Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Utah's Republican Governor Accuses His Party's Congressional Leaders Of "Fei Hua" (Empty Words)-- Calls Them "Inconsequential"


Most Americans would agree with Gov Jon Huntsman (R-UT) on the state of GOP Leadership

In his Salon column today, a refreshingly outside-the-Beltway Glenn Greenwald took on the Inside-the-Beltway myth that real Americans (as opposed to Inside-the-Beltway creatures) are demanding "bipartisanship," something Rahm Emanuel was spewing in the shameless puff piece he got Ryan Lizza to write for him in the New Yorker. Glenn:
In 2006, the Democrats ran on a platform of opposing-- not embracing-- the Republican agenda, and American voters handed them a resounding, even crushing, victory. In 2008, much the same thing happened: Democrats ran on platform of “change” from the Republican approach to governance-- not replicating it-- and resoundingly won again.

What possible reason is there, then, to argue that Democrats ought to adopt Republican ideas-- regardless of what those ideas are-- simply for the sake of “bipartisanship”? Americans elected Democrats to implement Democratic ideas and will hold Democrats responsible for the success or failure of their policies. Democrats should therefore use their majority power to carry out the polices that they think are the best ones for the country, not dilute those ideas and incorporate discredited Republican approaches in order to fulfill some vague bipartisan ideal.

Glenn points to new polling data which shows the country outside of the Insider cliques in DC think it's far more important for Obama "'stick to his policies' than try to dilute them in order to attract Republican support in pursuit of 'bipartisanship.' It's not surprising that 39% want Obama to pursue bipartisanship.  There are still many people who prefer Republican policies and naturally want Obama to embrace those policies in the name of "bipartisanship" -- but the group that wants that is in the clear minority.  That's why Republicans lost so decisively in the last two elections."

On the other hand, respondents are also overwhelming in their feelings that congressional Republicans are the ones who need to be behaving in a bipartisan fashion and working with Obama to save the country and not sticking with the failed GOP policies that have dragged the country to the brink of collapse. Speaking of which, Utah's conservative governor, Jon Huntsman, who thinks he, rather than Willard "Mitt" Romney, will be the nation's first Mormon president, personalized the poll's findings by calling the GOP congressional leadership-- John Boehner (R-OH), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Mike Pence (R-IN), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Miss McConnell (R-KY), Jon Kyl (N-AZ), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Ensign (R-NV), and John Cornyn (R-TX)-- "inconsequential."

In an interview with the Moonie Times, Huntsman blames the GOP's dire straits on the low quality of congressional leaders the party is stuck with. He says he doesn't know them and has never met them. "I don't listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential-- completely." Mike Pence, one of the least competent and most ideologically extreme of any elected official in America, claims that GOP leaders "aren't as incompetent as they might appear."
Unlike some of his Republican counterparts in other states, Mr. Huntsman said he will not turn back any of his state's share of President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus. But he said much of the spending is misdirected and more likely to bloat the government than boost the economy.

He said congressional Republicans failed to score political points for opposing the bill - only three Republican senators supported it - because the public saw them as objecting to being shut out by Democrats from helping write the bill rather than as taking a principled stand.

The governor said congressional Republicans are being frustrated by a lack of credibility on the party's No. 1 tenet: fiscal responsibility.

"That's why no one is paying any attention," he said. "Our moral soapbox was completely taken away from us because of our behavior in the last few years. For us to now criticize analogous behavior is hypocrisy. We've got to come at it a different way. We've got to prove the point. It can't be as the Chinese would say, 'fei hua,' [or] empty words."

...Mr. Huntsman, who was in Washington for a meeting of governors, said the failure of Republican leaders in Congress to move beyond "gratuitous partisanship" has left it to the party's governors and other state officials to come up with "big, bold solutions and ideas" that will win over voters and revive the party.

"Until we get to that point, we are going to be sort of out there gasping for air, and that's were we are right now," he said.

"A good spirited debate is always important and always healthy, but right now, we are devoid of some of those big ideas that will allow us to become a governing party once again and allow us to win national elections," Mr. Huntsman said. "As one Republican governor still standing, I'm very mindful of this and I'm very mindful of the need to be part of the larger debate about coming up with real fixes and real solutions that the American people recognize as being good for them and their state and their country."

Yes, you would think that these power-mad Republicans might put their own state's residents first and their keep their ambitions and their ideological extremism in check. Earlier today Roger Simon at Politico looked at why any governor-- like say Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Haley Barbour (R-MS), Mark Sanford (R-SC), Sarah Palin (R-AK)-- would turn down federal funds. Well, aside from all being far right fanatics, these 4 all fancy themselves presidential timber who will need to appeal to the Rush Limbaugh base in order to compete in the 2012 primaries. Simon says they don't want to accept what they call "Obama-bucks," regardless of how many of their citizens get hurt. (Sanford, a vicious son of a bitch if there ever was one, said he would pray for the unemployed.) Simon predicts a Republican electoral bloodbath in 2012 if these loons run on the platform, “You give up your house so we can win the White House." The Republican congressional leaders will be testing that out next year in the midterms when they stand to lose dozens of obstructionist incumbents.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, attacked the Obama stimulus plan on Saturday by saying, “It’s filled with social policy and costs too much. You could create just as many jobs for about half as much money.”

OK, Gov. Barbour, go ahead and do it. And get rid of all that evil “social policy” while you are at it.
Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana who often has “rising star” and “presidential hopeful” attached to his name, also said he didn’t want some of the federal money.

But under questioning by David Gregory on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Jindal seemed to wilt a little when it came to explaining why.

“Well, let’s be clear,” Jindal said, not being clear at all. “The best thing that Washington could do to help Louisiana and all of our states with our budgets is to get this economy moving again.”

Gee, thanks. But don’t get him wrong. While some people see these times as filled with pain and suffering, Jindal sees them as an opportunity. A political opportunity.

“I think now is the time, and it’s a great opportunity for Republican governors and other leaders to offer conservative-based solutions to the problem,” Jindal said.

Because those conservative-based solutions worked so well under George W. Bush, right?

It is not just Republican governors who are irked with Obama-bucks, however. There is Rick Santelli, an on-air editor for CNBC, who went on the air live last week from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade and delivered what he now proudly refers to as his “rant.”

Basically, Santelli doesn’t want federal aid going to people who can’t pay their mortgages. “How many of you people want to pay your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” Santelli said, waving his arms.

He then called such people “losers” and said it was better to “reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water.”

When Wall Street moguls got billions in bailout money and gave themselves millions in bonuses, threw lavish parties, redecorated their offices and ordered $50 million jets, Santelli did not wave his arms and rant.

Because Wall Street moguls are not losers. They are his people. But when it comes to the working-class family trying to scrape by, that’s where we must draw the line. Throw them out on the street. Foreclose on their homes, even though the banks can’t sell those homes.

Because it’s far better to have a foreclosed house on your block with the windows boarded up than having a family living there and paying a renegotiated mortgage, isn’t it?

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At 6:01 AM, Blogger Democracy Lover said...

I know I'd rather give my Governor had a good shot at the Republican presidential nomination than keep a roof over my head. I don't mind living in my car and dumpster-diving to feed the family if I can look with pride at the Governor's Mansion and see someone who is truly opposed to big government.

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Joseph Aldeguer said...

politics is polictics. For the past century, no changes at all! same old grumpy politicians


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