Lawmaker News

Alan Grayson vs. Barack Obama

The Syrian debacle spawns new directions. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) appears, wearing a peace symbol tie, on PBS "NewsHour", in The New York Times and everywhere else this weekend. His analysis was lucid and well-articulated — better, in my opinion than any of the others. Pundits can’t recall a time when left factions have so closely aligned with those of the right in opposition to a specific issue. I can: Watergate. And like Watergate, it all seemed so spontaneous and unplanned, as if an accident or a simple twist of fate.

Below is a selection of Grayson’s comments. I was especially surprised by the PBS interview excerpted here, courtesy of NewsBusters:

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A states’ rights defense against Barack Obama

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens says an attack on Syria without regime change — taking out Assad — would be “feckless.” Other mainstream conservatives say random and indecisive, certain to bring payback. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) say it is a case of American global status, which is an immoral assessment, a product of arrested and unbalanced development.

New York Times regular Nicholas D. Kristof says, “Striking Syria now may seem inconsistent, but it’s better than consistently doing nothing in the face of atrocities,” which is immoral also: Just go out there and kill a bunch of those Indians.

But this, vengeance, really is the basis of much military action: Revenge, retaliation, about something historic. Atlanta was the price of Southern secession; Nagasaki was the price of Pearl Harbor. And to our immediate times: Iraq was a direct, gut response to 9/11. President Obama’s consideration now on Syria is identical to the Cheney/Bush invasion of Iraq.

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The Ted Cruz birther problem

Let's see if every Republican, Tea Party advocate and rightist who raised the birther issue against President Obama will publicly state that Ted Cruz should not run for president because his dual citizenship with Canada should disqualify him.

Don't get me wrong. I do not believe the issue should disqualify Cruz, despite my lack of esteem for his politics. I don't think it should matter if Cruz has or had dual citizenship. But imagine what the right would do if Matt Drudge bannered a revelation that President Obama is a dual citizen with another country!

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Queen Hillary, King Jeb: America’s descent into monarchy, Part 2

My piece here last week declaring that America’s desire to be governed by family cultures, particularly those from Massachusetts and New York, represents in all but name a return to monarchy brought some interesting responses.

Responses were widespread and there were interesting parallel events: Donna Brazile said a HIllary Clinton nomination would be a “coronation” like it was a good thing. James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal ran a piece titled “Queen Hillary.” New York Times correspondent Timothy Egan suggested “Presidents should vacation outside their political comfort zones.”

I claimed that a royal political family giving of a family pet to a president was at once patronizing and demeaning. It treated him like a minor or external member of the family political cult (a pet). And by accepting the animal, the president acknowledged himself to be a willing agent of the family cult. And guess what? They went out and got President Obama a new doggie, one from Michigan.

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The government shutdown against ObamaCare is dead

Behind the scenes today, major Republican power is falling like a house of cards against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others pushing the idea of shutting the government down over ObamaCare.

It will not happen. The idea is dead as a doornail. 

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Obama to the Vineyard: America is a monarchy in all but name

Will New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie go to Kennebunkport, Maine, on his summer vacation? You know he would like to. You can tell by the way he thumps his foot when Jeb Bush scratches his neck. 

Obama goes directly to Camelot’s spa on The Cape. “Camelot” is what we unabashedly called the place when Jack Kennedy was the first king of America, because it reminded Jackie Kennedy of King Arthur. Really.

Frankly, I did not think my aunties were ready for democracy; even the televised "Wheel of Fortune" type we play in our time, pretending we are still a republic. They’d only been one generation from the Old Sod and nothing there in their previous 900 years in the rainy moss prepared them for Jeffersonian principles. The only thing that prepared them for America was hunger.

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The more Christie bashes the right, the more voters like him; the more Obama talks without action, the more voters tune him out

There is now a powerful movement within the Republican Party to isolate the more rightist elements who counsel total obstruction. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and their ilk are increasingly isolated from GOP power brokers who are now dead set against their plan to cause a government shutdown over ObamaCare.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) rises in public opinion polls, and rises with Republican power brokers, every time he picks a fight with the right. The GOP civil war has begun. 

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Cruz's crusade strains GOP

Influential conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer calls it "nuts," while Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) calls it the "dumbest idea" he has heard and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) calls it "dishonest."

It is the idea now pushed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), but more loudly by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), to shut the government down unless a bill defunding ObamaCare is passed to keep the government operating after Sept. 30.

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Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio,Ted Cruz, Karl Rove and the GOP civil war

Don't miss the excellent front-page story in The Hill Wednesday about the Republican civil war over ObamaCare, the latest installment of the GOP civil war that I expect to escalate through the Hillary Clinton inaugural as president in 2017.

While Republicans battle each other over ObamaCare, we now witness the fun (for Democrats and the media) spectacle of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) insulting each other about who is the "king of bacon" while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.) insults Democrats, Republicans, liberals, many conservatives and most of his Senate colleagues.

The GOP civil war is getting ugly and personal, and it will become even more ugly and personal until it becomes totally ugly and personal. The ObamaCare GOP civil war pits establishment Republicans, who want to act responsibly while opposing ObamaCare, against the recalcitrant Tea Party Republicans, who want to shut down the government and run around Washington with pitchforks.

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Marco Rubio wimps out on healthcare

Throughout the immigration debate, no one has tried to be more fair and objective about Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) than yours truly, which is why I have praised him repeatedly for taking a leading role in support of fair immigration reform.

And now Rubio has capitulated to the right on healthcare, and he advocates threatening to bring the Senate to a halt and triggering a government shutdown over funding of ObamaCare.

Many influential Republicans agree publicly, or privately, that Rubio's position of threatening to shut the government down over healthcare is profoundly unwise policy for America and profoundly unwise politics for the GOP.

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