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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

GOP Senators Join Gang & Fail the Team & U.S.

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: The following editorial comments are in reaction to the actions this week by the five Republicans in the “Gang of 10.” Most of us have been to varied team sporting events: e.g., Soccer, Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey. For the team to win, the members of the team must all remain focused on the goal of winning. During the game, they don't get sidetracked patting opponents on the back and running out on the field with a couple of their team buddies to meet members of the other team, or declaring that they represent their whole and have negotiated the end of game results - so the game is over. We would rightly call these players a "gang; thugs." Obviously, they would at a least be benched or at best, kicked off the team. Razorback fans (other readers substitute your favorite team) go to see their Hogs play - win or lose. They keep coming to see their team play in hopes of defeating the other team. They want to win and they wouldn't like it if a few team members sold out the rest of the team. They understand that the Hogs may lose but they sure don't want the game played with without a full team.

Consider then our form of government; we are a Republic. We, the people, elect our Senators to represent our State and elect our Congressional Representative to represent our individual Congressional District. We expect these men and women to go to Washington D.C. to represent us and not to try to compromise and represent the people of other States or districts. Retuning to the sports analogy, across the country we have in effect elected our all star players to go to Washington to compete both for us - their constituents - and to part of their political "All Star" team. For example, in Arkansas, we know that our Senators, both Democrats, are also playing for the Democrat "All Star" team under the incompetent team coach -- Harry Reid. Others, like Lieberman , an "independent democrat,” play for the Democrat team. Others like Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson are supposed to be playing for the Republican "All Star" team. Unfortunately, while on the Republican Team, they have decided to break out on their own and negotiate with members of Reid’s team.

Most of us dislike small groups of people who meet privately to make agreements, and decisions that affect us. We call such groups "clicks" when being nice and other names when not feeling so nice. The press has rightly labeled these breakaway elected officials as “gangs.” We do not deny them their right to associate, to talk, to caucus, or to debate. We may not like their continued personally associations but heck we have no say if the go to church, go fishing, visit their local D.C. "watering hole,” or even foot tap" together. But we do mind when they are on the playing field and then they opt out of their teams and join together in a "Gang of 10" to speak for the rest of the elected officials and the members or your political party. This arrogance is intolerable as they are trampling on our Republic and over calling or silencing the voices of our other elected official.

And for those five Senators who are Republicans, how dare you compromise an important bargaining position on which we are supported by a majority of the American people. While the five democrats on the “Gang of 10” are clearly representing their party’s agenda and getting republicans to compromise and to “shut –up,” such is not the situation for the five republicans. The five republicans have “fumbled the ball” without even having their full team present. They have ignored one of the “most exciting and motivating” issues of the day on which Republicans are taking a stand. They have abandoned their team, ignored the coach and compromised a fundamental issue on which Republicans are taking a stand. How can they expect their team members to trust or work with them in the future? American voters do not forget and “Elephant” voters have long memories and have been know to turn out RINOs. Losing to the other team in a hard fought game is understood. Having a few players throw the game is unconscionable. While winning covers a multitude of issues, failure to support the team is unforgivable. Ask any die hard Razorback fan. We love our team and despise anyone who sellouts the team or tramples on the Razorback name. The same is true for voters be they democrat or republican. And currently, the actions referenced in the Wall Street Journal editorial are unacceptable to Republicans.
Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal: It's taken time, but Sen. McCain and his party have finally found -- in energy -- an issue that's working for them. Riding voter discontent over high gas prices, the GOP has made antidrilling Democrats this summer's headlines. Their enthusiasm has given conservative candidates a boost in tough races. And Mr. McCain has pressured Barack Obama into an energy debate, where the Democrat has struggled to explain shifting and confused policy proposals.

Still, it was probably too much to assume every Republican would work out that their side was winning this issue. And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson -- alongside five Senate Democrats. This "Gang of 10" announced a "sweeping" and "bipartisan" energy plan to break Washington's energy "stalemate." What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.

That's because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast -- putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.

The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies! The Sierra Club couldn't have penned it better. And so the Republican Five has potentially given antidrilling Democrats the political cover they need to neutralize energy through November.

Sen. Obama was thrilled. . . . Equally gleeful was Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, the Senate's most vulnerable Democrat. She had been sweating the energy debate, especially after her vote against more oil-shale production -- a position her Republican opponent, John Kennedy, had used against her to great effect. Yet there she was, chummily standing with the Gang of 10 and boasting that she is working with "five Republicans" to "lower prices at the pump by increasing offshore drilling here at home."

Mr. McCain, who had been commanding the energy debate, was left to explain why he, of all people, wasn't more enthusiastic about a "bipartisan" effort on energy, especially one that includes "drilling." His camp was forced to take refuge in taxes, explaining that their boss couldn't sign up for a bill that included more. If this is what Mr. McCain's good friend Lindsey Graham considers "helping," somebody might want to ask him to stop.

And pity poor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been working overtime to stanch GOP losses this fall and head off a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate. His dogged efforts to highlight Democratic opposition to drilling has kept energy in the news and laid the groundwork for GOP candidates to use the issue to their advantage.

In the Colorado Senate race, Democrats had christened former GOP Rep. Bob Schaffer "Big Oil Bob" -- hoping to smear his oil industry career. "Big Oil Bob" has instead embraced his pro-drilling positions and is pummeling opponent Mark Udall for his antidrilling stance. In recent weeks, Mr. Schaffer has erased Mr. Udall's lead. Polls show Republican Sens. Norm Coleman (Minnesota) and John Sununu (New Hampshire) both climbing in the polls on the back of strong energy arguments. . . .

The "bipartisan" Republican senators have undercut these efforts, and boosted Ms. Landrieu. They've even put a smile on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's face. He'd been struggling to tamp down the energy debate through November, where he hopes to increase his majority and permanently shelve drilling. He's now counting on the Gang to fruitlessly continue "negotiations" straight through the Senate's short September session and solve his problem for him. Not one of the five Republicans in the Gang is facing a tough election this year. That's the sort of security that leads to bad decisions. And theirs is the sort of thinking that could leave Republicans in a permanent minority.

Tags: Arkansas, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, ARRA, Bill Smith, energy policy, Gang of 10, oil drilling, Razorbacks, Republican, RINO, Senators, US Senate, Wall Street Journal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:49 AM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worst offender of all can now be defeated!

http://AimHighWithBob.com

Bob Conley says we've done enough policing of the world and it's time to bring our troops home to defend OUR OWN BORDERS and end illegal immigration. Bob's out to end corporate welfare of which category this "energy bill" falls into easily.

Bob is to the right of Lindsey Graham on virtually every issue. Bob is, in the tradition of a Constitutionalist populist Southern Democrat, looking out for the CITIZENS of this country rather than the corporations and their desire for slave labor and open borders.

There's a place to donate at the website. If you REALLY want to make a difference, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!

8/10/2008  

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