Will the real Republicans please speak up?

June23,  2009

Footnotes  Responses

 

            Since the election of Barack Obama various right wing conservatives have levied a barrage of attacks against Obama that would be laughable if they weren’t so deceitful. I am not talking about legitimate and constructive opposition but personal and unfounded attacks.

            Even before the election some attacked Obama as a socialist. This deluge continued until they apparently realized that this label was gaining them nothing. Then they started calling him a fascist. So far they have been politically savvy enough not to use racial epithets but come close by saying “he is not one of us”.

            Since the socialist label was not sticking to Obama, some Republicans decided that the Democratic Party should be called the Democrat Socialist Party.  That hasn’t stuck either.

            The Republican Party is so bereft of leadership these days that its only counter proposal to President Obama’s stimulus package and 2010 budget is “cut taxes.” Their response to health care reform is to “cut taxes” and let the economic system of competition work.  Their response to global warming is to cite scientists beholden to oil companies. Their response to the energy crisis is “drill more”.

The attacks

            Rush Limbaugh declared on his show that he hoped Obama would fail. (1)   Sean Hannity raised the question on his website which form of rebellion would be most effective. And then he asked people to respond. (2)

            Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been telling us since January 20 that President Obama is making us less safe because he is not following the Bush policies. For seven years Cheney and the Bush administration have been telling us that there was a link between al Qaida (and by inference 9/11) and Saddam Hussein. This was one of the primary reasons for going to war in Iraq we were told. Recently Cheney told the National Press Club "I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11.” (3) Why was he telling us something different for so long?

            Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas reminded us that Texas was once an independent state and can be independent again, thus raising the ugly head of secession for the first time since pre-Civil War days. He later backpedalled when he realized how politically stupid this comment was. (4)

            Mark Sanford, the Governor of South Carolina refused to accept any federal stimulus money even though South Carolina has the third highest unemployment rate in the country. The state legislature overruled him, Sanford filed a lawsuit, and the state Supreme Court upheld the legislature. Federal court refused to hear the case. (5)

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) criticized the “flawed notion” of “borrow and spend” in the stimulus package, even though it was his party under Ronald Reagan who began this policy and carried it out with abandon for the terms of three Republican Presidents. (6)

 

Sonia Sotomayor

Now we have the outrageous attacks against the Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Karl Rove said she was "not necessarily" smart even though she graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude. Rove further argued in the Wall Street Journal that she is one of those judges selected "for their readiness to discard the rule of law whenever emotion moves them." Since 1998, Sotomayor has authored over 150 opinions, only three of which have been overturned by the Supreme Court's conservative majority. Pat Buchanan called Sotomayor an "affirmative action candidate," (7) Newt Gingrich attacked Sotomayor as a "Latina woman racist."  (7)

 

Hopeful voices

There are some people speaking out against these “nattering nabobs of negativism”, to borrow Spiro Agnew’s phrase from a different era and situation. Former Bush adviser Mark McKinnon remarked, "If Republicans make a big deal of opposing Sotomayor, we will be hurling ourselves off a cliff." (8)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who announced he would vote against Sotomayor's nomination, said, "I think that we should be judging people not on race and gender, or background or ethnicity or a very compelling story." Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told NPR, "I think it's terrible. This is not the kind of tone that any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advice and consent." "I don't agree with" the "racist" smear, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said recently. (9)

Gen. Colin Powell stood up to former Vice President Dick Cheney in reaffirming he is a Republican and urged the party to stop taking directions from Rush Limbaugh. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania urged his fellow Republicans to enlarge the Party’s base or face extinction. (10)  To borrow a question from the TV show “To Tell the Truth”, I ask, “Will the real Republicans please stand up and be heard?” (11)  The country needs you.

