Novak: GOP at the trough

posted at 11:30 am on May 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Robert Novak offers his own advice for Republicans looking to rebrand the party, and it sounds much like the advice I offered last week. If they want to take the mantle of fiscal discipline, it would help if they didn’t overwhelmingly support increases of over 40% in farm-subsidy bills. Just mouthing reformist platitudes put the Republicans in their current circumstances, and more of the same will not rescue them from their predicament:

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 38 and having served less than five terms, did not leap over a dozen of his seniors to become the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee by bashing GOP leaders. But an angry Ryan delivered unscripted remarks on the House floor last Wednesday as the farm bill neared passage: “This bill is an absence of leadership. This bill shows we are not leading.”

Ryan’s fellow reformer Jeff Flake of Arizona, 45 and in his fourth term, is less cautious about defying the leadership and has been kept off key committees. On Wednesday, he said of a $300 billion bill that raises farm subsidies and is filled with non-farm pork, “Sometimes, here in Washington, we tend to drink our own bath water and believe our own press releases.”

A bill that raises spending 44 percent above last year’s level has been approved by a majority of both Senate and House Republicans, dooming any chance of sustaining President Bush‘s promised veto. GOP leaders were divided, with Bush sounding an uncertain trumpet. Today’s Republican Party — divided, drifting, demoralized — is epitomized by the farm bill.

At the moment Congress passed the farm bill, Republicans were terrified by the previous day’s defeat in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, the third straight supposedly safe Republican seat lost in a special election. Fearing a November tsunami for the Democrats, incumbent Republicans talked about following their new standard-bearer, John McCain, against pork. But that’s not the way they voted last week.

It’s not the way they’ve voted for almost eight years, and George Bush deserves a healthy share of the blame.  Not only did he wait a very long time to discover his veto pen, he proposed and pushed through hefty increases in federal spending while Republicans controlled Washington.  The GOP had no problem porking bills up at a historical rate without any meaningful opposition on spending.

The GOP wants to position itself as the party of reform, and they talk a good game, but they refuse to act.  This farm bill shows why.  Instead of taking a stand on unnecessary spending and explaining the reasons why the bill wastes taxpayer money, they’d rather take the pork and waste the money.  That’s not terribly courageous, and that explains why no one really buys the rhetoric.  When they had the opportunity to take action in support of their reformist principles, they decided to encourage their members to vote to protect themselves within their districts.

That won’t change anyone’s minds about the nature of Republican leadership.  They want to ride the fiscal-discipline coattails of John McCain into November’s elections without casting votes like John McCain on issues of fiscal discipline.  When they realize the difference between talk and action, Republican leadership will have taken the first step towards winning back the public’s trust.


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RIP GOP.

Time for a new party.

rockmom on May 19, 2008 at 11:36 AM

I’ve decided not to plant ten rows of corn in my back yard.

When can I expect to get my check from the government?

fogw on May 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their styes with all their backing
They don’t care what goes on around
In their eyes there’s something lacking
What they need’s a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

29Victor on May 19, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Sometimes the floor has to be swept clean. I think we are watching natural selection in process on the GOP side. Sadly, when the donks firmly take control, the pork process will be continued at an accelerated rate.

a capella on May 19, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any conscience. They are completely amoral.

My collie says:

I am starting a lottery to guess the exact date on which the barbarians finally sack and burn Washington D.C. to the ground. Any takers?

CyberCipher on May 19, 2008 at 11:45 AM

They want to ride the fiscal-discipline coattails of John McCain into November’s elections

This is supposed to be one of mccains strong points but where was his leadership during the previous 8 years? As a so called party leader why wasn’t he backing the young guns in the house and fighting to cut spending in the senate? Did he actually do anything besides occassionally talking about cutting spending? This country is in serious trouble if the powers that be in the republican party alow him to think that he can pick anyone but Romney or an equal fiscally conservative vp. He picks a weak vp and wins or barry wins, either way this country is sunk.

peacenprosperity on May 19, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Can’t even stand up against earmarks? And now this farm bill? What good are they?

