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Third Time
Opinion Journal ^ | June 1, 2006 | Peggy Noonan

Posted on 06/01/2006 7:52:30 AM PDT by Mel Gibson

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To: Little Ray
The last time a new political party came into power we had the Civil War.

you honestly believe that one is not coming now?

41 posted on 06/01/2006 9:38:46 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (The social contract is breaking down.)
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To: jonascord
Ready to vote 3rd party yet?

More like "ready to slit your wrists, yet?"

Umm, sure, if things are that bad, yeah, maybe.

Let's not let it come to that, mmm-kay?

42 posted on 06/01/2006 9:50:29 AM PDT by borkrules
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To: Mo1

Peggy always sounds batty. She sounds like a ditzy blonde. Oh yeah, that's what she is. She may have turned a good phrase or two for RR 20 years ago, but she's been living off her reputation since then.

43 posted on 06/01/2006 10:06:27 AM PDT by Huck (Hey look, I'm still here.)
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To: Mel Gibson
In a way, it seems that the dems are in a full-blown revolution (some call it an implosion), and it is in process of swinging that party to the far-left. Some of us here would be inclined to say that the democrats are already a far-left party. If the ultra-leftists continue to have their way and gain more influence in the DNC, then they will complete their transformation in the next 5-10 years. A party full of Clintons, Pelosis, Reids, McKinneys, Rangels, Murthas, McDermotts, Murrays, DUmmies, Kos clones... You get the idea. They'll make Kennedys look like conservatives. Liebermans and Millers need not apply.

So far, the Republicans have not yet followed suit. The GOP is not a party in control by the ultra-right wingers. I would venture to say that the GOP is spending too much time and effort trying to get some kind of approval from the media rather than a mandate from the People.

The subsequent compromising of the values and ideals that brought the GOP back to power in 1994 is turning off the people that voted them in. Moreover, since the dems are moving toward irrelevancy, the GOP leadership has nothing to fear from the DNC, and no longer feels that they are accountable to their base voters. This may explain the liberal-esque pandering to democrat strongholds like black, hispanic and elderly special interest groups that would never have been tolerated before.

As the dems continue their slide away from being a viable political party, the powers that be in the GOP can simply do as they please and when elections come, say "consider the alternative." Come to think of it, they're used that line on us since the 2000 elections. It worked for electing Bush in 2000 and 2004, and in the midterms in 2002.

Remember, absolute power corrupts absolutely - no matter who is in charge, be it democrat or Republican.
44 posted on 06/01/2006 10:06:50 AM PDT by rock_lobsta
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To: rock_lobsta

You are absolutely right. The "lesser of two evils" approach might be better now, but it spells disaster in the long run.

45 posted on 06/01/2006 10:16:51 AM PDT by Markdb
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
This week there was a small boomlet of talk about a new internet entity called Unity '08--a small collection of party veterans including moderate Democrats (former Carter aide Hamilton Jordan) and liberal-leaning Republicans (former Ford hand Doug Bailey)

Preaching that guys like that are a good choice for the future of America is idiotic. It may be time to go third party, but not to a bunch of handwringing apologists who would rather cave to the liberals than actually hold a valid opinion. See ya, Noonan.
46 posted on 06/01/2006 10:30:01 AM PDT by snowrip (Liberal? YOU HAVE NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT. Actually, you lack even a legitimate excuse.)
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To: Markdb
In a perfect world, it would be great to have a third or even a fourth party. We could have a loony left party, representing the 15 percent in thrall to MoveOn. We could have a "moderate socialist" party take over the rest of the Dem Party. They'd have about 25 percent.

On the other side, we'd have a "moderate capitalist" party, the DeWines, Lugars, Snowes, etc. That would be about 20 percent of the electorate, a little less than a majority of the GOP, and would include some Dems, such as Lieberman, maybe Bayh if he goes back to his roots.

Finally, there would be the "conservative" party, the pure of heart and mind, who under current voting patterns, constitute maybe 25 percent of the electorate nationwide, with a few states where we have a majority.

Of course, if you have 3 or 4 parties, under our system, a candidate with a plurality of 20, 30 or 40 percent could win the presidency. They could win congressional seats with less than 50 percent of the vote, too, if the 4 parties participated in all those elections. It could lead to situations where a party with 25 percent won the election, while, say, the moderate capitalist and the conservatives had a total of 50 percent of the vote combined. Unfortunately for them, they were not combined, and the leftist won.

