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Rancor on the Right: Of elephants and asses

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 27, 2011 01:20 PM

Just a quick update for all of my fellow outside-the-Beltway-ers watching the debt-talk circus with increasing dismay and disgust:

The hot story on the Hill right now involves a House GOP meeting this morning where Boehner supporters demanded the head of a conservative staffer for the Republican Study Committee — whose chair, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan on Ohio, has vigorously led the battle for Cut, Cap, and Balance. The GOP leadership backers are miffed that RSC worked with Heritage Action and other grass-roots conservative activist groups to put pressure on House conservatives to oppose the Boehner plan.

Here’s Roll Call’s take:

The GOP rank and file tore into Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio) on Wednesday for his role in coordinated attacks on Republicans who have backed Speaker John Boehner’s (Ohio) debt limit proposal.

According to participants, during a closed-door Republican Conference meeting Wednesday, Jordan and a top RSC staffer came under fire from their colleagues for their role in the attacks. The RSC, Heritage Action for America and others have closely coordinated their opposition to Boehner’s debt plan — including circulating a public pressure hit list of Republicans prepared by the RSC. Significantly, several of the Members on the list are also members of the RSC and were none too pleased that their dues were being used to gin up attacks against them, according to numerous lawmakers and staff.

The list was circulated to Heritage Action and other members of the Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition and Erick Erickson, an influential conservative blogger who has often waged open warfare against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republicans he views as too moderate. In the email, a RSC junior staffer wrote: “Today is the day to kill the Boehner deal. We need statements coming up to the Hill every hour of the day in mounting opposition to the plan. If we keep this from ever coming to the Floor, we have a greater chance of victory than defeating a vote on the floor.”

House GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor, last heard castigating House conservatives to “quit whining,” now has a problem with “Republicans attacking other Republicans.”

And now, apparently, the same GOP leadership that’s telling conservatives to get their “asses in line” has a problem with conservative activists trying to hold THEIR asses accountable for the Tea Party principles they rode to 2010 midterm victory.

Noted.

Like I always say: Sunlight is the best disinfectant, but the ballot box is the ultimate political sanitizer.

***

Related reads:

Jedediah Bila – Mark Levin and Heritage Action for America get it right

DrewM at Ace of Spades – Confession Of A Boehner Plan Skeptic

Bill Kristol – Grow up, all you Tea Party babies. Ok, that’s not the actual headline, but…

Freedomworks breaks down all of Kristol’s bad advice

IBD – Leading from behind on the debt

Jimmie Bise Jr – Here’s how it is

***

Meanwhile, ahem, on the other side of the aisle:

Dem lawmaker: ‘Nobody I know’ has seen Reid plan

A House Democrat indicated Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might not have Democrat votes locked down for his deficit proposal.

“I’m not going to commit to something that nobody I know has seen and had a chance to analyze,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). “I want to see it.”

***

Surprise: John McCain throws Tea Party under the bus.

As Speaker of the House John Boehner is looking for votes on his House debt bill, one Senate Republican sent a strong message to the Tea Party block in the House and Senate that are still withholding their support: get on board.

Senator John McCain’s, R-AZ., message was in particular aimed at those who are withholding their support for any debt ceiling bill – Republican or Democratic –holding the Balanced Budget Amendment passage as a precondition to the debt limit increase.

“To hold out and say we won’t agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the constitution. It’s unfair, it’s bizarre,” McCain railed on the Senate floor, “And maybe some people have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe that. Others know better.”

Many of the most conservative members of the House have said they will not vote for any debt ceiling increase that does not include a Balanced Budget Amendment and deeper spending cuts. Similarity, some conservatives Republicans in the Senate have said the same.

McCain called this “amazing,” foolish” and “deceiving” that some members believe that this can happen, now with only 6 days left until the nation defaults on its debts with the August 2 deadline for action looming.

Yes, John McCain…the paragon of fiscal responsibility. Flashback:

In critiquing Glenn Beck’s CPAC speech taking the Republican Party to task for failing to own up to its Big Government lapses, Bill Bennett cites various Republicans who have admitted the party’s culpability. But see if you can spot the glaring problem with his defense of the GOP:

From Jim DeMint to Tom Coburn to Mike Pence to Paul Ryan, any number of Republicans have admitted the excesses of the party and done constructive and serious work to correct them and find and promote solutions. Even John McCain has said again and again that “the Republican party lost its way.”

If you didn’t gag when you read this sentence, you are not paying attention:

“Even John McCain has said again and again that ‘the Republican party lost its way.’”

Even John McCain?” The Republican party “lost its way” on core limited government principles because of McCain’s radical progressive agenda. Question for Mr. Bennett: Can you please provide the exact citation and context of the so-called admission you attribute to McCain?

Because to this day, McCain refuses to admit his own individual responsibility for supporting the pre-socialization of the economy started under George W. Bush and continued under Obama. And fellow Republicans continue to whitewash McCain’s fiscal irresponsibility record.

McCain has never admitted he was wrong about his support of:

*The $700 billion all-purpose, earmark-stuffed TARP bailout;

*The $25 billion auto bailout;

*The $300 billion mortgage entitlement bailout; and

*The first $85 billion AIG bailout.

His latest McLame-est excuse for supporting TARP? He was “misled.” Via the Arizona Republic:

Under growing pressure from conservatives and “tea party” activists, Sen. John McCain of Arizona is having to defend his record of supporting the government’s massive bailout of the financial system.

In response to criticism from opponents seeking to defeat him in the Aug. 24 Republican primary, the four-term senator says he was misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. McCain said the pair assured him that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program would focus on what was seen as the cause of the financial crisis, the housing meltdown.

“Obviously, that didn’t happen,” McCain said in a meeting Thursday with The Republic’s Editorial Board, recounting his decision-making during the critical initial days of the fiscal crisis. “They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out (insurance giant) AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors. . . . What they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street – I guess it was trickle-down economics – that therefore Main Street would be fine.”

Nearly 15 months later, commercial lenders still are in shaky condition and the commercial real-estate industry is in trouble, he said. On Friday, President Barack Obama announced $1.5 billion in funding for new measures to help Arizona and four other states hit hard by the tanked housing market and by joblessness.

But McCain stopped short of calling the TARP a mistake.

“Something had to be done because the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse,” he said. “Any economist, liberal or conservative, would agree with that. The action they took, I don’t agree with.”

All the warning signs and red flags about Henry Paulson’s incompetence and untrustworthiness were there before McCain joined the Chicken Little crowd. (See September 22, 2008, “Why Henry Paulson must be contained.”) Stalwart fiscal conservatives like GOP Rep. Mike Pence saw through the smokescreen and kept their heads. McCain’s trying to have it both ways — refusing to admit he was wrong, blaming crapweasel Paulson for duping him, and creating the illusion that he’ll be competent enough to resist the next inevitable bailout temptation when White House, Treasury, and Fed officials hit the panic button.

He blew it on TARP.

Blew it on the auto bailout.

Blew it on the mortgage entitlement bailout.

Blew it on the AIG bailout.

Blew it on amnesty.

Blew it on campaign finance.

Blew it on global warming.

In short: McCain blows.

I’ve already warned about McCain Regression Syndrome. The GOP hasn’t even begun to cure itself.

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