Phooey.

petefrt on May 19, 2008 at 11:49 AM

It’s not the way they’ve voted for almost eight years, and George Bush deserves a healthy share of the blame. Not only did he wait a very long time to discover his veto pen, he proposed and pushed through hefty increases in federal spending while Republicans controlled Washington. The GOP had no problem porking bills up at a historical rate without any meaningful opposition on spending.

Very well explained, Ed, and this is what you get when you elect people who have grown up in a privileged environment, in a family of careers based on government. I voted for GWB twice, but he has never in his life had to decide whether he could afford something. Thus we get his brand of big government noblesse-oblige. To GWB, and to his father, big government is/was a good thing. Money — who’s worried about money? And if the boss is gonna do it …..

BigD on May 19, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Pathetic. Craven. Irresponsible. Unprincipled. Those and similar adjectives apply to every member of Congress who voted for the bloated, anti-consumer piece of legislative corruption known as the Food and Energy Conservative Act of 2008 a k a as “the farm bill.” President Bush has promised to veto the bill. To put it plainly, everybody in Congress who votes to override the coming Bush veto should be retired come November because they will have voted for a measure that is nothing more — or less — than a $300 billion giveaway of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. This is especially true for conservative Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who brag about their fiscal rectitude.

But John McCain is the biggest problem with the GOP? eyeroll….

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 11:52 AM

I think we are watching natural selection in process on the GOP side.

See what they have done to Flake? See what they did to Santorum and Hayworth? We are moving towards a one party system even if they try to fool us into thinking there are two. This election illustrates that. If they were really serious in the leadership of the republican party then they would have cleaned the leadership house up in congress after 2006 but instead they jumped on the demofascists claim that the defeat was about the war. They kept the same old culprits in power and punished guys like Flake. Pretty soon guys like Flake will give up and head home to take care of their own while our country goes down the tubes.

peacenprosperity on May 19, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Wow. I guess they all think we’re distracted by presidential politics and decided to try to slip this by:

We’ve noted that it will continue to give subsidies to millionaires who actually live in Manhattan and who might not even use their “farmland” for food crops. (Those subsidies will come from tax dollars confiscated from millions of working families of four making, say, $35,000. How is that fair?) But we actually understated the expense and duplicity of providing retroactive “disaster relief” for crop losses for which the 2002 farm bill previously covered in advance through federal crop insurance. As it turns out, the bill also keeps the crop insurance going forward, plus provides $3.8 billion in advance for any unforeseen “disasters” that may, uh, crop up.

On these pages last Friday, columnist Tim Carney described how the bill increases subsidies for domestic sugar growers that, combined with restrictions on imported sugar, will drive up U.S. food prices substantially — and, even worse, how it provides for the government to buy “excess” sugar at high prices, then re-sell it to ethanol facilities at as little as one-tenth the price.

OK, who has a link to the votes on this POS

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 11:54 AM

If you don’t go to the mail box or answer that 1-888 call showing up on your caller ID the problems will all just go away. Pull the blinds, throw the locks, don’t turn on the TV cause someone knocking at the door might know you are home.

Limerick on May 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Things like this are a double edge sword for Republicans.

On one hand we can’t let this go on, we’re going to bankrupt the country by just tossing others money around like its pulled from trees. On the other hand you know all the republicans who voted against this will be attacked as people who are against the little farmer, the little farmer making $250,000 profit each year, while someone making $30,000 a year pays for it.

This is also a bow down to the Global Warming alarmist issue. Lets use corn in cars instead of feeding the hungry. Lets have $5 gas and $5 bread instead of $5.25 Gas and $2 bread. All the republicans are bending to pressure but they are also slowly killing the party.

Rbastid on May 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM

29Victor on May 19, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Channelling your inner George Harrison, I see.

Bigfoot on May 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Santorum had the party behind him but lost because he had gone way too far on the vocal social conservative statements too many times. I’m quite conservative, but that’s just not smart politics to become everybody’s lecturing old aunt.

For quite obvious reasons, Americans don’t particularly care for moralizing in our politicians…..

