Gov. Rick Perry recently co-authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford arguing against federal bailout and stimulus efforts to revive the flagging economy. This has been correctly identified by certain Blogger types as a governing philosophy known as Neo-Hooverism, as in Herbert Hoover, whose failed economic policies led to the Great Depression and whose austere response to the crisis only made it worse. I find it disturbing that Republicans like Perry and Sanford are suddenly so concerned about the prospect of deficit spending after saying nary a word about the $5 trillion in debt run up by the current Republican administration. They say:
Washington doesn't have money in hand for any of these proposals. Every penny would be borrowed.
And yet, Washington didn’t have money in hand for the War in Iraq either and that didn’t seem to bother them any. Why is it OK to spend hundreds of billions to fix up Iraq’s economy, but it’s not OK to invest a similar amount on our own economy? Cutting back on government spending right now would be a disaster on top of a disaster. Private industry just dumped 534,000 jobs and is leaving it up to the federal government to pick up the slack in the form of unemployment benefits, welfare and medicare. Without all this federal spending, people would be out on the streets, going hungry, losing homes, causing civil unrest and turmoil. This do nothing approach that Perry and Sanford are advocating is such a horribly bad idea that even the Bush administration, the worst presidential administration in the history of our nation, rejected it outright.
Does Perry really believe what he is saying? Or is he appealing to the baser instincts of the electorate in preparation for a big fight next year with Kay Bailey Hutchison, who he has already slammed as “Kay Bailout Hutchison”.
Thanks to Justice Clarence Thomas, the U.S. Supreme Court will spend part of today considering a lawsuit questioning President-elect Barack Obama’s citizenship. It is just one of a dozen or more lawsuits by far-rightwing lunatics trying to overturn the election based on totally bogus and nonsensical claims that Obama is engaged in some kind of grand conspiracy to cover up the details of his birth. The fact that Clarence Thomas would give one of these suits the sheen of credibility by forwarding it to his Supreme Court colleagues is a real insult, especially coming from the only black justice on the court. But it is nothing less than what I expect from Thomas. I always thought it was odd that the wingnuts were tryng to make an issue out of Obama’s birth records when it was their nominee, John McCain, who was clearly not born in the United States. Technically, McCain was still OK because he was born on a military base in Panama, but for crying out loud talk about people throwing stones in glass houses. Obama tried to defuse the bogus controversy early on by posting a copy of his birth certificate on his campaign website, but that only sent the unhinged, reality-impaired idiots to go off barking about “kerning” and other supposed “evidence” of forgeries. As Steve Benen notes, to believe that Obama was not born in Hawaii, one must not only accept that he forged his Hawaiian birth certificate with the full complicity of the Hawaiian authorities, but also that his family had to have the foresight 47 years ago to post a bogus birth announcement in a Hawaiian newspaper. You see, they KNEW back then that he would be president someday so they started plotting way back then to cover up his foreign birth, blah, blah, blah.... And this is just the kind of blather you get from some rightwingers today. My op-ed piece at the E-N, now up to 124 comments drew out a whole nest of these people to rant and rave about Obama’s supposed birth certificate conspiracy (along with repeated racist references to Obama as a “mutt” meaning of mixed race). I would just add that my conservative friend JimmyK, to his credit, has been knocking this particular loony theory down at his blog for sometime now.
In a classic case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing, in the Express-News last Sunday we had this column by Bob Richter talking about the complaints the paper had received over allowing the word 'bitchin' to be used in a story quoting former Dallas Cowboy's star Bob Lilly. We are told how the editors fretted before allowing the word to go through, even though in this context it is just a synonym for complaining. But then one page in front of Richter's column, we find the Random Notes section edited by Mr. Gurwitz using a quote from a New York author referring to Hillary Clinton as a 'bitch'. Oops! Interestingly enough, they don't have that Random Notes column online. I wonder why?
More Immigration Losers GOP hardliners need to face reality.
Virginia Republican Congressman Virgil Goode's narrow loss to Democrat Tom Perriello became official last week, and it caps another bad showing for immigration restrictionists. For the second straight election, incumbent Republicans who attempted to turn illegal immigration into a wedge issue fared poorly.
Anti-immigration hardliners Randy Graf, John Hostettler and J.D. Hayworth were among the Republicans who lost in 2006. Joining them this year were GOP Representatives Thelma Drake (Virginia), Tom Feeney (Florida), Ric Keller (Florida) and Robin Hayes (North Carolina) -- all Members of a House anti-immigration caucus that focuses on demonizing the undocumented.
According to a review of election results by America's Voice, an advocacy group, Republican restrictionists had especially weak showings in "battleground" races. "Nineteen of 21 winners advocated immigration policies beyond enforcement-only," says the report. "This includes 5 of 5 Senate races and 14 of 16 House races listed in the 'toss-up,' 'leans Republican,' or 'leans Democratic' categories of the Cook Political Report."
Mr. Goode, a 12-year incumbent, had made a name for himself in Congress as a seal-the-border advocate. Among other things, he has called for mass deportations and amending the Constitution to deny U.S. citizenship to children of illegal aliens.
Immigration wasn't a dominant issue this fall, and other factors contributed more to the GOP defeat. But the political reality is that Republicans who thought that channeling Lou Dobbs would save their seats will soon be ex-Members. Meanwhile, exit polls showed that the Republican share of the Hispanic vote fell to 31% this year from more than 40% in 2004. The demographic reality is that the GOP can't win national elections while losing such a large share of the fastest-growing ethnic minority in the country.