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Bush Drives Wedge Into Republican Ranks

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For all George Bush’s accomplishments, there is one that no one could have predicted–shattering the Republican party’s well-crafted monolithic stance. The renewal of the Patriot Act, potential abuse of executive power through illegal wiretaps, Immigration issues, the sale of port administration to a Dubai-owned company, stem cell research, the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, what did he know and when did he know that Katrina was going to be the big one, to an out-of-control budget that even has liberal Democrats calling for fiscal restraint–all have not only fractured the Republicans, but created a welcomed bipartisan spirit among some representatives and senators as they seek to undue the mess the administration has created.

Regarding the Patriot Act: Last year, many congressional Democrats and a handful of Republicans insisted that several civil liberties safeguards be added before the law’s expired provisions could be renewed. That group blocked Senate action for months until the administration and GOP leaders agreed to some of its demands.

The latest fight on immigration threatens to split Republicans over the dual issues of guest workers and illegal immigration.

The battle of administration of U.S. ports has embroiled some of Bush’s closest supporters.(Subscription only) According to The New York Times, Senator Jon Kyl(R. AZ) is ready to vote Congress the powers to decide the issue.

And just when you thought it was safe to watch TV, here comes the video clip of the president being briefed about Katrina and his assurances that everything was ready. The clip also shows former FEMA head Michael Brown clearly warning about the dangers of forcing people into the Superdome. Unless Bush had fallen asleep, he had to have heard that.

One could cite dozens of issue where the administration has finally worn down the tolerance of Congressional Republicans with their arrogance and lack of consultation. However, this change of the political landscape shouldn’t been seen as a negative. First, it dulls the idiotic ideological debate that’s been obscuring serious issues. Second, it begins to force Congress to act more like a legislative body and less like a bunch of dolls on the back ledges of cars with their heads bobbing up and down.

In Jamesons Veritas

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • Nancy

    It’s about time the majority of conservatives got fed up with this administration. The real question is, what the hell took them so long? I can only surmise they’ve been hiding their heads in the sand because they believe all the BS BushCo shovels out. Well, all he’s done is ruin the party.

  • Arch Conservative

    I don’t see how Bush has ruined the GOP. Correct me if I’m wrong but Republicans have won all of the major elections since Bush took office.

    With regard to conservatives getting fed up with Bush….yes we may be critisizing him over illegal immigration and other issues but that does not mean we are going to turn into raving loony leftists and start voting for people like John Kerry.

    There may be a wedge int he GOP now I garentee you that the nomination of Hillary as the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 willremove the wdge and cause the GOp to unite for a single goal like it never has before.

    Death to the ACLU!

  • Nancy

    As a conservative who had the party hijacked from me by the neocon fascist loonies behind Dubya, I can tell you that everything that smarmy, arrogant little faux-Texas bastard has done from day 1 has soiled what the party was supposed to stand for, including less – & less intrusive – government, restrained government spending, etc. etc. etc. There’s a MAJOR difference between being a fan of BushCo, and being a conservative, as some of the smarter chimps – I mean, members of congress – are just now starting to figure out, but only because he’s double-crossed them, too, & endangered every single Republican seat up for re-election this fall with his idiocy, ignorance, & incompetence.

  • Nancy, as a liberal, commie, pinko, weak-kneed…well, you get the point, I agree that Bush at first was destroying the Republican party (hey, some of my best friends are conservative Republicans…I just was talking on the phone with a major political Republican operative in D.C.). What’s interesting and distressing for me is that this backlash could help rebuild the Republicans.

    Archie: I don’t understand, I will never understand (hey, that’s an idea for I don’t Understand column) why conservatives hate the ACLU. I hated it when they supported the Nazi march through Skokie IL, probably before you were born, but I supported their position.

    The ACLU has a simple mission: Protect the Bill of Rights. Are you against the Bill of Rights? Would you rather have a Bill of Wrongs?

    I’m actually serious about this. I know you think they’re all a bunch of leftists out to destroy America, but have you really looked at the causes they undertake–not the high profile ones trumpted by right-wing radio broadcasters–but one’s that protect the rights of you and me?

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • Rich Blandy

    God bless our next president John McCain that moderate maverick. Character Is Destiny!! May he also win in 2012.