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:00 PM

I have argued strongly for voting for McCain, but that notion becomes increasingly difficult. So far, the war and the Supreme Court issues are the only things holding me. If Mac doesn’t select a fiscal conservative for a running mate who’s not afraid of making waves, I may succumb to the calls to “teach the repubs a lesson.”

davidk on May 19, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Ya’ll let me know when and where the new Tea party will be. I’ve got my Native American costume all ready.

ThackerAgency on May 19, 2008 at 12:17 PM

No, Santorum lost because PA didn’t want to hear warnings against Islamofascism.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Channelling your inner George Harrison, I see.

Bigfoot on May 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Ohm….

29Victor on May 19, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Flake is my Congressman. I’d love for McCain to pick him as VP, or Sen. Jon Kyle, but either one would result in an all-AZ ticket, which wouldn’t be the politically savvy thing to do.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:20 PM

It’s bad enough with all the nonsense from the Religious Right in the GOP, but they’ve completely forgotten what the words “fiscal discipline” mean. Methinks they need some time to reflect upon that in the wilderness. I just don’t see how they’re going to do this before November – and I’m certainly not going to help them with my vote (at least for Congress).

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:21 PM

time for a new party

Are we worse off than we were under Ford/Rockefeller? Conservatism in the GOP will make a comeback.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:22 PM

nonsense from the Religious Right

More ludicrous criticism for the loyal yet most abused/neglected wing of the party. What part of “…endowed by their Creator the right to life…” is nonsense?

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:24 PM

Bring back the Whigs!

Akzed on May 19, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Flake is my Congressman. I’d love for McCain to pick him as VP, or Sen. Jon Kyle, but either one would result in an all-AZ ticket, which wouldn’t be the politically savvy thing to do.

He couldn’t do this anyways as it would violate the 12th Amendment. POTUS & Veeps cannot be from the same State.

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:26 PM

from the same state

Good point. I had forgotten that.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:27 PM

More ludicrous criticism for the loyal yet most abused/neglected wing of the party. What part of “…endowed by their Creator the right to life…” is nonsense?

None. Yet when they take this and extend it to imposing their own sense of morality on everyone else, that’s where the problems come in. Oh and as for whining about the socons being the “most abused/neglected wing of the party”, give me a break. The RNC Chairman can’t even wpe his tuckus without checking with you guys first about what brand to use.

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Bring back the Whigs!

No, bring back the Federalists! ;-)

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:31 PM

With a stubborn anti-waste crusader like President McCain repeatedly vetoing pork coming from Congress, hopefully with the public supporting him, my guess is that the GOP members in Congress will reform, if reluctantly.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:31 PM

Bush/Rove lost me at the 2002 Farm Bill and I let them know about it. Of course, I never received a response just as Tom Cole is not responding to the 1,000+ conservative comments at the NRCC blog.

Valiant on May 19, 2008 at 12:31 PM

imposing morality

Every law that’s passed is an imposition of morality.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Every law that’s passed is an imposition of morality.

To some extent that’s true. Taking it to the extremes you guys have been pushing for it another matter entirely.

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:34 PM

With a stubborn anti-waste crusader like President McCain repeatedly vetoing pork coming from Congress, hopefully with the public supporting him, my guess is that the GOP members in Congress will reform, if reluctantly.

I have no choice but to vote for the guy this November, but I do not share your enthusiasm about possible vetoes from a President McCain. Sure, he’ll axe a couple here and there for PR sake but how much spending will he gleefully sign off on in the name of Global Warming?

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Someone please tell JohnAGJ to cut his lunch break short and go back to work. If there is anything worse than an intelligent person who is also an angry, arrogant a**hole I don’t know what it is.

BigD on May 19, 2008 at 12:37 PM

As a so called party leader why wasn’t he backing the young guns in the house and fighting to cut spending in the senate?

peacenprosperity on May 19, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Dude, he was leading that charge, but few cared to follow….because it’s just not very “collegial” don’t you know.

The animosity toward McCain comes from two places: one the nutjobs who think he is in Hanoi’s pocket (?) and/or just hate that he crimped their very lucrative “Live POWs in Hanoi” scam, and the fact that he has spent years outing dems and republicans alike for their spending habits.

