Jul 07 2007

GOP Fractures

Published by at 6:56 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

The Immigration issue tore the GOP apart because of hardliners using ridiculously harsh and uncalled for rhetoric. The calls of “treason” and “un-American” and “el Presidente Jorge” split the moderates from the hardliners – who love to use disparaging names against moderates like “RINO”. And the result – the country is might lose Iraq at the very moment it is about to win. The moderates don’t see any reasons to support the hardliners, and in fact probably see lots of reasons to distance themselves from the hot heads. Actions have consequences. I said this country and the GOP could not afford an acrimonious second round of bile immigration and it would be best to compromise in a civil manner. But the hot heads have no self control and they went on their little name calling binge. And now support for our troops is seriously faltering.

The number of moderate GOP senators not willing to wait for the September report on Iraq and calling for surrender is growing by the day. And lobbing insults at them is not going to make this any better or convince them to change their minds. In fact, it just makes it worse. The addition of Senators Gregg and Alexander to Domenici who came out early this week brings the number of moderates defecting up to nearly ten. Not veto proof but getting their way too fast. If the hotheads cannot talk respectfully and maturely I suggest they sit down and shut up.

And I respectfully ask all Senators to consider the fact that (a) we have al-Qaeda back on its heals and the Iraqi street is actually rising up against it, and (b) they are only playing into al-Qaeda’s hands when they run to a microphone to call for defeat when al-Qaeda bombs 70+ people into oblivion. The feedback this sends to al-Qaeda is that massive slaughter of humans will make the West give into demands. It will only breed more massive slaughters.

The vitriol of the immigration debate has deafened and blinded too many to what is going on in Iraq right now. The tide is turning and these massive killings of Muslims is al-Qaeda’s last ditch efforts to retain control on the people now trying to get rid of them. But the anger from the harsh words by the far right has made it impossible for too many moderates to listen anymore. They will take serious anyone who begins the debate with personal insults. And I don’t blame them. They should listen to Lieberman and others who are not from the harsh right. And they must listen to the generals, colonels, captains fighting this war who all say a bloodbath would occur if we pulled out right now. Heck, even an ex-soviet dissident can see the wrtiing on the wall:

Iraqis call Ali Hassan al-Majeed “Chemical Ali,” and few wept when the notorious former general received five death sentences last month for ordering the use of nerve agents against his government’s Kurdish citizens in the late 1980s.

People of goodwill can certainly disagree over how to handle Iraq, but human rights should be part of any responsible calculus. Unfortunately, some leaders continue to play down the gross violations in Iraq under Hussein’s republic of fear and ignore the potential for a human rights catastrophe should the United States withdraw.

A textbook example came last year from John Pace, who recently left his post as U.N. human rights chief in Iraq. “Under Saddam,” he said, according to the Associated Press, “if you agreed to forgo your basic freedom of expression and thought, you were physically more or less OK.”

For most people, life under totalitarianism is slavery with no possibility of escape. That is why despite the carnage in Iraq, Iraqis are consistently less pessimistic about the present and more optimistic about the future of their country than Americans are.

But let us be under no illusion of what life under Hussein was like. He was a mass murderer who tortured children in front of their parents, gassed Kurds, slaughtered Shiites, started two wars with his neighbors and launched Scud missiles into downtown Riyadh and Tel Aviv. The price for the stability that Hussein supposedly brought to the region was mass graves, hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq, and terrorism and war outside it.

By all accounts Iraqis are throwing off al-Qaeda because they are much more brutal and blood thirsty than Saddam’s regime was. If we leave al-Qaeda will wipe out half the people of Iraq in order to gain control. And let’s not forget that from Iraq operations like we saw avoided in London last week would become common as al-Qaeda set up operations. The GOP is fractured. The hot heads need to do a lot of repair work after their own disasterous verbal brutality has split the GOP. No one supports a hot head.

