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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dent v. Bennett = Teflon v. Velcro

Have you ever noticed there are two kinds of pols? Teflon and Velcro.

Charlie Dent is Teflon. Go ahead. Sling some mud at him. It just won't stick. Bill White calls him a "really lucky guy" who must walk around with "a pocketful of four-leaf clovers and rabbit’s feet."

Sam Bennett, on the other hand, is Velcro. She's been tagged with failed mayoral campaigns, a drunken concession speech (preserved on videotape), a lackluster performance at Mayfair, a botched financial disclosure, an excessive salary at her nonprofit, and the embarrassment of losing a $10,000 grant from Lehigh County. Everything sticks to her!

Sam, forget Congress! The Eagles could use another tight end!

As a candidate, she's been horrible. I'll give you an example. No one knows her in Easton. So on Easton's Heritage Day, that's where she cleverly went. But once she got there, she spent her time schmoozing with Easton's Republican candidate for mayor. Here's what a commenter says. "I saw her chatting away with Easton's Republican Candidate for Mayor at heritage day while Panto was just a few hundred feet away. If she is looking for an good endorsement in Easton .... she definitely just shot herself in the foot. Easton is a small town, words get around quick. I think the entire democratic committee is staying away from her."

But it's tough to get a Dem to speak honestly, and on the record, about Sam. Just try. As GW might say, "It's hard work."

I spent a few hours today talking and writing to local Dems, including some of those listed on Bennett's endorsement page. One of them was shocked to learn he had endorsed her. "I've said nothing publicly." He likened his support to casual dating while waiting for true love.

And what about affable and hard-working Rich Daugherty, Lehigh County's chair? I'm sure he supports Bennett, as he would do for any Democrat seeking public office. But has he really gone that extra mile and officially endorsed her, as she claims? I asked Rich that question in an email he received at 5:28 PM yesterday. He hasn't answered. I do know this. The Lehigh County Democratic Committee has no endorsement on its web page.

Most Dems will only speak in whispers and hushes, or behind a cloak of anonymity. Very few are stupid or courageous enough to go on record, as Lehigh County Democratic Committeeman Chris Casey did a few weeks ago when he asked Bennett to pull the plug. "Sam should withdraw, and open up the field for someone with a chance to win. She should give any money raised back to the pertinent Democratic committees to use to help that candidate."

Like it or not, Casey's sentiment is widespread. Bennett was believed to be smart, articulate, and just a tad off her rocker the first time she ran for mayor. But by her second try, instability and shameless self-promotion had become her primary qualities.

That's why LC Exec Don Cunningham wanted Daugherty, not Bennett, to become Lehigh County's Dem party chair. And despite Cunningham's denials, he wants her out of next year's congressional race. Not only will she lose, but she will hurt other candidates.

Cunningham has another good reason to want Bennett to withdraw. Team Bennett has circulated a nasty rumor that Cunningham and Governor Rendell are on bad terms. I've heard this mentioned several times. So has Cunningham.

What is worse, her campaign is now threatening people with retribution from the Gov if they don't get behind her. Rendell's going to just love that.

She can't even play hardball politics without everything coming right back at her.

Velcro.

All she needs to do now is hire Mike Fleck.

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I like the premise of this tread. Not just for Bennet but other Pol's. The press denies it, people deny it, I'm sure even you would deny it but some Pol's can walk throughh crap and are complimented on their unique fragrance, while others can stumble and are accussed of pltting to overthrow democracy as we know it. I would love to hear who some folks see as the velcro and teflon local pols.

Anonymous said...

B OHare, You and Joe Long should hug.

Anonymous said...

I will admit that Sam Bennett is one of the most inept candidates ever and prone to doing stupid self-destructive things, but who in her campaign is threatening retribution from Rendell?

Even Sam Bennett at her most egotistical wouldn't presume to play that card, would she?

If she is the one doing it then she has really gone off the deep end because there is no way in hell, even if he had a dispute with him, that Rendell would go against a Cunningham to support Sam Bennett.

