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FoleyGate Redux: Trandahl vs. DeLay

I know I’m not the only person that wonders where Mark Foley is these days.  Especially when he was part of the endless line of celebrities with problems queued up at their favorite rehab center last year.  Thankfully, at least Foley has had the sense to remain quiet.  But that can’t be said for all of the players in the so-called “FoleyGate” story from October, 2006.

One of the main players in the Foley scandal was former US Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl.  I questioned Trandahl’s involvement in the scandal in this post last October detailing the comprehensive involvement of the Human Rights Campaign and Foley’s demise.

Well folks, in a gift from the blog gods, Trandahl is talking.  And it sounds like he’s gone the David Catania/John Aravosis route of Gay Redemption:  “I was a Republican, but they hated me, so now I’m a GOP-basher.” (h/t – The Corner/NRO)

Here’s an interesting tidbit buried at the end of Kevin Naff’s exclusive Washington Blade piece on Jeff Trandahl, the former clerk of the House of Representatives who says he confronted Mark Foley “dozens” of times about his inappropriate behavior towards pages:

He said he had long planned to retire after 20 years of government service and noted that his departure was set well before the scandal broke. Trandahl thanked former House Speakers Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for supporting him during his tenure in the House. But he said former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) had long sought to oust him from the job because he is openly gay.

Pretty convenient to put your long-planned retirement at the feet of alleged Tom DeLay homophobia now, huh? 

More from the RollCall story on DeLay/Trandahl:

Former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl says former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) “had long sought to oust him from the job because he is openly gay,” according to a report in the Washington Blade.

Trandahl made the comments while speaking to a group of gays and lesbians aboard the ship Queen Mary II during a cross-Atlantic trip, according the Blade. (GP Ed. Note – I’m guessing this wasn’t a Log Cabin-sponsored event.  So the Gay Left cocktails were on full display, no doubt.)

A spokeswoman for DeLay dismissed the charge that her boss wanted to sack (that is, fire) Trandahl. “We have no idea where this comes from, but it’s a very serious accusation and an outright lie,” she said.

A former GOP leadership staffer who served during DeLay and Trandahl’s tenure seemed surprised by Trandahl’s claim that DeLay wanted him fired, doubting that he was even aware the former Clerk was gay. “No member of Congress has a worse gaydar than Tom DeLay,” the former aide said.

Okay…. now THAT is funny.  Having met DeLay numerous times in my former job, I would have to agree.

I’m wondering if there are more memoir-esque tales from the Foley Files to come.  My only question left for Trandahl is more fundamental:  Did you have any involvement in the Instant Messages that were released?  After all, you seemed upset by Foley’s behavior, and you were an HRC board member at the same time an HRC staffer was digging up the Foley dirt.

Hey, I’m just asking.

[Related Story:  Trandahl breaks silence on Foley scandal – Washington Blade]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

US Gas Prices Higher Now Than Before Election Day

Well, thanks a lot Nancy Pelosi!

Average US Gas Prices – Sep 25, 2006 – Feb 26, 2007

Sep 25, 2006- $2.32             Oct 02, 2006 – $2.26.3

Oct 09, 2006 – $222.2           Oct 16, 2006 – $219.5

Oct 23, 2006- $218.6            Oct 30, 2006 – $220.4

Nov 06, 2006 – $218.9          Nov 13, 2006 – $221.6

Nov 20, 2006 – $221.8          Nov 27, 2006 – $222.1

Dec 04, 2006 – $227.7          Dec 11, 2006 – $226.7

Dec 18, 2006 – $229             Dec 25, 2006 – $230.3

Jan 01, 2007 – $229.6           Jan 08, 2007 – $225.8

Jan 15, 2007 – $217.3           Jan 22, 2007 – $210.7

Jan 29, 2007 – $211.9           Feb 05, 2007 – $215.1

Feb 12, 2007 – $219.8           Feb 19, 2007 – $225.1

Feb 26, 2007 – $233.8

Democratonomics….. hard on your wallet. 

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The Wholly Unserious and Very Superficial Democrats

While my Athena was sparing in her criticism of the president today, she saved her toughest words for the behavior of Congress’s new majority party. Fearing a “power vacuum” in Washington “if the administration is, indeed, collapsing,” Peggy observes:

The Democrats of Capitol Hill will fill that one. And they seem–and seemed in their statements after the president’s speech–wholly unprepared to fill it, wholly unserious in their thoughts and approach. They seem locked into habits that no longer pertain, and absorbed by the small picture of partisan advancement at the expense of the big picture, which is that the nation is in trouble and needs their help. They are sunk in the superficial.

Just look at the Democrats’ reaction the president’s proposal for a troop “surge” in Iraq. Before he had even presented his plan to the nation, Teddy Kennedy was speaking out against it. If he had any respect for the office his brother once held, he would have at least waited until the president spoke and addressed the points he raised to show why he believed the Commander-in-Chief was wrong.

But, instead of offering serious criticism of the president’s policies, Democratic Senators have been assuming things about Administration officials and describing the plan not as it is, but as they need it to be so they can continue to make the same criticisms of the president that served them so well in the 2006 election — criticisms which, at the time, were more valid that they are today.

