Bush to veto farm bill, despite the futility

posted at 2:00 pm on May 21, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

How badly have Republican fortunes foundered? George Bush will try to teach the GOP in Congress on fiscal discipline today with a veto of the bloated farm bill passed last week. Unfortunately, no one expects the veto to hold:

The White House said Wednesday that President Bush will veto the recently passed farm bill sometime during the day, but conceded that the overwhelming vote count means a veto override is “likely.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino could not say for sure when the veto would come, adding that the president would continue to work with members of Congress to try to sustain his move.

That said, Perino acknowledged that the large margins by which the bill passed indicate the veto will not hold.

Only 15 Senators voted against this bill, and 106 Representatives followed suit. That won’t be nearly enough to prevent a veto override for the package of subsidies and pork that commanded the approval of the majority of Republicans in both chambers. Meanwhile, the package looks even worse than it did before it got sent to the White House:

A major new program in the recently enacted farm bill could increase taxpayer-financed payments to farmers by billions of dollars if high commodity prices decline to more typical levels, administration and congressional budget officials said yesterday.

The potential costs came to light as administration officials pored over details of the 673-page, $307 billion legislation. President Bush has promised to veto the measure, which he called “bloated.” The House and Senate passed the bill by bipartisan margins large enough to override him unless dozens of lawmakers switch sides. …

But fellow Republican Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), a strong critic of the new farm bill, accused House and Senate negotiators of “unbelievable gall.”

“I don’t think any of us had a clue this was in there. It was simply dropped into the conference report,” he said.

What a shock! This is what usually happens when Republicans and Democrats work in a bipartisan fashion on spending bills. They cut themselves hefty slices of pork, stick it to the taxpayer, and insert it into legislation in the most cowardly fashion possible.

Meanwhile, Tom Cole and John Boehner are set to announce yet another plan to save the GOP from itself:

After a week of tension and recriminations following a special election loss in Mississippi, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and NRCC Chairman Tom Cole will unveil a series of changes Wednesday aimed at quelling criticism and positioning their party for November’s elections.

Cole is expected to add veteran Republican political operative Ed Brookover to his staff as a consultant and liaison with lawmakers, GOP insiders said. Brookover, who served as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s executive director from 1995 to 1999, has close ties to Boehner, Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida, according to one GOP aide. …

The moves represent a modest détente between Cole and Boehner, but they might not be enough to mollify a restive party rife with fears that November 2008 will be a replay of November 2006.

At this rate, a replay of 2006 might be the best they can muster. Want a plan that convinces Americans that you understand the lesson of 2006? Start by upholding the veto on this bloated cheeseburger of a farm bill. When George Bush tells you that you’re overspending, it’s like W. C. Fields taking your car keys at a party.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Maybe the Republicans in Congress will grow a collective pair, and sustain the veto.

Buford Gooch on May 21, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Just grow some corn, farmers. The market can’t get enough of that yellow gold.

tlynch001 on May 21, 2008 at 2:04 PM

A billion here, a billion there, & pretty soon you’re talking big money.

jgapinoy on May 21, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Isn’t it a different thing to vote for a Bill and to vote to overturn a veto?

I think there is some number of Republicans who voted for this beast who will not vote to overturn the veto.

EJDolbow on May 21, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Pity that Bush wasn’t such a fiscal conservative before. About the only reasons I lean Republican are 1) national security and 2) fiscal responsibility. Now one of those is gone, and if the Democrats were smart, they’d look to co-opt #1 instead of surrendering.

rbj on May 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM

I have thirty jalapeno, four bell pepper, six roma tomato, some cilantro and radish. Anyone know how I can get my fair share of this cheeseburger Ed is talking about?

Limerick on May 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Maybe the Republicans in Congress will grow a collective pair, and sustain the veto.

Buford Gooch on May 21, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Not likely. They are getting paid like farmers NOT TO GROW.

Wade on May 21, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Learn something new everyday. I thought this bill was veto proof already just by the vote count. Did not know an apparently veto proof bill could be vetoed and that the vote to override a veto is a separate matter entirely.

NotCoach on May 21, 2008 at 2:10 PM

I have thirty jalapeno, four bell pepper, six roma tomato, some cilantro and radish. Anyone know how I can get my fair share of this cheeseburger Ed is talking about?

Limerick on May 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Put in in your gas tank as bio-fuel.

Wade on May 21, 2008 at 2:12 PM

I say we raise as big a ruckus with our Senators and Representatives to sustain this veto as we did with them to stand against Amnesty.

We did it before. We can do it again.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

When George Bush tells you that you’re overspending, it’s like W. C. Fields taking your car keys at a party.

HAHA.

Allahpundit is rubbing off on you Ed.

Theworldisnotenough on May 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

If there are Republicans who voted for the farm bill but now regret their vote, they can always claim they made a mistake when they voted the first time, just like Barry has been known to do.

Buy Danish on May 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Awesome. In vain or not, it needs to be denounced as the crap that it is.