Because of this situation, the natural tendency of our winner take all system is that factions form coalitions that coalisce into parties that reach a size necessary to be able to obtain a majority of the electorate. When one coalition of factions does this, all the other factions, the ones who are left out, tend to try to find common ground so that they, too, can have a chance a victory and to thereby achieve their policy goals. Thus, we end up with two parties and no more. That is the natural result of our "winner take all" system of elections in federal elections, and since most statewide offices have the same system, the 2 party system translates well to state governance as well.

There has been one main example of the emergence of a successful third party, and the issue that spawned that was slavery and its expansion to the territories. The Whigs, being a party heavy with midwesterners, borderstaters and mid-Atlantic states, tried to be "moderate" and would not take steps against slavery, which led to the creation of the GOP, which would not accept expansion of slavery. The main support for the GOP came from the New England states. It was North vs. South, with the states in between on the fence.

An aside: A similar absolute issue would be abortion in our time. We would leave the GOP in droves if it became a party of abortion, even if it put us in the minority. Immigration may be showing itself to be another such issue.

Lincoln was elected with something like 36 percent of the vote. When you have a President that has such minority support, he is naturally weakened in dealing with big issues. The civil war came, and by the end of it, the Whigs were gone and the two parties left were the Dems and the Republicans. Had there been no war, Dems and Whigs may have found some common ground, and we would still have had 2 parties, or the GOP may have been co-opted by the Whigs, but either way, the Civil War changed the equation and may not be a good example of how a third party could come to existence and work in our time.

Anyway, in every other instance where a prominent third party emerged, it gained votes and a few offices, but could not form a lasting third party. When their movements were successful, their issues were co-opted by one of the parties, and the party folded into one of the coalitions. (The progressive movement is an example). When their movements were unsuccessful (Larouche, commies) they remain a fringe group with a fraction of the vote for a few cycles, and gradually or quickly disappear.

There are a few examples of a one-man movement that can make a splash, but not form anything lasting. TR's Bull Moose Party, and Perot's party are two examples of that. Both resulted in the election of a minority president, Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton.

So, I guess the summary is this: Our system leads almost inexorably to two parties, and if you are not part of one you are unlikely to win office and have any power. It is simple game theory. If you are going to start a third party, it better have enough support to take over the party it replaces, not simply remove voters from it, because you will not accomplish anything lasting from splitting away, and will likely simply lose elections until you restructure your own coalition.

Parties do change from within, though, and that has to be the lesson people take from history. Republicans in the 50s were the country club guys. Conservatism has changed the Republican party at its core, the philosophical level. It has spread through the south and energized religious people and middle class citizens throughout the nation, even as it has lost many of the old country clubbers, this generation's limousine liberals.

Instead of splitting into several small parties, this new GOP cobbled together conservatives from the south who were dissatisfied with the Dem party, evangelicals, free-market Wall Street types, small government westerners, pro-military anti-communists, small farmers and a host of other groups, many of whom have beliefs that overlap. The Olympia Snowe wing of the party is a remnant of that old, pre-Reagan GOP, the New England patrician. Bush, being from a Connecticut family, has patrician roots and a Texas upbringing, and so he combines some parts of several groups(which is why we are upset with him on immigration).

There is no reason why the GOP can't continue to evolve, and strengthen its conservative tendencies, while maintaining a majority in its coalition. Over time, it will shed the Chafees, Specters and Dewines, and while we may lose a state here and there, we will eventually gain a Republican office that is more conservative than it was before. This can best be accomplished through primary challenges and the application of donations where they are most valued--with conservatives. We should also develop procedures for causing blowback against Pubbies who disappoint us, denial of committee posts, for example; creation of conservative watchdogs that point out the actions of RINOs (the Club for Growth, and its support of challengers like Toomey is a great example of things we can do. We need more such groups, and wield them skillfully). The caucuses in the Congress need to be tougher with their members--send the bad ones to basement offices.

These are the prescriptions for a long, successful majority that leads to adoption of our issues and a reversal of the Democrat's deconstruction of America. Oh, and stop Bush's immigration plan, too. That will end our majority right quick, as 20 million new Dem voters enter the electorate. Stop that plan, and maybe, just maybe a new party will not be necessary.