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “GOP Fractures”

  1. Rich says:

    AJ, great analysis of a very dismal, bleak situation. The hatred of so-called conservatives over latinos has given moderates cover to distance themselves on all issues. While I have no sympathy for politicians who sell out their country for a couple of votes, the racists made it easy for them to do it.

    The future right now is very dark. We will now have to put our trust in an incompetent CIA, ineffective FBI and a court system that values the rights of terrorists over American citizens. Get ready for bombs in the streets, sanctuary states and nuclear armed dictators who will outsource their dirty work to terrorist groups. All while we sit and watch Oprah and Dancing with the Stars.

    Of course the conservative movement will abdicate all responsibility for this as they are never serious about governing, hence their radical isolation. They are all about their think tanks and Op-eds and haven’t worked a real job their whole lives. If they had, they’d realize that Mexicans aren’t bad people (yes, there are some really bad ones, as in every population) and that the solution to a huge problem involves normalization. However, the Novaks, Lowrys, Goldbergs, Wills etc don’t live in the real world but rather an artificle one where they don’t face the consequences of their irresponsible ideas.

  2. djs says:


    Not an artificial world, but a world in which they’re in the minority. They seem more comfortable there – “standing athwart history yelling stop”.

  3. Terrye says:


    I don’t think a Senator like Lugar would actually vote for troop withdrawals. I do think that some of these guys are just trying to put pressure on the president to start thinking about the next phase, but I don’t think most of them would actually vote to bring troops home while AlQaida is a force in Iraq.

    At least I hope not.

    But I have to admit, there are a lot of people on the right who I have lost all patience with. Going after Bush at a time like this was very short sighted of people who like to question every one else’s patriotism.

    I know I feel like they lied to me. Bush has been pretty consistent since he became president. The same can not be said for people like Malkin or Savage or the rest of those pundits…who liked the moderates and Bush when it suited them.

  4. Terrye says:


    Those people you mention do not have to do anything but run their mouths {I heard someone else say that and it stuck}.

    Those people are not accountable and that makes it easy to pontificate. They do not have to accomplish anything, make ideas work, make government work, risk their lives or careers. In fact rabble rousing is their career.

  5. SallyVee says:

    The vitriol of the immigration debate has deafened and blinded too many to what is going on in Iraq right now.

    This is exactly right in my view — it’s the underlying danger I began to fear just before the 06 mid-term elections. A year or more ago, a couple of likeminded friends and I began to notice that many of the hardliners on immigration were also spouting isolationist, anti-free trade, anti-war rhetoric. Think Pat Buchanan and lately the rising volume of Ron Paul supporters… AKA paleocons. Recall that FoxNews viewers rated Ron Paul the winner in the FoxNews presidential debate. I remember thinking: perrrrrfect, just perfect, when that happened.

    The thing I can’t quite figure out is whether the immigration extremists realize who they’ve crawled into bed with… from paleos to neo-nazis to union thugs to the likes of radical pro-abortionists & population control freaks like John Tanton & associates. In other words, is this a case of politics making strange bedfellows, or an indication of wider agreement on some pretty frightening bedrock beliefs?

    Either way, A.J. is correct that I want nothing to do with these extreme people. If they suddenly realize what they’ve wrought and correct course, I will shut up, hold my nose, and tolerate them. But trust, respect, or ever take them seriously again? Nada.

  6. rlqretired says:

    AJ – I agree with your statement that you knew this country and the GOP could not afford an acrimonious second round of bile immigration debate. I think President Bush and our Republican Leadership made a terrible mistake by forcing this issue back to the table especially by conspiring in secret with Ted Kennedy to develop and implement the clay pigeon deal so they could force the amnesty bill down the throats of the only people that have continually supported the war effort in Iraq. Our President would have, instead, improved his poll ratings and overall support had he focused on building that border security fence approved last year. These 12-20 million illegals already here have been building for 20 years and with a secure border, a few years more wouldn’t make very much difference.

