Saturday, April 09, 2005

Republican divisions

I'm offering you two articles today about disagreements within the ranks of the Republican Party. One is from the Boston Globe; it is by Nina J. Easton and is entitled, "Rift emerges in GOP after Schiavo case". Here's how it gets started:

WASHINGTON -- Top conservative leaders gathered here a week after Terri Schiavo's death to plot a course of action against the nation's courts, but much of their anger was directed at leading Republicans, exposing an emerging crack between the party's leadership and core supporters on the right.

Conservative leaders criticized President Bush for failing to speak out strongly against removing the feeding tube from Schiavo, the 41-year-old incapacitated woman who died March 31. They blamed the president's brother, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, for failing to employ State Police powers to take control of Schiavo. They condemned comments by Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Vice President Dick Cheney expressing support for the nation's judges.

And yesterday they issued an "action plan" to take their crusade for control of the nation's courts well beyond Senate debates over judicial nominees, pressing Congress to impeach judges and defund courts they consider "activist" and to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts over some sensitive social matters -- a strategy opposed by many leading Senate Republicans.

The second article is published in both BuzzFlash and Smirking Chimp. It is by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and is entitled, "GOP heading over political cliff". Needless to say, my first thought after reading the title was, "We can certainly hope!" Here's an excerpt:

With the Schiavo case operating as a catalyst, most Americans are becoming increasingly aware that GOP inconsistencies go well beyond the misappropriation of the terms "pro-life" and "pro-family." The president can't claim to be "pro-democracy" when he ignores repressive regimes abroad, when his Administration tolerates and encourages torture, and ignores the need for voting reform in our own nation. He surely cannot claim to lead the party of "fiscal solvency" when we began the Bush presidency with a more than $200 billion/year surplus, and our deficit is now more than $420 billion per year and counting.

I recommend both articles. If we have room for hope, it is in the possibility that the extremist Republicans have enough rope to hang themselves.

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