47 posted on 06/01/2006 10:44:32 AM PDT by Defiant (You have to earn American citizenship. You may not steal it. Ask those vets its value.)
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To: Centurion2000
Nope. Won't happen. Used to think so, then I realized that nobody gives a d@mn.

People are largely sedated by bread and circuses (Welfare and TV); politics is just another, not very good, reality show.

Maybe Mexican Separatists (MeCHa and La Raza) might start an insurrection. That could happen. We might not be able suppress it 'cause anything we did would be "racist."

But another Civil War ala 1861 is impossible. The States can't field a force that could rival the Federales. You'd have to split the US armed forces, or convince 'em to stay home.

If it does happen, I'll be unhappy - I'm too old to fight very well.
48 posted on 06/01/2006 10:45:08 AM PDT by Little Ray (If you want to be a martyr, we want to martyr you.)
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To: jonascord

A President Hillary could not accomplish anything without the active support of the Republicans in Congress. If they just rolled over for her, then, of what use are they? In that case the Republicans would become the third party, just like they were in the 1912 presidential election, only this time it would be permanent.

If she pulled out of the middle east, and the jihadis started blowing up shopping malls, and seting off suitcase nukes here, she would have to respond as forcefully as any Republican, because if she didn't the resulting public fury would result in impeachment and conviction at best, and, being hung by her heels in front of a gas station, like Benito Mussolini, at worst.

49 posted on 06/01/2006 10:51:48 AM PDT by coladirienzi
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To: Mel Gibson
Excellent article. As Pat Buchanan put it the other day, the "state" is at war with the "nation" in this country. Both parties---liberal Democrats and (nominally) "conservative" Republicans---serve the interests of their own bipartisan political class and the moneyed elite that funds them, not the average American, who is there as far as they're concerned to be taxed and regulated. I'm past ready for a third party that will represent the interests of American citizens and restore Constitutional government.

I'm not at all intimidated by scare talk that the longing I and others have for such a party may result in Republicans being voted out or Democrats voted in---the very reason we all want a third party now is that we can't see any damn difference between the one or the other. Who the hell cares if Hillary is President rather than McCain? The important thing for me is that a new American party be formed that I and my fellow citizens can support, even if one or both of the two existing parties collapse as a result.

50 posted on 06/01/2006 10:56:44 AM PDT by Map Kernow ("I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Defiant
Doubt it. Neither party has real principles - both are the Parties of Getting Re-elected.

The Democrats, for some reason, have decided their future lies to the far left and they're marching that way: citizenship for illegals (Democrats had more to with the Senate Shamnesty bill than the 'Pubbies), votes for felons, Kos, DU, MoveOn, etc.

As the Democrats move left, they uncover a bunch of center-left votes. The 'Pubbies, seeing this, are considering dumping their right-most wing (religous, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family, pro-small government, anti-tax) etc., to pick up the votes the Democrats are abandoning. They figure they'll gain more than they lose.

The right-wingers like myself - where can we go? As long as we don't go Democrat, the 'Pubbies don't lose that much.
51 posted on 06/01/2006 10:58:36 AM PDT by Little Ray (If you want to be a martyr, we want to martyr you.)
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To: Mel Gibson

"Neither political party represents the interests of the United States."

I would be satisfied if they simply acted as thought they remembered even faintly, the folk who put them in power.

The hubris and paternalism of both parties is nauseating.

52 posted on 06/01/2006 11:06:20 AM PDT by Jim Verdolini (We had it all, but the RINOs stalked the land and everything they touched was as dung and ashes!)
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To: Little Ray
Doubt it. ....

The right-wingers like myself - where can we go? As long as we don't go Democrat, the 'Pubbies don't lose that much.

Your reply is cryptic. What do you "doubt"? And what is the mechanism by which "right wingers" will "go", which you say won't hurt Pubbies that much as long as you don't "go" Democrat? If the Pubbies don't lose all that much, what is the point of a third party? How will you get them to do what you want if you leave their party AND it doesn't hurt them too much?

