Democrats Archives

“Inexplicably Upbeat”

From the Washington Post:

Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.

“Inexplicably upbeat”? Does anyone anyone remember DNC chariman Terry McAuliffe?

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About Those Tax Cuts…

Looks like they continue to do what the Bush administration said they would. The economy keeps growing, and with it, tax receipts.

The federal budget estimate for the fiscal year just completed dropped to $250 billion, congressional estimators said Friday, as the economy continues to fuel impressive tax revenues.

The Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimate is $10 billion below CBO predictions issued in August and well below a July White House prediction of $296 billion.

The improving deficit picture _ Bush predicted a $423 billion deficit in his February budget _ has been driven by better-than-expected tax receipts, especially from corporate profits, CBO said.

People have more to spend, and they’re spending it, growing the economy, creating jobs, and increasing tax receipts, just like they did after the Reagan tax cuts.

So what do the Democrats plan to do if they win back control of Congress?

To do that [don’t increase the deficit], [Pelosi] said, Bush-era tax cuts would have to be rolled back for those above “a certain level.” She mentioned annual incomes of $250,000 or $300,000 a year and higher, and said tax rates for those individuals might revert to those of the Clinton era. Details will have to be worked out, she emphasized.

“We believe in the marketplace,” Pelosi said of Democrats, then drew a contrast with Republicans. “They have only rewarded wealth, not work.”

But the more money you have, the more you can spend and keep the job & economic growth fueled. Yeah, let’s penalize those who are doing the most to increase tax receipts by taking their money away. Why do Democrats think it makes sense to siphon off tax money before it’s used, removing it from the marketplace, rather than collect it as part of an expanding economy?

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So says Benjamin Shapiro.

On what moral basis do Democrats condemn Foley? They have no basis for moral outrage, since they have championed the destruction of traditional morality for decades. Instead, they condemn Foley and the Republicans for hypocrisy. Foley, when he wasn’t spending his time chasing teenage boys, pushed for legislation to crack down on child pornography. House Republicans, when they weren’t busy ignoring Foley’s scummy behavior, pushed for legislation to uphold traditional values. The big sin here, according to the social left, is that Foley and the Republicans tried to bolster antiquated sexual mores while simultaneously bucking them in personal life. Were Mark Foley a liberal Democrat from San Francisco, liberals would be hard-pressed to spot a problem with his behavior.

But Republicans should not have been. The Republican Party is the party supposedly dedicated to those antiquated value systems that made this country great. It should not have been difficult for Republicans to identify the problems with Foley’s behavior: pedophilia, exploitation, and yes, homosexuality. And yet, because the Republican Party has become infected with either the unchecked will to wield power or the milquetoast tolerance of the social left, House Republicans did nothing. Shame on them.

Shapiro goes down the list of Democrats that the Left either made excuses for or simply slapped on the wrist–Studds, Clinton–and also adds Pelosi, who opposes parental consent laws regarding underage abortions. While moral outrage is well-placed on Foley’s head, I find Shapiro’s contention that Democrats are not taking that tack, rather using the “hypocrite” bludgeon.

News flash: Human beings are flawed and hypocritical. Politicians, with all the power and money flowing around them, will be put in more situations than the average person that will tempt them to abandon their principals. This is not news.

What is, or should be, news is how each political party deals with its problems. Regardless of possible hushing in the past, Foley did the right thing once the truth came out. One wishes that this would have been caught and dealt with earlier, but Foley is gone. Not censured, not reprimanded; gone.

Here’s another example: Want to know why you’ve never heard of “Speaker of the House Bob Livingston”? Because he did the right thing.
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Cherry Picking at Its Finest

Certain portions of the National Intelligence Estimate were leaked by the liberal media less than two weeks before the mid-term election. The NIE report was written 5 months ago, but only now does it get leaked. Blame it on a media holding back until an opportune time, or blame it on politically motivated leakers timing a leak they knew the media would rush uncritically into, but either way it’s nothing but a smear campaign with the media playing a prominent role. It’s a role that they should not have been part of–as skeptical as they claim to be–but they jumped in with both feet.

