Sunday, June 18, 2006

Dance Of The RINOs

Ever seen a pachyderm chorus line....?

***Dick Meyer at has spilled the beans on Darth Queeg's secret 2008 plot to avenge his 2000 GOP primary defeat at the hands of George W. Bush two years early. Will anybody remember it? Or is it a case of hiding it in plain sight until it's too late?

***Remember after Hurricane Katrina when the Bush Administration was smeared for the failures of state & local Democrat officials in Louisiana on the grounds that they had been "slow" in getting emergency relief to the devastated areas? Can we conclude from these fiscal horror stories that haste really does make waste?:

The government doled out as much as $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, getting hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and even a divorce lawyer, congressional investigators have found.

Prison inmates, a supposed victim who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address, and a person who spent seventy days at a Hawaiian hotel all were able to wrongly get taxpayer help, according to evidence that gives a new black eye to the nation's disaster relief agency.

Agents from the General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, went undercover to expose the ease of receiving disaster expense checks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The GAO concluded that as much as 16% of the billions of dollars in FEMA help to individuals after the two hurricanes was unwarranted.
Please also note that all of the above transpired after the Bushies scapegoated ex-FEMA director Michael "Brownie" Brown.

Kind of puts the Claremont Institute's question, "After Compassionate Conservatism?" in a more focused light, doesn't it? I have an idea - how about actual conservatism? Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?

***Then maybe we wouldn't have to keep reading teeth-grinding stories like this one (courtesy of Cap'n Ed):

Appropriations members have already vowed to fight any move to strip spending from the [pork] bill. “I’m not going to take their crap,” Representative Ray LaHood (R-IL) said last week. The Illinois appropriator said he included several projects for his district and would fight to keep them all.

“They think they’ve gotten a little steam building, and we’re going to have to shoot them down,” LaHood said. He ripped RSC members this year on the House floor for successfully stripping $507 million in construction projects from a military spending bill.

"Them" and "RSC" is the House conservative caucus known as the Republican Study Committee, which has these silly ideas like unspent funds being designated as "savings" and going back into the budget process where they would have to be reappropriated in order to be spent on something else. A rather - okay, blatantly - sneaky piece of sleight-of-hand budgetary gimmickry that keeps the profligate bread & circuses rolling while concealing it from the taxpayers. Which makes LaHood's brazenly indiscrete verbal pummeling of his ostensible fellow Republicans all the more remarkable.

It's as I observed and forecasted several years ago: as the ruling GOP drifted leftward, the reflexively hyperpartisan Democrats would go on a forced march into the outskirts of Bolshevism to maintain plenty of daylight between the two major parties. Now we're in a place where, on many domestic issues, the Republicans occupy the center-left turf formerly held by their opponents, who have disappeared over the left-wing horizon.

Not all Republicans, though. And that's evidently enough to prompt the RINOs to sound more and more like the Donks they replaced a dozen years ago.

***Bob Tyrrell considers Newt Gingrich to be the Republican Bill Clinton. Which would make a Newt-Hillary 2008 showdown all the more fascinating for even more different reasons than it would have sported already. Not least among them being that if Newt won, the Claremont Institute's query about what comes next after "compassionate conservatism" would be rendered moot.
***I don't live in Gollyfornia (praise the LORD) so it's not like I have an elephant in the governor's race this fall. But after Ah-nuld ran up the white flag following the skunking of his center-right ballot initiatives last fall and became the full-fledged RINO he always was just beneath his no-longer-buff Hollywood exterior, there seemed to me to be no reason to care how the 2006 gubernatorial election turned out.
Double-H sums up why:
The Arnold-Antonio Alliance is up against the Angelides-Newsom-CTA Coalition. What is very interesting about this is that the conservatives have no stake in either camp. Arnold's capitulation after last November's drubbing drained the enthusiasm from their ranks, and the appointment of Susan Kennedy stunned the regular activists and the hard left nature of much of his team across the agencies, and especially within the environmental bureaucracies, put farmers and builders at odds with him as well....

So Arnold has to worry that the base will stay home, or that even if it grudgingly shows up to vote for Tom McClintock or to keep the Congressional majority, that it will collectively register its dismay at Arnold's glass jaw by leaving the lever unpulled at the top of the ticket. The Arnold-McCain partnership isn't exactly the way to overcome that danger either.

So what's he to do? Sure, he brought in some key Bush folks like Steve Schmidt and Matthew Dowd, and his vetoes of the more aggressive of the left's attempts at social engineering remind the base they have something to lose if Arnold goes down to defeat.

But gnawing away at that on advantage is the suspicion that - re-elected and termed-out - Arnold will sign the sorts of bills that he once vetoed, and thus legitimize with a Republican signature the wilder expressions of the Legislature's hard left leadership. [emphases added]
Dudes and dudettes, that Ah-nuld is already here:
[O]n the [Hugh Hewitt] radio [program Fri]day, [the Governator] was literally unable to name a single prominent conservative in his circle of advisors (note that the result would be quite different if he had been asked to name a liberal). But what was most amazing is that he became petulant when Hugh Hewitt dared press him on the issue despite his evasions - it was as if he was surprised that a conservative radio talk show host would have the temerity to ask why he's failed to include even a single prominent conservative in his circle of advisors.

Obviously, Arnold doesn't feel that he needs conservatives in order to win. But what's remarkable is that he's continuing to make one of the same miscalculations that contributed to his loss last November - overestimating his own charm and underestimating the extent to which the press (left and right) is willing to ask tough questions.
Three years ago star power was enough. Golden state 'Pubbies all knew that Ah-nuld was no conservative, but his vaguely rightish populism seemed good enough, especially with the prospect of reclaiming the governor's mansion of a huge "blue" state for the first time in nearly five years a highly likely possibility. For over two years thereafter it was enough - until last November, when his star power wasn't enough of a vehicle to overcome the entrenched hard-left establishment in Sacramento. And then, quite unlike his action-hero personas, he quit and, in Mrs. Liebau's phrase, "morphed into a girly-man."
The only reason I could think of to vote for Ah-nuld is that this time Tom McClintock is on the GOP ticket with him (running for Lieutenant-Governor vs incumbent Cruz LargeBreasts). That way maybe Schwartzeneggar could be talked into quitting and going back to Tinseltown and the newly re-christened California could enjoy a small window of genuine, principled conservative leadership, before the libs left McClintock dangling from a lamp post outside Arco Arena. And who knows, such a window might be sufficient to show enough voters down there the error of their ways to make an actual change for the better. At least until the Golden State finishes sliding into the Pacific.
Tom McClintock dragging Ah-nuld's saggy ass across the finish line. Now THAT's irony so far-fetched even a Hollywood studio wouldn't buy it.