53 posted on 06/01/2006 11:18:56 AM PDT by Defiant (You have to earn American citizenship. You may not steal it. Ask those vets its value.)
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To: Mel Gibson
Judges. That fact alone nukes all this whiny third party DNC directed Talking point nonsense. Bush and the GOP have done MORE good for the Conservative movement with the Judges they have, and will, appoint then all the Squealing like a Pig perpetual Whiners like Peggy "A Hissy Fit Daily" Noonan will EVER do.

We really should not be wasting our time on a columnist still having an emotional hisser fit cause she did not get a job in the Bush White House she thought she was entitled to.

Say Peggy, still sticking by that Katerina column you wrote last year gushing in the praise of what a "Great" job the News media was doing reporting about New Orleans and all the violence and dead? and Bashing Bush for "Being out of touch with the Crises in NO". Or did you finally admit your column there was utter nonsense?

Peggy is merely throwing a temper tantrum because she did not get what she feels she is entitled to. It is no surprise the 100%er throwing a temper tantrum because their glass is only 60% full of Conservative values instead of 100% full would lap her drivel up.

The ONLY thing a "third party" 100%erism gets you is perpetual political irrelevance.

See what happens is a groups splits off because "we are being betrayed by the leadership" so they run off and set up their own group. But along comes some issue that splits the opinions of the group. NOW the 100%er split again over this NEW issue, and so on and so on and so until you get to the point your "party" are 5 people sitting in a room calling themselves the "New Libertarinan-Conservative-Republican-Anti-Immigration-Freedom" Party

Third Partyism does ONE thing, elect Democrats. Anyone screaming "third party" is knowingly, or unwitting, actively working for the Democrat Party. Talk about ripping off your nose to spite your face!

54 posted on 06/01/2006 11:21:44 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (I would rather be an Iraqi in a Hidatha guarded by Marines, then a subject of Al-Qeda anywhere.)
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To: Unam Sanctam
"In politics you take the best of what one can get, and try to push the mainstream party in a favorable direction."

As if we didn't already know this.

I have worked in the Republican Party for years, only to finally realize that they really don't run the best candidate they can get.

My time and my donations are going to the Constituion Party from now on.

55 posted on 06/01/2006 11:22:34 AM PDT by Designer (Just a nit-pick'n and chagrin'n)
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To: Defiant

You make an excellent case. I have to say that on this particular issue I really don't have a hard and fast position. I just know that something has to change. Maybe the Republican party can be salvaged and turned in the right direction. If that's the case, discussions like this one among the base may be just the thing to light a fire under their butts. Let's hope that's the case.

56 posted on 06/01/2006 11:24:00 AM PDT by Markdb
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To: Southside_Chicago_Republican
...what does this say about the major parties' committment to true representative government?

It says exactly what you and I think it says. They don't care about anything except getting elected to the Gravy Train. Once on the train it's all about staying elected.
Some like the power.
Some like the royal treatment ("Do you know who I am?!")
Some are there for the health care, transportation, huge retirement benefits.

Either way, 99% of them don't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys about "true representative government".

Our Contstitution has been raped, spat upon and used as toilet paper.
For my money it all started with the passage of the 16th and 17th Amendments. After that, we were all screwed royally.

I'm sick of it and have been concentrating my efforts at the local level and will be running for Town Meeting Member later this year.
I'm going to start looking out for Number 1 and his family.

57 posted on 06/01/2006 11:25:07 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I can't complain...but sometimes I still do.)
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To: MNJohnnie

You are right about the judiciary issue. It could be a disaster if the left wing had an opportunity to spend 4 years appointing judges. But on the other hand, if our attitude is that we are simply going to lay down and support the party no matter what, what kind of a message do we send to the leadership? That it doesn't matter what they do because we will always fall in line so long as they remain a better option then the lefties? What's going to change then? My position is that it's rumblings like these coming from the base that can bring about change.

58 posted on 06/01/2006 11:38:06 AM PDT by Markdb
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To: Mel Gibson

Peggy Noonan gets it. She has been waking up for a while now. I think she is fully alert now. It's great to see someone of her caliber speaking truth.

I haven't read this thread yet, but I expect the pubbie lemmings and bushbots will be heaping vitriol on Peggy over this one. That's too bad. If they listened to her as attentively now as they did when she was performing her duties as GOP cheeleader, they might avoid having to ride the bus all the way over the cliff.