Cunningham holds office and has proven he can deliver votes. Sam Bennett is a serial campign loser and has delivered nothing of substance to Rendell, except perhaps some oral ( as it were) support.

Anonymous said...

Of course she is going to play the "Rendell will getcha" card.

She is well known for laying claim to things she hasn't done and for "close" associations with power figures in politics and business who are only being polite to her.

She is a velcro candidate by choice but some of what she sticks to herself is totally made up by her in her own mind.

She is a real sick person.

Most folks I know, who she claims are her "good friends", would rather not be associated with her because it soon becomes obvious to them that she has a total lack of proportion and propriety.

Her "velcroness" is self-induced.

Tom Foolery said...

If she left the race you wouldn't no what else to post. You've been ranting about her candidancy for weeks now. You know you'd miss her.. Get over it. She is staying in the race..

Tom Foolery said...

Just for you bernie I will call her this morning and ask her to stay the course..

Anonymous said...

Uhm Bernie,

Rick Daugherty wasn't Cuningham's choice for chair - Matt Croslis filled that bill. They only got behind Rick after it became apparent Croslis couldn't win. Rick did it right - he got his votes together and held them close till the poll came. What everyone should have done was endorsed Rick's slate and followed that with a vote for Rick's slate. That would have ensured Sam was out completely. The whole Sam backing out for the sake of the party was pure political hooey. She was done and the whole statesmanship thing only brought her back to life.

Bernie O'Hare said...

TomFoolery,

Thanks! While you're at it, could you tell her Charlie thinks this is just a phase and would never, never, never, not ever say anything bad about her?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:33, Agreed that Daugherty was choice #2, but Cunningham wanted Bennett out. And to get her to do that, he was forced to prmise her an at-large state Dem committee seat.

Tom Foolery said...

For you Bernie, anything...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:43, Joe Long? Geez, I invited him for lunch and he got all huffy. I don't think ghe'd let me hug him. And he claims I giggle when I kiss so I don't know.

addicted said...

Sam Bennett isn't velcro, she's more like manure. She attracts flies and other carrion like my backyard bugzapper!

Anonymous said...

the problem is Daughtery can't control Sam she's a dangerous and loose cannon.

Anonymous said...

whose position was unfortunately bulstered by the support of Fahda

Anonymous said...

I think you mean Fadia Halma and that crazy whacko Lynn somebody. Isn't she the one with all the signs in front of her house?
Fadia had a DNC job in 06, and Lynn was just nuts, well, she is nuts. Then there's Zoppi in Allentown, who thinks he is the reincarnation of Frank Rizzo.
Thay all live in fantasyland

river said...

" "Anonymous said...
B OHare, You and Joe Long should hug.

3:43 AM """"" '"'"""

BERBIE !!! What ever you do don't let Joe Long hug you!! He may have a bomb strapped to his waist. Joe Long to Bernie O'..."MMmmmmm I am hugging you,"... Bernie O' to Joe Long....." Is that a hand grenade in your pocket or you just glad to see me "!!!! :):):):):):)

Anonymous said...

Sam Bennett got her profile raised at the DNC by Fadia Halma.

Sam then went around telling potential donors that the DNC really wanted her to run in the 15th when the truth was she got Fadia to tell her that she should run and Fadia, being and employee of the DNC ...

Well you can see how Sam was trying to create her own credibility from smoke and mirrors.

Hustler.

river said...