  • gonzo marx

    Rich sez…
    *God bless our next president John McCain that moderate maverick. Character Is Destiny!! *

    mmMMmmMMmmm ….could be some Truth in that

    let’s see, if such is the case, the “character” displayed by McCain is to bend over and “take one for the team” rather than stand by his avowed “principles”

    example: after being slandered in the 2000 SC primary by Rovian types…instead of fighting back, or running as an INdependant (Bull Mosse like his hero, Teddy Roosevelt)…he instead folded, bent over and took it form Bush and company….being a good little drone in the GOP machine so he could get the Pioneer list of big money donors and the nod frothe GOP heirarchy in ’08

    real “maverick”

    too bad…i kind of liked him too


  • I don’t know McCain, but I have some friends who know him well and like him a lot. He certainly seems a cut above most pols these days. Your comment made me realize I’d better read up more on him. Who knows, I could be supporting a Republican in 2008.

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • Ironically, some of the major things which those who style themselves ‘true conservatives’ take Bush to task for are among the things he’s actually right on, like immigration reform and having a guest worker program. For that matter I’m not inclined to cut them any slack considering how badly they failed him in not adequately supporting his efforts at social security reform.

    Bush may be having a fractive influence on the GOP, but that pack of idiots in the Capitol may be an even bigger factor. Too many of them are ideological clones who cling to ridiculous ideas and policies which do nothing but harm, and the few who have any sense seem to be as weak and unable to commit to their own policies as Bush is.


  • Nancy

    I did like McCain, but his willingness to sell out to Bush/Rove after the crap they pulled on him changed my mind. If he’d sell out after all that, he’ll sell out for much less on other issues. After all, what is dearer to a man than his own butt & reputation? If he doesn’t treasure & defend those, he sure as hell ain’t gonna stick up for mine. Or yours.

  • Arch Conservative

    Mark I have looked into the cases that the ACLU takes up and it is clear that they have an agenda that is not primaraily concerned with American civil liberties but thier own perverted, degenrate agenda of erasing any sign of Christianity from the American culture and eroding traditional american culture.

    Sure there are a few cases here and there that are tossed in to appease people who think like I do but this is just lip service so that the ACLU can create the appearance of being objective.

    The cases the ACLU takes up with regard to the separation of church and state are overwlmingly anti-Chrisitan. There are plenty of instances int his country where truly objective civil libertarians could object to the mention of islam or judaism on the basis of the separation of church and state but the ACLU does not do this.

    Just to give one example of how a one time high ranking member of the ACLU views civil liberites……

    In a recent supreme court decision, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, former chief legal counsel for the ACLU, sided with the commercial developers in Kelo versus New London saying that it is not unconstitutional for commercial developers to be given private residential property which is owned by private citizens for the purpose of commercial development under the the eminent domain clause. After this decision was rendered, there was in fact no lawsuit and no protest from the ACLU. How is that for the ACLU protecting civil liberties Mark?

    You can put lipstick on a pig and put it ina pretty dress but it’s still a pig Mark.

    As for who our next president will be……. It certainly won’t be Hillary. It very well could be John Mccain but I hope not. He is like the Republican version of John Kerry. He will kiss whoever’s ass it takes to get votes. He is not quite the vote pandering, flip flopping, douchebag that Kerry is but he still not a true conservative. I would liek to see George Allen as our next president.

  • Gonzo & Nancy, thanks, phew, now I don’t have to vote for a Republican. It always gives me hives.

    Dave, I agree with you on Bush’s immigration reforms, but I think he was eating lotus leaves with his social security “solution.” But the point is that the administrations heavy-handed behavior has finally gotten Republicans in Congress to start showing some independence. (I was going to say independent thought, but that might be pushing it.) And that’s a good thing.

    ArchCon: Thanks for clarifying your position, I appreciate it. It’s ironic but I was just looking over the ACLU website to gather information for a piece on them.

    Your comments suggest that your primary concern is that the ACLU is anti-Christian, and that America is a Christian nation. I don’t think the first is accurate, and I fear that you and I will alway disagree, respectfully I hope, on the second.

    America was founded by Christians, but the Founding Fathers labored long and hard over the notion of religious freedom.

    Thomas Jefferson once wrote: Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. LINK

    Regarding Kelo vs. New London, I completely agree with you. I don’t know that the ACLU didn’t get involved, but they should have.

    As I was noodling about this, I called a very good friend who’s a conservative and just popped the question, “What’s your view of the ACLU?” He said that while he gets annoyed with them for politicizing too many issues and getting involved in areas he’d prefer to see them leave along, “All in all, I’d rather have them there than not.”

