Jul 27, 2010

THE “BLUE DOG” HOAX

Former Congressman Bethune, Jim Harris, and Arkansas Republican Nominee for Governor Jim Keet


Once again a thank you to Jim Harris, Director of Communications for Beth Anne Rankin's Campaign (Beth Anne Rankin for Congress), for providing Congressman Bethune's article below:



By Congressman Ed Bethune

A hoax is a deliberate attempt to deceive or trick an audience into believing or accepting that something is real, when the hoaxer knows it is false. Wikipedia
For more than 40 years Arkansas independents and conservative Democrats have been the victims of a political hoax.  The hoaxers were known as Boll Weevil Democrats during the Reagan years, but as voters caught on to what they were doing the Boll Weevils reinvented themselves as Blue Dog Democrats.  

The modus operandi of both groups: 1) get elected to national office in Arkansas by claiming to be a conservative Democrat. 2) In Washington, use the “go along to get along” strategy to appease the liberals who control the national Democrat party. 3) When running for re-election deny “going along to get along.”  Claim to be a conservative, not an enabler for the liberal agenda.

This year, thanks to the extreme agenda of President Obama, the Blue Dog hoax is revealed.  On the first day of this congress they voted for Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco liberal, to be Speaker of the House.  Then, there were votes for the 3.9 trillion dollar Obama budget; the pork-laden, debt-producing “stimulus” bill; and the terribly flawed Pelosi Obama health care bill.  These votes stripped away the fa├žade behind which the Blue Dogs have been hiding for years.  Their constituencies – spitting mad - saw what they were doing.  The hapless Blue Dogs were left with three choices.

Announce retirement.  Many have done just that. In Arkansas, Congressman Marion Berry (AR-1) started 2009 “going along to get along.” He voted for Pelosi to be speaker, and then he voted for the trifecta – the Obama budget, the “stimulus” bill, and Pelosi Obamacare.  His constituents were disappointed to learn that Marion is, and has been, an enabler for liberal Democrats.  Berry declared on January 25 that he would not run again.

The second thing an exposed Blue Dog can do is to switch parties.  Congressman Parker Griffith, an Alabama Blue Dog, moved to the Republican Party on December 22, 2009.  Griffith said he could “no longer align himself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy and drives us further and further into debt.”

The final option for a frightened Blue Dog is to run for reelection on the hope that he, or she, can fool the electorate one more time. Consider the case of Congressman Mike Ross (AR-4).  Ross claims to be a conservative, but he voted for Pelosi to be speaker; for the Obama Budget in April 2009 which made room for cap and trade, health care reform, and continued funding for every liberal program.  The budget Ross supported would not stop, or slow down, a single Obama program.  In January, 2009, Ross voted for the “stimulus” bill which is now known as one of the greatest boondoggles in congressional history.  Obama was popular at the time and Ross gambled that he could get away with supporting Speaker Pelosi and the liberal Obama program.

By summer, in 2009, Ross realized it was getting harder to fool his constituents.  They were in no mood to support Obamacare, particularly the extreme bill that was working its way through his committee, the Energy & Commerce Committee.  Ross was in a spot.  He had put out his brags that he was the leader of the Blue Dog effort on Obamacare and that their goal was to make the bill better, more conservative.  
Obama, Pelosi, and Waxman, the very liberal chairman of the Energy & Commerce committee, wanted to pass the bill out of committee, merge it with bills from other committees, and send it to the full House before the August recess.  But, Waxman needed at least two votes from the seven Blue Dog Democrats on the Committee.  Ross cut a deal to deliver the two Blue Dog votes.  The chairman, in exchange, would help Ross make it look like he had done something important.  For his cover story, Ross would crow that he had made the bill better, and that he had delayed consideration by the full House until after the August recess.

On July 31, Ross and Congressman Bart Gordon (a Blue Dog Democrat from Tennessee who was planning to retire) voted for Waxman’s bill.  It passed, 31-28.  The way was now clear for Pelosi.  She jammed her Pelosi Obamacare bill through the full House on November 7, 2009.  

Ross, by then, was catching heat back home.  He needed more cover, so to round out his trickery, he voted against the bill when it came to the House floor claiming he had done all he could to stop it.  What he did not say to Arkansans is that Pelosi’s Obamacare bill would never have made it to a vote in the House if he, Ross, had not given Waxman his vote in committee.