Jaibones on May 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Meanwhile, the package looks even worse than it did before it got sent to the White House

That’s a good thing…all the more reason to sustain the veto.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 2:15 PM

It is a pity that GWB and the GOP congress weren’t fiscally responsible when it mattered. The veto is symbolic at best but too little too late IMO. The seeds of GOP irresponsibity were reaped in 2006 and the consequences of that bad stewardship will be with us for years to come. Even if cranky old bastard is elected, there is no clear voice in DC for smaller government, lower taxes, sane Social Security reform, and all the other things that require fiscal discipline. Instead the leadership of both parties seems intent on spending like drunken politicians.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Any Republican who is up for re-election this November better vote to sustain the veto.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 2:17 PM

I said over at Ace’s that this is the perfect opportunity for McCain to prove he can lead. Can he convince 20 of his friends to change their vote?

Jeff_McAwesome on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Whatever happened to that executive order to prohibit funding of allocations that were air-dropped into bills by “conference reports”?

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

After a week of tension and recriminations following a special election loss in Mississippi, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and NRCC Chairman Tom Cole will unveil a series of changes Wednesday aimed at quelling criticism and positioning their party for November’s elections.

Now I’m no political genius, but perhaps you morons could help yourselves if you actually began acting like conservatives.

I think there is some number of Republicans who voted for this beast who will not vote to overturn the veto.

On or two who misstepped (maybe), but it will still be overridden. They love pork more than they care about sustaining a veto on the pork.

amerpundit on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

I think that only applies next fiscal year. Could be totally wrong, though.

amerpundit on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

He found that veto pen about 7 years too late.

GarandFan on May 21, 2008 at 2:20 PM

I really wish these idiots had been concerned about “positioning their party for November’s elections” for the past two years.

Mr. Bingley on May 21, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Bush is doing the right thing . . . let the gutless morons in congress hold the bag for this boondoggle.

rplat on May 21, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Too little too late
or
better late than never.

Ah, George had you been this principled six or seven years ago the repubs would be nearing veto proof majorities in both Houses, the next pres would be a repub and the judicial system would be getting a massive influx of non activist judges. The war on terror would continue to be won.

Instead we have the prospect of the Trinity church of domestic and foreign policy taking over. Che rules. Michelle gets to tell us why she hates America from the west wing.

Ted Kennedy’s work is done.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Amen brudda!

dmann on May 21, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are holding closed door meetings to try and determine where they’re going wrong and why their getting their clocks cleaned.

Boy do they think that we’re stupid!

orlandocajun on May 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Isn’t it a different thing to vote for a Bill and to vote to overturn a veto?

I think there is some number of Republicans who voted for this beast who will not vote to overturn the veto.

EJDolbow on May 21, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Not a chance. Big agribusiness has tasted $6.00/bushel corn and likes it. Get used to escalating food prices. They are here to stay. Get used to subsidizing agribusiness even more, because their product now has a guaranteed profit margin paid for with our tax dollars.

a capella on May 21, 2008 at 2:29 PM

This sounds like a job for Grassfire. It’s time to get out the people to contact their congressman and encourage them to oppose the bill.

Chances like this don’t come often. I’m a closet optimist – perhaps we can get some election momentum out of this.

connertown on May 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

I said over at Ace’s that this is the perfect opportunity for McCain to prove he can lead. Can he convince 20 of his friends to change their vote?

Jeff_McAwesome on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

That would require McCain to reach out and work with REPUBLICANS. John doesn’t roll that way.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are holding closed door meetings to try and determine where they’re going wrong and why their getting their clocks cleaned.

Boy do they think that we’re stupid!

orlandocajun on May 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM

If there is any humor in this disaster, there it is.

a capella on May 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Chances like this don’t come often. I’m a closet optimist – perhaps we can get some election momentum out of this.

connertown on May 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

I think you’d find the opposite with the narrative being along the lines of a Congress and President being out of touch with the views of their constituents.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 2:32 PM

Learn something new everyday. I thought this bill was veto proof already just by the vote count. Did not know an apparently veto proof bill could be vetoed and that the vote to override a veto is a separate matter entirely.

NotCoach on May 21, 2008 at 2:10 PM

I’m just a bill
Yes, I’m only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I’m off to the White House
Where I’ll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I’ll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: You mean even if the Whole Congress says you
should be a law, the president can still say no?
Bill: Yes, that’s called a veto. If the president vetoes
me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote
on me again, and by that time you’re so old…
Boy: By that time it’s very unlikely that you’ll become
a law. It’s not easy to become a law, is it?
Bill: No!

Schoolhouse Rock, baby.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Boy do they think that we’re stupid!

orlandocajun on May 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM

You really have to ask? In actuality, the GOP is in the state that it is because they aren’t listening to their base.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Is this just political Kabuki, or is Bush genuinely trying to teach them a lesson?

PattyJ on May 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM

At the 11th hour (and 47 minutes), Bush wakes up. Good for him; if we can muster some of the grassroots effort we put against his amnesty bill, maybe this veto can be sustained.

Think_b4_speaking on May 21, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Highhopes,

I disagree. John McCain, warts and all, has a better than spotty record about wasteful spending bills and earmarks. He’s being held to the fire right now for voting against a bill that would help veterans because of the lard inside it.