To show just how, in Peggy’s words, the Democrats are sunk in the superficial, let’s turn to the most celebrated unserious remarks about the new policy, those of the junior Senator from the Golden State, Barbara Boxer who doesn’t think Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can make decisions about military given that she lacks an “immediate family” As the New York Post put it, “It’s hard to imagine the firestorm that similar comments would have ignited, coming from a Republican to a Democrat, or from a man to a woman, in the United States Senate.” Exactly.

But, Mrs. Boxer has not been the only one to level absurd accusations against the Administration. New York’s Senators claim the president hasn’t offered a new plan. Senator Clinton claims, “The president simply has not gotten the message sent loudly and clearly by the American people, that we desperately need a new course” while her senior colleague Charles Schumer calls the president’s proposal “a new surge without a new strategy.

So, instead of addressing the points the president raised, they say he’s not offering anything new so they more easily dismiss his proposal without doing the hard work of actually judging it on its merits.

Mrs. Boxer even presumes to know those from whom the Secretary of State is not seeking input: “So from where I sit, Madam Secretary, you are not listening to the American people, you are not listening to the military, you are not listening to the bipartisan voices from the Senate, you are not listening to the Iraq Study Group.”

The President and his advisors made a number of mistakes in Iraq in 2006. They underestimated the resilience of the militias and terrorist groups in the wake of the elections in 2005. He should have shifted his strategy sometime last year. But, now he has proposed a new strategy, one which merits serious consideration.

Democrats have contended that one reason we weren’t winning in Iraq was that with a Republican Congress, the Administration did not have adequate oversight. Now that we have a Democratic Congress, with Democrats in a position to offer that oversight, they would rather make juvenile assumptions and engage in partisan sniping than take seriously their constitutional responsibilities. This is not the stuff of which a serious governing party is made.

Does John Fund Read GayPatriot?

Seems like the Wall Street Journal‘s John Fund reads this blog. Seven weeks ago, I noted how Tom DeLay’s 1994 Election at House GOP Whip Set the Stage for the Party’s loss of Congress last fall (made effective today). Preferring DeLay to Pennsylvania’s Bob Walker, House Republicans chose a pragmatic political operative over a principled conservative.

At the time, I wrote, “Perhaps had Walker won that election, he might have helped the GOP stand true to the principles he had long promoted.” In today’s OpinionJournal Political Diary (available by subscription), Fund writes:

It turns out that Mr. DeLay’s election as Majority Whip after the 1994 election — the vote that set him on his path to power — was an extraordinarily fateful one. He defeated Rep. Bob Walker of Pennsylvania, who had the backing of Mr. Gingrich and had advocated keeping a GOP majority in Congress by passing conservative legislation that would produce sound results and earn popular support at the polls. Welfare reform was an early and rare example of that strategy.

In contrast, the DeLay model of governance that increasingly took hold of the GOP caucus was a simple one: Use the power of gerrymandering and pork to cement enough incumbents to ensure that a narrow GOP majority would always be returned. The flip-side of that strategy was a dilution of conservative principles in favor of machine politics. The low point was the 2003 vote on creating the prescription drug entitlement that only passed when House leaders held the floor vote open for an unprecedented three hours while Members were dragooned into line.

Let us hope that now in the minority, House Republicans return to the principles Walker championed — and DeLay abandoned.

Al-Qaeda’s #2 Takes Credit for Democrats Election Win

Is there any doubt left that al-Qaeda sees the Democrats as the party of concession and defeat?

Al Qaeda has sent a message to leaders of the Democratic party that credit for the defeat of congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists.

In a portion of the tape from al Qaeda No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, made available only today, Zawahri says he has two messages for American Democrats.

“The first is that you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen — the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq — are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost,” Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News.

Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help.

“And if you don’t refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate,” he said.

Since a number of Democrat politicians have been preening to Syria’s dictatorial government the past two weeks, I have no doubt that the Democras would look for a way to surrender to Osama bin Laden if they had the chance. 

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

House GOP Leadership Elections, a Disappointment not a Disaster

While I, like many conservatives, am disappointed by the GOP House Leadership elections, I am at least heartened that current Majority Leader — and future Minority Leader — John Boehner recognizes that the GOP needs “to get back to our core principles and rededicate ourselves to the reform mindset that put us in the majority 12 years ago.

In her column on the elections, the columnist I’ve called “my Athena,” agrees, saying Republicans “must develop a conservatism that speaks for and to the times. And stop being pigs–i.e., earmarking careerists who started with belief and wound up with hunger.” And Boehner has been anything but an “earmarking careerist,” having kept a promise he made in his 1990 bid for Congress not to bring back pork to his district.

And despite his distaste for pork, he easily won that election as well as his eight subsequent reelections — in presidential years, always running ahead of our party’s nominee for Chief Executive. A sign that if one represents his constituents well, he doesn’t need bring back the bacon to keep his seat.