ANON 2:45 pm says....." Then there's Zoppi in Allentown, who thinks he is the reincarnation of Frank Rizzo.
Thay all live in fantasyland "

2:45 PM " I am sorry anon that I don't know who Zoppi is. But when it comes to Frank Rizzo, I think Philadelphia needs him now more than ever!. Lots of people are now calling the city of brotherly love "Killadelphia". Drugs and gangs and stolen and illegal
guns are destroying all the cities in America. If only Frank could come back and help us. No one today seems to be able to because of all the the threats of lawsuits. I honestly thing we are all doomed when it comes to Gang violence. Too many kids are droping out of school or being thrown out because the family values are declining and kids see on MTV how they can be a pimp and drive around in a Cadillac Escalade with all the gold chains and $100 dollar bills. I was born in 1955 and my first 8 years of my life were spent at 1209 Wood Ave in Easton. Thats just up from the 13th st exit from rt 22. It was fantastic there back then. I had such fun!! Sometimes I would find soda bottles that someone put out for trash day and take them to Brandau's store right on the corner where I could get the 2 cents deposit per bottle and I could get a full bag of candy and snacks for 10 cents or so. Now days you find plastic bottles in your yard every time you cut the grass. Never was there a shooting in the West Ward of Easton, now people say when wasn't there a shooting in the West Ward in Easton. How have people declined to this level?

Anonymous said...

If you would like to see that famous video of Sam wishing "Roy Boy" Afflerbach the best after losing the primary, write a letter to WFMZ TV, mark it ATTENTION ARCHIVES, and ask for the tape of her press conference conceding defeat during the 10:30 PM newscast on Tuesday, May 15th, 2001.
Include a check for $35 and let them know whether you want it on VHS or DVD. You won't be the first to ask for it! Make sure you give them an address to send it to! IT IS ABsolutely HILARIOUS! It should be on Girls Gone Wild!

Anonymous said...

how long you think before the concession is posted on youtube?

Anonymous said...

tomorrow, i hope

Anonymous said...

this is anon 9:33...

here's the question: from anon 6:37

how long you think before the concession is posted on youtube?


Plenty of us have it. Thanks for the idea....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:45 said...
I think you mean Fadia Halma......Thay (sic)all live in fantasyland.

You forgot Courtney Robinson who thinks he's Boss Tweed back in Tammany Hall in 1854. That must be what the suit's about.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just as long as you don't have that DVD of me and Angelina Jolie on that blanket at Buck E Boyle park. I swear we were just talking.

Anonymous said...

If its posted on youtube you must link to it.....Sorry Bernie makes the rules.

I would love to see that video of Bernie and the blow up doll.

Anonymous said...

From her website: "She also ran in 2005, and after her primary loss, helped ensure current mayor Ed Pawlowski’s come-from-behind win by running the most effective GOTV effort in county history." She is such an opportunistic liar. Everyone knows that was Mike Fleck who ran the GOTV effort for Pawlowski.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:44,

If it's posted on Youtube, I'll probably run a link to it. I know someone who had a copy, but I think he sent it to some politicos. I'll ask. If it's not loaded somewhere else sometime early next week, I'll do it myself.

Anonymous said...

Bernardo,
I believe you have been drinking to much of that homemade wine Angle gives you. The closest you got to a blanket with Angelina Jolie is on a blanket with Jolie Joe Timmer, now that video I don't want to see.
As far as teflon/ velcro, in Norco Co.-Reibman,Seyfried velcro and Stoffa,Brackbill teflon, at least by press coverage.

Your Less Then Obedient Servant

Sir Dude

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sir Dude, OK, OK. It was Brad Pitt.

NC Teflon & Velcro?

I agree w/ your assessment. That would be a good topic for a future post - who are the LV Velcro & Teflon pols, and why?

Chris Casey said...

Just to kill some of the back channel speculation.... I have a VHS copy of the aforementioned video. I'm not the person who posted HOW to get it, but I know for a fact thatyou can get it that way, I personally checked. I don't have the means to put it on a digital file and upload it to U-Tube, and I personally wouldn't. I also haven't passed it around. My point in obtaining it was to show that her rivals could, and that unlike me, they would probably use it.
It is not flattering for Sam. I hope it doesn't pop up, but she put herself out there, and she should realize that it is coming. It is too easily available in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans will definitely use this tape against her if she ends up as the Democratic nominee. That's what they do.

That is also just one of many reasons why rational Democrats need to get her out of the race and nominate somebody who can actually win.

Her blundering behavior when it comes to ethics and her lack of sophistication when it comes to delivering a political message, combined with her losing track record as a candidate in earlier races also diminishes her chances even more.

Actually, she is the one who should realize that her poltical ambitions are going to harm the Democrats next year in the Lehigh Valley if she stays in and SHE should be the one who has the decency and common sense to step down before it is too late.

Of course, seeing the way she has operated so far, it appears unlikely that she will do anything that benefits the collective good unless she gets soemthing for it, something like money to pay off her past debts and some high profile position that will allow her to continue to be the center of attention.

She is only in this political business for her own benefit. She craves attention. She wants to be seen as relevant and influential. And she wants to make lots of money doing it.

I don't see any other redeeming qualities about her and I used to be a supporter and actually believed in her past performance so much that I volunteered on her mayoral campaign against Afflerbach.

I will not make that mistake again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:07,

I can't blame you. Afflerbach was a disaster and Sam did not "blossom" until after that race.

Hayshaker said...

Yippee. I LOVE reading the "I hate Sam Bennett" blog. She must have stepped on Mr. O'Hare's foot or something. Maybe she didn't hold the door open for him.

Hayshaker said...

She is only in this political business for her own benefit. She craves attention. She wants to be seen as relevant and influential. And she wants to make lots of money doing it.

Now this I can agree with....

But I wouldn't go as far as say I'd vote for Charles Dent like Mr. O'Hare.

hayshaker said...

If its posted on youtube you must link to it.....Sorry Bernie makes the rules.

Yes, because we all want Charles Dent re-elected like Mr. O'Hare!

Dent's people are probably drinking margaritas right now since the LV Dems are doing their hatchet job for them.

Anonymous said...

Good grief. Not yet another person who insists that if you don't support Bennett, then you must be behind Dent. God, this is getting old.

Hhayshaker said...

You might want to read Mr. O'Hare's blog.

Good grief is right. Try reading before embarrassing yourself.

http://lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2007/07/bennett-campaign-vainly-tries-some.html

Check the last line.

Do you endorse Mr. Dent like Mr. OHare?

hayshaker said...

lehighvalleyhousewife - I accept apologies. Do you see that you are completely misrepreseinting ME and Mr. O'Hare?

Hell, I don't like Bennett either but I'm not going as far as saying I'd vote for Dent 1.5 years before the election!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker!

Back on the payroll! Good for you! It's nice to know Bennett has one defender, even if you have to get paid for it. The latest spin is I'm a Republican? Oh, goodie, please tell Phyrillas.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker!

I just got off the phone with the NRCC, and they'll kick in whatever Sam needs to stay in the race. Shit, if Snelling and Salavaggio can donate to that kooky green running for the senate last year, I'm certain they'll be happy to see Bennett as the next Dem nominee.

Anonymous said...

I don't support Dent. I'm just one of the many who would like to see Bennett drop out so someone else can realistically oppose Dent.

hayshaker said...

Mr. O'Hare -

I'm just a humble resident of Bethlehem Township resident. Why would I agree that Bennett is an opportunist if I was working for her?

How is this? PLEASE DON'T RUN SAM BENNETT.

I just won't go as far as voting for Bush's rubber stamp, Charlie Dent.

And I'm still waiting on the apology. Thats the problem with blogs. People post blatant falsehoods and misrepresentations and never recant. Shame.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And I've never disguised my support for Dent. Many Dems support Dent, and I happen to be one of them. I make no apologies. I could understand someone voting for another candidate who resonates in that person. But I can't inderstand supporting someone just because he or she happens to be Democratic.

hayshaker said...

Mr. O'Hare. I'm sure you did get off the phone with the NRCC. You are doing a yeoman's job for Congressman Dent. And all this time, I thought this was a left-leaning blog. It apparently is just a front for Rep. Dent's office.