My guess is John will jump all over this. Whether he is successful or not the line will be drawn especially vis a vis Obama who will be forced to support it.

Who knows, maybe that’s the set up from the start by Bush.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM

just got another request for a donation from Tom Cole. I’m writing FARM BILL all over it and sending it back.

ctmom on May 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Nice move, Dubya. Embarrass those idiots.

misterpeasea on May 21, 2008 at 2:43 PM

What’s the story with these farm bills? It’s all about the pork? How do they justify the bill in the first place?

Dash on May 21, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Is this just political Kabuki, or is Bush genuinely trying to teach them a lesson?

PattyJ on May 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM

He promised to do so in his State of the Union address:

Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about their federal government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. There’s only one way to eliminate this uncertainty: Make the tax relief permanent. (Applause.) And members of Congress should know: If any bill raises taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it. (Applause.)

Just as we trust Americans with their own money, we need to earn their trust by spending their tax dollars wisely. Next week, I’ll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion. The budget that I will submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets; so should their government. (Applause.)

The people’s trust in their government is undermined by congressional earmarks — special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. Last year, I asked you to voluntarily cut the number and cost of earmarks in half. I also asked you to stop slipping earmarks into committee reports that never even come to a vote. Unfortunately, neither goal was met. So this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I’ll send it back to you with my veto. (Applause.)

And tomorrow, I will issue an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by Congress. If these items are truly worth funding, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote. (Applause.)

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I disagree. John McCain, warts and all, has a better than spotty record about wasteful spending bills and earmarks. He’s being held to the fire right now for voting against a bill that would help veterans because of the lard inside it.

That may be true or not. McCain brand “fiscal conservatism” is also the reason why our Air Force tankers will be built by foreign companies instead of by Americans so I’m not sure just how much of McCain’s fiscal responsiblity the nation can afford.

The real point I was making was that for the last eight years McCain has made it a point to snub the Republicans that were the most vocal about fiscal conservativism. He was happy to bargain away our Constitutional rights with Russ Feingold. He was happy enough to broker no-questions-asked amnesty ponzi schemes with Teddy Kennedy and Harry Reid. But where was he when his party needed him and his support to get the right people nomintated in the State Department, Treasury, SCOTUS? He was sitting there with the Democrats like the political Judas he is. I find it very hard to believe that, in the midst of an election where McCain is clearly is reaching out to Democrats, he will suddenly find the motivation to start treating Republicans as colleagues instead enemies.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 2:55 PM

When George Bush tells you that you’re overspending, it’s like W. C. Fields taking your car keys at a party.

I was thinking more like Foster Brooks…

ricer1 on May 21, 2008 at 2:59 PM

I said over at Ace’s that this is the perfect opportunity for McCain to prove he can lead. Can he convince 20 of his friends to change their vote?

Jeff_McAwesome on May 21, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Hmmm… 20 democrats change their vote? Not likely…

ricer1 on May 21, 2008 at 3:03 PM

I have thirty jalapeno, four bell pepper, six roma tomato, some cilantro and radish. Anyone know how I can get my fair share of this cheeseburger Ed is talking about?

Limerick on May 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM

_
_
You put radish on a burger?
_
Never heard of that.

SlimyBill on May 21, 2008 at 3:08 PM

Well that’s just it highhopes, we are going to find out. And I’m all for finding out.

What I won’t listen to is the shrieking that comes from saying there is no difference between McCain and Obama. Folks that suggest that have other agendas. This coming from someone who didn’t even have McCain on my list of candidates.

I just make lemonade from the lemons I get nudging the ball down the field.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 3:10 PM

I am glad Bush is vetoing the farm bill. But I have to say, I was a farmer and there is a lot of stuff in a farm bill that has nothing to do with farmers. So don’t blame them.

Terrye on May 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Probably a lot of Republicans vote for high farm subsidies because many of them have lots of farmers in their districts, and need their votes. John McCain is a Senator from the desert state of Arizona, which doesn’t do much farming, so he can afford to take a stand against farm subsidies. I wonder whether Obama put an earmark in there for arugula growers in Iowa…

Somebody should form the National Eaters Party Against Farm Subsidies, because farm subsidies cause higher food prices for people who eat. Except for Catholics during Lent and Muslims during Ramadan, the party should have a large voter base.

Steve Z on May 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM

I say we raise as big a ruckus with our Senators and Representatives to sustain this veto as we did with them to stand against Amnesty.

We did it before. We can do it again.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

For once I agree with the Pill. Call or e-mail your Congressional reps and your Senators and demand that they vote against this outrageously wasteful bill. If they hear enough negative feedback from the voting public, some of them won’t dare vote to override the veto. They get away with this kind of crap because they think the voters aren’t paying attention. Let them know that you are, and that you will hold them accountable for their votes!

AZCoyote on May 21, 2008 at 3:20 PM

I am glad Bush is vetoing the farm bill. But I have to say, I was a farmer and there is a lot of stuff in a farm bill that has nothing to do with farmers. So don’t blame them.