While I would have preferred Boehner’s rival, Indiana conservative Mike Pence, I note with some comfort that, in his first term in Congress, Boehner worked with then-Minority Whip Newt Gingrich to develop a strategy to help the GOP become the nation’s majority party. They did so by committing the party to the small-government ideas of Ronald Reagan. Let us hope that, as Minority Leader, Boehner returns to those ideas — and to the lessons he learned in the early 1990s.

Today’s election may seem a setback to conservatives, but it need not be. If Boehner recalls the energy and idealism of his first years in Congress, he should succeed. That he has held to his initial campaign promise not to bring pork back to his district is a good sign of a man committed to principle. Now, if he could only extend that practice to the rest of his colleagues, the GOP could become more principled and responsible in the minority than it was in its most recent years in the majority.

UPDATE: Over at Hugh Hewitt, Dean Barnett seems cautiously optimistic about Boehner. After talking with the Cincinnati native, Dean writes:

I found Boehner to be impressive when we spoke, and he seems like a natural leader. The fact that he mid-wifed the horrific No Child Left Behind monstrosity isn’t a mark in his favor, but the voters definitely gave the Republican Party a “come to Jesus” moment last week and I think Boehner got the message. At least I hope he did.

Now that I’ve whet you appetite, just read the whole thing!

With Murtha’s Defeat, Will Pelosi Continue Catfight with Harman?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:21 pm - November 16, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Congress (110th),Liberals

With the defeat earlier this morning of her choice for House Majority Leader in the 110th Congress, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi suffered her first setback since Democrats won congressional majorities in last week’s election. Not only did Pelosi publicly back John Murtha, she lobbied on behalf of her septuagenarian Pennsylvania colleague and even nominated him in today’s balloting. Despite her efforts, the current House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer defeated Nancy’s man by a comfortable margin, 149-86.

While Hoyer’s victory is good for the Democrats, it’s not all that great for their leader in the House. We now know that she does not have all that much control over her caucus. Jim Moran’s words notwithstanding, this is not an era where “when the Speaker instructs you what to do, you do it.” House Democrats will know that they can defy Pelosi and not only get away with it, but possibly also bring a majority of their fellow Democrats along with them. And they will know that there won’t be a great cost to reaching out to compromise with Republicans.

The next question for Pelosi is whether she will continue her catfight with her California colleague Jane Harman, in line to serve as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, but whom the incoming Speaker wants to sideline for Florida Representative Alcee Hastings, impeached and removed from office as a federal judge for taking bribes. Editors of the New Republic as well as the New York Times have taken Pelosi to task for preferring as disgraced former judge over a widely respected liberal Congresswoman for this important position. As Captain Ed puts it, she opposes Harman not because of her qualities of leadership but “strictly for personal reasons.”

Tammy Bruce thinks Pelosi’s behavior is “typical of what I witnessed within the Democrat Feminist establishment for so long“:

petty personal animus dictating policy with extraordinary effort put into projects to destroy other women who did not confirm or pay allegiance to the status quo.

This cannibalistic approach to politics and society has doomed the feminist establishment, far too often keeping remarkable women from being able to make a difference. Jealousy, envy, and projected anger drive women in power on the left. All the talk of empowerment, fairness and justice, is just that–talk. Dems and the average American feminist are going to see the ugly underbelly of leftist women who see other women as competition and nothing more than something to move out of the way.

No wonder columnist Robert Novak described Harman as Pelosi’s “rival diva.”

Perhaps, Murtha’s defeat will persuade Pelosi to move beyond the petty politics of personal animus as she prepares to take the Speaker’s chair. Thus Murtha’s defeat, while a temporary setback for Pelosi, could end up benefiting both her — and her caucus. The real test will be to see how she handles the House Intelligence Committee. If she overcomes her animosity and taps Harman, she could become one of those rare politicians who learns from experience. Time will only tell.

But, now we do know that Nancy Pelosi is a politician who often lets personal considerations shape her policy choices. Hardly the mark of a leader capable of cleaning up Congress and providing a “new direction.”

Nancy Pelosi – Not MY House Speaker

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:31 am - November 16, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Congress (110th),General

You may recall that after the 2000 Election, where the rule of law was followed despite Al Gore’s request for a selective recall, those on the Left immediately began protesting the legitimacy of President Bush’s election.

“Not My President” became the rallying cry of the Loony Left.

Well, since Nancy Pelosi and her team ran a deceitful campaign of “moderation” and now show their liberal stripes….. (below is from email column by Dick Morris)

The results of the ’06 election are in. The left wing of the Democratic Party has taken over Congress. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the Speaker. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the new chairman of the Ways and Means panel. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is majority leader, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) runs the Environment Committee. The left is empowered.

But how did it achieve these majorities? It did so lifted by the wings of moderate, centrist Democrats who mastered their GOP opponents throughout the country.  

The irony is that the expressed will of the American people has been so radically ignored in the shaping of the 110th Congress. The fact is that the elevation of Nancy Pelosi to the speakership is no more a legitimate expression of the voters’ will than would be the retention of Dennis Hastert. The seniority system, rigidly applied by Pelosi in violation of the spirit of the Gingrich reforms of 1994, has ordained that a liberal establishment will run Congress, whatever the voters say.

