National Party News

National Party News

Harry Reid slugs the far-right bully

Like virtually every Democrat, like most independents, like a strong majority of Americans, I am fed up with the bullying anarchism of the Tea Party right in the House of Representatives, which could, as I charged in my latest column, drive America into a default that would crash the markets. 

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Majority Leader who acts like a majority leader, is mad as hell and not taking it any more. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker who does not always act like a Speaker, and who is goaded and bullied by the junior senator from Texas and Tea Party anarchists in the House, has so far submitted to the blackmail of the bully and caused a shutdown of the government of America.

Not so for Harry Reid. He is fighting back. I stand with Reid. America should not negotiate with terrorists, and Democrats should not negotiate with Tea Party radicals and anarchists who practice the legislative blackmail to shut the government down and threaten to drive the nation into default. No way. 

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Finally — the GOP is fighting

There is always a tension between the practicality of winning elections and the desire for ideological purity.

But for many conservatives across the country, in recent years we have been asked to support mainstream candidates who talk a good game but then don’t fight for conservative principles.

The litany of failed mainstream presidential candidates on our side of the aisle tells the tale: President George H.W. Bush (reelection), Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. These are all honorable men, but they are all middle-of-the-road, mainstream, losing candidates.

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House Republicans punish hungry children while Pope Francis seeks justice and love for the poor

In my humble opinion it is cruel, barbaric and vile for House Republicans to force through a $39 billion cut in the food stamp program, as they did in dastardly fashion on a dark Thursday in Congress.

As I wrote in my column in The Hill, before the roll was called I was honored to stand with Catholic bishops, and faiths and charities of many stripes, and decent people whose names are far too long to list, against this outrage.

Have they no decency on the Republican side of the House of Representatives? At least a handful of Republicans voted against this disgraceful act. Shame on all the rest. Shame on them for a callous and partisan attack on the poor. Shame on them for — literally — taking food from the mouths of hungry children. Shame on them for hurting poor moms and dads, for punishing poor children and babies, and for disgracing the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, who would disown them for this dastardly deed.

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More on the Republican ‘suicide caucus’

My guess is that many out there are thinking that I am sounding like a broken record (what an anachronism that is).

I have been constantly amazed at the “shoot themselves in the foot” Republican caucus. In the past we have watched as they embarrassed themselves on the Violence Against Women Act, aid to Hurricane Sandy victims, government shutdown efforts, killing the farm bill and then voting to completely gut food stamps for 48 million people.

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Making democracy work

All sentient observers can see that the body politic is ill and dysfunctional. The poison that caused its condition has many sources. One is Congress’s misuse of the filibuster practice.

The romantic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" perception of the filibuster is not how it works, though Texas legislator Wendy Davis's on-her-feet, substantive talking filibuster dramatized how the practice can win, even by losing, through highlighting issues and generating support.

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Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, John Cornyn and Marco Rubio should denounce anti-Hispanic statements by Texas GOP Rep. Gohmert

Recently Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) made offensive and ludicrous comments, including his charge that radical Islamists are training future terrorists to act like American Hispanics. 

These comments should be denounced and repudiated by leading Texas and national Republicans including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. John Cornyn, Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus.

The Gohmert comments are offensive to all fair-minded and decent Americans and Texans.

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Boehner and the squeeze play

The pundits have, as usual, been stating the obvious: The pressure on Speaker Boehner mounts as the likelihood of the Senate passing legislation on immigration, guns, and even budgets, increases.

In response to questions about whether he would invoke the so-called "Hastert Rule" — that you need a majority of your caucus before you even bring up legislation — he shot back, “it was never a rule to begin with.” Then, he used the qualifier that it was important to pass bills with “strong Republican support.”

Speaker Boehner gets it.

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GOP Cruzin' to a bruisin' with gun background check filibuster

If Senate Republicans succeed in their filibuster against gun background checks — which are supported by 90 percent of voters and would prevent those on terror watch lists from getting guns to mass murder our children — it will be one more dagger in the heart of the discredited Republican brand that may well bring a rule change in the Senate that is long overdue.

The great curse of Republican politics, and the great reason that Democrats have won so many national elections in the last decade, is that GOP politics is now an arms race among extremists who drive each other and drive the GOP further outside mainstream America.

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Hillary Surges, Reince Priebus escalates GOP war on women, Americans demand jobs

Hillary Clinton has taken a commanding position in national politics, and as I wrote in my latest column, it would be spectacular if Bill and Hillary Clinton would work with the Clinton Global Initiative to devise major new jobs proposals.

Meanwhile, both parties should be embarrassed by the latest depressing jobs report. And Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus escalated the GOP war against women with his intellectually dishonest but highly revealing cheap-shot against Planned Parenthood that misrepresented the group's position on abortion.

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