    Daleinatlanta – You made comment to AJ’s post of 7/2 titled, GOP Trying To Remove Immigration Stain, in which you leveled serious accusations that I have INSULTED AJ and his readers. On 7/3 I advised you that this was NOT TRUE and called upon you to point out to me, and AJ’s readers, precisely where. Thus far you have not and that post was archived early on 7/5. If you are an honorable man, who I assume you are, you will do so. I re-submit my request here in case you missed the original.

    My 7/3 comment to-DaleinAtlanta – You sound like your panties are bunched up a little to tight. Relax; take a look at the very first definition of the word traitor at Dictionary.com and I feel confident you will immediately feel a lot better.
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source
    trai·tor – Show Spelled Pronunciation[trey-ter] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.

    I have used the term traitor specifically directed at our President only for pushing Harry Reed to mandate the use of a nonexistent never before used version of the “clay pigeon Senate procedure” which was originally designed and historically used only to assure the traditional Senate amendment process could not be blocked. Instead, our President and our Republican Leadership conspired with Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reed, to the detriment of the majority of the Republican Party and encouraged Senator Reed to completely reverse the traditional use of the clay pigeon procedure and use it instead to totally block the amendment process, other than those the conspirators selected behind closed doors, and then ram this security loophole filled disaster through the senate in 5 days before any of the opposition had time to adequately study the bill.

    That, DaleinAtlanta, is a perfect fit to the above definition of a traitor. I suspect you and the others that also have bunched up panties have mistakenly perceived the term was used as a legal/criminal accusation. I did not. I reviewed the dictionary definition before I printed my comments.

    Your comment “Except for one idiot, who came on this board the other day, and called President Bush a traitor; I have NEVER seen ANYONE of the regular readers on this board, insult AJ, nor the other readers!”

    Dale, I have never insulted AJ, you or anyone else and I have very much respect for AJ and thanked him for his excellent work particularly on the war in Iraq. It is you who is using the idiot label. Please show me where I have insulted AJ or any other reader. You can’t.

    The only place I have used the term traitor was in my letter to President Bush which also applied to our Senate Republican Leadership and those Senators participating in and supporting the secret clay pigeon deal that would have reversed hundreds of years of Senate history and set a terrible precedent for the future. The purpose of the letter was to get the president to realize the danger he has brought to our party, country and his legacy. My final plea to the president was, “Please, secure our borders, enforce our existing laws, you have the power, protect our families.”

    We “Amnesty Hypochondriac’s” acquired this affliction only because our federal government abandoned its constitutional responsibility to keep our borders secure by selling out to the Illegal Immigration Lobby decades ago and the clay pigeon deal was a disaster, not the answer.

    I view this defeat as an excellent opportunity for the Republican Party to retake congress in the 2008 elections. The iron will now remain hot on this issue for a long time and if the Republicans layout a common sense plan to solve this comprehensive problem, one issue at a time, one bill at a time, placing border security, enforcement issues first and any talk of a limited amnesty last they can succeed. They may not succeed in passing very much law but a “Contract with America” similar to Newts idea in 1994 would go far towards educating the public and re-taking congress, as well as the presidency. The question is, will our President and our Republican Leadership take advantage of this opportunity?

    Take a brake Dale. Loosen up those panties.

    AJ-If you took the subject letter as a personal insult directed at you I certainly apologize because it was not.

  7. momdear1 says:

    Ah yes. The Republican Party is fractured beyond repair. In your dreams. All of you johnny come lately so called moderates, who want to run the Republican party as a weaker copy of the Dems, and are willing to compormose with the devil just to get some kind of action , whether it is good or bad, appear to be admitting that there aren’t enough of you to elect anyone Dog Catcher. Are you now admitting that we so called “hard liners’ “ultra Righters” etc. are necessary to insure a party victory? If so, then itsn’t it time you started taking our opinions seriously? The vast majority of the people in this country are fed up with illegal immigrants swarming all over the place. Since the leaders of both parties’ either think Illegal immigration is a fine thing or they see monetary advantages for themselves and their partisan hacks, that leaves the majority of the public SOL with nobody to stand up for them or their rights. We have been told by both parties that it’s all right to tax us and spend on them because they are doing us a favor by working cheap and taking entry level jobs. away from our unskilled workers. You can forget getting the majority of us to support our own destruction. I dont’ think this animosity toward Congress and this administration is a one party issue. I haven’t heard of any Democrats standing up and patting Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on the back for trying to push this thing down our throats.