59 posted on 06/01/2006 11:40:13 AM PDT by NCSteve
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To: Markdb
For your edification. What Bush has done for Conservatives. None of the Third Party screamer have, or ever will, do as much for the Conservatives. And he probably has 1 more SC Justice between now and 2009. 7 out of 9 Justices were born in the 1920s or 1930s.

Abortion & Traditional Values 1. Banned Partial Birth Abortion — by far the most significant roll-back of abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade. 2. Reversed Clinton's move to strike Reagan's anti-abortion Mexico Policy. 3. By Executive Order (EO), reversed Clinton's policy of not requiring parental consent for abortions under the Medical Privacy Act. 4. By EO, prohibited federal funds for international family planning groups that provide abortions and related services. 5. Upheld the ban on abortions at military hospitals. 6. Made $33 million available for abstinence education programs in 2004. 7. Supports the Defense of Marriage Act — and a Constitutional amendment saying marriage is between one man and one woman. 8. Requires states to conduct criminal background checks on prospective foster and adoptive parents. 9. Requires districts to let students transfer out of dangerous schools. 10. Requires schools to have a zero-tolerance policy for classroom disruption (reintroducing discipline into classrooms). 11. Signed the Teacher Protection Act, which protects teachers from lawsuits related to student discipline. 12. Expanded the role of faith-based and community organizations in after-school programs. Budget, Taxes & Economy 1. Signed two income tax cuts, one of which was the largest dollar-value tax cut in world history. 2. Supports permanent elimination of the death tax. 3. Turned around an inherited economy that was in recession, and deeply shocked as a result of the 9/11 attacks. 4. Is seeking legislation to amend the Constitution to give the president line-item veto authority. 5. In process of permanently eliminating IRS marriage penalty. 6. Increased small business incentives to expand and to hire new people. 7. Initiated discussion on privatizing Social Security and individual investment accounts. 8. Killed Clinton's "ergonomic" rules that OSHA was about to implement; rules would have shut down every home business in America. 9. Passed tough new laws to hold corporate criminals to account as a result of corporate scandals. 10. Reduced taxes on dividends and capital gains. 11. Signed trade promotion authority. 12. Reduced and is working to ultimately eliminate the estate tax for family farms and ranches. 13. Fight Europe's ban on importing biotech crops from the United States. 14. Exempt food from unilateral trade sanctions and embargoes. 15. Provided $20 million to states to help people with disabilities work from home. 16. Created a fund to encourage technologies that help the disabled. 17. Increased the annual contribution limit on Education IRA's from $500 to $2,000 per child. 18. Make permanent the $5,000 adoption tax credit and provide $1 billion over five years to increase the credit to $10,000. 19. Grant a complete tax exemption for prepaid or college tuition savings plans. 20. Reduced H1B visas from a high of 195,000 per year to 66,000 per year. Character & Conduct as President 1. Changed the tone in the White House, restoring HONOR and DIGNITY to the presidency. 2. Has reintroduced the mention of God and faith into public discourse. 3. Handled himself with enormous courage, dignity, grace, determination, and leadership in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 hijackings and anthrax attacks. He almost single-handedly held this country together during those searing days: * Just three days after the attacks, in his address at the National Cathedral, the President reassured the nation when he said: "War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing." * On Friday, September 14, 2001, President Bush visited Ground Zero. Standing on a crushed and burned fire engine atop the smoldering pile at Ground Zero, he put his arm around a retired firefighter who had volunteered to help, and began speaking to the crowd. Rescue workers shouted that they could not hear him. Someone handed him a small American flag and bullhorn. The President spontaneously shouted: "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." The crowd roared with cheers and chants of "USA! USA! USA!" Then he raised that American flag and rallied a nation: Education & Employment Training 1. Signed the No Child Left Behind Act, delivering the most dramatic education reforms in a generation (challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations). The very liberal California Teachers union is currently running radio ads against the accountability provisions of this Act. 2. Announced "Jobs for the 21st Century," a comprehensive plan to better prepare workers for jobs in the new millennium by strengthening post-secondary education and job training, and by improving high school education. 3. Is working to provide vouchers to low-income students in persistently failing schools to help with costs of attending private schools. (Blocked in the Senate.) 4. Requires annual reading and math tests in grades three through eight. 5. Requires states to participate in the National Assessment of Education Progress, or an equivalent program, to establish a national benchmark for academic performance. 6. Requires school-by-school accountability report cards. 7. Established a $2.4 billion fund to help states implement teacher accountability systems. 8. Increased funding for the Troops-to-Teachers program, which recruits former military personnel to to become teachers. Environment & Energy 1. Killed the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty. 2. Submitted a comprehensive Energy Plan (awaits Congressional action). The plan works to develop cleaner technology, produce more natural gas here at home, make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy, improve national grid, etc. 3. Established a $10 million grant program to promote private conservation initiatives. 4. Significantly eased field-testing controls of genetically engineered crops. 5. Changed parts of the Forestry Management Act to allow necessary cleanup of the national forests in order to reduce fire danger. 6. Part of national forests cleanup: Restricted judicial challenges (based on the Endangered Species Act and other challenges), and removed the need for an Environmental Impact Statement before removing fuels/logging to reduce fire danger. 7. Killed Clinton's CO2 rules that were choking off all of the electricity surplus to California. 8. Provided matching grants for state programs that help private landowners protect rare species. Defense & Foreign Policy 1. Successfully executed two wars in the aftermath of 9/11/01: Afghanistan and Iraq. 50 million people who had lived under tyrannical regimes now live in freedom. 2. Saddam Hussein is now in prison. His two murderous sons are dead. All but a handful of the regime's senior members were killed or captured. 3. Leader by leader and member by member, al Qaida is being hunted down in dozens of countries around the world. Of the senior al Qaida leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators the U.S. Government has been tracking, nearly two-thirds have been taken into custody or killed. The detentions or deaths of senior al Qaida leaders, including Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11, and Muhammad Atef, Osama bin Laden's second-in-command until his death in late 2001, have been important in the War on Terror. 4. Disarmed Libya of its chemical, nuclear and biological WMD's without bribes or bloodshed. 5. Continues to execute the War On Terror, getting worldwide cooperation to track funds/terrorists. Has cut off much of the terrorists' funding, and captured or killed many key leaders of the al Qaeda network. 6. Initiated a comprehensive review of our military, which was completed just prior to 9/11/01, and which accurately reported that ASYMMETRICAL WARFARE capabilities were critical in the 21st Century. 7. Killed the old US/Soviet Union ABM Treaty that was preventing the U.S. from deploying our ABM defenses. 8. Has been one of the strongest, if not THE strongest friend Israel has ever hand in the U.S. presidency. 9. Part of the coalition for an Israeli/Palestinian "Roadmap to Peace," along with Great Britain, Russia and the EU. 10. Pushed through THREE raises for our military. Increased military pay by more than $1 billion a year. 11. Signed the LARGEST nuclear arms reduction in world history with Russia. 12. Started withdrawing our troops from Bosnia, and has announced withdrawal of our troops from Germany and the Korean DMZ. 13. Prohibited putting U.S. troops under U.N. command. 14. Paid back UN dues only in return for reforms and reduction of U.S. share of the costs. 15. Earmarked at least 20 percent of the Defense procurement budget for next-generation weaponry. 16. Increased defense research and development spending by at least $20 billion from fiscal 2002 to 2006. 17. Ordered a comprehensive review of military weapons and strategy. 18. Ordered a review of overseas deployments. 19. Ordered renovation of military housing. The military has already upgraded about 10 percent of its inventory and expects to modernize 76,000 additional homes this year. 20. Is working to tighten restrictions on military-technology exports. 21. Brought back our EP-3 intel plane and crew from China without any bribes or bloodshed. Globalization & Internationalism 1. Challenged the United Nations to live up to their responsibilities and not become another League of Nations (in other words, showed the UN to be completely irrelevant). 2. Killed U.S. involvement in the International Criminal Court. 3. Told the United Nations we weren't interested in their plans for gun control (i.e., the International Ban on Small Arms Trafficking Treaty).* 4. The only President since the founding of the UN to essentially tell that organization it is irrelevant. He said: "The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of UN demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?" We all know the outcome and the answer. 5. Told the Congress and the world, "America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country." Government Reform 1. Improved government efficiency by putting hundreds of thousands of jobs put up for bid. This weakens public-sector unions and cuts undeserved pay raises. 