Monday, February 05, 2007



If you're new to following politics you may not remember Dick Armey. He was the House Majority Leader (1995-2003) while Newt Gingrich was Speaker, another right-wing Texas Republican, best remembered as a yahoo who once proudly stated "I've been to Europe once; I don't have to go again." He also wrote the Contract With America and pushed for President Clinton to be impeached. Now he's a lobbyist with a libertarianish fringe group. His newspaper interview yesterday caused a big online buzz.

He got off to a good start by giving a straight forward assessment of fellow right-wing Texas power-player Tom DeLay. "I don't believe he's a good person and I don't believe he is a person who should have been in public office... I don't like sneaky, conniving people. I don't like people who get behind closed doors and contrive against other people. (He) has had - what's the word I want?-- an aggressive tendency to create the opportunity to do back-door, behind-the-door, closed-door, dark-room contrivances against people. I just consider that unacceptable." [I wonder how he feels about Rahm Emanuel.]

From the House Leadership, his old bailiwick, he moves over to a discussion of the presidency. Like most insider smart money, he's betting on Hillary to win the presidency and he thinks McCain is "old news." He is quick to admit that Bush has been a failure as president. "I don't see how anybody can look at the Bush presidency and say this was a success in public policy terms... I [voted for the resolution to go to war] and I'm not happy about it. The resolution was a resolution that authorized the president to take that action if he deemed it necessary. Had I been more true to myself and the principles I believed in at the time, I would have openly opposed the whole adventure vocally and aggressively. I had a tough time reconciling doing that against the duties of majority leader in the House. I would have served myself and my party and my country better, though, had I done so.

I bolded those last 2 sentences on the off chance that the Bush Regime's Senate bitch, Mitch, happens to be browsing DWT this morning before he goes in and starts the filibuster of the nonbinding sense of the Senate resolution that would tell Bush that Americans aren't behind his escalation in Iraq. Sometimes rising above partisanship is the right thing to do... for the country. It might not be a bad thing for Mitch "My Bitch" McConnell either, since he'll have to face Kentucky voters next year. Although McConnell manages to eke out a 52% approval rating back home (which looks grand next to Republican governor Ernie Fletcher's 31% approval), it's Bush's complete ratings collapse in Kentucky that McConnell should be looking at. The last SUSA poll showed only 35% approval for Bush's job performance (62% disapproval) with Bush down under 50% in every demographic and affiliation group polled except "Republicans" (64% approval) and "conservatives" (67% approval). More important to look at are disapproval #s among males (56%), females (68%), 18-34 year olds (72%), 35-54 year olds (55%), 55 year olds and over (61%), whites (60%) Blacks (85%), Hispanics (78%), self-desribed "moderates" (73%), anti-choice voters (50%), pro-choice voters (76%), and gun owners (56%). And disapproval for Bush is high in every single region of the state, even in the most Republican-friendly north central area.

There are 21 Republican-held senate seats up for grabs next year and Iraq is the dominating issue. Wayne Allard (CO) has already raised the white flag and announced his retirement. Democrat Mark Udall is expected to win that seat. John Sununu (R-NH) is in a state that just tossed out both their GOP incumbent House members-- largely based on anti-war sentiment-- and gave Democrats a majority in both state houses. Sununu is joined in the ranks of the walking dead by Minnesota's flip-floppin' Norm Coleman. And Gordon Smith (OR), once considered unassailable has been so all over the map on the war, and so publicly confused and pathetic-looking, that his seat is now considered in jeopardy no matter what he does.

Today's Washington Post points out that "Democrats won control of the Senate and House in November largely because of widespread opposition to the war, and the issue remains dangerous for the GOP heading into the 2008 campaign. Senate Republicans are torn between home-state voters eager for them to take a stand against a conflict that has claimed more than 3,000 U.S. troops and has cost hundreds of billions of dollars [half a trillion, much of it right into the pockets of war profiteers/Bush contributors], and Bush and other Republican leaders who warn that passage of the resolution would undermine chances of a successful conclusion to the war."

Cheney is demanding fealty and threatening retribution to any senator who votes against Bush's escalation. Trent Lott's plea to his endangered colleagues must not have sounded too sweet: "There are some things more important than getting reelected. This is one of them."

Lott and McConnell (two "up or down vote" hypocrites) will lead a Republican filibuster to keep the nonbinding resolution from coming to a vote. Between 7 and 11 Republicans want to vote for the resolution, mostly Republicans who have to face the voters next year. I mentioned Sununu. He's frightened to death because he senses he will have to look for honest work after November, 2008, while his even more right-wing colleague, Judd Gregg, who won't have to face the same voters until 2010, is all gung-ho to send in the troops. Other Republicans who are up for re-election next year who have already declared they support the Warner-Levin resolution are Susan Collins (ME), Chuck Hagel (NE) and, depending what day it is, Coleman.

Coleman is a big handwringer and he's getting pummeled back home. Anti-war veterans ran a Minnesota Super Bowl ad against the war to pressure him yesterday. "Coleman said he found it 'offensive' to suggest that senators' reelection concerns could influence their stand. But he conceded: 'Certainly senators like myself and Collins and others are in tough states. Anything we do always gets measured against that.' Indeed, Coleman is under attack, first for opposing a tougher resolution approved last month by the Foreign Relations Committee, then for supporting Warner's resolution after standing by the president for so long. 'No matter what these guys do now, they're going to have to be held to account for the choices they made not to do oversight when they said we have to back the president no matter what,' said Al Franken, a liberal comedian and talk-show host mulling a race against Coleman next year. 'When he had the gavel, he gave the president a free pass.'"


I'm pretty sure it's not over but round one is. McConnell managed to use a pariliamentary maneuver to block debate on the Warner-Levin resolution. Warner voted with the Republicans to block the debate. The final vote was 49-47. Two frightened, vulnerable Republicans-- both aware that a vote against this would definitely mean defeat next year (Coleman and Collins, who said she resented the pressure from Darth Cheney) broke ranks with their leadership and voted with the Dems. Lieberman, of course stuck with the Republicans as expected (as did All Talk And No Action Hagel).

I have a feeling there's something fishy going on. We'll see... I guess the Democrats can do hearings and call witnesses and parade the Repugs through the bright lights and show the whole country what craven slime they are. Meanwhile Governor Vilsack made a rather courageous statement on ABC: "Congress has the constitutional responsibility and a moral duty to cut off funding for the status quo," said Vilsack. "Not a cap-- an end. Not eventually-- immediately."


At 11:13 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Armey is slime. If he is so bright, why didn't he vote against the AUMF when he had the chance? Did he think Feingold, Gore and Webb were just a bunch of dirty f--king hippies? I don't get why the Repuglicans would filibuster the nonbinding resolution. There must be something else at work, unless McConnell knows he's f--ked, but if that was the case, Reid would have over 60 votes and I don't see it. It doesn't appear that enough Repugs have abandoned the sinking ship yet.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Dick Armey was one of the key people in selling out American jobs to India and subsdizing the flight with Federal Dollars.

As he signed the legislation that would destroy the livelihoods of fellow Americans he commented that his constituents were probably gonna be unhappy with his decision.

After he left office and his son was caught embezzling campaign funds, he packed up his family and got them the hell out of Irving Texas. He moved his family to Hawaii, safe from the the thousands of people who lost their jobs in the D/FW metroplex, because of his decision to promote the destruction of hi-tech jobs in the US.

"I'd rather do the wrong thing for the right reasons, than the right thing for the wrong reasons." - Sen Dick Armey

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dick Armey is also the creep who referred to Barney Frank as "Barney Fag" on the House floor. He is lower than low.


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