    He recognizes their contributions in protecting our rights to free speech and restricting government intervention into our private lives.

    So…yeah, they’ve done some dumb things, but if you look carefully at the entire corpus of their work, I think you’d find you’re in agreement with more than you think. Although I recognize the Christian issue is a big one for you.

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • Rayilyn Brown

    I was a born lifelong Republican who uneasily voted for Dubya in 2000 because he didn’t appear to be too smart.

    I am an ovarian cancer survivor who has had Parkinson’s Disease for 10 years and his August 2001 restrictions on embryonic stem cell research really enraged me. I would be for it if I were well but to have to suffer without hope when the biggest medical news of any century offers some promise is just unbearable.

    I opposed the Iraq war. Never thought there were WMDs. I became a Democrat. I and my whole family of Republicans voted for Kerry in 2004. fool me once…..

    Need I go into the list of high crimes and misdemeanors this president has committed? What is it going to take to get people to realize the Religious Reich has hijacked the GOP and it is past time for them to keep making love to its corpse. George thinks he gets his orders from God. Is that why things are such a mess?rong?

  • I, too, have never understood the full-blooded antipathy many social conservatives bear for the ACLU.

    I once e-mailed the ACLU asking for a list of religious liberty cases they’ve undertaken. At the risk of exceeding some sort of post limit, here’s the *partial* list they sent:

    2004: Indiana Civil Liberties Union defends the rights of Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets:

    2004: After ACLU intervention on behalf of Christian valedictorian, Michigan high school agrees to stop censoring religious yearbook entries:

    2004: ACLU of Washington defends right of evangelical minister to preach on sidewalks: http://www.aclu-wa.org/Issues/freespeech/News-SpokTransit.html

    2004: ACLU of Virginia threatens lawsuit and officials agree not to prohibit baptisms on public property in Falmouth Waterside Park in Stafford County:

    2004: ACLU of Nevada supports free speech rights of evangelists to preach on the sidewalks of the Strip in Las Vegas:

    2004: ACLU of Nebraska defends church facing eviction by the City of Lincoln:

    2003: ACLU of Rhode Island supports rights of carolers to sing outside women’s prison on Christmas Eve. Prison officials back down, agree to let the caroling take place.

    2003: ACLU of Massachusetts defends students punished for distributing candy Canes with religious messages:

    2002: ACLU of Pennsylvania files discrimination lawsuit over denial of zoning permit for African American Baptist church:

    2002: ACLU of Massachusetts files brief supporting right of Church of the Good News to run ads criticizing the securalization of Christmas and promoting Christianity as the “one true religion” after the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency refuses to allow the ads on subways.

    2002: ACLU of Iowa supports right of students to distribute Christian literature in public schools during non-instructional times. Files amicus brief in case for students barred from doing so in Davenport:

    2002: ACLU helps Reverend Jerry Falwell win ruling that state of Virginia must allow churches to incorporate:

    2002: ACLU defends Christian church’s right to run “Anti-Santa” ads in Boston subways:

    2001: ACLU of Utah negotiates settlement enabling evangelical Christian ministry to set up booth at state fair on same terms as other vendors. Group previously had been excluded from the fair because some patrons objected to content of their message.

    2000: ACLU of Maryland supports Baltimore police officer suspended for wearing his hair in locks for religious reasons.

    1999: The ACLU of Maryland assists the March for Life Committee in getting a permit for an anti-abortion march in Annapolis without having to pay a $5,400 fee the city was seeking. The ACLU worked with the American Center for Law & Justice to revise a proposed city ordinance so as to keep free speech free.

    1999: ACLU of West Virginia files suit on behalf of a minister who declined, for religious reasons, to have his photograph taken for a driver license.

    1998: ACLU of New Jersey files a lawsuit on behalf of the right of two police officers in Newark to wear beards as a matter of religious freedom. As Muslims, the officers wore beards as part of their religious beliefs.

    1998: ACLU of Eastern Missouri win job back and permission to wear pin for a nurse who lost her job because she refused to remove a cross-shaped lapel pin from her uniform. The hospital had claimed the nurse violated its employee dress code when she expressed her Christian beliefs by wearing the pin.

    1997: Arizona Civil Liberties Union sues City of Phoenix to challenge an ordinance under which the City refused to allow the Children of the Rosary, an anti-abortion group, to place ads on City buses. The lawsuit was filed jointly with the American Center for Law and Justice.