Google Thad Cochran John McCain to see a perfect example of the latter. Cochran is a good vote against amnesty (or was one time anyway) but is a world champion pork swiller.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM

BigD: How about “angry, arrogant a**holes” that engage in projection? ;-) McCain has my vote, be happy about that but I’m not about to sing his praises like those on the other side do for Obama.

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Are we worse off than we were under Ford/Rockefeller?

Yes, because those days were before Reagan showed them the way to winning elections and limiting government.

The current party (and presidential nominee) are dangerously shunning Reaganism and rebranding the party into a European socialist party. This is suicidal as the base they are trying to attract will vote Democrat regardless of how far left they swing. All they will be left with are the liberal Republicans who would rather trash a good party than join their ideologues in the Democrat Party.

Valiant on May 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM

If you want to Google something, Google McCain and Reform Institute. Where does that place me in your typology of people who think McCain is an unstable liberal crook?

Valiant on May 19, 2008 at 12:43 PM

The current party (and presidential nominee) are dangerously shunning Reaganism and rebranding the party into a European socialist party. This is suicidal as the base they are trying to attract will vote Democrat regardless of how far left they swing. All they will be left with are the liberal Republicans who would rather trash a good party than join their ideologues in the Democrat Party.

In all seriousness, I wonder if it will take a few years of Dem control for the GOP to remember their roots and for a neo-Reagan to emerge? It sure seems like it at times and if this is true it will suck to live through it…

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:43 PM

No, Santorum lost because PA didn’t want to hear warnings against Islamofascism.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:18 PM

laughable and false. Santorum was demonizedby the MSM for years, possibly a decade and had an unfortunate habit of saying really stupid stuff for their edification on social issues too.

Santorum was also a huge fan of international poverty programs run by the UN.

Now, he was good on the war and good on other issues. I like Santorum, certainy a hell of a lot more than Casey, and would have voted for him in 2006, possibly many times (joking) BUT he dug his own political grave by being so vocal about gay marriage and other social issues over many years.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Valiant at 12:39PM

NO, because both Ford & Rockefeller were far more liberal than McCain ever was. And McCain will choose a conservative VP.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Dear JohnAGJ:

I am not a McCain fan, and I am not a member of the religious right. But I was reacting to your bashing of the Religious Right and your comment about the RNC chairman wiping his tuckus, whatever that/those are. And then that tired old line about the right imposing morality on others, as though all of politics is not an imposition of somebody’s morality, or lack thereof, on others.

You know, you come across with some intelligent commnents, and then give us that kind of crap.

BigD on May 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM

funky chicken at 12:44PM

Thanks for your opinion, but I’ll take Santorum’s word over yours.

jgapinoy on May 19, 2008 at 12:46 PM

BUT he dug his own political grave by being so vocal about gay marriage and other social issues over many years.

Now why are you “abusing” that “neglected” wing of the GOP? ;-)

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:46 PM

McCain is a very strong fiscal conservative when it comes to these stupid “farm” bills etc. Expect lots of commercials to try to drive away the senior citizen vote because McCain voted against the Medicare drug entitlement program.

Yeah, the global warming stuff is crap. But I think that is going to go out of vogue with another cold winter or two, and I think the GOP is gonna be a lot more willing to look at, you know, actual data. The dems won’t admit that AlGore is a total fraud for decades, if they ever do.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 11:52 AM

OK, big question…

IF McCain is an anti big spending guy, why is he NOT talking about this on the campaign trail?

Its a GREAT issue for conservatives… he should denounce this in the LOUDEST way at every stop… and yet… to date… except for one speech, he remains pretty silent.

Romeo13 on May 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM

You know, you come across with some intelligent commnents, and then give us that kind of crap.

I doubt it is any more unsavory than what the Religious Right has been serving up for quite awhile now. Get used to it because the other Republican and GOP-leaning voters are sick of their crap, let alone their faux whining about being “abused”. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black…

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:49 PM

It’s not the way they’ve voted for almost eight years, and George Bush deserves a healthy share of the blame. Not only did he wait a very long time to discover his veto pen, he proposed and pushed through hefty increases in federal spending while Republicans controlled Washington. The GOP had no problem porking bills up at a historical rate without any meaningful opposition on spending.

