Townhall columnist Tony Blankley, a top aide to House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, completely misrepresents that era:
Bill Clinton, of course, is famous for triangulating between the Republicans and the Democrats, moving to the center/right, signing the Republican welfare reform bill (which he had twice vetoed before the election of 1994, when the GOP thumpingly took back the House and Senate), agreed to the Republican-proposed balanced budget (which he steadfastly opposed before the election), proclaimed that the era of big government was over and, in his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, bragged about signing into law 14 items that had been in the Republican "Contract with America."
Bill Clinton did not veto welfare reform before the 1994 election. Didn't happen. In fact, he didn't veto anything before the 1994 election: The first veto of his presidency came in June of 1995. Clinton vetoed GOP welfare reform proposals in late 1995 and early 1996, after which he built up a 20-point lead over Bob Dole before signing a welfare package in August 1996. The difference between Tony Blankley's completely false history and the reality of what happened is not a trivial matter of misremembered dates: It fundamentally undercuts Blankley's point.
Nor did Clinton oppose a Republican-proposed balanced budget prior to the 1994 election, as Blankely suggests -- in part because there was no such budget. (Republicans did produce alternative budgets in 1993 and 1994 but neither was balanced.) In fact, the Republicans -- every one of them -- opposed Clinton's deficit-reducing 1993 budget. In the winter of 1995-96, Clinton vetoed the Republican budget, again undermining Blankley's portrayal of Clinton as quickly caving to GOP demands after the 1994 election.
Finally, I have no idea what Blankley thinks is the basis for claiming that Clinton "bragged" in his 1996 convention speech about "signing into law 14 items that had been in the Republican 'Contract with America.'" That contract contained only 10 bills -- and wasn't mentioned in Clinton's speech. More broadly, the suggestion that the speech was some conservative capitulation to the Republicans is ludicrous. In it, Clinton bragged about the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban and a minimum-wage increase -- none of which was popular with Republicans. He excoriated Republicans for producing a budget that contained "cuts that devastate education for our children, that pollute our environment, that end the guarantee of health care for those who are served under Medicaid, that end our duty or violate our duty to our parents through Medicare." He blasted the GOP's "risky $550 billion tax scheme that will force them to ask for even bigger cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment than they passed and I vetoed last year." And so on.
I understand why conservatives like Blankley and Andrew Malcolm want to pretend that Bill Clinton governed like an arch-conservative: He had considerably more success than the most recent president who was actually conservative. But it would be nice if they used some examples that are, you know, true.
Today on Townhall.com, columnists Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are arguing for a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, claiming that she is a radical:
Consider this: Elena Kagan is a radical. Barack Obama and his allies in the left-wing media have made every attempt to paint Kagan as a "moderate," but this truth is evident if you listen to her answers. She has a life-long history of extreme and radical left-wing political activism and her personal history clearly indicates that she will not hesitate to pursue Obama's far-left wing agenda from the bench.
Specifically, the Browns parrot the tired claims that Kagan has socialist views and that she banned military recruiters from campus. We've debunked these myths on several occasions.
And furthermore, it is the height of irony for Floyd Brown to be attacking someone else as radical. Brown is perhaps most famous for being the creator of the infamous Willie Horton ad that stoked racial fears against then-Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
Brown is also a birther, having falsely claimed that President Obama has not proven "definitively that he is born in the United States."
Right-wing media have falsely claimed that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado's U.S. Senate election, and have falsely alleged or suggested that the White House committed a crime in doing so. In fact, both Romanoff and the White House have said no formal job offer was made, and legal experts have repudiated the claim that this practice would constitute a crime.
Right-wing media have falsely claimed that Attorney General Eric Holder "refus[ed] to say 'radical Islam' is a cause of terrorism." In fact, Holder specifically mentioned "a radical version of Islam" as a possible motivation for Faisal Shahzad, a suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing.
Conservative media are pushing the falsehood that "the nuclear option" refers to the budget reconciliation process in order to accuse Democrats of hypocrisy for previously criticizing the nuclear option and now considering using reconciliation to pass health care reform. But Democratic criticism of a 2005 Republican proposal to change filibuster rules is in no way inconsistent with passing health care reform through reconciliation -- a process that has repeatedly been used to pass legislation, including major health care reform.
Radio host, Townhall.com columnist, and Fox News Channel contributor Sandy Rios wants to know if Rep. Mark Kirk is gay, or if Kirk's roommate is gay. Probably whether Kirk has ever even met a gay man, too, though she doesn't quite spell that out in her strange diatribe.
Nor is Rios entirely clear on why she wants to know if Kirk is gay. On the one hand, she keeps suggesting that as a gay man, Kirk would be vulnerable to blackmail, apparently for fear of being ostracized if he was outted. On the other hand, Rios writes "Homosexuality has now been mainstreamed and de-stigmatized. Any reason not to be open and honest has now been removed," which would seem to undermine the whole "blackmail" fear.
One thing Rios is sure of: Being gay is just like sending sexually-explicit messages to teenagers working as congressional pages:
[P]ress and Republicans alike are rushing to pooh-pooh what, in spite of the weakness of the messenger, has been the topic of discussion in Washington and elsewhere for quite some time. So, where is the reporting? Where are the cameras? The gleaning of records? The follow up on accusations?
Republicans did the same thing in the Mark Foley/Congressional page scandal. Republican leaders knew about Foley but for some inexplicable reason, covered for him. Do they want to repeat the same here?
The rest of Rios' anti-gay screed is just as spurious, like her claim that we need to know if Kirk is gay "Because we are at war" and a gay Kirk might vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, "in spite of the fact that military experts from the top down have argued continually that open homosexuality will harm unit cohesion and have a detrimental effect on morale."