… and on November 7, 2006, all throughout the day, there were repeated reports in the media of voter fraud in many states.  But mysteriously all of those reports vanished when the Democrats won.

So I say that the election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House will be completely illegitimate.  Not every vote has been counted, there were reports of fraud, and there was a campaign of “bait and switch” on the American public.

This is what the Radical Left has brought on us with their anti-American crusade during much of this decade.  Only true moderates can check the political climate we have lived in since 2000.

Nancy Pelosi – Not MY House Speaker

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

 

Pelosi’s Endorsement of Murtha — Win-Win Situation for GOP

Sometimes it’s uncanny how Bruce and I have similar thoughts on the issues of the day. Last night, before bed, I was collecting links and typing up my notes on Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha for House Majority Leader over Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer, the House’s current #2 Democrat, only to wake this morning to see that Bruce had already posted on the topic.

I see her very public endorsement — and her wilingness to lobby Democratic Members on his behalf — as a win-win situation for Republicans. Should Democrats elect Murtha, this gaffe-prone septuagenarian with a scandal-tainted past and an appetite for pork becomes the new face of their party. Hardly a new direction for Congress, rather a return to the policies which helped end the forty-year Democratic majority in 1994.

Should Democrats elect his rival, current Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer, it will be a sign that Mrs. Pelosi does not have complete control over her caucus. And members will be more willing to defy her on key issues.

As Betsy (at Betsy’s Page) puts it (via Instapundit):

It will be interesting to see if Pelosi is going to go to the mattresses to get her guy elected Majority Leader. She has made her support so public that it will be taken as a defeat for her if Steny Hoyer defeats Murtha. But a Murtha victory will immediately taint the new Democratic majority with a very strong whiff of corruption plus being tied to a guy who is a past master of pork and earmarks. Is that their new image for disposing of the “culture of corruption?”

Captain Ed agrees, saying that if Pelosi loses this one, “she’s damaged goods right from the start.” He also sees this move as more personal than ideological. She “owes” Murtha for helping him in the past and is “merely repaying the debt.” A similar attitude among Republicans helped ensure their defeat last week.

In the words of Washington Post reporter Jonathan Weisman, the move signals “the sizable value Pelosi gives to personal loyalty and personality preferences.” Perhaps she still harbors animus against Hoyer for challenging her in 2001 for House minority whip.

(more…)

Perfect Candidate for House Majority Leader — John Murtha!

Thank you Nancy Pelosi.  I mean you haven’t even taken the gavel as presumed House Speaker and already you have created a furor within your Democratic Caucus and handed the Republicans the best political gift they’ve had all year. 

Thanks Nancy, for giving your support to John “ABSCAM” Murtha — the former Marine and now lying and slanderous Congressman from Pennsylvania.

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This is what Nancy Pelosi said last week after the Democrats won control of the US House.

Democrats “intend to lead the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history”.

Words are bunk, Nancy.  Your first decision as House Speaker was to side with a crook and a defamer of the US Marines.  What a stick in the eye of your pledge and the stick in the eye of our military men and women in combat.

Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post agrees.  Murtha is unfit to be House Majority Leader.

For years Murtha has relied on the Abscam bottom line to argue that the case is not a problem for him: He wasn’t indicted. But he was named a co-conspirator in the bribery scheme. The feckless House ethics committee didn’t take action against him, though the outside investigator it hired quit in disgust after the panel rejected his recommendation to file misconduct charges.

“I am the guy that didn’t take the money,” Murtha said this summer when his opponent raised the issue.

Yes, but: He’s the guy who, brought into the deal by two other House members — Frank Thompson (D-N.J.) and John Murphy (D-N.Y.) — agreed to meet with men offering money in return for official action. He’s the guy who knew these two colleagues expected a payoff and even vouched for them with the would-be bribers (“Both of them are solid.”).

I wrote a few weeks back that Pelosi’s first test as speaker would be whether she picks Florida’s Alcee Hastings — who was removed from his federal judgeship for agreeing to take a bribe — to head the intelligence committee. As it turns out, I was wrong. Pelosi’s first test was how to handle Murtha. Whatever happens [Thursday], she flunked. Whether she’ll get another failing grade on Hastings remains to be seen.

Way to go, Nancy.  There’s another reason that you are Not My House Speaker.  Add that one to your 2006 campaign of “bait and switch” on the American people (Campaigning as Moderates only to Govern as Liberals).

Nancy Pelosi – Not My House Speaker

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Rick Santorum and the Anti-Anti-Gay Attitudes of Most Americans

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:47 pm - November 14, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics

When I read two years ago that outgoing Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had compared homosexuality to bestiality, I knew that he would not win reelection. It’s not that I thought the people of Pennsylvania were particularly pro-gay, but figured than they, like most Americans, are anti-anti-gay.

Most Americans would rather that their politicians didn’t talk too much about gay issues, well, that it, outside certain urban areas where citizens want their elected officials to promote pro-gay policies and outside certain rural areas, where they want them to stand up against gays. But, by and large, I don’t think a politician’s stand on gay issues influenced many voters in the general election. To be sure, the pro-gay stands of some Republicans may have helped sway a few urban voters otherwise not inclined to vote for the GOP but, on the whole, people were concerned with other issues.