    1996: ACLU of Virginia files lawsuit for church in Richmond threatened with closure of its Sunday meal program by city officials because of zoning regulations.

    1995: ACLU of Washington supports right of a Baptist minister to distribute religious tracts in a park in Renton after police asked him to desist because he lacked City permission. The City relented after the ACLU pointed out that the law cited against the minister applied only to commercial activities.

    1995: ACLU of Vermont wins ruling from state Human Services Board waiving state Social Welfare Dept. requirement for use of Social Security numbers by students receiving Medicaid and food stamp benefits. Their parents believed that such permanent numbers represent mark of the Anti-Christ, according to the Book of Revelations. ACLU argued that their religious beliefs could be protected by use of random identifying numbers.

    1995: ACLU of Massachusetts successfully defended rights of prisoners to possess and use religious articles in their cells. Worcester County Sheriff had seized rosaries, prayer beads, religious medals, books and symbols, claiming they were signs of gang membership. ACLU of MA filed suit on behalf of the prisoners’ rights to practice their religion under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the state constitution.

    1995: ACLU of Massachusetts filed friend of the court brief in support of two women who were fired for refusing to work at the racetrack on Christmas Day.

    1995: ACLU of Iowa successfully sued City of Waterloo to defend right of conservative Christian activist to broadcast on public access television.

    1994: ACLU of Rhode Island files a federal lawsuit on behalf of the RI State Right to Life Committee, the RI State Rifle and Revolver Association and numerous other non-profit groups challenging a House of Representatives rule that bars private, but not government, lobbyists from the floor of the House while it is in session.

    1994: ACLU of Pennsylvania assisted a pregnant 17-year-old whose parents wanted her to have an abortion she didn’t want. She had moved away from home to continue her pregnancy, but her parents called police to have her brought home. ACLU convinced officials to let her continue her pregnancy and live away from parents.

    1993: ACLU successfully defends the right of a woman to refuse, on religious grounds, to submit to a court-ordered caesarian section.

    1993: ACLU of Northern California defends an 8th-grade student’s right to wear a shirt saying “Real Women Love Jesus” in school by writing letters to principal. Result: School district lifts ban on shirt.

    1993: ACLU of New Jersey files an amicus brief on behalf of anti-abortion picketers. “Our defense of freedom of speech clearly cannot vary, and has not varied, with the views expressed.” — ACLU attorney Frank Corrado.

    1993: ACLU of Florida offers legal assistance to Operation Rescue, who refused the offer.

    1993: ACLU joins battle to overturn a court ruling which banned a minister from holding meetings at a public school in New York State.

    1992: ACLU of Rhode Island files a friend-of-the-court brief challenging a state judge’s increase of bail for anti-abortion defendants, charged with obstructing a clinic, who refused to provide their Social Security numbers.

    1991: ACLU of Northern California offers support for man arrested for displaying photographs of human fetuses. “The ACLU is pro-choice, but the fact that we might disagree with their message would never dissuade us from defending their right to speak out.” –Elaine Elinson, Public Information director, ACLU-Northern California.

    1990: ACLU of Southern California files a brief supporting Operation Rescue’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling upholding the use of “pain compliance” techniques by L.A. police.

    1990: ACLU of Rhode Island files a friend-of-the-court brief in state Supreme Court in support of anti-abortion protesters challenging the constitutionality of a town ordinance limiting residential picketing.

    1990: ACLU of Central Florida backs televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker’s attempt to challenge to zoning laws in Orlando, claiming the law’s prohibition of churches in industrial zones violates church/state separation.

    1990: ACLU of Iowa supports anti-abortionists’ challenge to an Iowa City picketing ordinance.

    1989: ACLU of Connecticut offers assistance to Operation Rescue demonstrators subjected to pain compliance holds. ACLU state director calls for state legislature to hold hearings on the issue and consideration forbidding their use.

    1988: ACLU of Rhode Island favorably settles an administrative complaint challenging the use on police applicants of a standardized psychological test which asks questions relating to fundamentalist religious beliefs.

    1982: ACLU of Rhode Island mounts a successful federal challenge on behalf of an unendorsed Democratic right to life candidate, to a state law allowing only political party committees to hold raffles to raise funds for political campaigns.

  • Sean, outstanding list, which I intend to steal (although if I use it, I’ll give you full credit.)

