Lawmaker News

'Young bucks' and 'old guard' during Paul filibuster — which side are you on?

On the left side of the Drudge Report's front page this morning are two pieces about Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster in opposition to the use of drones against Americans and President Obama’s choice of John Brennan to head the CIA.

Drudge titled the  one story “young bucks,” citing particularly Utah Senator Mike Lee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who stood with Paul 100 percent. The site titled the other story “old guard” in reference to a dozen other Republicans who were at the same time breaking bread with Obama. The question conservatives should be asking when CPAC 2013 meets next week is this: Which side are you on?

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Has the House abdicated?

My column today was going to be on how government by continuing resolution has actually reduced government outlays significantly; however, today’s closed rule on the CR vote in the House trumps everything.

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If Menendez was framed

It now appears very possible that Sen. Robert Mendendez (D-N.J.) was the victim of a Nixon-style dirty-tricks crime perpetrated by political opponents who bribed third parties to lie about his alleged relations with prostitutes. I am not drawing conclusions, but I am calling for an investigation, after a key witness recanted her claim that Menendez paid for sex. I am calling for all media that reported the charge to give equal coverage to the recanting witness and investigations of potential dirty tricks that will surely follow. I am calling on Tucker Carlson, editors at The Daily Caller and leaders of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to give a full public accounting of the details behind their involvement in this sordid affair.

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The Republican suicide caucus

The good news is that the House has finally passed the Violence Against Women Act. The reauthorization of the 20-year-old law is now headed to the president’s desk after previous defeats by House Republicans.

The truly bad news is that 138 Republicans voted no and 164 voted to eviscerate it with a senseless amendment.

Make no mistake, these are big numbers.  The fringe of the Republican Party in the House is no longer the “fringe.”  They are the majority.

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Bring back Mark Sanford

There are probably more kinds of stupid, but two especially come to mind: stupid of the head, like Chuck Hagel’s visions of Israel, and stupid of the heart, like Mark Sanford's. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said recently that the Republican Party is in danger of becoming the “stupid party.” (Possibly sinfully, irretrievably stupid: See Bill O’Reilly’s upcoming book, Killing Jesus.) 

Sanford’s sin is not of the head, but another place. Press today say that Sanford will be running for office again in spite of his recent “peccadilloes” — not the word I would have chosen. He feels reformed enough to reenter politics. He should be allowed back into the world. Because before there was a Tea Party and before Texas Gov. Rick Perry chanted “states’ rights, states’ rights, states’ rights” at the Alamo, there was one man standing alone in opposition: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

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What the mainstream media don't understand about Ted Cruz

Don’t blame Ted Cruz, he’s only doing what he said he would do if elected.

The wave of national media attention surrounding the freshman senator late last week followed a traditional groupthink pattern.  First it was a Reuters national wire story early in the week, then the Politico story late Thursday, The New York Times story Friday, alongside columns by Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post and Frank Bruni in the Times, and a segment on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Friday.

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Ted Cruz slanders war hero, embarrasses Texas and violates Armed Services Committee tradition

The hearings to consider the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) began with two great statesmen endorsing Hagel and ended with a freshman Republican senator embarrassing his state and the Armed Services Committee with a performance that illustrates why Republicans have lost three of the last four national elections and why Texas Democrats have good odds of a historic revival.

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Hillary Clinton 69, Rand Paul 10

I was not planning on writing any more pundit blogs this week, but I do have a brief comment about Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) outburst at the Benghazi hearing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Paul suggesting he would have fired Clinton is like the Little League coach suggesting he would have fired Babe Ruth. I expect Hillary Clinton to run for and win the presidency, and I very much hope Paul runs against her. If he does, Hillary Rodham Clinton will pulverize Rand Paul into outer space.

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The art of compromise

It is good that our nation is engaging in a necessary discussion on the importance of curbing gun violence. It is critical to realize that there is no single solution and all sides will need to give. If we can't reach an agreement on an issue as fundamental as this, we may have reached a point in our nation where we will never agree on anything. That would indeed be tragic.

This debate provides a wonderful opportunity to understand the art of compromise. We must first realize what is important to both sides. The gun lobbyists are concerned about the Second Amendment and fear an overreaching and more powerful government that could more easily become a dictatorship if the populace is disarmed. The other side is most concerned about unbalanced or angry people having possession of dangerous weapons.

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Waiting for Ted Cruz

“You’ve got to make concessions; you’ve got to compromise,” said Wolf Blitzer in that solicitous MSM salon of salons named like muscle-bound Mike of “Jersey Shore,” “The Situation Room.” He was lecturing the brand-new senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, on the same day Cruz was sworn in to the Senate. Telling him how to act. Welcoming him into the big leagues. “If you’re just going to come into Washington and say, ‘Do it my way or the highway,’ you’re not going to get anywhere.”

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