That said, when a politician makes statements as extreme as Santorum’s, people began to wonder about his quality of character, why he would so seek to demonize a large number of his fellow citizens.

Many on the left assume that when a politician supports defining marriage as it has long been defined, he is taking an anti-gay stand. To be sure, some who support such stands are anti-gay, but most, some of whom favor civil unions for same-sex couple, believe that marriage is an institution which brings together two individuals of different genders.

Outside the radical fringes of the gay movement, most Americans recognize that opposition to gay marriage does not necessarily mean animus against gays. But, statements like Santorum’s do rub them the wrong way.

The lesson for Republicans in Santorum’s defeat is that expression of anti-gay sentiments will not help advance a candidate’s cause. Most Americans, while opposing gay marriage, don’t harbor much, if any, animosity against gay people. But, on the whole, they do seem to seem to have an antipathy to politicians who readily express anti-gay bias.

No wonder Rick Santorum never polled higher than the low 40s. And secured a far smaller percentage of the vote last week than he had in his two previous statewide elections, elections held before he had compared homosexuality to bestiality.

DeLay’s 1994 Election as House GOP Whip: Harbinger of GOP’s 2006 Defeat

If there was one event which would serve as a harbinger of the Republican Congress’ retreat from its Reaganite principles and defeat in last week’s election, it was the 1994 election for majority whip. After the Republicans won the a majority in the House for the first time in forty years, Pennsylvania’s Robert S. Walker, then-incoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s best friend, “was initially favored to win the contest.” But, Tom DeLay, having raised money for many of the newly elected Republicans that year, won 52 votes out of the 73 GOP freshmen in the 104th Congress.

And while DeLay was an effective whip, he was less interested in advancing conservative ideas than was Walker. Five years before his election as Whip, he “managed the campaign” of then-Minority Leader Robert Michel’s choice for party whip, Edward Madigan against Newt Gingrich. That is, he supported the status quo against “the forces of change.”

By contrast, Walker was, with Gingrich, one of the founding members of the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS), a group of House Republicans committed to building on the ideas of Ronald Reagan to build a Republican majority. While committed to the principles which animated the party, the COS was often at odds with the House GOP leadership.

Perhaps had Walker won that election, he might have helped the GOP stand true to the principles he had long promoted. Instead, Tom DeLay sought to retain Republican power by the means the Democrats has used when they were in the majority, building alliances with lobbyists and using earmarks to set-aside pork for the districts of the various representatives. So brazen had DeLay been in pursuit of this agenda that he even set up a web site for his K Street Project, a program which demanded that “lobbying firms seeking access hire loyal Republicans.

Whereas Gingrich and Walker built a Republican majority by appealing to the conservative ideas which had been — and still are* — gaining increasing favor with the American people, DeLay sought to maintain that majority by traditional political means. But, losing sight of principle and relying on “traditional political means” made corruption all the easier. And corruption had a significant impact in last week’s GOP loss. As Karl Rove put it in an interview with Time‘s Mike Allen:

The profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I’d expected. . . . Abramoff, lobbying, Foley and Haggard [the disgraced evangelical leader] added to the general distaste that people have for all things Washington, and it just reached critical mass.

(Via OpinionJournal Political Diary (available by subscription).) Too focused on maintaining their power, House Republicans became cozy with the establishment they had been elected to confront.

And Democrats won this year largely by running against that establishment.

(more…)

Possible Election Fraud in Three House Races — Where’s Al Gore?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:05 am - November 11, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Post 9-11 America

In the spirit of “every vote must be counted” that was Al Gore’s mantra, I completely agree with Liz at GOP Progress that the NM-1 and WA-8 House elections must be investigated.

On Tuesday, 7 November 2006, in New Mexico’s First Congressional District, only 150 ballots were supplied to Republican-leaning Precinct 603 in New Mexico’s Bernalillo County by Democrat County Clerk (and Secretary of State-elect) Mary Herrera–despite the fact that there are 2,400 registered voters in Precinct 603.  Similar actions were taken in another Republican-leaning precinct in Bernalillo county by Ms. Herrera.  These actions, in their totality, led to Representative Heather Wilson requesting via a petition to the House of Representatives’ Administration Committee that election observers be deployed in New Mexico, due to concerns regarding voter suppression based on party affiliation.  These actions also constituted a violation of the Voting Rights Act, which the Department of Justice would be remiss not to investigate as a matter of urgency.

On Tuesday, 7 November 2006, in Washington’s Eighth Congressional District, reports abounded that King County Executive Ron Sims had supplied ballots for only 60% of registered voters to certain Republican-leaning precincts in the county, forming part of the Eighth District.  Due to torrential rains and flooding, a number of voters, of a demographic that trends Republican, were unable to reach the polls until late in the day, which due to the shortage of ballots prejudiced their ability to vote in the standard fashion.  While measures to allow these voters to cast a ballot were put in place, they were not ideal and entailed people voting in a way that did differ from regular procedure (e.g., using ballots printed in Chinese).