Maybe you could run a piece entitled: Dent vs Bennett. Filet Mignon or Taylor Pork Roll?

hayshaker said...

Funny. Your apparent adoring fan, lehighvalleyhousewife, thinks I am making up the fact that you support Dent. I guess its not all crystal clear, now is it?

Your endorsement for Chuck Dent is an endorsement for the 3,665 dead soldiers in Iraq and the ones yet to be slaughtered. Cheers!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker,

LVHW and just about anyone else who reads this blog knows I like Dent. He's been a good congressman and is getting better, in my opinion. That's why no front tier Dem will challenge him. If a front tier Dem decided to challenge Dent, I'd have to make a choice. But that's not going to happen.

As far as laying the death of 3600 American soldiers at my feet, that's pretty low. I've struggled with Iraq, have posted about it here several times. There are no easy answers.

We've had some wide-ranging discussions, but no one called me a murderer. In fact, my deep respect for human life is why I think we need to stay. Some people of good will have a different view. But until now, no one has been so intolerant of my opinion that they called me a murderer.

Calling me a Republican is one thing. That's OK. But calling me a murderer reveals you are intolerant.

hayshaker said...

Oh please. No one called you a murderer. HOWEVER, Chuck Dent is DIRECTLY responsible for the continuation of the IRaq war - against the will of the American people - and endorsing him endorses the war.

Endorsing a war does not come without guilt. You appear to have reconciled the needless death of Americans with a -possible- ensuing genocide. Please don't be insulted when someone calls you on your support of the war and the GOP administration by proxy.

hayshaker said...

Dent voted FOR

1. Warrantless wiretapping of American citizens - even when there is no evidence that they are conspiring with foreign terrorist organizations.
2. A Constitutional Amendment outlawing same sex marriages.
3. Military Commissions Act
4. Patriot Act Reauthorization
5. He voted AGAINST prohibiting the federal government from searching YOUR library records

This could go on and on. Dent may be a good looking, good guy but he's no friend of the United States Bill of Rights or the United States Constitution. I suppose those papers have no place in hayshaker politics though.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hayshaker,

As a registered Democrat in Allentown, the point I would like to make with you is yes, Dent needs to go BUT Sam Bennett is not the candidate who can beat him. She is fatally flawed as a candidate and all by her own doing.

Stop trying to defend Sam as if she is the only solution for Dent and stop wasting our time trying to convince us that Dent is bad. We know that.

We would all be better off if we spent more time and effort in finding somebody better than Sam Bennett to run.

Then, maybe, we will actually be able to win.

hayshaker said...

Anonymous:

Sadly, Mr. O'Hare does NOT think Dent is bad. On the contrary, he heartily endorses him.

Second, please point out where I have defended Sam Bennett? Mr. O'Hare thinks I am an operative for her campaign. I'll say it again, PLEASE DROP OUT MS. BENNETT. Happy?

I personally am willing to back a bag of donuts at this point. Dent WILL lose in 2008 if people recognize his true record and not his good-guy good looks and hayshaker politics.

My point in all of this is to point out that Mr. O'Hare claims to be a friend of the Democratic party whilst disparaging the current Democratic candidate and crawling up the ass of the Republican.

I'd personally rather have a self serving opportunist than a person willing to use the Bill of Rights as toilet paper.

Anonymous said...

Hayshaker,

I'd rather have neither.

Anonymous said...

Wow, we got us a little love spat!

Greendogdem said...

I'd prefer the bag of donuts to bennett.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your endorsement for Chuck Dent is an endorsement for the 3,665 dead soldiers in Iraq and the ones yet to be slaughtered. Cheers!

I'm sorry but that puts me on the same level as a murderer.

My Iraq Views

I don't know about Hayshaker but I do know most Dems supported this war when it started. they pranced around saluting each other and slapping each other on the back.

I was not one of those who supported the invasion. Comne to think of it, neither was Dent. he wasn't in Congrss at the time.