Once he gave in to the liberals, Ross was no longer a factor in the health care debate, particularly with the Blue Dogs he claimed to be leading. Of the fifty-two member Blue Dog coalition, 28 voted “Yea” and 24 voted “Nay” on final passage of the very liberal Pelosi Obamacare.  Was Ross representing the 4th District, or was he an enabler for Obama’s liberal agenda?

Senators, aloof as they are, don’t use the Blue Dog title very much, but some of them play the hoax as well as House members.  Consider Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.  She voted for the senate Obamacare bill that Majority Leader Harry Reid cobbled together in a back room, even though her constituents were telling her to vote against it.  Reid, a few months before, had given her the Agriculture committee chairmanship and she was not about to stand up to him, no matter what was in the bill. 
She, like Berry and Ross, did her version of “go along to get along” and voted for the bill even though it was laden with pork.  Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana proudly announced that she had gotten $300 million for her vote. Senator Ben Nelson swapped his vote for one billion dollars to exempt his state of Nebraska from Medicaid costs that other states would have to pay.  These briberies, done in public view, didn’t stop Blanche.  Was she representing Arkansans or was she an enabler for the Obama liberal agenda?

The essential characteristic of a hoax is to convey information that is, although false, at least somewhat credible.  Such deceptions have helped Blue Dog Democrats win elections in conservative districts for more than 40 years, but will it work in 2010?  The voters in Arkansas will answer that question on November 2.

Historical Note:  Ed Bethune was elected to Congress from the 2d Congressional District of Arkansas in 1978.  He served until 1985.  He was born and raised a Democrat and became a Republican after he helped Governor Winthrop Rockefeller defeat the Faubus machine.

Jul 16, 2010

Dick Morris Endorses Beth Anne Rankin for Congress!

Another thank you to Jim Harris for keeping us up-to-date here at The Texarkana GOP!

Hot Springs Village, AR – Congressional candidate Beth Anne Rankin has been endorsed by political author and Fox News commentator Dick Morris. He also writes a weekly column for the New York Post.

Friday, Morris met privately with Rankin, who is running to represent the Fourth Congressional District, and told her he supports her election to the House of Representatives.

He said he sees her race as one of the 45 “swing” elections that could go either way. Morris said he plans to appeal to his 450,000 supporters who receive his political columns by e-mail to financially support Rankin’s campaign.

Before beginning his career as a writer and commentator, Morris worked as pollster and political campaign consultant for a wide range of candidates including Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee.

Morris and former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate D.C. Morrison made a six-city tour of Arkansas this week on behalf of Americans For Prosperity. Other cities on the “November is Coming “tour included Texarkana, Mountain Home, Jonesboro, Searcy and Little Rock.

Neither Morris nor Morrison were allowed to endorse candidates during the Americans For Prosperity event, but both praised Rankin as a candidate.

Morris started his part of the program by walking down the center aisle of the Coronado Center with Rankin by his side. The center had a capacity crowd and an additional room was opened to allow people to watch the event on closed circuit television.

“The next aisle she walks down will be in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Morris said.

Morris was critical of the health care bill passed by Congress earlier this year. He disapproved of the way Rankin’s opponent, incumbent Mike Ross, voted on the government take-over of health care.

“Mike Ross was sneaky. When the committee vote was taken, the vote was seven to seven. He was the 15th vote that allowed it to pass out of committee,” Morris said.

Had Ross voted against the health care bill when it was in committee, it would never have gotten to the floor of the House of Representatives. Once it got to the floor of the House, Ross voted against it twice, Morris said.

When the Democrats needed him with the committee vote, he was there for them, Morris said. When the Democrats had enough votes to pass it without Ross’s help, he voted against it.

“He thought you would be too dumb to know what he did in committee,” Morris said. “You are smarter than that.”

Morris praised Rankin for supporting the repeal of the health care bill and then wanting real reform of health care.

Jul 14, 2010

The Miller County Patriots Arrive!