    If it were not for the Religous Right, and the rest of us Conservatives, there wouldn’t be a Republican Party. You can’t ignore us and/or toss us out and still have a Repbulican Party. Just why is it considered OK to compormose with everyone else but the Party Base? Is it because you think that we have no other place to go? I won’t vote Democrat, but damned if I will vote for a wussy ultra liberal copy of one calling himself a Republican.

  8. Terrye says:

    I am so tired of hearing this crap about people conspiring with Ted Kennedy, that is so stupid.

    And the federal government did not abandon anything.

    This is a complicated problem that has been around for decades and so far the hardliners have not come up with any kind of solutions at all. Believe it or not, the border patrol people work every day, people are deported every day, people are arrested every day, but until and unless we reform the system there will be no long term solutions.

    Fred Thompson, the hero of the right, worked with Diane Feinstein back when he was in the Senate, but that is ok. He also voted to increase the number of foreign worker in the US, but that is ok too.

    The GOP lost in 2006, largely because these people went stupid over the issue of illegal immigration, after years of doing nothing about it and then suddenly playing the victim while they ignored the fact that millions of every day Americans helped make this happen. It was not the government that did this all by itself.

    The result of hardliners using this issue the way they did, is that Democrats won. That means they control the House and Senate, that means that if someone like Kennedy does not support a piece of legislation, it does not come up for a vote at all. They should have thought about that before they decided to split the party on this issue.

    And while I might not like Kennedy, he is an elected representative of the American people and he does have a right to be involved in the process and he does put his name on real legislation.

    The pundits and talk radio people just bitch and yammer. They do not have to come up with ideas, they do not have to stand behind any legislation, they do not have to do anything but run their mouths.

    The amount of lies and misinformation and propaganda put out there by the hardliners on this issue is staggering.

    I think if you gave them the choice between coming up with a compromise and a solution to this and working toward the future, or no solution and continued acrimony with them using the issue to make money and gain influence….they would go for the second choice.

    I feel like they are hijacking the party and if someone like Ron Paul actually got the nomination I do not see anyway I could vote for him. You might as well ask me to vote for Huey Long, David Duke or Pat Buchanan.

    What are they going to do next? Go after Israel?

  9. Terrye says:


    If not for the moderates, there would be no Republican party majority. Republicans were not always isolationist right wingers.

    Lincoln was not like that. Theodore Roosevelt was not like that. Ronald Reagan was not like that.

    The truth is the conservatives have no loyalty to any party other than their own ideology, they would gladly see the Republicans become a minority party forever and be able to control it than see it win elections and gain majority status. The paleoconservatives use the Republican party and it has been necessary from time to time reign them in because when they take over, the party loses.

    And what is more there are a lot of moderates out there who have been Republicans all their lives, and they have raised money for the party and made the phone calls and got the vote out and it is disheartening to see them run out of their own party by a bunch of fanatics.

  10. AJStrata says:

    No Momdear1

    I am saying it is time to walk away from the GOP since they are now a fringe party of no solutions and full of bile and hate for those who disagree with them. The GOP is just not worth the effort anymore.

    And a few years in the wilderness will remind them to bring humility and respect to the business of politics and to stop being KoS Kopies, and DU-Right.

    I mean, if there is no more common ground with the far right, which is what they claim, there is no use for the GOP? LOL! No compromises? Oh well, enjoy yourselves.

  11. Terrye says:

    You know, I did not think that what Clinton did was ok, but I did not think it deserved impeachment either. I think a censure would have been more appropriate. But the right just had to go after him, no matter what the costs to the party or the next president or the country.