The GOP wants to position itself as the party of reform, and they talk a good game, but they refuse to act.

Exactly right. Its one of several key reasons why the GOP is crashing.

If the GOP is going to act like a bunch of Democrats, why vote GOP?

.

GT on May 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM

You expect him (Santorum) to admit that his idiotic comments about gay marriage made so many people laugh at him that it lost him the election?

I don’t think politicians have that kind of self awareness usually. Much better to blame the voters for being too afraid of hearing the truth.

Snort.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Yeah, the global warming stuff is crap. But I think that is going to go out of vogue with another cold winter or two, and I think the GOP is gonna be a lot more willing to look at, you know, actual data. The dems won’t admit that AlGore is a total fraud for decades, if they ever do.

What concerns me is how many trillions of dollars we are going to waste on this boondoggle that could have gone towards worthwhile projects or left in the pockets of the taxpayers! I don’t have a problem with real environmentalism but this kind of nonsense is truly nuts.

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM

Save your money and do not give anything to the RNC unless they can prove that not one red cent will go to any candidate voting to override a presidential veto of that Fatten the Pigs farm abomination. The money you save will help pay the higher food prices.

Insofar as domestic policy is concerned, the exception being judges where the president has the initiative, it hardly matters who wins in November. There will be a sufficient number of Dhimmis and Rinos to override any veto, It is still posssible to block this bill if sanity returns to a few members, but after the elections there will be at least 5 more D senators and probably 50 more Ds in the house. The true one party system looms on the horizon. The only hope is for a revival starting in 2010 before the illegals get the right to vote Dhimmicrat.

Annar on May 19, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Romeo, you have transcripts of all his speeches?

Also, did you notice how NBC edited his SNL appearance…..left in all the jokes about his age (which were kinda cute) but chopped all the funny stuff about how he has opposed spending even if it hurts his own state….and because of that AZ now has no paved highways and kids have to drink cactus juice?

He talks about it….it just doesn’t get reported.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:53 PM

One of McCain’s stock jokes at appearances is/was that congress’s spending would put drunken sailors to shame or some such.

That may date me…..there is an old joke for people who waste lots of money…. He spends like a drunken sailor.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:56 PM

What concerns me is how many trillions of dollars we are going to waste on this boondoggle that could have gone towards worthwhile projects or left in the pockets of the taxpayers! I don’t have a problem with real environmentalism but this kind of nonsense is truly nuts.

JohnAGJ on May 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM

You and me both. But again, Obama will cost much more in pretty much all ways.

No-brainer.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:57 PM

When they realize the difference between talk and action, Republican leadership will have taken the first step towards winning back the public’s trust.

That’s right. But, unfortunately we won’t see action. Not gonna happen. Those in Government, NOT ALL (there still are some God-fearing men and women working in Government) but the MAJORITY in the Republican party are corrupt Robber baron conservates. By the way, when I say the conservative movement in America is over, I mean it, BUT, I’m mainly referring to the Republican leadership, the GOP establishment, the money-con, greedy-cons… I’m not talking about grassroots conservatives… conservatism still resides in it’s American citizens, just not in their Republican leadership… and if any of you think I’m picking on the Republican party, the Democrats are much WORSE and even MORE CORRUPT!

apacalyps on May 19, 2008 at 1:03 PM

When you stop to think about it, how much difference is there, really, between the two parties at this point? Does the GOP really want smaller government, the end of welfare (except for corporations who send jobs overseas), and a stricter reading of the Constitution? I do not believe so, not anymore. Both parties have their leaders feeding off the Federal trough, and both are perfectly capable of spending someone else’s money as though it were their own.

It is said that we get the leaders we deserve. While I’d rather write in “none of the above,” do we deserve Obama right now?

manwithblackhat on May 19, 2008 at 1:31 PM

NO, because both Ford & Rockefeller were far more liberal than McCain ever was. And McCain will choose a conservative VP.

I wish he would. A guy like Steele, maybe. You know, a REAL conservative. But of all the possibilities touted in the press, is there one who would “balance” the ticket, or simply be a younger version of McCain?

