Both parties need to stop attacking the other candidate and start attacking Bush, Cheney and McCain. If we tear down our own candidates, how are we going to beat the Republicans.

Don’t give me the line that we are making the candidates tougher, an attack holds a lot more merit when it comes from what should be an ally. Let the republicans toss out shady land deal conspiracies, let them attack religious leaders, let them call Democrats week on defense. They are the party who people find more untrustworthy, let them try to make attacks stick.
Democrats will win by uniting and using the last eight years against the Republicans. We are close to the point of not being able to unite, splitting into irrevocable factions.

Maybe John Edwards needs to get back into the race. Maybe we need to draft Al Gore at the convention. Maybe Chris Dodd needs to ascend to the top. Maybe we need to let the past become the past and wait for the future to become the future, by selecting a truly unifying candidate for 2008.

The McCain-Huckabee Ticket?

As I watched the Super Tuesday returns coming in last night, I got a little concerned about Mike Huckabee. I’m not afraid of Mike Huckabee becoming president, but I am concerned about the buddy-buddy feeling between Huckabee and McCain. What if McCain picks Mike Huckabee as his running mate? That would be a very strong ticket for the Republicans.

Ronald Reagan was able to pull together the different factions of “conservative” groups. The Gun rights, religious right, pro-lifers and former southern democrats, the personal and property rights people, and smaller government activists into a single conservative movement that has held for 30 years.

But the Tom Delay, Trent Lott, George W. Bush/Dick Cheney triad has severely strained that coalition with uncontrolled spending, increased government size, the elimination of personal freedoms, only token actions for religious conservatives and obviously the poorly planned and horribly executed War in Iraq.

As the presidential race continued and John McCain has looked stronger and stronger, it looked like the coalition might finally splinter.

And it still might, but if McCain and Huckabee teamed up, the two might be the duct tape to hold Reagan’s crumbling coalition together. Together, they might keep the religious right who are very anti-McCain to stick with them for another cycle, and those southerners who are not part of the religious right but have voted Republican for 30 years. Add to that the potential Clinton opposition, and they may be very strong.

I’m not saying, I’m just saying…