 

See also:

Leonard Pitts, Jr.: “Grand ol’ bigots are destroying the Republican Party”, Fort Worth Star Telegram, June 22, 2009.

http://www.star-telegram.com/242/story/1447599.html

 

Footnotes:

(1) Rush “I hope he fails”

(2) SeanHannity

Downloaded February 27, 2009

http://forums.hannity.com/showthread.php?t=1326121

(3) Cheney: No link between Saddam Hussein, 9/11Story Highlights

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/01/cheney.speech/index.html

June 1, 2009

"I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true," Cheney conceded.

(4) Rick Perry http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/gov-rick-perry-texas-coul_n_187490.html

(5) March 20, 2009, 2:49 pm

South Carolina Governor Rejects Stimulus Money

By Kate Phillips

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/round-2-omb-rejects-sc-governors-stimulus-plan/

 

Court Orders Gov. Sanford To Accept Stimulus Money

June 4, 2009

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/04/court-orders-gov-sanford_n_211521.html

Federal appeals court refused to hear the case.

(6) Boehner Statement on Congressional Democrats’ Economic Spending Proposal

http://republicanleader.house.gov/news/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=108708

January 15, 2009

(7) Newt https://twitter.com/newtgingrich/status/1937323138

(8) Mark McKinnon  http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/republicans-weigh-risks-of-a-supreme-court-battle/

(9) Think Progress May 29, 2009

http://pr.thinkprogress.org/2009/05/pr20090529

Also May 27 for Sotomayor

Both have numerous links to the quotes

 (10) Powell fires back in debate over GOP

Douglass K. Daniel Associated Press Writer, June 7, 2009

http://www.wthitv.com/dpp/news/national/Powell_fires_back_in_debate_over_GOP_20090607_2495975

quotes from article:

"I believe we should build on the base because the nation needs two parties, two parties debating each other," Powell said….

Powell reaffirmed that he is a solid Republican and said the GOP must be more inclusive or risk giving Democrats and independents the chance to scoop up disaffected moderate Republicans….

Fellow GOP moderate Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and homeland security secretary under George W. Bush, said if the GOP wants "to restore itself, not as a regional party, but as a national party, we have to be far less judgmental about disagreements within the party and far more judgmental about our disagreement with our friends on the other side of the aisle."

(11) To tell the Truth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Tell_the_Truth

 

Responses

Reader Comments

The following are comments from the readers. In no way do they represent the view of ourmidland.com.  Reprinted with permission.

Stan wrote on Jun 23, 2009 1:17 PM:

 

" Mr. Bufka,

 

The Republicans have no reason to speak up against "personal and unfounded attacks" against President Obama because no Democrats spoke up against "personal and unfounded attacks" against President Bush (not that such mutually reprehensible behavior is something new that only began during the last administration and this one.

 

Sadly that is the nature of petty, partisan politics that you and so many others have bought in to and continue to prop up. "

 

Ron London wrote on Jun 23, 2009 1:32 PM:

 

" I read Bufka's false attacks on George W Bush in the past. He should take a long look in the mirror and remembre that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. "

 

attysrevil wrote on Jun 23, 2009 2:34 PM:

 

" mr. norbert bufka , you will fit in just fine at www. feudofthecentury.com , daily bush bashing and all around republican hatred . heck you might be a member of the 66 strong. fun to check it out !! "all is well in sparkle city " "

 

dj wrote on Jun 23, 2009 3:41 PM:

 

" Great article, Mr. Bufka. I guess the people who made previous comments could not deny that everything you said was true, they just had to attack you personally. That is the problem with Republicans today. They cannot admit when they were wrong, and will defend each other no matter what. "

 

rj wrote on Jun 23, 2009 3:54 PM:

 

" I saw nothing hateful in this commentary except what was quoted from the Republicans. How childish is a comment "what's good for the goose is good for the gander". No wonder you guys are going down the tubes. I have never heard such a continual bunch of hatred from "Americans" in my life. You people should watch something besides FOX news once in a while. I was a Republican back when it was an honorable thing to be, but now you embarrass me and our country. "

 

Stan wrote on Jun 23, 2009 4:18 PM:

 

" Perhaps the same question many have been asking about Tea Party attendees can apply here to Mr. Bufka: Why weren't you raising these same issues the last eight years? "

 

Thank you wrote on Jun 23, 2009 4:40 PM:

 

" Thanks rj!!! You have hit the nail on the head, I could not possibly agree more. I too use to be Republican when it was honorable; however, now 90% of them are hateful and un-factual, and downright ignorant.