    If Speaker Newt had been half as interested in border security as he was in Monica we might have avoided a lot of this. But illegal immigration was not a big deal to them in spite of the fact that millions of aliens were here even then.

    Now they are going after their own president, and once again they do not care what the costs is to their party or the next president or the country.

  12. ivehadit says:

    Great posts here today. When are we going to call these paleocons what they are: Republicans in NAME ONLY. LOL!
    What an intolerant bunch. And Sally you are so right about who the So-cons have jumped into bed with. I am truly disappointed with many in the conservative camp after havingseen this and their hatred and viciousness to the President.

    Vicious: Bitter; spiteful; malignant

    Again, I say that Malkin et al want to sow seeds of mistrust of ALL

  13. ivehadit says:

    …ALL government. They are seething with contempt, imho. And if there ever was a more honorable and decent man in the White House, I’d like to know.

    Pathology of the Left and Right has been on bigtime display, imho.

  14. crosspatch says:

    Reagan did a good thing. He basically told the “compromise is a dirty word” crowd to buzz off. He could get away with that because he had such a strong base of support from the center and crossover Democrats that he could afford to tell the fringe knucklehead right to go fly a kite.

    People really should read Reagan’s autobiography.

    “When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn’t like it.

    “Compromise” was a dirty word to them and they wouldn’t face the fact that we couldn’t get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don’t get it all, some said, don’t take anything.

    “I’d learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: ‘I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.’

    “If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.

    Far right conservatives *hated* Reagan because he believed (as I do) that social issues shouldn’t be imposed on the entire country by the government from Washington. He believed that the various places should be free to have their laws reflect their local culture and people can “vote with their feet’. The hard right and the hard left want to dictate their beliefs on everyone and people don’t want that kind of crap shoved down their throats.

  15. rlqretired says:


    Your quotes, (1) “Far right conservatives *hated* Reagan because he believed (as I do) that social issues shouldn’t be imposed on the entire country by the government from Washington,” is a gross misstatement. I am a conservative, an admitted amnesty hypochondriac for solidly justifiable reasons and it is ridiculous for you to say that I hated President Regan, our greatest president of recent history.

    (2) “The hard right and the hard left want to dictate their beliefs on everyone and people don’t want that kind of crap shoved down their throats.” You have this completely backwards in this particular situation. It was the moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats in Washington DC that came up with this stupid clay pigeon idea that would have allowed them to force this amnesty bill down the throats of the majority.

    (3) You said that you agreed with FDR when he said, ‘I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.” I agree with FDR but wasn’t it FDR that tried to rig the Supreme Court to his position by adding an extra judge, an unjustified forcing maneuver somewhat similar to what our current crop of leaders in DC tried to do with the clay pigeon amnesty deal?

    You folks gotta remember our government has no credibility on this issue, none and I believe Rasmussen when he said about 80% of the people wanted border security first. The final senate Republican vote was also heavily in we hypochondriacs favor, 35-12, and that’s almost 3-1 for us, both before and after this issue was mistakenly forced back on the table this year. This issue should have been left to be decided in the 08 elections.

  16. Terrye says:


    You got to remember that when tens of millions of Americans hire, or work with or know or live with or deal with illegals every frigging day, they have no credibility on this issue either.

    Right now in the Gulf there are tens of thousands of illegals working to clean up and rebuild after Katrina. The conservatives can blow off all they want about this issue, but even those who are far right are not about to demand the government go in there and round up all those people and ship them out, because they need them.

    So spare me the hypocritical grandstanding. The right had years and lots of opportunities to deal with this like grown ups and they did not do that. So all this ranting and raving seems a tad contrived today.

  17. Terrye says:

    And something else, if Rasmussen called me and asked me if I thought border security was a priority I would say yes myself, and I have been called traitor and all kinds of names by righties on this issue.

    That is the problem with the right, they hear that 80% and they think all those people are like them…wrong…the truth is the right has made the same mistake on this issue that the left made on the war. They assume too much.