Terrye on May 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Why not? Why else do farm state legislators push farm subsidies, if not for their voters. The non-ag extras that get larded in come with all bills, but ag interests are at the root of the ag bill.

a capella on May 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

John McCain is a Senator from the desert state of Arizona, which doesn’t do much farming, so he can afford to take a stand against farm subsidies.

Steve Z on May 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM

It’s true that we don’t grow a lot of corn in Arizona, but we grow plenty of other crops. In fact, Arizona is the country’s second largest producer of honeydew melons, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, cantaloupes and lemons; and the nation’s 3rd largest producer of Pima cotton, Durum wheat, principal vegetables and tangerines. We also rank in the top 10 of the country’s producers of oranges, onions, Upland cotton, cottonseed, grapefruit, watermelons, grapes and carrots.

AZCoyote on May 21, 2008 at 3:31 PM

He found that veto pen about 7 years too late.

GarandFan on May 21, 2008 at 2:20 PM

He’s learning on the job.

kcluva on May 21, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Call or e-mail your Congressional reps and your Senators and demand that they vote against this outrageously wasteful bill.
AZCoyote on May 21, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Powerless here. I’m from New York. No Repubs.

kcluva on May 21, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Pity he didn’t start doing this when his approval rating wasn’t so low. Then the GOP might not actually override the damn thing.

Of course, part of the irony is that his approval rating is so low at least partially because of his lack of using the veto on such bills.

Foot, meet mouth.
Gun, meet foot.

Reaps on May 21, 2008 at 3:53 PM

We need more guys in congress like Jeff Flake. Maybe Bush can make something out of this veto and give the GOP some credibility as the party who will guard the taxpayer’s money while the economy is tight. Better late than never, but early would have been even better.

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Clever. Bush knows that he his veto is worthless. This way, he looks like a fiscal conservative and gets to feather Archer Daniels Midland agri-business empire.

Get with this folks. ADM is making like a bandit on this ethanol scam while millions are starving due to food shortages. What single entity on earth produces the most corn and soy beans? Hey, it’s ADM.

saved on May 21, 2008 at 4:05 PM

highhopes is wrong about the tanker deal. not exactly a surprise

The facts of the matter are these – the contract will not lead to any outsourcing. In fact, Northrop Grumman’s win will support 48,000 American jobs, generating work for 230 suppliers in 49 states. Northrop Grumman also has validated its jobs estimate – it arrived at this figure by surveying all 230 suppliers about their employment plans, and then by applying a commonly-accepted Department of Labor formula for estimating indirect jobs that a contract of this size will generate.

By contrast, Boeing has publicly stated that it won’t identify how it arrived at its estimate of 44,000 jobs.

And, as others have warned – including voices as diverse as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the editorial pages of papers ranging from The Wall Street Journal to the Torrance, California “Daily Breeze” – raising protectionist objections to the contract could spark a dangerous trade war. That’s because for every defense dollar the United States spends abroad, foreign countries spend more than four dollars buying American military products.

As to the issue of national security, all sensitive military technology and equipment will be installed by Northrop Grumman employees with the appropriate Defense Department security clearances at Northrop Grumman’s secure facility in Mobile, Alabama.

Representative Boyda also is properly concerned about the impact of the contract on the economy of Wichita, where Boeing has a plant. She can be reassured that the contract won’t mean job losses there; Boeing plant officials have told the Wichita Eagle they don’t anticipate any layoffs as a result of the loss of this contract.

http://www.americasnewtanker.com/tanker_truths/index.php

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Well that’s just it highhopes, we are going to find out. And I’m all for finding out.

What I won’t listen to is the shrieking that comes from saying there is no difference between McCain and Obama. Folks that suggest that have other agendas. This coming from someone who didn’t even have McCain on my list of candidates.

I just make lemonade from the lemons I get nudging the ball down the field.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 3:10 PM

were we twins separated at birth or something? :-)

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:08 PM

I think there is some number of Republicans who voted for this beast who will not vote to overturn the veto.

EJDolbow on May 21, 2008 at 2:07 PM

I like that optimism, and hope that some of them can be shamed into voting to uphold the veto.

Get those emails and faxes flying!

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Cole is expected to add veteran Republican political operative Ed Brookover to his staff as a consultant and liaison with lawmakers, GOP insiders said. Brookover, who served as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s executive director from 1995 to 1999, has close ties to Boehner, Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida

Yeah, hiring an old Boehner crony is gonna teach Cole a lesson, yessirree

Yeah, they do think we’re that stupid.

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:13 PM

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:06 PM

You got something to say to me or are you just a spineless coward (as it appears)?

For the record, Northrup Grummond defending their part of the AF tanker contract is hardly a legitimate dispassionate source. It is propoganda designed to deflect criticism as Boeing disputes McCain’s sending jobs overseas. I saw the same propoganda as an ad in local newspaper.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:14 PM

What I won’t listen to is the shrieking that comes from saying there is no difference between McCain and Obama. Folks that suggest that have other agendas. This coming from someone who didn’t even have McCain on my list of candidates.