This article was nothing like these right wing nuts try and try to portray it as, but then again that’s what they do when things don’t' go their way, just make stuff up and spew hatred.

And before you try and attack me, I am NOT a Democrat either, I’m just ashamed to ever be called a Republican again. "

 

cliff wrote on Jun 23, 2009 6:04 PM:

 

" Please, Republican Party, please provide us an alternative to the Democrats! Please provide us with a strong, intelligent, reasonable leader who puts country before party! If they exist they've been shouted down by the radicals who only care about ideology and party. Any deviation from Rush and you are placed in the doghouse. Reagan wouldn't pass muster today with these extremists. "

 

Carol wrote on Jun 23, 2009 9:21 PM:

 

" Thank you for an excellent editorial. "

 

Stan wrote on Jun 23, 2009 10:16 PM:

 

" cliff,

 

The last thing we need is for anyone associated with the petty, partisan political process that pretends there is a difference between Rs and Ds to "provide" us with a d*mn thing. They ALL need to shrivel up and crawl back under their rocks.

 

I'm not sure what's worse, the ones involved in the process or the ones, such as the columnist and certain posters above, who keep the game alive with their power struggles and defication on America and the Constitution. "

 

cliff wrote on Jun 24, 2009 12:34 PM:

 

" Stan, can you explain to me the difference between those who place party above what is best for the country and those, like yourself, who place ideology before country? Both are traitors, are they not? "

 

Stan wrote on Jun 24, 2009 1:15 PM:

 

" cliff,

 

You consider adhering to the Constitution to be placing "ideology before country?" That's fascinating. "

 

cliff wrote on Jun 24, 2009 4:55 PM:

 

" Everyone has a different opinion as to what it says. Its a great document but it was written by MEN (not Gods) over two centuries ago. Do you believe slavery is OK and women shouldn't vote? Do you go to doctors that use 235 year old practices? Don't get on your high horse and say your ideology is the constitution. Everyone here knows where you stand. "

 

Stan wrote on Jun 24, 2009 8:16 PM:

 

" cliff,

 

I'm sorry that you feel the Constitution is outdated or nothing more than an ideology. Perhaps you should try reading it. "

 

cliff wrote on Jun 24, 2009 11:35 PM:

 

" I didn't say it was an ideology. I say that ideologists see whatever they believe in it and never a contradiction to their ideology. Just like everyone interprets the bible differently even when they read the same words. Understand now or do I need to use smaller words?"

 

By email to me:

John Cleland-Host

Good column today, Norb. 

People might think we are collaborating.  Check out the letter I sent to the MDN last week (especially the last paragraph), below. 

 

Dishonesty is Unsportsmanlike Behavior

This appeared in the paper June 30, 2009, reprinted here with permission of the author.

To the Editor-

Honesty, integrity, and trust are essential for a healthy discussion.  Nonetheless, in his June 7th column “How much do little babies cry?”, Chris Stevens (the Sports Editor) argues against abortion by misleading the reader about when abortions occur.   

            Most of his article describes crying children.  Then he introduces the idea of abortion, giving a description that mixes late and early term aspects.  He writes about the “most common” abortions, concluding with “If a baby can cry seconds out of the womb, what happens inside the womb?”.  In reality, 88% of abortions are done in the first trimester.  It’s obviously absurd to ask if an embryo or first trimester fetus can cry.    