That would be news to General John Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said "if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces." And to Charles Larson, a four-star admiral and former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy who joined more than 100 other retired Admirals and Generals in calling for the repeal of DADT. And to former Defense Secretary William Cohen and Colin Powell, both of whom have said the policy needs to be reviewed.
From McCullough's column:
When Tiger Woods wrapped his SUV around a neighborhood tree, following his running over a fire hydrant, few if any knew of the damage that would be done to his family in the following days. With what looks likely to have been more than a dozen women, with more being revealed each news cycle, no one is surprised that the wealthiest athlete ever and the most successful golfer in history is experiencing the pain that is his to bear. Causing his children and wife to be put a risk of life, health, reputation, and a stable home, the golfer is depressed, saddened, and to no one's surprise desiring to withdraw to his gated community, and even to his window-shades-drawn home as he seeks to examine his sinful nature, his ability to hurt those he loved, and wonder if his life will ever get put back together again.
Yet for all the agony that Woods' actions have caused his God, wife, children, endorsement clients, and fans his actions pale in comparison to the merciless march the current administration is on to empower themselves, seek to increase the divide between the powerful and the needy, and in the end ruin the lives of families in America today.
Tiger's only chance at redeeming his psyche, his life, and somewhere far down the road his game, is to ultimately choose to be a different person. He must volitionally make better choices, better friends, and cling to the real love of one woman. I personally believe that those tasks are made easier if he also couples those choices with a genuine belief, faith, and trust in God.
President Obama's chances at redemption are actually easier, all he must do is admit the truth, and make a handful of different choices about policy. If he wished to redeem his party's chances of avoiding serious losses in 2010 he would specifically choose to drop the public option in health care, insure the prevention of any federal monies used for abortion, scrap "Cap & Trade", reject the current 2 trillion dollar budget that is headed for his desk, and extend federal tax reductions for small businesses.
None of that would make him a conservative, or even a Republican, but it would demonstrate a genuine humility that took the lives of those he serves seriously.
And while his numbers are falling, and he has slid into a tie with current Republican front-runner Gov. Mike Huckabee, he has not yet suffered enough--nor sensed the suffering of the American people enough (just yet)--for him to take the serious steps that Tiger Woods is being forced to do.
Because of this, "We the People" feel very much like the wife who has been cheated on and even abused by neglect, dishonesty, lies, and trickery.
Thus the only question left to answer is, "Whose love and affection is the nation's President truly pursuing?"
Conservative media outlets including The Washington Times and Fox News have pushed the claim that health care reform proposals under consideration by Congress are unconstitutional. However, legal scholars -- including one who recently served as a special counsel to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) during Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation proceedings -- have pointed out the flaws in conservatives' arguments, including the facts that regulation of the health care sector falls under Congress' broad power to regulate interstate commerce and that Congress has repeatedly passed laws regulating health care and health insurance.
Glenn Beck and other conservative media figures are now attacking President Obama's proposal to extend the length of school days and the school year, adding to conservative media's recent penchant for fearmongering about children in order to smear progressives. Beck and Rush Limbaugh claimed government mandates for longer school days would give the government more time to "indoctrinate" kids, and Michelle Malkin said Obama is acting as "school czar."
Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and prominent conservative bloggers followed the lead of conservative website Breitbart.tv after the site falsely claimed that an online video showed community organizers from the Gamaliel Foundation "pray[ing]" to President Obama. Breitbart.tv subsequently updated the original post with an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying "oh God" rather than "Obama"; the Gamaliel Foundation subsequently stated that "at no time have we prayed to President Obama" and that in the video, the organizers "can be heard saying, 'Hear our cry oh God,' 'Deliver us oh God,' etc."
From Ben Shapiro's September 23 column:
Carter was a racist back in his day. Upon his return to Georgia after serving in the Navy, Carter joined the Sumter County School Board, where he supported segregation. He called his segregationist Lt. Gov. Lester Maddox "the essence of the Democratic Party." When Carter campaigned for governor, he labeled himself a "redneck" -- surely a code word in early 1970s Georgia. Obama, too, is a racist -- his spiritual mentor was Jeremiah "United States of KKKA" Wright, he surrounds himself with folks like Van "White People Pollute Black Communities" Jones, and he is married to Michelle "I've Never Been Proud of My Country" Obama.
Previously: Beck: Obama "is, I believe, a racist"
The Washington Post recently reported that according to Young America's Foundation director Ron Robinson, Hannah Giles, who helped create the controversial ACORN videos, "may have been inspired to some extent" by the work of her father, Townhall.com columnist Doug Giles -- who has frequently uttered extremist, radical, or ridiculous remarks while attacking the Obama administration and progressives. Notably, Giles stated with regard to health care reform that "thinking, unbeholden people aren't buying Barack's crack," suggested President Obama is "treat[ing] us like Ike Turner did Tina," and called Obama's outreach to Christians a "booty call."
Numerous conservatives have claimed that President Obama's upcoming September 8 speech about "persisting and succeeding in school," along with classroom activities about the "importance of education," will "indoctrinate" and "brainwash" schoolchildren. Conservatives have compared Obama's address to Chinese communism and the Hitler Youth, while also calling for parents to "keep your kids home" from the "fascist in chief."
Just as former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey backtracked on her false claim that the House health care reform bill would "absolutely require" end-of-life counseling, other conservative media figures are hedging their support for former Gov. Sarah Palin's false claim that the health care bill would create government "death panels" to decide who lives and dies. These conservatives are allowing that there won't be actual "death panels," but also claiming that the bill itself will inevitably lead to the government making end-of-life medical decisions, or as a Fox News chyron put it: "De Facto Death Panels."
From a July 10 Townhall.com post by national political reporter Jillian Bandes: