Hard to get a word in edgewise toward the end. ’tis too bad, because I really wanted to focus on comparing the legacy of conservative ideology vs. that of liberals. Rush Limbaugh cheered George Bush every chance he got. (Don’t be deceived by his claim that he was unhappy with the Bush admins’ spending – he never said so at the time.)
I will say this though: Barack Obama is very difficult for a liberal to defend. Every day seems to bring new disappointment.
For a self-professed Constitution lover, it’s striking that she stays mum when asked about the only Amendment that matters to the CPAC crowd.
Prefers open carry, but feels safe enough without guns around.
Really not understanding the nuance, I guess. I mean, if I actually believed that a heavily armed citizenry increased the safety quotient at no cost… well, for my family’s sake, I’d be clamoring for more guns in more places.
Of course, Tucker’s smile is kind of telling, isn’t it? If I was an uncivil blogger, I might even suggest that the smile betrays Tucker’s words… that he doesn’t really believe what he is saying and can’t help but to laugh at how preposterous his own words are.
A bumper sticker sold at CPAC 2011:
Maybe an image of chains in the context of the United States’ first black President is somehow excusable. I’m not seeing it though.
He was happy to answer any number of press queries, but went mute when asked if he’d like to see more guns in his immediate vicinity. For someone that may be considering a bid for the Presidency on the Republican line, this is a weird question to ignore.
So what did prominent CPAC attendees think of the gun ban imposed upon them? (Donald Rumsfeld edition)
I asked several conservative leaders what they thought of the CPAC gun ban. Over the course of the next couple of days, I’ll post their reactions.
Here’s Donald Rumsfeld:
For those of you that cannot watch the video, here’s a synopsis:
Me: Would you feel safer if this was an open carry event?
Rumsfeld: What does that mean?
Security team: Get the fuck away from him you (potential) lunatic!
In other words, it got to be real clear, real quick, what Rumsfeld’s security detail thought of an armed citizenry getting too close to their charge. Even asking questions elicited an extremely anxious response.
Ralph Reed was up to his eyeballs in the Jack Abramoff scandal. The long and short of it was he fronted an anti-gambling campaign on behalf of the Christian Coalition and other religious groups so that Abramoff could extract more millions in lobbying fees from Indian tribes that wanted to build casinos. Essentially, Abramoff told the tribes that he was opposed by formidable opponents and needed more money to lobby for their interests.
So where’s the fraud? Well, the money Reed used to run his anti-gambling campaign was provided by Jack Abramoff. It was the tribe’s own money that was being used to fund Reed. And he knew it and was complicit in the money-laundering.
He says he has nothing to apologize for:
I covered a press conference put on by Democrats opposed to HR 3 and reproductive freedom advocates. Republicans are doing their best to chip away at the availability of abortion. If HR3 becomes law, hospitals will lose federal funding if they provide abortions and employers will lose the ability to deduct the cost of employee health plans that pay for abortions. In sum, the availability of abortions will be radically curtailed.
Dana Weinstein, a woman that never thought she’d need an abortion, tells a personal story in this video.
The press conference was attended by Jerry Nadler, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, John Conyers, Mike Quigley, Maxine Waters, Shiela Jackson-Lee and others. Since the every Representative in the Republican House majority is anti-choice, and since there are probably dozens of anti-choice Democrats that will join them, HR3 will assuredly pass the House.
In the Senate, Harry Reid is anti-choice and has been rolled by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans at every turn. Moreover, procedure in the Senate is much more amenable to minority priorities. Abortion supporters are hopeful, but nobody is saying with any degree of certitude that HR3 will die in the Senate.
With that in mind, I decided to ask the people in the room if they were willing to withhold their support from the President if he signed the bill if it reached his desk. Nadler dodged the question, saying it was premature. I pointed out that there was a reason he called the press conference: that he didn’t wan’t to see this bill become law. He stayed silent on the President.
Soon afterward, the press conference ended. I approached Nancy Keenan, President of National NARAL. I asked her if this bill was important enough for NARAL to tell Obama they’d sit out the election if Obama signed it. She said she has confidence in the President and his pro-choice commitment. I pointed out Stupak and the Executive Order the President issued after the health care bill passed. Keenan continued to defend the President.
It was odd for me to watch several Representatives criticize Republicans in extraordinary terms and demonstrate that they had a full understanding of exactly how pernicious and dangerous HR3 is to women, but then refuse to draw a line in the sand where it matters most: at the President’s desk. Either HR3 is atrocious, or it isn’t. And if it is as bad as the Members say it is, women like Dana Weinstein are going to want to know why Democrats didn’t do everything they could to keep it from becoming law.
Weird. Months of silence, then I get a call from National Enquirer and all hell breaks loose. A couple of days later, I make a call to an overweight drug addict, and mayhem ensues. Thanks everybody. (Especially Sam Seder, who was the first to run with the Limbaugh call).
Anyway, I guess last Friday, Randi Rhodes played the call on her show. She had me on as a guest today. Thanks Randi!
This morning I decided to dig for a little more gold using the same technique. Here’s me on Bill Bennett’s morning radio show (Bennett was Secretary of Education at a time in which Reagan was promising to abolish the Cabinet-level department), with Byron York. Here’s the video description:
Reagan supported the assault weapons ban and the Brady Bill. He sent missiles to Iran in exchange for the return of American hostages taken by Hezbollah. He “cut-and-run” from Lebanon after hundreds of MArines dies in a barracks bombing. He gave amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. He raised taxes 11 times, including once in order to preserve Social Security (instead of privatizing it). He exploded the national debt. In short, he was a tax and spending, amnesty granting, cut and running, negotiating with terrorists gun taker and conservatives love him. Go figure.
STARK: Hi, Rush. I, um… I’m calling because… Well, first of all, I’m a liberal, and I seriously don’t understand this, uh, Reagan idolatry on behalf of conservatives. I’ll get… I’ll give you my reasons. Instead of privatizing Social Security, he raised taxes. We’re all paying higher taxes today out of our paychecks every single week because he decided to save Social Security. He –
RUSH: Wait, wait. Hold it. I need to go…
RUSH: Wait. Jeez.
STARK: The Greenspan Commission. He signed it into law, and it raised taxes on Social Security.
RUSH: What…? Wait, you’re talking about Reagan or Clinton?
STARK: I’m talking about Reagan. Reagan did that. He raised taxes on Social Security. He negotiated with terrorists, sending — over and over again — arms to Iran in exchange for hostages perform by contrast Jimmy Carter didn’t give an inch to the Iranians.
RUSH: What in the world…?
STARK: Not an inch. Instead Reagan (crosstalk)
RUSH: Testing the true depth of my politeness here on this call, folks.
STARK: Say that again?
RUSH: Let me ask you a question. What do you think, given all this that you believe, when you hear Obama and the Democrats cite Reagan as they have been doing since about a week before the State of the Union?
STARK: It’s funny you ask that. Because as a liberal I think Obama owes his presidency to Reagan. They’re both kinda stuffed suits that say one thing and then do another. Obama hasn’t been anywhere near liberal enough for me. He said he’d close Guantamano (sic), he hasn’t done that.
STARK: He said he’d help people out with foreclosures, he hasn’t done that.
RUSH: I feel for you on that.
STARK: But Reagan, I mean, amnesty to people who are breaking the law and living in the country illegally. He said, “Forget about it. Stay here forever.” He cut and ran from Lebanon. How many hundreds of Marines were killed –
STARK: — and he just decided, “Well, you know, instead of the fighting the bad guys I’m gonna run away”?
STARK: Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?
RUSH: “Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?” I don’t think you… Given what you’ve said, and I’m not trying to avoid the question, I don’t think you’d ever understand it.
STARK: Well, he’s a tax raiser, an amnesty giver, a cut-and-runner, and he negotiated with terrorists. Why is he a hero to conservatives? I don’t think you understand it.
RUSH: No, I do. Most assuredly I do. I just don’t think that you would understand it. Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes on Social Security? What websites do you read? Where did you pick that up?
STARK: Look up the Greenspan Commission. It’s not too hard to find. I mean, it’s a matter of history.
RUSH: Where did you get it? I mean, you’re asking me questions. I’m just reversing one on you here.
STARK: I’m sorry. It’s just general knowledge. It’s something I’ve known for a long time. I can’t remember where I got it from.
RUSH: You can’t remember? You’ve never heard of a website called Media Matters which highlighted it yesterday?
STARK: (static) Oh, no. I know Media Matters very well but that’s not where I got it.
RUSH: Oh, not where you got it. It’s an amazing coincidence.
STARK: (static) I mean, I’m a liberal. Of course I know Media Matters.
RUSH: Amazing coincidence out there.
STARK: They’re a fantastic website. But why are you dodging the question? I want to know why a tax-raising, amnesty-giving, cut-and-running, negotiating-with-terrorists guy is a hero to the conservative movement.
RUSH: Well, because you understand Reagan in a way that is flawed. You –
Your call is actually kinda interesting because you represent the impossibility of “bridging the gap.” Somebody like you just has to be defeated. There’s no crossing the aisle and finding common ground with you. You’re free to be who you are, don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to insulting. I’m just saying, you are unreachable. You don’t want to be reached. T his picture of Reagan, you’ve just described somebody you should love, and you hate him! You just described somebody you should absolutely love, all these things. He’s an anti-conservative, as you say, but you don’t love him. You’re having trouble understanding why he’s viewed as heroic to a lot of people.
I could talk to you about anti-communism. I could. You want to talk about amnesty? Yeah, that was Simpson-Mazzoli, and that was one-and-a-half, two million illegals; and he was told, “Okay, if we’re gonna do this, this is it, then. We’re gonna secure the borders and that’s it.” It’s the same thing with every tax increase he signed. It was also accompanied by promises to cut spending, and it never happened. Reagan’s not perfect. Nobody is. But I think the proof of Reagan is the fact that when your guys get in trouble, who do they seek to associate themselves with? Remember, Obama and these people are all about getting votes.
The fact that he’s trying to surround himself with Reagan, the fact that he’s trying to position himself with Reagan is the best indication anybody could have of what this country really thinks of Ronaldus Magnus. I think if you want to focus in on hypocrisy, you’ve got far more of it on your side of the aisle to explain and dig through than we do. Reagan was forced to raise payroll taxes by a crisis in Social Security in 1983. He endorsed that rescue plan that was written by Alan Greenspan. It was reluctant. He was not a big supporter of that. Remember, Reagan did not have a congressional majority with him.
Everything he got, the tax cuts, he had Democrats outnumbering him in the House and Senate everywhere. There were certain realities that he faced. But the biggest tax increase on Social Security was authored by none other than Bill Clinton. But did you understand the notion? Ronald Reagan fought for America. He loved America. He feared where the left, based on history, wanted to take the country. Ronald Reagan set the stage for the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet communism without firing a shot. I don’t know… But none of that would matter. So you, sir, a nice individual, I’m sure you’re a fine guy (probably not too much fun at a ball game, unlike Bill Clinton), but still, you illustrate that people like you just have to be defeated, not met halfway and gotten along with. I mean politically.