Poll after poll over many years has shown that Americans support a woman’s right to a first trimester abortion by more than a 2 to 1 margin, while opposing late term abortions (which are rare) by a similarly wide margin.  This is why the minority who want to outlaw all abortion (like Stevens) often tries to mislead people into thinking that late term abortions (already illegal or unavailable in most situations) are the most common.  Without that deception, they are left to argue that embryos are people.

            Nor is this kind of deception and misinformation new to Stevens’ columns.  Another example is from December 2006, when his editorial was about a murder of Christians by Muslims in Indonesia.  His editorial implies an unprovoked attack, yet in reality the two groups had been murdering back and forth for years there, and Stevens conveniently didn’t mention any of the similarly gruesome murders of Muslims by Christians.    

            Tying all these together is Stevens’ June 11th editorial, where he argues that Republicans should be like Rush Limbaugh, who has been caught lying time after time, and who spews hatred and misinformation regularly.  Deception, especially if it fosters hatred and division, doesn’t help anyone.  It’s sad to see the much needed ideas of fiscal responsibility and limited government lose impact due to the Republicans’ current focus on social restrictions based on hatred, fear and repeated lies. As a fiscal conservative who values honesty, I hope that changes.

 

MD

one of the best.  you pulled no punches ... it was tough ... a good tough.  just what needed to be said.  thank you.

 

Becky Carlson

Norbert,

 

I really liked  your article today in the MDN today and could not 

agree more with you.  It would be interesting to know how many  

independent conservatives and republicans are dropping out of the party because of the negative campaigns against Obama?

 

  I sent in this article last week to the editor but they did not print it although  they seemed to have room for another Papa Joe's letter.  Perhaps they did not like my tone of the letter? I thought your letter was  speaking for many people who are tired of the some the republican tactics!

 

Thanks,

 

Letter follows:

Appeared in Midland Daily News June 26, 2009, reprinted here with permission of the author.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DOES HAVE A PROBLEM

 

I found Chris Stevens’ article to the Republican leaders to be so out of touch with mainstream America I don’t even know how to begin to respond (The Republican party’s biggest problem is itself, Thursday, June 11, 2009). Mr. Stevens believes it is up to the Republicans to save the American dream of wealth and prosperity for our Nation, which is being threatened by the current political administration. He also believes hate radio celebrities such as Rush Limbaugh are voicing the true message of the Republicans. The Republicans do not “sacrifice truth for appeasement” as you say Mr. Stevens they just sacrifice the truth.  They have been blaming the Democrats for higher taxes and holding back business for decades.  Even people who have voted Republican their whole lives know it is not the Democrats that have lead this country to an unbelievable national debt and manipulated us into a war waged totally in the interest of gaining more oil. Like all Americans I would like to see our country prosper but we may need to redefine on what terms that can happen. There is no doubt we have achieved great material wealth in this country but it has not come without a cost to our environment and social structure.  We need to balance “economic prosperity” with some checks and balances.  Whether you are a conservative or liberal it should bother you that while CEO’s of failing companies pay themselves millions of dollars more than one quarter of all Americans have trouble accessing health care because of the cost. Whose American dream is that?

 If the Republicans continue to ignore concerns about the issues of health care, environmental destruction, corporate greed and unjust military actions they will continue to fail as a party.  Perhaps Mr. Stevens, the Republicans should do more listening rather than shouting louder. President Obama is not a socialist, as you say, but he does have a social conscious and cannot deny the social and economical conditions we have created. Although a few short-sighted people misinterpret his intentions, he wants nothing more than for us to live the American dream (only more responsibly).  If the Republicans follow your advice Mr. Stevens I am sure the Democrats will continue to win more elections.

End of letter

 

 

 CW

thank you for your excellent editorial…. Nice job.

 

DM

I liked your opinion piece in the MDN yesterday.  I agree – what is going on with those Republicans?  I wish a few of them were more moderate as our country could use a reasonable debate, but not the ridiculous attacks they keep coming up with. Thanks again for speaking out for common sense and progressive values.

 

SG

Wonderful column today!!! Just perfect!

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