If you haven’t already seen the T-shirts around town, you likely will soon.  They are growing, becoming more known and attracting people from all walks of life.  Their symbol is a simple Arkansas Razorback Hog with an Uncle Sam hat on top his head.  They are The Miller County Patriots and their goal is nothing short of changing the current path this nation is going down.  They are looking to elect conservative Christians, to educate and recruit people and ultimately to start what they call a “revolution” in 2010.

My first impression of the group was that it was another Tea Party movement and if you’ve followed my Tweets, then you know that while I support the Tea Party, I also encourage them to stick with the Republican Party.  As I read over the information presented by the Patriots, I found the group was actually promoting Republican candidates for the most part, or those sharing common beliefs with Republicans.  I thought this was good since my fear is that we will splinter in 2010 and 2012 and end up with an election similar to the one in 1992.  The fact is, as good as Ross Perot’s intentions were, he still pulled needed votes from George Bush and allowed Clinton to carry some areas that he might not have won.  If the Tea Party, or even the Patriot Groups, put forth their own representative, it may be the very thing needed to pull votes away from a Republican candidate and allow Obama to remain as a two term President.  We cannot afford to have this happen.  However, as I indicated though, I found nothing showing that the Patriots were trying to undermine Republican candidates.

Fortunately, those forming the Miller County Patriots have not abandoned their roots at this time.  I sat next to two of the group leaders, Dwayne Hall and Richard Wagon just the other night at the Miller County Republican meeting.  Both listened very closely, to what Jim Keet had to say, and Hall even took pictures to be posted on the Miller County Patriots site.

The group boasts a great site ((click here for site) at and an expanding Facebook Page (click) .  If you haven’t checked either one out yet, I suggest you do so.  The group is growing and I suspect you’ll be seeing more Razorback Hogs with Uncle Sam hats on around Texarkana as we move closer to the historic “true change” needed in 2010 and 2012.


Jul 13, 2010

Jim Keet: Answering the Call

Jim Keet Website
 


Jim Keet felt compelled to run for Arkansas Governor due in part to what he sees as a spiraling rate of borrowing that is crippling the state and the nation.  The borrowing at Washington’s level and at Arkansas’ level cannot continue.

Monday night Jim met with the Miller County Republican Committee membership to present the need for a new governor, present his agenda and compliment Texarkana’s State Representative Elect Prissy Hickerson.  Jim made it clear that he is crossing the state to provide information and has already visited forty-seven counties.

Jim is quick to acknowledge that he has an uphill battle against Mike Beebe.  Jim notes that Beebe is currently “the most popular governor in the United States.”  The problem Jim has with Beebe is the inability that Beebe has shown to stand up against Obamacare and the fact that Beebe does not want to point out when the federal government is wrong.  Beebe did eventually state that he was against Obamacare; however, his stand came only after the legislation had passed.

Jim points out other problems with Arkansas at this time.  He is concerned that Arkansas currently is at a “Competitive Disadvantage” against other states due to excessive taxes, the red tape required to build business, and the lack of a literacy and work force training.  Consequently, Jim was speaking Monday to a crowd all to familiar with the disadvantages that Arkansas has against other states.  Texarkana currently has no new car dealerships, no hospital, no small college, and most of the major business and work opportunities is located on the Texas side of the line due to the very problems that Jim is pointing out.

Jim has also promised to do something that other candidates do not.  Jim wants to walk into office and immediately take a 20% cut in pay.  He feels strongly that he must set the example to shrink big government and fix the problems Arkansas has by starting at the top.

Five areas I found interesting that Jim wants to address deal exclusively with taxes in Arkansas.  The following areas were almost bullet pointed out by Jim as he gave his presentation:
·      Jim wants to exempt combat pay taxes for those from Arkansas and serving in combat situations for our military
·      He wants to ensure that Arkansas’ military men and women have their military pensions tax free
·      He wants to cut income taxes in Arkansas
·      He wants to address the changes needed in corporate tax rates in Arkansas
·      He wants to change the capital gains tax in Arkansas

As I sat listening to Jim, it occurred to me that he wants to make Arkansas not only the natural state, but also the natural state of choice for business, retirees, and a vibrant work force.  Mike Beebe has been governor since 2007.  Before that, he served as Arkansas’ attorney general.  Maybe it is time to put an Arkansas businessman at the helm of the state instead of an attorney who sits by and expresses his voice against Washington legislation only after it has already passed.