    So, ArchC, if you’re still reading, comments?

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • No problem. I should probably post it on my own site at some point!

  • Dave, I agree with you on Bush’s immigration reforms, but I think he was eating lotus leaves with his social security “solution.”

    It was certainly totally inadequate, but it was at least a gesture in the right direction, which is more than anyone else has tried to do for us.

    But the point is that the administrations heavy-handed behavior has finally gotten Republicans in Congress to start showing some independence. (I was going to say independent thought, but that might be pushing it.) And that’s a good thing.

    It’s a good thing when what they try to do isn’t WORSE than what Bush might be doing, and so far the trend seems to be that they are way more self-serving and opportunistic.


  • Dave, isn’t it pathetic when we’re trying to figure out who could screw us worse–the administration or Congress? And that’s not a special case reserved for Republicans, alas, as much as I’d like to pretend otherwise.

    Are we sure America’s ready for democracy?

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • America certainly isn’t ready for Democracy. By all account even the angels weren’t qualified for it. That’s why the FF didn’t create a democracy and why we should do everything we can not to let our system slide into a morass of plebecites and demagoguery.


  • Bliffle

    gonzo: “let’s see, if such is the case, the “character” displayed by McCain is to bend over and “take one for the team” rather than stand by his avowed “principles””

    Yes. I concluded the same thing after he took one up the arse in SC. I concluded his famous resistance in Nam was stoicism, not heroism. He should have come out swinging instead of just hurtfulness on the Larry King faceoff, where Bush creamed him again from a weak position. I’d hate to see McCain’s passive-aggressive personality in the presidency.

  • Bliffle

    Nancy: “As a conservative who had the party hijacked from me by the neocon fascist loonies behind Dubya, I can tell you that everything that smarmy, arrogant little faux-Texas bastard has done from day 1 has soiled what the party was supposed to stand for, including less – & less intrusive – government, restrained government spending, etc. etc. etc. There’s a MAJOR difference between being a fan of BushCo, and being a conservative,…”

    I’m with you. There is almost nothing in BushCos behaviour that can be described as ‘conservative’. And I voted for him in 2000! I thought he was green and under-equiped but thought he’d be well served by older wiser heads. Boy, was I wrong! He ended up dominated by what his dad called “the crazies”.

  • Bliffle

    Dave: “America certainly isn’t ready for Democracy. By all account even the angels weren’t qualified for it. That’s why the FF didn’t create a democracy and why we should do everything we can not to let our system slide into a morass of plebecites and demagoguery.”

    Yes, the Founders knew well the failures of the democratic Greek city-states, including the conviction of Socrates to the death penalty, and purposely embraced The Republic of Plato, who was actually there.

    Alas, in the face of legislative demogogueing a plebiscite is sometimes necessary, but as here in CA, that can be demagogued by lobbyists.

    Perhaps, what we really need is a citizenry better educated in History and Civics, but where’s the room for it in our culture of acquisition and consumption?

  • Bliffle

    “America was founded by Christians, but the Founding Fathers labored long and hard over the notion of religious freedom.”

    Actually, the founders were mostly deist, not christian. The pilgrims were christian, as were some other early immigrants. But name a founder and you come up with a deist: Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Paine (mysteriously slandered as an atheist by the modern right, but assertively a deist who even wrote a book about it). You will search hard to find a founder who openly proclaimed the deity of jesus. Even in the 19th century most leaders were deists. Only in the 20th century does our modern sense of christian coupling with politics emerge, partly by the christians coopting deism as a sort of christianity.

  • You know, Dave, it’s eerie when we keep agreeing.

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • On most issues people of good sense will usually agree if their reason isn’t overwhelmed by emotion.


  • Maurice


    interesting point about the wedge. Do I see a pattern? As I recall many Dems did not want to be seen with Clinton when they were campaigning. Even Al Gore wanted to distance himself.

    Are all Presidents destined to sully themselves in office?

  • Maurice,

    I think what were seeing is fallout from a growing Imperial Presidency. It’s a function of a number of factors:

    –Electing people with no DC experience so they don’t know how to play the game or understand how powerful Congress can be.
    –The breakdown in the traditional Congressional leadership roles where every member now sees himself or herself as a mini-president.
    –The growing power and at the same time isolation of the executive and the tremendous demands to “get something done.”

    Not sure what solution is, but it’s a growing problem.

    In Jamesons Veritas