2. Initiated review of all federal agencies with the goal of eliminating federal jobs (completed September 2003) in an effort to reduce the size of the federal government while increasing private sector jobs. 3. Led the most extensive reorganization the Federal bureaucracy in over 50 years: After 9/11, condensed 20+ overlapping agencies and their intelligence sectors into one agency, the Department of Homeland Security.* 4. Ordered each agency to draft a five-year plan to restructure itself, with fewer managers. 5. Converted federal service contracts to performance-based contracts wherever possible so that the contractor has measurable performance goals. Health 1. Strengthen the National Health Service Corps to put more physicians in the neediest areas, and make its scholarship funds tax-free. 2. Double the research budget of the National Institutes of Health. 3. Signed Medicare Reform, which includes: * A 10-year privatization option. * Prescription drug benefits: Prior to this reform, Medicare paid for extended hospital stays for ulcer surgery, for example, at a cost of about $28,000 per patient. Yet Medicare would not pay for the drugs that eliminate the cause of most ulcers, drugs that cost about $500 a year. Now, drug coverage under Medicare will allow seniors to replace more expensive surgeries and hospitalizations with less expensive prescription medicine. * More health care choices: As President Bush stated, "…when seniors have the ability to make choices, health care plans within Medicare will have to compete for their business by offering higher quality service [at lower cost]. For the seniors of America, more choices and more control will mean better health care. These are the kinds of health care options we give to the members of Congress and federal employees. What's good for members of Congress is also good for seniors. * New Health Savings Accounts: Effective January 1, 2004, Americans can set aside up to $4,500 every year, tax free, to save for medical expenses. Depending on your tax bracket, that means you'll save between 10 to 35 percent on any costs covered by money in your account. Every year, the money not spent would stay in the account and gain interest tax-free, just like an IRA. These accounts will be good for small business owners, and employees. More businesses can focus on covering workers for major medical problems, such as hospitalization for an injury or illness. At the same time, employees and their families will use these accounts to cover doctors visits, or lab tests, or other smaller costs. Some employers will contribute to employee health accounts. This will help more American families get the health care they need at the price they can afford. Homeland Security, Border Enforcement & Immigration 1. *See Government Reform above. Under President Bush's leadership, America has made an unprecedented commitment to homeland security. 2. Has CONSTRUCTION in process on the first 10 ABM silos in Alaska so that America will have a defense against North Korean nukes. Has ordered national and theater ballistic missile defenses to be deployed by 2004. 3. Announced a 9.7% increase in government-wide homeland security funding in his FY 2005 budget, nearly tripling the FY 2001 levels (excluding the Department of Defense and Project BioShield). 4. Before DHS was created, there were inspectors from three different agencies of the Federal Government and Border Patrol officers protecting our borders. Through DHS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) now consolidates all border activities into a single agency to create "one face at the border." This not only better secures the borders of the United States, but it also eliminates many of the inefficiencies that occurred under the old system. With over 18,000 CBP inspectors and 11,000 Border Patrol agents, CBP has 29,000 uniformed officers on our borders. 5. The Border Patrol is continuing installation of monitoring devices along the borders to detect illegal activity. 6. Launched Operation Tarmac to investigate businesses and workers in the secure areas of domestic airports and ensure immigration law compliance. Since 9/11, DHS has audited 3,640 businesses, examined 259,037 employee records, arrested 1,030 unauthorized workers, and participated in the criminal indictment of 774 individuals. 7. Since September 11, 2001, the Coast Guard has conducted more than 124,000 port security patrols, 13,000 air patrols, boarded more than 92,000 vessels, interdicted over 14,000 individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally, and created and maintained more than 90 Maritime Security Zones. 8. Announced the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), an internet-based system that is improving America's ability to track and monitor foreign students and exchange visitors. Over 870,000 students are registered in SEVIS. Of 285 completed field investigations, 71 aliens were arrested. 9. This week, the US-VISIT program began to digitally collect biometric identifiers to record the entry and exit of aliens who travel into the U.S on a visa. Together with the standard information, this new program will confirm compliance with visa and immigration policies. 10. Eliminated INS bureaucratic redundancies and lack of accountability. 11. Split the Immigration and Naturalization Service into two agencies: one to protect the border and interior, the other to deal with naturalization. 12. Signed the workplace verification bill to prevent hiring of illegal aliens. 13. Established a six-month deadline for processing immigration applications. 