I worked actively in the cities for peace movement, and presented a resolution to NC with absolutely no effect. I participated in several marches and candlelight vigils. I wrote several letters to the editor, and they were publ;ished. It sure would have been nice if Hayahaker or some of his Dem buddies had been there to help.

After the war started, I still didn't support it. I thought we should pull out.

My thinking on this has slowly changed over a course of years only because (1) I am concerned about a power vacuum, and (2) I am concerned about genocide. Many of my fellow Dems disagree with me about this, and that includes LVHW and GreenDog Dem. We've talked about it several times. I respect their views. They respect mine. They don't call me a murderer over the American lives lost. I don't accuse them of genocide.

I am comfortable enough with my positions to argue them in the blogosphere, weherre the prevailing mood is that we should withdraw. I might be wrong. I might be right. But my opinion is honestly arrived at, after reading a lot and listening to others.

Too early to tag Dent, but he may be 15th District's most liberal congressman ever.

It is too early to judge Dent. If you judge him based on his first year, he's a far right conservative. If you judge him based on his second year, he's actually a centrist. Another study right now rates Dent somewhere among the 30 most liberal Reobulican house members. Instead of cherrypicking, I'll look at the total record and decide.

Dent is no union guy, but his views on other matters are moderate and in some cases, progressive. He is a big alternative fuel advocate, and has been for years.

As far as the 15th Pa CD goes, he might just go down as being its most liberal member. He's certainly more liberal than Tad Walters, a scary Dem who chaired the House un-American committee. He's also more liberal than Toomey or Ritter, I think we'd agree. And unlike McHale, who currently serves Bush in the defense department, Dent's office is not some macabre museum of swords and medals. Dent never voted to impeach Clinton. I think it's a toss up between Rooney and Dent.

Hayshaker Politics

This dude has posted before, on 7/18. At that time, he was sneering down his nose at the rest of us as a bunch of hayshakers. That's a term I never heard used in the LV. I've heard "hoofty" and things like that, but hayshaker comes from somewhere else.

Here's how Hayshaker explained himself on 7/18 - "My dad's friends used to use the word 'hayshaker' to describe the backward mentality of the typical LV resident."

I love the superiority complex, don't you? By the way, my recollection is that the American farmer feeds 90% of the world.

Today, Hayshaker has popped all over this blog with snarks.

Payday. Time for him to earn his keep and then it's cocktails in the beltway.

hayshaker said...

You are killing me, Mr O Hare.

A lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley is allowed to sneer down his nose when he sees backward thinking. My dad owned popular businesses in the valley, He's dead now. He was also a lifelong resident of the LV, Allentown specifically. Make fun of him if you'd like.

You know those two dutchie guys - the fat one and the farmer guy? Those are hayshakers - or hoofty's if you will. I'd expect a little more of a sense of humor, Mr. O'Hare. So serious about the hayshaker allusion.

Quit trying to impress yourself that I am some sort of Washington insider. Address my posts (or not) but don't run behind excuses like "he called ME a murderer." You support Dent. Dent supports the war. I voted against Dent. I don't support the war. Its really very simple. I outlined 5 recent egregious positions of Dent and you stand by the vague notion of his "record" as if that is something different than his individual votes.

Finally, Democrats I have been acquainted with were for the invasion of Afghanistan but NOT Iraq. Perhaps life in Nazareth is different than here in 18045 but that's certainly news to me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker,

Democrats overwhelmingly supported the intitail invasion of Iraq, including the party's last presidential standard bearer, John Kerry. After the invasion was underway, Democrats joined even with Republicans in disingenuously linking Iraq and 9/11. When trying to claim a moral high ground that you never possessed, you should at least be truthful. Or do you think you can lie to hicks like us?

As far as Charlie Dent's mortal sins are concerned, you're cherry-picking your points from On the Issues. You should be honest and identify your source. And once someone looks at your source, he'll discover that Dent is mostly a moderate. Here's what that source also tells me.

