Friday, February 26, 2010
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 249 DAYS UNTIL THE 2010 ELECTIONS!
The Morning After The Summit
I still have a headache after watching seven hours of boredom punctuated by minutes of drama at yesterday’s healthcare “summit” at the Blair House. (Critics are calling it the Blair House Witch Project!)
After reviewing analysis and talking to a lot of insiders this morning I feel even more convinced that the Republicans held their own and in fact may have turned a potential trap into a net gain for our side.
Even liberal commentators agree. CNN’s Gloria Borger said, “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” And Rush Limbaugh conceded on his show yesterday that he had been mistaken to berate Republicans for agreeing to go to the meeting.
And not all the action was in the room. Conservative Republican Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, had the Conference staff at “battle stations” to counter misinformation spouted by Obama and Democrats in the meeting. Minutes after President Obama claimed that health care premiums wouldn’t go up if his plan were adopted, Pence’s House Republican Conference emailed to media and others proof that Obama was distorting the truth. They continued to be a “truth squad” during the entire summit.
The visuals weren’t good for the liberals either. Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi both looked like they had started the day sucking on lemons. They were angry and surly from the minute they walked into the room. Both of them are in favor of negotiating with Iran, but talking to conservatives is just too much for them to tolerate.
Obama displayed a mixture of arrogance, anger and disdain. His snippy smack down of McCain, “The election is over, John,” came across as mean and vindictive. He looked clueless when he criticized Virginia Congressman Cantor for brining the 2,700-page healthcare bill into the room. Obama called it a “prop.” A prop? The 2,700 pages are the vehicle to take over American health care. First they didn’t want anyone to read it – now they don’t even want us to see it!
But I think the biggest plus about yesterday’s summit was what it showed about the two sides. The Republicans urged caution before passing massive new entitlements, tax increases and regulations. They argued for patients and doctors – not government – making healthcare decisions. Obama and his allies were also clear. They trust themselves more than they trust the American people. They believe in bureaucrats making the decisions. They refused to acknowledge that the public strongly rejects what they are doing.
It was a good day.
Rangel’s Uncommon Nonsense
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, admitted yesterday that an ethics panel has accused him of accepting Caribbean trips from a corporation in violation of House rules. This is only the latest in a series of legal problems for Rangel, who is also currently under investigation for his financial dealings and alleged fundraising violations. As head of the committee that writes our tax laws, Rangel should know what the law states on all these matters.
Instead, the 40-year congressman is blaming his alleged crimes on his staff. At a news conference yesterday, he said, “I don’t want to be critical of the committee but common sense dictates that members of Congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or mistakes or errors of staff unless there’s reason to believe that member knew or should have known, and there is nothing in the record to indicate the latter.”
I want to hear from any readers who have been audited by the IRS, were found to have made a mistake, and successfully talked their way out of punishment. I’m guessing nobody has been able to do that. Taxpayers can even call a hotline and talk to an IRS employee who will answer any questions they have. But if the IRS employee’s advice is wrong, and the taxpayer is found to have violated the tax law, guess who gets punished? It’s not the IRS. Rangel clearly believes a different set of rules ought to apply to high-ranking politicians.
With his long list of ethics violations, Rep. Rangel is a heavy albatross around the Democrats’ necks. Republican candidates across the country will surely highlight Rangel as an example of the type of entrenched and corrupt politician who needs to be shown the door. You can write the Republican campaign ads in your sleep.
We were promised that the new Congress would clean up the culture of corruption endemic to Washington, D.C. Anyone who thinks corruption comes from only one party is clearly wrong.
It’s About More Than Just The Economy, Stupid
With many economists forecasting a sluggish economy through year’s end, it is understandable that Republicans want to make the economy the main thrust of their campaign against Democrats ahead of the 2010 elections. But the Republican critique should be about more than just the economy. Highlighting the incumbent party’s jobs-killing, growth-stifling agenda is surely necessary.
Still, if despite the administration’s policies, the economy recovers even slightly before November, it could help Democrats at the ballot box. Republicans therefore must develop a broad critique that highlights all of the ways in which the Democrats have failed.
As I discuss in my Human Events column today, the liberals setting the Democratic agenda have created a target-rich environment for their critics. It’s up to Republican candidates and conservative commentators to take advantage of it. You can read my piece at: http://www.humanevents.com.
Censoring The First Amendment
Two of our most cherished freedoms are found in the First Amendment – the freedom of speech and freedom of worship. In one recent move, the Obama administration assaulted both.
Four months ago, my good friend Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a Marine veteran, was invited to speak at a prayer lunch at Andrews Air Force base. But the chaplain’s office recently rescinded the invitation. In a letter, the chaplain told Tony that he was being disinvited “due to statements posted on the Family Research Council Web site which are incompatible in our role as military members who serve our elected officials and our commander-in-chief.”
Whoa! Was FRC advocating the violent overthrow of the government? Not exactly. During President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, he called on Congress to repeal the ban on open homosexuality in the military. Perkins dared to express his opposition to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which is current law.
The Family Research Council has been around for a long time – I led the organization during the 1990s, when the last Democrat administration tried to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” FRC’s position today is the same as it was then. I find it hard to believe that the chaplain’s office was uninformed about where FRC stood. I can’t help but wonder if this disinvitation wasn’t ordered by hacks at the White House.
Speaking before congressional hearings in recent days, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey all expressed their opposition to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And, according to a recent survey by The Military Times, only 30% of active duty members support the president’s position.
But the real issue here isn’t the military’s policy or existing federal law. The bigger issue is the ongoing attempt by the intolerant Left to silence men and women of faith. Your freedom of speech and your freedom of worship are at stake, my friends. This is why it is so important for men and women of faith to be fully engaged in the public policy process. This is why it is so important that we succeed in taking back the House and the Senate in 249 days!