Since the election, King County has been inordinately slow in counting its ballots.  By some estimates, King County had, as of the end of business yesterday, failed to count as many as 130,000 ballots.  This is of concern, given allegations of election fraud committed by partisan Democrats involved in counting ballots in 2004, in the context of the Washington State Governor’s race.  There was much evidence to suggest that those who are now responsible for overseeing the counting of ballots in the WA-8 Congressional race did in fact engage in tactics amounting to election fraud in 2004, in order to deliver a win for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire.  The concern is now that they are involved again in this election, and that as days pass following the election, public scrutiny is easing off, meaning that there is a much increased possibility of certain votes being disregarded for partisan motivations, or other ballot counting irregularities benefiting a particular candidate occurring at the hands of those involved in the alleged 2004 fraud.

And there’s this from CT-2

The recount began yesterday in CT-2, a 64 town district. The first town resulted in a net pick up of one vote for Simmons.

Republicans are licking their chops over one town where they believe the number of votes cast exceeds the number of voters checked in by nearly the number of votes Courtney is leading by.

So where is Al Gore himself demanding that every vote be counted?  It seems there was election fraud, but it happened to the wrong people.

Maybe only Democrat votes count in Al Gore/Howard Dean/John Kerry’s America?  

Nancy Pelosi – NOT MY HOUSE SPEAKER

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Facing Tuesday’s loss, Resolving to Move Forward with a Positive Attitude

Two years ago, after the reelection of President Bush with increased Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, I enjoyed this nice feeling which lasted for some time after the election. (I wasn’t alone; Peggy couldn’t “stop being happy about the election result.”) With it became apparent Tuesday night that the GOP would lose in the Senate as well as the House, it seemed I might become as despondent in the aftermath as I had been joyful in 2004.

I did not sleep well the night after the election, but fewer than twenty-four hours after realizing how complete had been the GOP defeat, I was returning to my natural good cheer and boundless optimism. (In contrast to the previous night, I slept very, very well Wednesday night.) While I wished the GOP had done more to save the three Senate seats which could have been saved (Missouri, Montana, Virginia), I realized that sometimes defeats are necessary in politics. It seemed almost the the very closeness of the 2004 presidential election meant that the winner that year would see his party lose two years thence.

And if I had to pick between winning in 2004 and in 2006, well, I’d rather we had won in the presidential year. And while I can detect a sense of sadness on certain conservative blogs, only on one have I found any bitterness. Instead, I see a sense of recognition, conservatives acknowledging the Democrats’ winning strategy and the quality of their candidates while our party failed to hold true to its principles.

I also see a sense of resolve. Instead of blaming others for our failures — or suggesting the elections might have been stolen — conservatives as well as some Republican congressional leaders are looking forward, putting forward ideas on how our party can be an effective force in opposition and considering what we need do to win back our majority.

Apparently this attitude has upset some of the left. After visiting a few sites and receiving a few e-mails, the Anchoress finds:

the weirdest fallout I’ve seen from the election is that the far left folks seem to be annoyed…angry, even at the right for not being more pissed-off, for being mostly philosophical instead of enraged about the results. I think they were hoping to enjoy watching us flip out, and they’re not seeing it. Instead of ranting and carrying on about “leftards” and spewing venom and hate and charging “stolen, stolen,” the righty blogs are thinking things over and talking and even – fer heaven’s sake – daring to laugh in real amusement as they watch the strangely positive headlines which have surfaced in the press since Tuesday.

No, we conservatives haven’t flipped out as did the left two years ago. And the initial sadness that some on the right have experienced seems, as mine, to have quickly been replaced by a resolve to find a means to move forward despite our party’s loss.

I agree with the Anchoress that the “weirdest fallout” has been the attitude of the left. Despite their party’s victory, they are as angry as they have ever been. They still dwell on their negative attitudes toward conservatives.

Anger does not well suit the party in the majority. They need show that they are prepared to govern. We conservatives have, on the whole, have shown that we intend to press forward despite Tuesday’s results.

Perhaps, I’m not as sad as I was Tuesday night because I’m old enough to realize that setbacks are only temporary. (And not only in politics.) Just two years after losing the White House in 1992, our party won majorities in both Houses of Congress for the first time in forty years. When one faces adversity with the right attitude, not only can one work on in despair, but can only find that that attitude — and the continued effort — can turn adversity into opportunity.

I see opportunity for my party — and my principles — in this defeat. And perhaps we should build on that attitude, realizing that whenever we sufffer setbacks in life, that they are only temporary and that even our missteps and misfortune contain seeds of opportunity.

2006 Elections — Ronald Reagan’s Vindication

Back in 1992, when George H.W. Bush was running for reelection, I became so frustrated with his Adminsitration’s betrayal of the Reaganite record on which the current president’s father has won election in 1988 and the emptiness of his reelection campaign that I had framed an old poster-size picture I had of the Gipper to hang above my mantelpiece to remind me why I was a Republican, indeed, why I was involved in politics.

A few weeks later, at a “victory” party for the local GOP, a reporter for Charlottesville’s Daily Progress interviewed me, wanting to know my thoughts on the election. I commented that the incumbent “had betrayed the Reagan legacy and that’s why he’s losing tonight.” And as I have noted in previous posts on this election, the outgoing Republican Congress similarly betrayed the Reagan legacy and that’s why they lost earlier this week.