Charlie Dent voted FOR
- expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines,
- allowing human embryonic stem cell research,
- allowing stockholder voting on executive compensation,
- criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC,
- removing oil & gas exploration subsidies,
- requiring lobbyist disclosure of bundled donations,
- protecting whistleblowers from employer recrimination,
- restricting no-bid defense contracts,

ETC.

ETC.

See I can take votes, too, and make Charlie look like a liberal. I don't want to do that. The truth is that Dent is not the evil archconservative you paint him to be. His views reflect the views of most people in the LV, Dem and R. Most Dems here in the LV are by no means liberals, no matter what they may think. Dent's a serious guy who takes his time and then decides what he thinks is best. Ideologically, he is far to my right, but I respect the way he approaches issues. And unlike you, I'm not convinced I'm right about everything.

Most Dems would still like to run someone against Dent, and that's probably a good thing, so long as it isn't Bennett. I don't think anyone except a Cunningham or Callahan can beat him, and they're not interested. So do we run an embarrassment just so we can say we have a candidate? That's foolish, but please be my guest. Watch state house candidates lose, and watch the presidential candidate lose in the LV, too. Is that what you want?

Next time you start making statements, try and tell the truth. It makes you a lot more convincing.

hayshaker said...

What truth did I not tell, Mr. O'Hare?

Point 1. We were not talking about members of the Senate or House supporting invasion of Iraq. We were talking about the average Democrat on the street.

Point 2. Why the need to make up some "gotcha" and act like I'm hiding something? There are numerous sources to look up Congressman Dent's record. I use the ACLU Congressional Scorecard.

Point 3. I understand you can take votes and spin them any way you like. I chose RECENT votes that challenge the United States Constitution, something the Republican power grab of the last 6 years disregarded.

And you are correct. Charlie Dent is a welcome change from Pat Toomey. But Dent's support for this failure in Iraq is unacceptable. He's purposely posturing for next year's election when he makes the appearance of challenging the President. He went to the White House and claimed to challenge the President and yet has voted time and again to "stay the course."

4 United States soldiers died in Iraq yesterday.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker,

Point 1: The Democrats who matter, i.e., those in Congress, backed Buush's initial invasion. The rest of us were split, but 64%
of all Americans favored invading Iraq w/ ground troops in Mar 2003. Many rank and file Dems supported that invasion. I know the figures were much higher immediately after 9/11, but don't have those figures.

Point 2: I'm not playing "gotcha." You were cherrypicking, and I called you out. I'm sicjk of that crap. You took five votes to argue that Dent is the antichrist. I took some of his other votes, and I could use those to argue he is our savior. Both of us would be wrong. The National Journal, a little more objective than the the ACLU, has been rating congress for years. I've linked to it on this blog. In Dent's first year in Congress, he was more conservative than he had been in the state senate. In his second year, Dent is rated as a centrist, and actually is right in the middle of the Pa. delegation. He is no bogeyman. He's a moderate who leans slightly to the right.

Point 3: Really? I see. Well, if you go by recent votes, as you claim to do, then Dent is actually a liberal. You point to Dent's vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Gee, Hillary Clinton did that, too. Hillary has no problem w/ a warrantless wiretap so long as it's eventually followed up w. a FISA trip. I guess she must be a conservative, too. Better get rid of her, eh? In truth, you cherrypicked, and shouldn't do that.

Iraq again Now you criticize Dent for being a leader in the First Tuesday group and going to see the prez to challenge him on his failed Iraq policies. Any Dem who did that would be hailed for his or her courage. But because Dent did it, it must be sleazy political maneuvering. He just did this in a ploy to grab votes.

Here's the fatal flaw in that argument. Dent never publicized that his group had met with the president. If he was just doing this to grab votes, he's have the press there to film him marching to the white house. The press found out about this after it had occurred, and not from Dent. He kept the press away precisely because he felt his group would be more effective without the fanfare.

Four US soldiers died yesterday. And this makes you right about Dent? This makes you right about anything? That's just a cheap ploy at emotion, nothing more.