Today, President Bush called their bluff and released other parts of the report for folks to read for themselves. It’s a shame that in order to get a fair hearing the Bush administration has to declassify material. It appears that those on the Left and their supporters in the media are more than willing to compromise national security and break the law in order to gain political points.

So you wanna’ cherry pick quotations? John Hawkins highlights another blogger, allegedly a former member of the U.S intelligence community, who does his own cherry picking that paints a completely different picture. Worth a read.

Of course, Democrats, reading what they want and ignoring the rest, hold on to the spin and proclaim this as some sort of indictment against the war in Iraq. They’re playing pure politics with national security. Again. They’re holding up this snippet of a report as the gospel truth. Wonder what their thoughts were on the NIE report that there may be WMDs in Iraq. Actually, when that report was discussed, those on the Left noted more cherries picked other quotes from it that expressed doubt about their presence. At the time, as noted on Redstate,

But the NIE, I recalled from the discussions following the “NO WMD!” declarations from the Dems and the MSM, had said that there were WMD. When the MSM found snippets which expressed doubt, it was explained that the NIE contained a diversity of opinions and outlook.

That was then; diversity of opinion. This is now; monolithic groupthink. Short-attention-span Democrat voters will fall for it. But no one should.

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Novak Clears the Air, Plame Fogs It Back Up

Robert Novak is setting the record straight on the Armitage leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. It’s not good for the rabid Left that was waiting for someone–anyone–to be frog-marched.

First, Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he ”thought” might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked, and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson.

Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column.

An accurate depiction of what Armitage actually said deepens the irony of him being my source. He was a foremost internal skeptic of the administration’s war policy, and I long had opposed military intervention in Iraq. Zealous foes of George W. Bush transformed me improbably into the president’s lapdog. But they cannot fit Armitage into the left-wing fantasy of a well-crafted White House conspiracy to destroy Joe and Valerie Wilson. The news that he and not Karl Rove was the leaker was devastating news for the left.

Interestingly, while the Left was happy to assume that the leak was part of a Republican conspiracy, Novak’s information paints a very different picture, one in which one might be able to make out a Democratic rumor program to discredit White House staff.

Armitage’s silence the next 2 years caused intense pain for his colleagues in government and enabled partisan Democrats in Congress to falsely accuse Rove of being my primary source. When Armitage now says he was mute because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s request, that does not explain his silence three months between his claimed first realization that he was the source and Fitzgerald’s appointment on Dec. 30. Armitage’s tardy self-disclosure is tainted because it is deceptive.

I’m not saying there was such a conspiracy of whispers. What I am saying is that it’s deliciously ironic that the result could be construed as coming from one.

If you really want the deep details, A.J. connects all the dots.

To add to the farce, now Valerie Plame is suing Armitage. But in order to do that, she has to really turn her allegations in knots.

One-time covert CIA officer Valerie Plame on Wednesday sued the former No. 2 official at the State Department for violating her privacy rights.

The suit does not accuse Richard Armitage, who was deputy secretary of state in the Bush administration, of participating in an administration conspiracy to blow her cover.

By adding Armitage’s name to the suit, Plame’s lawyers set up a different scenario. They contend a White House conspiracy existed, but that Armitage’s leak was independent of it.

Armitage is accused of violating Plame’s privacy rights. He is not accused of violating the Wilsons’ constitutional rights to equal protection and freedom of speech _ allegations that remain against the White House officials.

So Armitage leaked the name, but didn’t violate any equal protection or free speech laws, while the White House did the same thing and did violate those laws. ‘Cept that the White House “leaked” something to Novak that he already knew. And this all happened with such amazing coincidental timing.

Joe Wilson is really desperate to see frog-marching. Is this an amphibian thing?

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Let the Political Paranoia Resume

Drudge’s big headline this afternoon is that gas is down to $2.05/gallon in Iowa. Did I not catch the news story proclaiming that the federal government had moved in and enforced price controls?

No, I (and you) missed nothing of the sort. Instead, as the Captain notes, market forces (remember those things?) are at work.

A number of factors play into this drop in price. First, as the article notes, the summer driving season has passed. Gas prices normally drop after Labor Day as children go back to school and family vacations make their way to the scrapbook. Also, this season has seen much lower levels of violent weather, and while we’re not out of hurricane season yet, the chances of a really damaging storm in the Gulf of Mexico gets less likely with each passing day. Traders buy oil on futures, which means their speculation now extends past the hurricane window — and since they had built bad weather into previous pricing, it makes sense that we would see a sharp drop now.

It seems that, just as Al-Qaeda has, the market, the weather, and American families have conspired to give the Democrats one less campaign issue. In the same way as leftist paranoids looked with suspicion on the release of terrorist videos, prepare for more hand-wringing over the “curious timing” of this news.

Yes, the market has been allowed to work and prices are now coming down. Understand, however, that I loved high gas prices. My wallet didn’t all that much, but I can telecommute 3 or 4 days a week, so it didn’t complain too loudly. But there were so many upsides to high prices, most of which liberals purport to love. There was the encouragement to conserve or telecommute or car pool. The higher prices increased the demand and the funding for research into alternative energy sources. They helped pay for college tuition (people in the middle class work for oil companies, too, y’know). There was so much good that came from them, yet liberals wailed and whined about it. Truth is, they’d rather the prices go up due to a tax increase so the government gets the money rather than R&D departments of the evil “Big Oil”. Then they could siphon it off, pad their wallets, and be magnanimous with the scraps as grants to R&D departments of the evil “Big Oil”.

By the way, will all the Democrats who wanted to blame Bush for the high gas prices now turn around and credit him for lowering them? Hold not thy breath.

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Feeling Less Free Today?

You should. For the next 60 days, you aren’t allowed to get your political message out in the media, thanks to McCain-Feingold. Even if your message is about pending legislation. As long as the incumbent is simply mentioned, it’s banned political speech. (Fortunately, blogs are exempt.)

And it could have been tempered recently. Republicans voted to temper it, but the Democrats would not hear of it.

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Actions v Words

While they may talk big about wanting a time table to get troops out of Iraq, Democratic politicians are campaigning in the opposite direction.

Most Democratic candidates in competitive congressional races are opposed to setting a timetable for pulling US troops out of Iraq, rejecting pressure from liberal activists to demand a quick end to the three-year-old military conflict.

Of the 59 [tag]Democrats[/tags] in hotly contested House and Senate races, a majority agree with the Bush administration that it would be unwise to set a specific schedule for troop withdrawal, and only a few are calling for substantial troop reductions to begin this year, according to a Washington Post survey of the campaigns.

The large number of Democrats opposed to a strict timeline for ending the military operations runs contrary to the assertion by President Bush and top Republicans that Democrats want to “cut and run” amid mounting casualties and signs of civil war. At the same time, the decision by many Democrats to refrain from advocating a specific plan for withdrawal complicates their leaders’ efforts to convince voters that they offer a new direction for the increasingly unpopular war.

The assertion by Republicans that Democrats want to “cut and run” is consistent with the rhetoric the Dems have been laying out. They elevated John Murtha to media darling. They agreed with timetables in press conferences. So Bush’s assertion fits the Democrats’ public pronouncements.

What it doesn’t agree with is how the Democrats act, regarding their voting almost unanimously against the Hunter Amendment which was a virtual copy of the Murtha plan, and regarding how they’re now campaigning. When this group says one thing and does another, it’s inevitable that any criticism will wind up missing the mark with either the words or the actions. But that’s not Bush’s fault. The fault lies with the Democrats, who are pandering to both sides of the issue. They’re not sitting on the fence, they’re trying to stand firmly on both sides.

However, as their actions show, they realize that, generally, the American public does not want to leave Iraq until the job’s done. So, to appease both the public and the increasingly powerful left-wing groups within the party, they’re talking out of both sides of their collective mouths. You can’t trust the words.

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