Twelve years ago, House Republicans put together a conservative platform, the Contract with America based on principles the Gipper had been articulating for the preceding three decades. They won an impressive victory. But, once in power for several years, they lost sight of those principles, as had the president’s father.

Twelve years after Ronald Reagan’s election, the American people voted his successor out because he had forgotten the reason the Gipper had won so handily, electing a centrist Democrat promising “change.” Twelve years after the Contract with America election, the American people voted out a Republican Congress that had broken that Contract and elected many centrist Democrats whose party leadership promised a “New Direction.”

Among those centrist Democrats was a former member of the Reagan Administration who, while leaving his old boss’s party, never distanced himself form the man himself and, as I noted in a prior post, used that great man’s image in campaign ads. The use of Ronald Reagan certainly helped him sway a few votes, certainly enough to tip such a close election.

Eighteen years, after he left office, Ronald Reagan’s ideas still resonate with the American people. Polls show the American people, by comfortable margins, want smaller government and lower taxes and favor judicial restraint. In their spendthrift ways, particularly with earmarks, House Republicans ran away from many of the ideas which accounted for their rise.

But, there’s still hope. All the candidates for House GOP leadership have made clear that the party needs to return to those ideas. Two years after the American people voted out the man who betrayed the legacy which helped him win the White House, they elected the first Republican Congress in forty years. So, perhaps, two years after the American people voted out that Congress, they will elect a new Republican Congress and President, committed to the ideas and vision of the man who helped our party return from the wilderness in which it had wallowed for the first few decades after World War II.

As congressional Republicans return to that wilderness, they should also return to those ideas and that vision, the only way show them the way back into the good graces of the American people and back into power. As we Republicans look forward, we could do no better than to remember Ronald Wilson Reagan whose ideas were vindicated this week even as his party went down to defeat.

-B. Daniel Blatt (AKA GayPatriotWest)

Al-Qaeda, Iran Celebrate Democrats’ Victory

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:30 pm - November 10, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,War On Terror,World War III

**UPDATED BELOW**  Al-Qaeda Endorses Democrat’s “Cut & Run” Plan…..

Just as I said it would happen, our enemies around the world are celebrating Speaker Pelosi.

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Al-Qaeda In Iraq Hails Democrat Victory

A statement purportedly from the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq hails the defeat of Republicans in the US mid-term polls.

The audio message, whose authenticity has not been verified, was published on Islamist websites and was said to be the voice of Abu Hamza al-Muhajir.

The Democrats’ victory in Tuesday’s Congressional elections was a move in the right direction, the speaker said. “The American people have taken a step in the right path to come out of their predicament… they voted for a level of reason,” the voice said. Muhajir, also known as Ayyub al-Masri, has been identified by US forces as the successor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed in a raid in June 2006.

Iran Calls Democrat Victory a Win For Iran….

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday called U.S. President George W. Bush’s defeat in congressional elections a victory for Iran. …”This issue (the elections) is not a purely domestic issue for America, but it is the defeat of Bush’s hawkish policies in the world,” Khamenei said in remarks reported by Iran’s student news agency ISNA on Friday.

“Since Washington’s hostile and hawkish policies have always been against the Iranian nation, this defeat is actually an obvious victory for the Iranian nation. … The result of this election indicates that the majority of American people are dissatisfied and are fed up with the policies of the American administration,” the IRNA state news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

Khamenei said military maneuvers in the Gulf this week in which Iranian forces tested new missile systems showed Iran was ready to face any threat.

But, he said: “With the scandalous defeat of America’s policies in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan, America’s threats are empty threats on an international scale.”

It really tells you something when a terrorist group and an Islamist-run nation — both bent on the destruction of the United States — praise the Democrats’ election win.

**UPDATE** – Here’s even more from al-Qaeda on their celebration of the Democrats’ win….. reminding the world of the synergy of AQ’s talking points and the Democrats’ talking points. 

“We will not rest from our Jihad until we are under the olive trees of Rumieh and we have destroyed the dirty black house — which is called the White House,” al-Muhajir said.

Describing George W. Bush as “the most stupid president” in U.S. history, the Al Qaeda leader reached out to the Muslim world and said his group was winning faster than expected in Iraq.

The U.S. president’s policy had enabled the militant group to achieve their goal of fighting more Americans, said the Al Qaeda leader.

“We call the lame duck (Bush) not to hurry up in escaping the same way the defense minister did,” he said, referring to the removal of Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary following the Democrats’ victory in Midterm elections.

“They are getting ready to leave, because they are no longer capable of staying,” the Al Qaeda leader said.

“Remain steadfast in the battlefield you coward,” he called on the U.S president.

Were these statements uttered by al-Qaeda or Howard Dean, Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore?  It is simply astounding that it is hard to tell the difference!