I just make lemonade from the lemons I get nudging the ball down the field.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Well Patrick,

Then you McCain apologists need to start convincing the rest of us why we should be voting for McCain. To date all you people have been doing is shreiking that we need to be voting AGAINST Obama. If you are so certain that McCain is Christ returned to earth and the rest of us are wrong in our criticism- put up or shut up.

Make the case that John McCain is the right candidate for the nation in all areas- not just Iraq.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Make the case that John McCain is the right candidate for the nation in all areas- not just Iraq.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:18 PM

There are some clear differences in these areas:

Judges
Healthcare
Experience
Environment
Capital Gains taxes
Social Security

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Get with this folks. ADM is making like a bandit on this ethanol scam while millions are starving due to food shortages. What single entity on earth produces the most corn and soy beans? Hey, it’s ADM.

saved on May 21, 2008 at 4:05 PM

You are right about the ethanol subsidies being bad policy. Maybe with food inflation being a hot topic in the news, this Bush veto will get some supporters in congress.

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Overturning Roe v. Wade

John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.
Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.

However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion – the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby.

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:38 PM

You have to realize that in lots of rural and low-income congressional districts around the country, you could put this farm bill up as a referendum and it would pass in a landslide (in that district.) You can blame those Reps for not voting in the national interest, but in many cases they do reflect their constituents’ wishes. Their constituents receive a net benefit from it, and they know it.

RBMN on May 21, 2008 at 4:41 PM

McCAIN DOESN’T LIKE UNIONS

McCain: Unions Have Played ‘Important Role’ But Have ‘Serious Excesses.’ When asked if unions are good for America, McCain responded, “I think the unions have played a very important role in the history of this country to improve the plight and conditions of laboring Americans. I think that like many other monopolies, in some cases they have then serious excesses.” [GOP Dearborn Debate, MSNBC, 10/9/07]

McCain: Teachers’ Unions Serve Unions’ Interest, NOT Children’s Interest. McCain has repeatedly attacked teachers’ unions. “It’s time to break the grip of the education monopoly that serves the union bosses at the expense of our children,” he said. [The New York Times, 2/11/00]
McCain Says Government Workers Are ‘Crippled’ by Union Contracts. In his speech to the Oklahoma State Legislature, McCain said, “We must streamline our workforce, demand high standards of behavior, promote excellence at every level based on merit and accountability, and not let good workers be crippled by the fine print of the latest union contract…. The civil service has strayed from its reformist roots and has mutated into a no-accountability zone, where employment is treated as an entitlement, good performance as an option, and accountability as someone else’s problem.” [Address to the Oklahoma State Legislature, 5/21/07]

McCain Voted Against the Employee Free Choice Act but For a National Right-to-Work for Less Law.

McCain voted against the Employee Free Choice Act, which would level the playing field for workers trying to form unions. He voted for a National Right-to-Work for Less law that would attempt to eliminate unions altogether. [H.R. 800, Vote #227, 6/26/07; S. 1788 Vote #188, 7/10/96]

McCain Crossed a Writers Guild Picket Line to Appear on ‘The Tonight Show.’

McCain crossed the picket line of the Writers Guild of America to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” [Think Progress, accessed 2/27/08]

McCain Voted to Allow Employers to Hire Permanent Replacements During a Strike.

http://www.aflcio.com/issues/politics/mccain_wrights.cfm

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Well that’s a good start but your list is hardly an overwhelming demonstration why I should vote for McCain and why I should agree that there are “significant” differences between McCain and the other Democrats running for the Presidency.

One example. John McCain refuses to drill in ANWAR. We are reaching $4.00/ gallon for gasoline and McCain has yet to explain how we get energy independence in the short-term when he doesn’t even support common sense exploitation of domestic natural resources. Are you suggesting that Obama or Clinton hold a different view?

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Powerless here. I’m from New York. No Repubs.

kcluva on May 21, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Give your Dems some heat, too.
Call it “reaching across the aisle” :-)

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 4:44 PM

McCain Says We’re NOT Headed Into a Recession. McCain said, “I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong.” (GOP Debate, Myrtle Beach, FNC, 1/10/08)

81 Percent of the Public Says We’re Already There. (NBC/WSJ Survey, 4/24-28/08)

McCain Dismissed Concerns on Mortgage Crisis and Economy. While campaigning in Florida, McCain dismissed concerns about the economy. “Even if the economy is the, quote, No. 1 issue, the real issue will remain America’s security,” McCain said. “And if they choose to say, ‘Look, I do not need this guy because he’s not as good on home loan mortgages or whatever it is, I understand about that, I will accept that verdict. I am running because of the transcendental challenge of the 21st century, which is radical Islamic extremism.” (The New York Times, 1/28/08)

The AFL CIO seems to think that highlighted part is bad, or something.

