Tuesday, April 12, 2005

 

Conyers: GOP Heading Over Political Cliff

Great guest editorial by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) from our friends at Buzzflash

GOP Heading Over Political Cliff

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by John Conyers, Jr. and his blog readers

The country first recognized the excesses of the Reagan Administration when his budget director proposed classifying ketchup as a vegetable to help justify budget cuts for school lunch programs. The Gingrich Revolution began to unwind in 1995, when Newt complained that part of his intransigence on the budget was the result of being forced to exit the rear of Air Force One upon returning from Yitzhak Rabin's funeral.

When the history is written concerning fall from political grace of the Bush presidency, I believe we will point to the emergency passage of the Schiavo legislation as constituting the turning point. Clearly there is short term political fall-out from the unprecedented legislative intervention into a private family matter. The most recent CBS poll shows the president's popularity is at an all time low - 43%, while the Congressional approval rating is down to 34%.

The political significance of improper intervention in the tragic Schiavo case is likely to be long term in nature, and goes beyond the narrow facts of the case and concerns about federalism and separation of powers (as important as they are). With Schiavo, the entire nation was exposed to the win at all costs mentality of the Republican Party, and the fact that their deeds do not match their rhetoric.

To begin with, Americans now understand that Republicans can no longer claim the mantle of being "pro-life," when they are decimating Medicaid, when they are preventing life-saving stem cell research, when they allow guns to flow freely to terrorists, when they ignore the tragic school shooting in Minnesota, and when more than 1,500 American soldiers and more than 100,000 innocent civilians have died in Iraq as a result of a misguided war.

They certainly can't claim to be "pro-family," when their bankruptcy bill would put credit card companies ahead of families, when they tolerate families living on a minimum wage below the poverty level, and when the president signed legislation in Texas authorizing the removal of life support systems for financial reasons.

With the Schiavo case operating as a catalyst, most Americans are becoming increasingly aware that GOP inconsistencies go well beyond the misappropriation of the terms "pro-life" and "pro-family." The president can't claim to be "pro-democracy" when he ignores repressive regimes abroad, when his Administration tolerates and encourages torture, and ignores the need for voting reform in our own nation. He surely cannot claim to lead the party of "fiscal solvency" when we began the Bush presidency with a more than $200 billion/year surplus, and our deficit is now more than $420 billion per year and counting.

He also cannot assert to be "pro-military," when the Pentagon is engaged in a back-door draft and when he is cutting veterans benefits. He cannot claim to be a "uniter not a divider" when he has consistently sought out wedge issues that divide our nation.

Congressional Republicans cannot continue to utilize Orwellian legislative names like "Clear Skies," "Healthy Forests," "No Child Left Behind," and the "Patriot Act" when the policies reflected in these bills result in greater pollution, fewer trees, less education funding, and a weakening of the Bill of Rights. They also cannot claim to be pro-immigrant when their proposals would gut asylum protections and take away their habeas corpus rights; or argue they are "anti-crime" while the crime rate is rising and funding for local law enforcement is falling.

One of the readers on my campaign's blog expressed the frustration of so many Americans when he wrote to me: "The rules that bound this country have become irrelevant, and rules are changed, with no regard to ethics, in order to gain extra advantage.... Some people feel it's important to change the rules during the game, no matter who gets hurt, or whether the playing field remains level." He has become so depressed by the direction of our nation that he plans to turn his flag upside down in protest.

More than just Democrats are pointing to the growing disconnect between the political imperatives of the GOP base and the views of the public at large. One Republican strategist acknowledged "a mini-revolt" and noted "They [GOP Members] walked the plank on Social Security reform under much duress, and now they were walking the plank on Schiavo, you're going to see the beginning of Bush's difficulties with Congress for a second term because the congressman deal in self-preservation and these are just two strikes for 2005, and we're just getting through the first quarter."

The Schiavo case has taught the entire country that the Republican leadership is willing to systematically cast aside the norms of politics and comity in the Congress, the courts, the state legislatures, and even our most intimate family decisions. In days gone by, congressional redistricting was known to be so politically contentious and coarsening of relationships, that state legislatures felt bound by precedent and decency to only engage in such efforts every ten years, as specified by the Constitution. In Texas and now, in Georgia, those norms have been cast aside. The legacy of the GOP majority will be ceaseless partisan manipulation for maximum political benefit, with diminishing returns to the American people. The sooner their tenure comes to an end, the better for all of us.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Comments:
I really do not like conspiracy theories my opinion is never explain
to conspiracy when shear stupidity can suffice.   With that being
said, I would like to share some striking information with you.

I was having trouble with the web site so I am hoping you get this message.

The new york times is reporting that David Chalmers Jr from Bayoil and
Tongsun Park from South Korea has been formally charged with illegal
gains in the oil for food program (nothing new).   However, a quick
google search for bay oil houstin and look at the second address.
"8410 Larson St, Houston"   Guess where that address is?   District 22
(Tom Delay's district).   Additionally, Bay Oil is registered in the
bahamas where interestingly enough the washington post early this week
reported on trips Mr Delay took paid for by a mysterious company out
of the bahamas.   Interestingly Mr. Delay also took a trip to Seoul,
South Korea on the donation money from the un named bahamas company.

Now Tongsun Park has been implacated before for something called
koreagate in 1976.   In Koreagate, according to time magisine (Nov 29,
1976) Mr Park was "a washington-based Korean businessman with a yen
for winning friends in high places."   Additionally, Tongsun Park was
a member of the Korean CIA (KCIA) and according to TIME "For all of
its zeal, the KCIA is regarded in Washington as a ham-handed offspring
of the U.S. CIA—which has helped finance the KCIA in the past."

1976 is fresh in the wake of watergate and washington did not need
another watergate style special prosecution.   Furthermore, the US CIA
was directly linked to the KCIA and numerous Congressinally
representitives could have been directly implacated.   Therefore,
(according to TIME) no one wanted to take up a special inventigation
into the actions of congress.   Now my point, In 1976, the US CIA was
headed by none other then George Bush Sr. under the Ford
administration.

Here is more information about Bush Sr and his link to the KCIA.
http://www.american-buddha.com/unauthor.bio.bush.15.1.htm

I realize that this does not appear to come from a creditable news
agency but it was the best I could find on such short notice.

Now a number of questions still remain, but there seems to be a
striking connection.
 
Well, I just love John Conyers and I wish there were more politicians who had even half the cajones he does!

He gives me hope for the future of America, bless his heart...
 
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