14. Information regarding nearly 100% of all containerized cargo is carefully screened by DHS before it arrives in the United States. Higher risk shipments are physically inspected for terrorist weapons and contraband prior to being released from the port of entry. Advanced technologies are being deployed to identify warning signs of chemical, biological, or radiological attacks. Since September 11, 2001, hundreds of thousands of first responders across America have been trained to recognize and respond to the effects of a WMD attack. Judiciary & Tort Reform 1. Is urging federal liability reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits. 2. Killed the liberal ABA's unconstitutional role in vetting federal judges. The Senate is supposed to advise and consent, not the ABA. 3. Is nominating strong, conservative judges to the judiciary. 4. Supports class action reform bill which limits lawyer fees so that more settlement money goes to victims. Politics 1. His leadership resulted in Republican gains in the House and Senate, solidifying Republican control of both houses of Congress and the presidency. 2. Signed an EO enforcing the Supreme Court's Beck decision regarding union dues being used for political campaigns against individual's wishes. Second Amendment 1. Ordered Attorney General Ashcroft to formally notify the Supreme Court that the OFFICIAL U.S. government position on the 2nd Amendment is that it supports INDIVIDUAL rights to own firearms, and is NOT a Leftist-imagined "collective" right. 2. Signed TWO bills into law that arm our pilots with handguns in the cockpit. 3. Currently pushing for full immunity from lawsuits for our national gun manufacturers. 4. *See Globalization & Internationalism. Traditional Values, Compassion & Volunteerism 1. Endorses and promotes "The Responsibility Era." President Bush often speaks of the necessity of personal responsibility and civic volunteerism. He said, "In a compassionate society, people respect one another and take responsibility for the decisions they make in life. My hope is to change the culture from one that has said, if it feels good, do it; if you've got a problem, blame somebody else — to one in which every single American understands that he or she is responsible for the decisions that you make; you're responsible for loving your children with all your heart and all your soul; you're responsible for being involved with the quality of the education of your children; you're responsible for making sure the community in which you live is safe; you're responsible for loving your neighbor, just like you would like to be loved yourself." 2. Started the USA Freedom Corps, the most comprehensive clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities ever offered. For the first time in history, Americans can enter geographic information about where they want to get involved, such as state or zip code, as well as areas of interest ranging from education to the environment, and they can access volunteer opportunities offered by more than 50,000 organizations across the country and around the world. 3. Established the The White House Office and the Centers for the Faith-Based and Community Initiative — located in seven Federal agencies. The faith-based initiative supports the essential work of these important organizations. The goal is to make sure that grassroots leaders can compete on an equal footing for federal dollars, receive greater private support, and face fewer bureaucratic barriers. Work focuses on at-risk youth, ex-offenders, the homeless and hungry, substance abusers, those with HIV/AIDS, and welfare-to-work families. 4. The White House released a guidebook fully describing the Administration's belief that faith-based groups have a Constitutionally-protected right to maintain their religious identity through hiring — even when Federal funds are involved. 5. Issued an EO implementing the Supreme Court's Olmstead ruling, which requires moving disabled people from institutions to community-based facilities when possible. 6. Increased funding for low-interest loan programs to help people with disabilities purchase devices to assist them. 7. Revised the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 rent subsidies to disabled people, permitting them to use up to a year's worth of vouchers to finance down payments on homes. HUD has started pilot programs in 11 states. 8. Committed US funds to purchase medicine for millions of men, women and children now suffering with AIDS in Africa. 9. Heeding the words of our own Declaration of Independence, the president laid out the non-negotiable demands of human dignity for all people everywhere. On January 29, 2002, he said, "No nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them. We have no intention of imposing our culture. But America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity." As stated by the President, they are a virtual manifesto of conservative principles: * Equal Justice * Freedom of Speech * Limited Government Power * Private Property Rights * Religious Tolerance * Respect for Women * Rule of Law

60 posted on 06/01/2006 11:43:31 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (I would rather be an Iraqi in a Hidatha guarded by Marines, then a subject of Al-Qeda anywhere.)
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