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:44 PM

McCAIN DOESN’T LIKE UNIONS

I don’t see him turning down their endorsements either.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:45 PM

McCain’s Economic Plan Helps Corporations, not Working Families. “McCain offered sweeping rhetoric about the economic plight of working-class Americans…even as he spelled out a tax and spending agenda whose benefits are aimed squarely at spurring corporate growth.” (The Washington Post, 4/16/08)

McCain Offers Massive Tax Cuts for Corporations and the Wealthy. McCain’s plan offers two massive tax cuts for corporations, slashing tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent, with 58 percent of the benefits going to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. This is an even larger tax rate cut for the wealthiest taxpayers than Bush gave them. (Reuters, 3/10/08; “Five Easy Pieces and Two Trillion Dollars,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, 3/21/08)

But He Wants to Tax Our Health Benefits. McCain would make employer-paid health premiums part of taxable income, creating a new tax on working families. He would drive insurance costs up further by promoting high-deductible health savings account plans.

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:48 PM

JOHN McCAIN’S FAILING RECORD ON RETIREMENT SECURITY
When it comes to issues affecting our aging population, once again Sen. John McCain has proven himself out of touch, aloof and in league with President Bush. He supported Bush’s plan to risk our Social Security benefits through privatization, voted to raise the Medicare eligibility age and missed a critical vote to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors.

McCAIN WANTS TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY
McCain Voted for Bush’s 2006 Social Security Privatization Plan. In 2006, McCain voted for the Social Security Reserve Fund. The proposal would shift Social Security’s annual surpluses into a reserve account that would be converted into risky private accounts. [SCR 83, Vote #68, 3/16/06; SCR 83, Vote #68, 3/16/06]

In 2000 McCain Wanted to Divert Social Security Money to Private Accounts. The Wall Street Journal reported that “[a] centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000 was a plan to divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts, much as President Bush proposed unsuccessfully.” The plan would put workers’ retirement money into the risky market and reduce the amount of Social Security payments they would receive from the government. The plan would undermine the Social Security system. [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]

McCain STILL Proposes Privatizing Social Security—Despite What His Website Says. McCain told the Wall Street Journal he still backs a system of private retirement accounts that he supported in 2000 and President Bush pushed unsuccessfully. The Journal reported he “disowned” details of a proposal on his 2008 campaign website that says he would “supplement” the existing Social Security system with personally managed accounts. But when asked about the position change he denied it and promised to change the website to reflect his true position. “I’m totally in favor of personal savings accounts… As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it—along the lines that President Bush proposed,” McCain told the Journal.[Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08; Campaign Website, accessed 3/3/08]

McCain Might Raise the Retirement Age and Reduce Cost-of-Living Adjustments. “[T]he McCain campaign says the candidate intends to keep Social Security solvent by reducing the growth in benefits over the coming decades to match projected growth in payroll tax revenues. Among the options are extending the retirement age to 68 and reducing cost-of-living adjustments, but the campaign hasn’t made any final decisions. ‘You can’t keep promises made to retirees,’ said Mr. Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s chief economic aide.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]

THAT BASTARD, right highhopes?

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:50 PM

McCain: Teachers’ Unions Serve Unions’ Interest, NOT Children’s Interest. McCain has repeatedly attacked teachers’ unions. “It’s time to break the grip of the education monopoly that serves the union bosses at the expense of our children,” he said. [The New York Times, 2/11/00]

That, that RAT BASTARD!

Gotta thank the AFL-CIO for putting together that handy “John McCain Revealed” book.

http://www.aflcio.com/issues/politics/mccain.cfm

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:53 PM

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM

If true, that’s a good reason to vote for McCain. I don’t like unions either. Especially public employee unions. There’s no excuse for having public employee unions. Extortion should not be part of working for the public.

RBMN on May 21, 2008 at 4:57 PM

One example. John McCain refuses to drill in ANWAR. We are reaching $4.00/ gallon for gasoline and McCain has yet to explain how we get energy independence in the short-term when he doesn’t even support common sense exploitation of domestic natural resources. Are you suggesting that Obama or Clinton hold a different view?

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:43 PM

I’m suggesting that I only get two choices for President–McCain or the other guy. There are other candidates I like better who aren’t running, but that’s like cheering for a team that’s not in the Super Bowl.

I disagree with McCain on ANWR but think he’d be more aggressive on nuclear and clean coal than Obama.

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 4:58 PM

McCAIN VOTES WITH BUSH
McCain Voted with the Bush Administration 89 Percent of the Time. Since President Bush took office, McCain has supported Bush’s positions 89 percent of the time. McCain’s support of Bush’s policies reached as high as 95 percent in 2007. [Congressional Quarterly Voting Study, 110th Congress]

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 5:02 PM

I disagree with McCain on ANWR but think he’d be more aggressive on nuclear and clean coal than Obama.

yes

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 5:03 PM

NRO’s “The Corner” posted President Bush’s letter to the House that spells out the very compelling reasons for his veto, Contact your Representative to sustain this veto and to hammer out a bill that doesn’t bankrupt the nation.

onlineanalyst on May 21, 2008 at 5:31 PM

Geez they dont get it do they ? They are losing the war of ideas because they have none. The GOP loses as long as it simply mimics the democrats because the democrats can always outbid them.

