Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Far Right Thunders... Against Republicans


In the far right's cross hairs: Snowe, Collins, Specter

In the semi-murky waters of Inside-the-Beltway sleaze factories, few outfits are looked at with more disdain than the National Republican Trust PAC, a group that prides itself on running the most distorted and vicious attacks against its opponents. They epitomize the very worst of extreme right political propaganda efforts, a virtual Goebbels-like workshop at the heart of the GOP. In the last cycle, they took in $11,607,527. Most of it, $8,088,621, was spent hysterically attacking then-Senator Barack Obama with independent expenditures. The only other I.E. was $85 for Saxby Chambliss. The PAC didn't donate much money to individual candidates either, just $1,000 to each of five far right lunatic fringe Republicans, losers Elizabeth Dole (NC), Marilyn Musgrave (CO), and John Stone (GA), plus Michele Bachmann (who managed to hold on to her seat with 46% of the vote in her Minnesota district) and their one winner, incumbent Senator James Inhofe (OK). There was also a donation of $16,350 to the Republican Governors Association. Even right-wing organizations like the Cato Institute have been appalled by the sleaziness of the National Republican Trust PAC, which believes that their right to lie about candidates is protected free speech and that it's up to the public to figure out for themselves when they're being fed a load of crap.

Today the group, which is run by hyperbolic former Moonie journalist Scott Wheeler, is in the news, threatening to back Republican primary campaigns against any member of Congress who cooperates with President Obama on the Stimulus package. The National Republican Trust PAC demands obstructionism from all Republicans and has mostly gotten its way, 100% of the GOP House members too frightened to vote for the Stimulus bill and all but 3 senators taking the same path.
"The American people don't want this trillion-dollar political payoff that will just line the pockets of non-governmental organizations who supported [President Barack] Obama in the election," said Scott Wheeler, the executive director of The National Republican Trust PAC, an organization that calls for less government spending and lower taxes.

"Republican senators are on notice," he said. "If they support the stimulus package, we will make sure every voter in their state knows how they tried to further bankrupt voters in an already bad economy."

With moderate voters having fled the right-leaning Pennsylvania Republican Party by the thousands, Wheeler's threat is very real for Arlen Specter, one of the three Republicans to have put country first and backed the Stimulus Bill yesterday. It's a closed primary-- only registered Republicans can vote. There are far fewer registered Republicans in Pennsylvania than ever before and the ones who are still left in the party are a bigoted, hate-obsessed lot, brainwashed by Fox News, Coulter and Limbaugh and looking for extremist rhetoric to satisfy their manipulated passions. "[Sen. Specter] crossed the line one too many times," Wheeler told CNN. "We're now going to get involved in finding a conservative alternative." The extremists and anti-working family Republicans are coalescing around Pittsburgh area hate talk radio host Glen Meakem and deranged anti-choice fanatic Peg Luksik

Another neo-fascist group, Let Freedom Ring, started annoying Republican voters in Pennsylvania and Maine with 150,000 robo-calls. Although Americans favor the Stimulus Bill, only a third of Republicans do. Most Pennsylvania Democrats feel that it would be far easier to win next year's Senate battle if the GOP runs an extremist fringe candidate rather than the well-respected and popular Arlen Specter who draws significant independent and Democratic voters. "The best possible scenario for us," one Pennsylvania Democratic congressman told me this morning, "is if the GOP nominates someone like Santorum, a Meakem or, if we're really lucky, someone even further out on the fringes like Peg Luksik. Almost any credible Democrat would be able to win against someone perceived to be an extremist taking their marching orders form Limbaugh and Hannity."

Meanwhile grassroots pressure is mounting in favor of supporting the bill. In Maine, for example, the local press is cheering on Collins and Snowe, asking them to continue to support the stimulus package. The Portland Press Herald reported that Snowe and Collins are "weathering intense lobbying" on the package that they helped broker and pass by crossing party lines and urged them to stay strong and not get bullied by far right elements that would rather see America fail than Obama succeed.

And in his column in today's Washington Post, Chris Cillizza suggests that despite the hysteria and threats on the extreme right, several Republicans eager to not be viewed as obstructionists-- George Voinovich (OH), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Richard Lugar (IN), Fred Upton (MI), Mike Castle (DE) and Jim Gerlach (PA)-- may support the compromise package that the Conference Committee hammered out today.
In driving down the total cost of the stimulus bill-- from $838 billion approved by the Senate and $820 billion by the House-- legislators also sharply reduced proposed tax incentives for buyers of homes and cars that held huge public appeal. Senator Collins said getting the final number to under $800 billion was more than symbolic; it meant “a fiscally responsible number,” she said.

But the final bill retained a $70 billion tax cut that would spare millions of middle-class Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax in 2009, which some Democrats decried as wasting a large chunk of the bill on something that would do little to lift the economy and that Congress would have approved regardless of the recession.

In effect, the "compromise" steals billions from hard-pressed state governments-- I thought Repugs are supposed to favor state governments-- and school construction and obliterated COBRA assistance for the unemployed so they could help people who make over $100,000 a year with a $70 billion AMT tax break!

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At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone told you how hysterical you sound? Not to mention pathetically uninformed and nonsensical?

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the contrary, I find this assessment to be right on the nose. Conservative Republicanism lost big-time in November. America spoke loud and clear. When will the few pseudo-patriotic dead-enders of the right FINALLY get this?

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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