What’s the value-added in that?

manwithblackhat on May 19, 2008 at 1:34 PM

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Sigh… every speech? No, but do you really think the MSM would not take the opportunity to use this to link him to Bush if he was actualy making it an issue?

As I used to say to my X wife… “if a man is speaking in a forest, and theres no woman there to hear him… is he still wrong?”

How about an AD about this? How about he goes back to the Senate, does the job we pay him to do, and he makes at LEAST a speech about it…

This is a bill which spends $1000 for every man woman and child in America… on crap… this IS a big deal.

Romeo13 on May 19, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Bush isn’t a fiscal conservative. Romeo, how old are you?

Bush signed all those GOP porkfests for years while McCain and a tiny band of folks opposed them. The others gained favor among bloggers in 2006. Don’t you remember porkbusters?

McCain, Sessions, Coburn, DeMint, sometimes Cornyn

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 2:19 PM

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 2:19 PM

How about old enough to have been in the miltary, under CARTER?

Typical personal attempt at an attack… missed the mark a bit… better improove your spotting ability (which I also used to do… shore fire support stuff, but that was under Reagan… hmmm Boarded ships under Bush 1 during Storm… shall I continue?).

Bush has threatened to VETO this farm bill… or are you so busy with EVERY McCain speech that you missed that little tidbit…

If McCain came out hardcore about being agains this bill, the Dem talking points would be all about “see? Just like Bushy”… it would be ALL over the press.

Romeo13 on May 19, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Sadly the repubs blew/spent themselves out of a historic opportunity to shape this country for generations. The end result being massive and permissive government spending and what should/will be a large loss of seats come November. The loss may be so large that the dems have veto proof majorities.

Bush critics always point to his low–the lowest–approval rating of a sitting President in modern times. The war tends to be the main culprit but I think they are wrong.
To repeat what I have said here and over at CQ’s, had the repubs balanced the budget and shamed earmark writers in the public square they would have gained seats in 06 and approached veto proof majorities in 08. Bush job ratings would probably be recording setting despite the war.

Independents, who do the electing, want only two things from repubs–fiscal restraint and small government bias. All the other nit picking about who’s a conservative and who’s not they could care less about.(inside the beltway crap) That’s what makes them independents. They would vote for the devil himself if he promised a balanced small government.

What’s truly remarkable, and attests to the shear stupidity of repubs as a group, is all this was predicted by 100′s of notable pundits back in 2003, 04, 05 and 06. Trott-like they didn’t listen. They didn’t even listen after 06. I’m not sure the left over from 08 will even listen. They will rationalize that back benching isn’t so bad.

Wow. To have lost so much.

patrick neid on May 19, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Did you mean Trent Lott like?

Great post patrick neid.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Bush has threatened to VETO this farm bill… or are you so busy with EVERY McCain speech that you missed that little tidbit…

If McCain came out hardcore about being agains this bill, the Dem talking points would be all about “see? Just like Bushy”… it would be ALL over the press.

Romeo13 on May 19, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Wasn’t your original question something like “where’s McCain been all these years on the government spending issue?” or something like that? Thus my poke at your trying to tie McCain to Bush, when Bush never saw a spending bill come out of a GOP congress that he wouldn’t sign.

funky chicken on May 19, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Call or e-mail your representatives, regardless of their party, and let them know that you are aware of their vote on this idiotic bill. If they voted for it, tell them how outraged you are. If they voted against it, thank them.

Getting voted back into office is all most of these people care about. If they know that voters are paying attention to their votes — and that they won’t tolerate any more massive give-aways of tax dollars for ludicrous purposes — maybe eventually they’ll get the message and stop voting for this crap.

AZCoyote on May 19, 2008 at 3:43 PM

I fear that the average voter doesn’t think things through or even follow the issues but votes largely on the basis of which candidate’s name he heard most often on television.

njcommuter on May 19, 2008 at 7:33 PM

I think this is the votes on the bill – forgive me if I have the wrong bill
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll315.xml
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00434

darwin-t on May 19, 2008 at 9:56 PM