William Amos on May 21, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Nevermind that this may be a bad bill bloated to 307 BILLION

Can anyone explain why we need this bill at all when food prices are rising and the U.S. is an exporter of food? We want to have a “windfall profits tax” on the 26 Billion the oil companies make while at the same time we give away 307 billion to farmers?!

Resolute on May 21, 2008 at 5:57 PM

You got something to say to me or are you just a spineless coward (as it appears)?

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Eeek! An Internet Tough! Tell me, Tough Guy, are you going to engage in Virtual Fisticuffs? Give him a Virtual Thrashing to within in an inch of his Virtual Life? Or will it be Virtual Pistols at Ten Virtual Paces? Perhaps a Virtual Cage Match to the Virtual Death?

I loooove Internet Toughs. Except when they put a Virtual Scare into me.

It’s the Virtual Cowards that I find Virtually Repugnant.

misterpeasea on May 21, 2008 at 6:03 PM

You have plenty of ammunition from the details in Bush’s letter to make your point in a call to your representation about why that veto should be sustained.

Thanks for the info, funky chicken. We should fight our battles with the facts on the ground and recognize what is is.

onlineanalyst on May 21, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Give him a Virtual Thrashing to within in an inch of his Virtual Life?

IIRC, funky chicken is a girl.

baldilocks on May 21, 2008 at 6:36 PM

a veto of the bloated farm bill passed last week.

Well I guess one could look at the grim side of this, even if Bush’s veto doesn’t hold if the Islamists are successful in defeating us there won’t ever be “pork” in government anymore…just sayin…

Liberty or Death on May 21, 2008 at 7:04 PM

I guarantee my husband could take him though

/eyeroll

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 7:19 PM

…even if Bush’s veto doesn’t hold…

Liberty or Death on May 21, 2008 at 7:04 PM

His veto didn’t even last to the end of the day. It was overridden in the House 316-108.

The galling thing is that it was overridden with some vocal help from at least one conservative leader.

Jimmie on May 21, 2008 at 8:00 PM

THAT BASTARD, right highhopes?

Funky,

I don’t know who you think you are but seems to me your personal attacks are unwarranted. You think McCain is Christ returned to earth without a fault. I think otherwise.

Defend your position if you can but stop with the personal attacks.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 8:33 PM

I disagree with McCain on ANWR but think he’d be more aggressive on nuclear and clean coal than Obama.

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 4:58 PM

Hard to imagine when McCain also advocates passage of the business crushing Kyoto protocol. Even clean coal would require the American economy purchase “credits” from foreign nations.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 8:35 PM

misterpeasea on May 21, 2008 at 6:03 PM

It’s one thing to say I’m wrong. Funky idiot went further than that for no apparent reason than he/she/it doesn’t share my loathing for John McCain. He/she/it likes to be a cyber bully perhaps because he/she/it doesn’t have any facts to back up claims of McCain’s perfection in a world of sinners. Still trying to figure out why it decided to bully my comments.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 8:38 PM

It’s one thing to say I’m wrong. Funky idiot went further than that for no apparent reason than he/she/it doesn’t share my loathing for John McCain. He/she/it likes to be a cyber bully perhaps because he/she/it doesn’t have any facts to back up claims of McCain’s perfection in a world of sinners. Still trying to figure out why it decided to bully my comments.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 8:38 PM

man up…you’re getting your clock cleaned by a girl

I doubt Funky thinks McCain is the savior, if I recall she liked Romney before. I wish McCain was more conservative but he’s all we have to work with this time. The conservative brand is damaged, it will rise again when someone like Jindal proves it’s worth on a state level. I doubt any true conservative could win this election.

Quit pouting or we’ll just replace your vote with a disgruntled Hillaryite. :) Do I need to post Obama’s tax plans for you again?

windansea on May 21, 2008 at 9:19 PM

Hard to imagine when McCain also advocates passage of the business crushing Kyoto protocol. Even clean coal would require the American economy purchase “credits” from foreign nations.

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 8:35 PM

He has promoted tax credits for clean coal technologies. You can read his comments on RCP. Nuclear should be part of the mix and McCain will do more in that area than Obama.

dedalus on May 21, 2008 at 9:21 PM

If the Republicans had any sense they’d switch their votes. I won’t hold my breath.

SouthernGent on May 21, 2008 at 9:23 PM

highhopes,

Sorry it took so long but I have a life outside of here. If this rambles I blame it on the martinis. Anyway to your quote:

“Well Patrick,

Then you McCain apologists need to start convincing the rest of us why we should be voting for McCain. To date all you people have been doing is shrieking that we need to be voting AGAINST Obama. If you are so certain that McCain is Christ returned to earth and the rest of us are wrong in our criticism- put up or shut up.”

To begin, a couple of things come to mind. One, I’m a far cry from a McCain apologist. I make no apologies for not having him on my short list of candidates. In fact he wasn’t on my long list. Without remorse my picks, for reasons I won’t bore you with, were Rudy and Fred. I lose, McCain wins.

Shocked probably just like you were. How dumb am I? I thought Hillary was going to be the dem nominee. I have said as much since November 04.