[Related Story – Still Think A Democrat Win Wasn’t Cheered By Terrorists? – IowaVoice]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

(Un?)intended Consequences

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 1:33 pm - November 10, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections

One of the greatest losses as a result of Tuesday’s Republican debacle is that of the last sane voice in the United Nations, recess-apointed John Bolton. Ambassador Bolton has been a voice of reason and sense, speaking truth to a corrupt organization while still holding true to the original precepts of that once-great insitution.

Alas, loser Lincoln Chafee (one Republican I’ll say who actually did desrve to lose this year) has put the kibash on the re-nomination announced by the White House the other day.

The great shame and embarrassment for Captiol Hill Republicans (okay, well, one of them) is that it was in deference to Chafee himself that the renomination was earlier tabled. The reasoning was that, to better endear himself to voters in far-left Rhode Island, the leadership should not put him on record as having supported this sage man, which he did last year, but for some reason (perhaps not having the sniveling George Voinovich’s dress behind which to hide this time?) flip-flopped on support.

It’s anybody’s guess what drove this pathetic man to change his opinion on a man for whom even leftists Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton had shown support. Was it sour grapes for Chafee that he decided, as one of his last official actions as a Senator was to stab America in the back by denying us this most qualified UN Ambassador we’ve had in my lifetime? Was this a parting blow to a President or conservative establishment who Chafee might have thought didn’t support him fervently enough against an actual conservative, Steve Laffey, in his state’s primary?

Whatever the reasoning, on behalf of the Nation and Freedom-loving people everywhere, thanks, Senator Chafee, for the slap in the face. Enjoy your retirement, and choke on it.

Belated Realization of GREAT NEWS!

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 12:23 pm - November 10, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,War On Terror

You know, it just dawned on me (thanks, Jim Treacher). I’m not sure why it took me two whole days to realize this: Now that the Democrats have won, and (as any of them will tell you) sent a strong message about the war, the World will now be on our side again. So I guess that’s the end of terrorism, then? I imagine now the Iranians and Syrians who are in Iraq killing Americans and Iraqis will lay down their arms because we once again have responsible folks at the helm on Capitol Hill?

The Rise and Fall (& Rise Again?) of George Allen

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:21 pm - November 9, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Ronald Reagan,Virginia Politics

When I was law studentl at George Allen’s alma mater, the University of Virginia School of Law, the Commonwealth’s currently outgoing Senator was beginning his rise to power. He won a special election to Congress in 1991. When the Democrats who then controlled Virginia’s government eliminated his district, he announced his bid for Governor.

Many of my professors, including two right-of-center ones, were skeptical of his candidacy, recalling how mediocre a student he had been. But, during his 1993 gubernatorial campaign, they became impressed with his political skills, with one noting that he had shown qualities reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. He ran a great campaign that year, coming from behind to win a convincing victory. He put together a solid record as Governor, so good that at the conclusion of his term in 1997, GOP candidates swept all three top offices in Virginia.

That year, I met the then-Governor at a rally in Annandale at the close of the campaign to elect his successor. I showed him my cowboy boots which I said I was wearing in his honor. He examined them, asking if they were deerskin (which they were) and asking how they felt. He was quite personable and showed a similar ability to talk to the other Virginians who approached him.

It wasn’t just his campaign style which impressed me, it was also how his strategy. In 1993, social conservative leaders were upset that he didn’t seek their blessing before running. Yet, they refrained from criticizing him because he had appealed directly to social conservative voters.

But, as his aspirations for national office increased in recent years, he seemed increasingly eager to please those social conservative activists whom he had once bypassed. A man who reached out to Log Cabin in 2000, he has becoming increasingly eager to placate the anti-gay forces in the party.

I think that hurt him this year. But, that alone did not account for his defeat. He simply went into this election overconfident and was not easily able to overcome his blunders, as a more deft politician would. Given all his missteps in this campaign, it’s amazing that he came so close to winning. Indeed, he may well have pulled it off had he not brought up the racier passages in Jim Webb’s novel. That appears to have backfired as polls taken immediately after that should a bump in Webb’s poll numbers.

As Allen appears likely to concede, he seems to be accepting his defeat with dignity. With a graceful concession speech, he puts himself in a strong position to run for the seat his senior colleague John Warner is expected to vacate in two years. So, instead of running for President in 2008 as he had hoped, he may well be making a bid to get back into the Senate.

And let us hope that when he does, he recalls that he can attribute his initial success in Virginia politics to more mainstream conservative policies, closer to those of Ronald Reagan than to those of Pat Robertson. George Allen lost this time by fewer than 8,000 votes to a man who “used a video in ads that showed Reagan praising him.

A Republican may have lost in Virginia, but the image of the Gipper still sways voters. And it’s to that legacy which George Allen must turn if he wishes to rise again in that state’s politics.

UPDATE: In an excellent piece on concession speeches, Peggy noted Allen’s grace in concession: “Sen. George Allen, gentleman of Virginia, said, ‘We are placed here on earth to do something well.’ He vowed to do all he could to help Jim Webb come in and serve in the U.S. Capitol.

What’s Worse Than “Speaker Pelosi” ?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 11:55 am - November 9, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Blogging,Liberals

… Having a horrible sinus infection and head cold and flying in a prop plane.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)