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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

For years, conventional wisdom has held that the Democrats are the "mommy" party, mainly championing issues like social programs, increased minimum wage, education and so forth, while Republicans are the "daddy" party, mainly concerned with national security and the rule of law (don't blame me for the implicit sexism in these labels, I didn't invent them).

Needless to say, the insecurity and fear which followed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has benefited the "daddy" party, as fears of future terrorist attacks make the public eager to support leaders whom they perceive will do the best job of keeping them safe. It is hardly surprising that Republicans have picked up seats in both the House and Senate the past two election cycles, and that despite serious questions regarding his competence, trustworthiness, and conduct of the war in Iraq, George Bush was able to eke out a re-election victory.

All of this, of course, is the subtext behind John Kline's Terrorists in America!! feature on his revamped congressional website. Sure, he says the purpose is to recognize the efforts of those who have helped keep us safe, but the unstated implications are:

  1. Terrorists have attempted attacks within the U.S. since 9/11.
  2. Hundreds of them, in fact.
  3. Look to the "daddy" party to continue to keep you safe.
  4. So vote for John Kline in 2006.


I have spent considerable time and effort debunking implications (1) and (2), and I wrap up my dissection of Terrorists in America!! today by examining item(3). If national security is your top priority, it does make sense to support the "daddy" party. However, contrary to popular perception, the Republicans have done little to improve our nation's security since 9/11, and in many ways they've done exactly the opposite.

For some hard data, consider the following votes in Congress, where the majority Republicans struck down Democrats' efforts to improve our national security (it's interesting to note that although Kline is attempting to remake himself as an "independent Republican", he voted with more than 200 other Republicans in each case below):

  • In one of Kline's first votes in Congress, he joined 220 Republicans and one Democrat in defeating an amendment to add $3.5 billion for first responders and $90 million to the CDC to monitor the health of the first responders at the World Trade Center site.
  • Not long after that, Kline joined 216 Republicans and zero Democrats in killing an amendment to add $250 million to port security grants.
  • More recently, Kline voted with 224 Republicans and zero Democrats in opposition to maximum funding for Border Patrol and Immigrations enforcement, which according to Senate Democrats amounted to $284 million.
  • Kline joined 226 Republicans and 3 Democrats in defeating an amendment to increase the 2006 Homeland Security budget by $6.9 billion.
  • About 45 minutes later, Kline, 225 other Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against an additional $400 million for airline safety and security, as well as tighter security regulations.
  • Just last month, after the outcry over the sale of U.S. port operations to Dubai, Kline and 209 other Republicans defeated an amendment to increase funding for port security by $1.25 billion.


Of course, if homeland security already has all of the money it needs, then none of this matters. But just last December, the 9/11 commission issued a report card indicating that George Bush and the Republican Congress have done a very poor job in keeping our country safe:

The federal government received failing and mediocre grades yesterday from the former Sept. 11 commission, whose members said in a final report that the Bush administration and Congress have balked at enacting numerous reforms that could save American lives and prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.


So much for the Republicans as the "daddy" party. And Kline's opponent this November, Coleen Rowley, is attacking the Republicans' hypothetical strength on national security head on.

4 Comments:

Blogger No Rowley said...

David,

At what point do you realize that Rowley is a lost cause and sign up for a candidate who can win, like Tim Walz or Patty Wetterling. You're really wasting your time on this one.

4/17/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger David Bailey said...

Mr. No,

The reason I'm supporting Coleen Rowley is simple: I live in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District. If I lived in the 1st, I would be volunteering on Tim Walz' campaign and writing "The Gutknecht Record". But I would still be rooting for Coleen, as I'm currently rooting for Walz (I haven't bothered to pick a favorite among Wetterling and Tinklenberg).

I've seen your site, Mr. No, and it's incredibly dishonest. In your very first post, you insist that you aren't going to "throw political mud", but you've already distorted Coleen's position on torture and used the tired old gambit of putting Coleen in the same radical category as Cindy Sheehan.

I guess Kline supporters like you (and let's not try to fool anyone that you're anything but) have to resort to such dishonest tactics, because if you restricted yourself only to criticisms of Coleen which are based in fact, you wouldn't have much.

Well, there's that whole thing about how she wore a "Coleen Rowley" sticker for her appearance on Almanac. Whoa. Devastating.

4/18/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger No Rowley said...

David,

I did not distort her position on terror. I posted and judged Mrs. Rowley on exactly what she said in the interview. Go listen to the tape if you don't believe me.

"[These people say]" was not added until afterwards, and it is absolutely not what she said in the interview. She was off on one of her tangential rants, and said something incredibly stupid. Is it now unacceptable to actually take a politician at their word?

Despite your rhetoric, I challenge you to find one thing on The Rowley Watch that is untrue or intentionally misleading. That's not my game.

In the meantime, I have already found several things on your blog that are flat untrue or intentionally misleading. I'll post them asap and look forward to your response.

4/24/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger David Bailey said...

"I have already found several things on your blog that are flat untrue or intentionally misleading."

I very much doubt that, but have at it. I believe very strongly that blogs should be read critically. If you or anyone else believes I've gotten something wrong or simply has information you think I should know, I'd love to hear it.

However, if you want a response, it's probably best to email me. I rarely read my own comment threads.

4/24/2006 08:55:00 PM  

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