Moving forward, Obama seems to be the odds on favorite. That said a few months ago I spent about a week checking him out. You know, the normal internet bullshit. That said, I can tell you that with my limited three digit IQ there is a world of difference between Obama and McCain. Now far be it from me to suggest that the difference includes walking on water.

But these four say enough. Maintaining Bush taxe cuts, the war on terror, earmarks/porkbusters and activist judges. There are several others most of which have been mentioned.

As to changing your mind, that I don’t even attempt. My prey are the folks who have not made up their minds. This role, in my charming Irish way is to point out the blarney, such that open minds might see the differences.

So in summary, you, with your fellow crusaders have an agenda. Is it some strain of purist conservative thought akin to the Utopians during the 1800′s who named all the cities along the Erie canal with Roman and Athenian names, why, I have no idea. What I am certain of, like those and the communes they founded, your purism in the face of reality will result in failure with one exception however. A footnote for the historical minded. From this hotbed of purist thought sprang one Joseph Smith Jr from a town named after an ancient Syrian city-Palmyra, along the Erie canal. Yes, that Mr Smith who founded Mormonism thus completing the cycle to Romney, a potential VP candidate. Whew, I have got to lay off the martinis.

One final question. Do you actually think that folks are going to stay home and not vote thereby electing Obama without a fight? You know, I’m taking my ball and going home? You would have had a tough childhood in my neighborhood.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 9:53 PM

If the Republicans had any sense they’d switch their votes. I won’t hold my breath.

SouthernGent on May 21, 2008 at 9:23 PM

hey!! great idea…let’s switch and vote for change

The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore has done the math on Obama’s tax plan. He says it will add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax, and a 55 percent estate tax.

windansea on May 21, 2008 at 10:07 PM

But these four say enough. Maintaining Bush taxe cuts, the war on terror, earmarks/porkbusters and activist judges…

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 9:53 PM

I have questions.

What evidence do you have, based on John McCain’s legislative and rhetorical records of the past ten years that these things will come to pass as you believe they will?

Thus far, these things are true:

1) Tax Cuts – McCain has been far more public about his disdain for the tax cuts than he has in supporting him. His opposition to the cuts borrowed directly from the language of the left and happened at a time when making them permanent was a real possibility.

2) The War on Terror – McCain is a mixed bag here. Indeed he rightly called for, and has stedfastly supported, the surge. He has not wavered in his desire to diplomatically isolate Iran. However, he has been just as steadfast about closing Guantanamo Bay and putting all of those illegal combatants into the US criminal justice system instead of an alternate military trial system where they belong. He not only refused to defend our soldiers when they were being slandered by Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin but he has explicitly forced them into a corner with his anti-torture legislation.

3) Earmarks – He has not once rallied to build any sort of coalition to back a Presidential veto of bloated spending bills. He has not sponsored one piece of legislation to end earmarks. He has not cajoled his friends in the Senate into agreeing to even a temporary earmark moratorium.

4) Activist judges – While his Gang of 14 agreement allowed for an easier confirmation of two Supreme Court Justices, it also prevented more than a few eminently qualified nominees from even reaching an up or down vote in the Senate. It circumvented the democratic processes of Congress and placed the ultimate fates of nominees in the hands of a few Senators, an explicitly unconstitutional practice.

This is what has happened. What can you show me to convince me that these actions mean less than his campaign rhetoric?

Jimmie on May 21, 2008 at 10:24 PM

Jimmie,

I cannot. But that is not my goal. I have two simple choices both involving faith of a sort. I have Obama and his spoken issues and I have the few I mentioned by McCain.

What I know is one of them will be elected President. McCain has stated very clearly, just recently again, the four items I mentioned. Is he lying? I’ll have to find out. I know Obama is probably telling the truth. I’m certainly not voting for him.

What I am definitely not doing is throwing my vote away by staying home, writing myself in, voting in some form or other as a protest.

It’s either McCain or Obama. I did not make the rules. If McCain is lying to me, so be it. But if he is not, I have voted for the better candidate for the reasons I stated.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 10:46 PM

I hope no one here is accumulating McPoints.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 11:04 PM

Action stalled, however, after the discovery that Congress had omitted a 34-page section of the bill when lawmakers sent the massive measure to the White House. That means Bush vetoed a different bill from the one Congress passed, leaving leaders scrambling to figure out whether it could become law.

Democrats hoped to pass the entire bill, again, on Thursday under expedited rules usually reserved for unopposed legislation. Lawmakers also probably will have to pass an extension of current farm law, which expires Friday.

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 11:10 PM

3) Earmarks – He has not once rallied to build any sort of coalition to back a Presidential veto of bloated spending bills. He has not sponsored one piece of legislation to end earmarks. He has not cajoled his friends in the Senate into agreeing to even a temporary earmark moratorium.

factually false. McCain has been a right bastard on wasteful spending for many years. Google Thad Cochran famous John McCain to see why some of his senate colleagues don’t care for him

McCain, Sessions, and Coburn have been the stalwarts on porkbusting too

funky chicken on May 22, 2008 at 12:27 AM

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