Since Sen. Arlen Specter, a long-time Republican, announced his decision to become a Democrat this week, the predictable attacks have commenced. After claiming Sen. Specter as disloyal in leaving the Republicans and joining the Democrats (among other attacks launched in the direction of the Pennsylvania senator), Republicans are now throwing him under the bus and throwing former President George W. Bush under the bus in the process with a new series of so-called robocalls. Democrats had great success using the unpopular President Bush as an anchor to hold down Republicans leading up to the November 2008 elections, and now Republicans are attempting to use President Bush to anchor down Specter. President Bush no longer is of much use to Republicans who now are all too willing to use him to hurt Specter.
Archive for April, 2009
Tags: Arlen Specter, Democrats, party, Republicans, switch
Tags: anti-gay, crime, Foxx, gay, hate, hate crime, Matthew Shepard, Republican
In spite of significance evidence to the contrary, North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx is pushing her strange belief that the 1998 murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming was not an anti-gay hate crime. At issue is a hate crimes bill designed to increase protection for gays and lesbians. Now, there is evidence that includes testimony from one of the perpetrators of this hate crime, that contradict such an opinion, but nonetheless Foxx made the following statement (while, reportedly, Shepard’s mother was in attendance):
“I also would like to point out that there was a bill — the hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.
Foxx says, with such definitive force, that it was not only not a hate crime, but that calling it a hate crime is a hoax. Unbelievable. I didn’t really want to believe it until I saw the video. Follow the story on POLITICO to see the evidence that does in fact exist to prove that this was not just some random robbery. All crime must be taken very seriously. However, it is critical that we show that these hate crimes (crimes that show a hateful bias toward a particular group and extends beyond the motive of a specific crime) will not be tolerated in our society.
It seems the big tent of the Republican party gets a little smaller, and more exclusive, by the day. Republicans in Kent County, Mich. have decided not to welcome Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. Apparently, the governor is simply too moderate to truly be a Republican in the eyes of Joanne Voorhees, chairwoman of the Kent County Republican party. Said Voorhees, ”… hosting the moderate Utah governor would mean abandoning the party’s conservative principles.” It makes you wonder what reasonable person would want to be a part of these kinds of “conservative principles.” More and more, these conservatives are making themselves look like bigots by squeezing out the moderates in their midst.
I know a lot of Democrats are happy that Sen. Arlen Specter has decided to switch from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party. But, be cautious: Sen. Specter is a true maverick. He is apt to go off script at any time and will not be particularly reliable to either party (in terms of his voting record). His defection is more telling of the direction the Republicans are going (to the far right of the political spectrum). Sen. Specter is more of an independent than a liberal or conservative.
Obviously, it was only a matter of time before one of the prominent Republicans would attempt to use fear as a weapon. Sen. Mitch McConnell, is trying to scare the American people into thinking that the move of Sen. Arlen Specter to leave the Republican Party to become a Democrat is in some way dangerous to the United States.
“I think the threat to the country presented by this defection really relates to the issue of whether or not in the United States of America our people want the majority to have whatever it wants without restraint, without a check or a balance,” McConnell said Tuesday.
“Obviously, we are not happy that Senator Specter has decided to become a Democrat,” McConnell said. “If we are not successful in Minnesota … Democrats, at least on paper, will have 60 votes. I think the danger of that for the country is that there won’t automatically be an ability to restrain the excess that is typically associated with big majorities and single-party rule.”
If Sen. McConnell is so worried then perhaps he should work to make the party more inclusive (to become a party where moderates feel they have a place at the table).
Sen. Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican, has been bothered by a growing trend of extremism in the Republican Party. Here is an excerpt from a Think Progress story in which Sen. Snowe is quoted:
“I’ve always been deeply concerned about the views of the Republican Party nationally in terms of their exclusionary policies and views towards moderate Republicans,” said Snowe, who has been approached, she said, by Democrats in the past about switching parties.
Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party “underscores the blunt reality” that the GOP is not a welcome place for moderates, she said.
When will the Republicans quit trying to drive away moderate members of its party? The party is looking increasingly hostile toward those who don’t walk in line with what its extremist leaders (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others) believe. A part of me wishes the moderates would stay and take a stand against the extremists. Another part of me, however, realizes that is a losing battle as long as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are the images of leadership and example the party worships.
As one might expect, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is on the attack against Sen. Arlen Specter. Specter, a long-time Republican, announced Tuesday that he is switching parties and will become a Democrat. As you might expect, the extremists in the Republican Party now are coming out to attack Sen. Specter and the smears are only just beginning.
Consider this, from Steele:
STEELE: Look, you can tweak my nose and you can step on my toes and you can pull my hair. At some point enough is going to be enough.… Sen. Cornyn went out on the line for this man. For the senator to effectively flip the bird back to Sen. Cornyn and the Republican Senate leadership — a team that has stood by him, who went to the bat for him in 2004 — to save his hide, to me is not only disrespectful, but it’s just downright rude. I’m sure his mama didn’t raise him this way, and it’s a shame that he’s behaving this way today.
Michael Steele has a lot of nerve criticizing anyone for their behavior (especially after those hate-driven, partisan and bigoted tea party protests). Steele has been a train wreck as RNC chair, but this comment attacking a man of integrity, like Sen. Specter, is sad. I have not always agreed with Sen. Specter, but I respected the fact that he went with his conscience. It seems Republicans were OK with Steele until he showed some support for President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan (a move he felt was in the best interest of the country … even though he knew it could hurt him with his conservative base in Pennsylvania).
Sen. Arlen Specter incurred the wrath of the extremist Republicans (his party for so many years) when he had the audacity to support President Barack Obama’s stimulus package. Since then, the hatred directed toward Sen. Specter has been relentless, vicious and indicative of a party that turns a cold shoulder to its moderate members (like Specter and Maine senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins). All three, but particularly Specter, have been verbally attacked nonstop. Sen. Specter, the biggest of the victims, has decided to switch parties and become a Democrat. It makes sense as moderates no longer are welcome in the Republican Party as its umbrella continues to shrink (before long it probably will be the size of one of those umbrellas they put in a fancy drink). Think Progress has a long list of nasty comments that right-wing extremists have made about Collins, Snowe and Specter. It’s sad that this is how they treat one of their own for having the nerve to split with them on an issue. See if you can follow all of the vicious comments that will come out about Sen. Specter in the days to come.
Here is one of the comments Think Progress has compiled:
– Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told a conservative blogger Specter “cut our knees from under us.” He added that conservatives in the Senate need to aggressively “go after” Specterand other GOP moderates Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). [The Hill, 2/27/09]
Multiple Choice: Which Major Network (hint: It Has A Bushy Tail) Plans Not To Air President Barack Obama’s First 100 Days Press Conference?Posted: April 28, 2009 in Uncategorized
One of the major broadcast networks is planning not air the press conference for President Barack Obama to recognize his first 100 days in office. Which of the following networks does not plan to air the president’s press conference.
The answer is of course C – Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network.
Are we really surprised that Fox is planning not to air this press conference being held by our president and commander in chief? Of course we’re not surprised. Sure we have this swine flu epidemic, two wars (one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan), a struggling economy, and more, but why would Fox care about that when money can be made through regular programming?
The Pistons have no one to blame but themselves for the spectacle of the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans taking over the Palace … home court of the Detroit Pistons. A once-proud franchise with a fierce home-court following, took a backseat to the visitors from Cleveland. M-V-P chants for LeBron James and loud cheering throughout the contest for the Cavaliers. It’s perhaps indicative of how far the Pistons have fallen after an unbelievable run of success. Hopefully the front-office people of the Pistons get the message. Hopefully this is one step back (that mostly began with the salary-cap trade of Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson) to take a few step forward in the next few seasons.
Detroit News writer John Niyo gives the Detroit Lions a so-so grade on their 2009 National Football League draft choices.
The fans don’t want to hear it, but Day 1 was a success, landing the top-rated player at three positions. But Sunday was a mixed bag, and a somewhat confusing one. Grade: C-plus
1-1 Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
1-20 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
2-33 Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan
3-76 DeAndre Levy, OLB, Wisconsin
3-82 Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State
4-115 Sammie Lee Hill, DT, Stillman
6-192 Aaron Brown, RB, TCU
7-228 Lydon Murtha, OT, Nebraska
7-235 Zach Follett, OLB, California
7-255 Dan Gronkowski, TE Maryland
I tend to agree with Niyo. I was in the minority liking the Lions’ first-round draft choices. I kind of wanted USC linebacker Rey Maualuga with that early second-round pick, but we can’t all get what we want.
Sorry, but I am not buying the theory that the Houston Rockets are a better basketball team without superstar small forward TracyMcGrady. Yes, the Rockets are playing well right now against the Portland Trailblazers, but don’t be fooled. Houston has a good matchup because Portland has no one who can hold Yao Ming in the post. Yao, at 7-6, is killing the Blazers in the post (whether it’s Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge orJoel Pryzbilla) and that is the primary reason Houston is looking as good as it is now. A healthy Tracy McGrady could make this team even better. The Rockets still need that guy from the perimeter who can take over the game. Without that, this team can’t be taken seriously as a championship contender. McGrady would have to fit his game in with the team’s current identity, but I think he can do that. The great Kobe Bryant adapted his game to playing with other strong players and I see know reason McGrady can’t do the same.
Columnists sometimes come up with controversial topics, topics that cut against the grain, to gain some national notoriety. A columnist from The Daily Citizen had this to say about Former University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was the first overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
April 26, The Daily Citizen: Even if the pieces were in place on the field for Stafford personnel-wise, he’s not mentally prepared to lead a pro football team. For instance, look at how Stafford handled the 49ers psychological interview during the draft process. His true colors showed as he grew angry with the questioning. Instead of giving answers he asked the psychologist how much he was being paid.
With that attitude, Stafford doesn’t come across as someone that would do a good job handling questions from the Detroit media after a loss, or someone who could shake off boos from the crowd during a game.
Stafford’s temper separates him from his more even-keel peers in the league, young quarterbacks such as Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and fellow newcomer Mark Sanchez from Southern California, the fifth-overall pick by the Jets. Stafford comes across more as a Jeff George or Ryan Leaf type — arm-strong but not head-strong.
I don’t know there is enough evidence to draw such a strong conclusion. Many athletes with tempers go on to have brilliant professional football careers. And, many athletes who are nice guys can’t throw a football a lick. Time will tell if Matthew Stafford is closer to Peyton manning than he is to Ryan Leaf. I could give a rat’s ass about his temper as long as he can throw that football and help the Lions win games.
The Pistons hit rock bottom after being swept out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers. But, lets face it, once they traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson … that was the wave of the proverbial white flag. Sure, the Pistons managed to sneak in the playoffs, but were promptly beaten into the ground in a lopsided series during which the Pistons never truly threatened LeBron James and the Cavs. In the off season, Detroit probably will see the departures of Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. Both have some basketball left in them. I suspect both players will find renewed energy in new environments next season. I think Wallace is ready for a new scene and Iverson never fit in witht he Pistons. Detroit will have some salary cap room and must spend wisely. With Will Bynum, Arron Afflalo, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, the Pistons have some good young players to build around. Plus, from a veteran standpoint, Rip Hamilton is still a strong shooting guard. The Pistons should be big players in the free-agent market during the next couple of years. What Joe Dumars, the team president, must do is what he did when he built the team that had the success we saw during the last six years (including two trips to the Finals and one championship). He has to find those guys who will make a difference like he did when he picked up Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace. We’ll see what Dumars has up his sleeve after a few questionable moves (bringing in Michael Curry as a coach and trading Billups).
I can remember being a young kid and staying up late watching reruns of Maude, starring Bea Arthur. Maude was a brilliant show that was ahead of its time and pushed a lot of issues on the air that made people uncomfortable. In many ways, the fact that Arthur played such a strong woman made a lot of people uncomfortable. I enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) The Golden Girls as reruns continue on different networks. The on-air chemistry with the cast of The Golden Girls was nothing short of amazing. The show was a joy to watch during the original run and it is a joy to watch today. Bea Arthur had a great (sort of dry) sarcasm that was perfect for the roles she played in both of those pioneering-type shows. She was a fantastic television personality and she certainly will be missed.
Republican Texas President Gov. Rick Perry, who had been talking about seceding from the union because of the federal government supposedly overstepping its bounds, now is asking for the federal government to give up some money. President Gov. Perry apparently wants the government (the Centers for Disease Control) to consider slipping Texas a little cash to deal with this swine flu. I guess the government isn’t so oppressive when you need something from it. Maybe Texas, if it wants to secede from the Union (and some polls show a surprisingly large number seem to think along the same lines as Perry) and become its own nation, should get practice dealing with its own issues without help from the government.
The extremists out there make you shake your head in disbelief with some of the things they say. We can’t allow the intolerant among us to speak for those who are tolerant (people who are not bigots). President Barack Obama is going to be the commencement speaker at the University of Notre Dame and he is scheduled to receive an honorary degree from the institution – as many presidents before him have been so honored. There are many who are upset with President Obama being invited to speak at Notre Dame and some of these individuals have taken a bigoted stand against our president. The good people at Notre Dame and in the Catholic church should not allow the bigots to make the tent they live under so segregated.
The new platform for Alan Keyes, a bitter man obsessed with hatred and anger toward President Barack Obama, is the University of Notre Dame. Keyes is whining about President Obama delivering the commencement address and receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame. So, Keyes is bringing his one-man hate brigade to Notre Dame in an effort to find every way possible to throw salt on anything that President Obama does. Alan Keyes is a sad and bitter man who is obsessed with hatred.