Here's my question. How many Iraqi civilians died yesterday? How many lives did those four American soldiers save by their mere presence? How many Iraqi civilians would be dead if we left and allowed Malaki and Sadr death squads to rid the country of all Sunnis? How many Kurds would die if Turkey decided to silence that movement for an independent Kurdistan? How many Shia would die if we were gone and Syria and Saudi Arabia decided to give the Sunnis a hand? How many more would die when Iran decided to step in to give the shia a hand? And let's not forget Israel! Israel could decide it has to launch a preemptive strike, or it might find itself up to its neck in attacks.

We never belonged there. We made a stable area unstable. But many people, and I am one of them, believe we will make a bad situation worse with an immediate withdrawal.

This doesn't make us murderers. Quite the opposite. Are their lives less valuable than ours?

Bush may have gone in for the oil or because he's nuts or for whatever reason. But when he did so, he put us in a very bad position. We cannot abandon these folks to certain death. I opposed Bush's surge because it did not correspond w/ the ISG, but I could never agree to condemn so many people.

You've made the mistake of believing your own propoganda about Dent.

You're certainly welcome to state whatever anti-Dent view you wish to express. That's why this blog exists. I'm interested in discussion more than anything else. I'm a great believer in the Socratic method.

But I really detest your disparaging remarks about LV residents, your insistence that people apologize to you over perceived offenses, cherrypicking over a few votes, dishonest argument and your insinuations that American blood is on my hands simply bnecause I don't adopt your world view.

Now you're saying that Sam Bennett should not run, but you started off by snarking me and anyone else who pointed at her problems. If you are so intent on defeating Dent, you should be looking to get her out of the race now. This post was not not a discussion about Iraq. I just had one earlier this week, and my head is still spinning from that.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I guess I should be offended by this 'hayshacker' business. I, as you, never heard the word before I saw it on a former blog of yours. I can only assume it refers to the LV indiginous PA Dutch. I am aware of 'Hofty' and as a proud 'Dutchie', I don't mind the comment. Since both my grandparents owned farms I guess I am part of the 'backward mentality'. But before we go to far with that lets remember that for years the Lehigh Valley was a great place to live with clean and safe towns and cities. We had fiscal conservatives and the belief to do onto others as you would have done onto you. Despite all that going against us, some of us 'Dutchies' learned 'readen and writen' and even traveled and got jobs. Hayshaker sounds like a term that I guess should make me upset but there are far worse things one can do in life then shaking a little hay. Try cleaning out a chicken coup.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah he's a real riot. "My dad's friends used to use the word 'hayshaker' to describe the backward mentality of the typical LV resident."

Hee. Hee.

Although I am an Ouslander, I respect all the traditions in this area. American farmers feed 90% of the world. Not too shabby for a bunch of hayshakers. Someone's intelligence usually has no connection to the amount of education he's had. I'm a prime example.

Even if Dent is the antichrist, this is no way to make friends and influence people. People come on here and criticize Dent all the time.

hayshaker said...

By the way, I never mentioned anything about farmers in my comment.

"My dad's friends used to use the word 'hayshaker' to describe the backward mentality of the typical LV resident."

The typical LV resident is not a farmer. The tern "hayshaker" is just allegory.

I'd just like to address a few points you made. You actually, with a straight face, said that Dent never publicize that First Tuesday met with the President. Dent knew full well that meeting would be highly publicized and covered by every major media outlet in the country. C'mon! He didn't need to raise a finger.


I'm curious why you think our continued presence in Iraq will EVER curtail the list of conflicts in the region? Do you really think we will make a difference in the middle east? I assume you have been following the history of the region over these past decades? We have been in Iraq for four + years and the situation has gotten gravely worse. Its time to remove the troops. Its time to let the Iraqis make their own future.

Finally, anonymous 1:20 am makes the point beautifully. He/she wrote:

lets remember that for years the Lehigh Valley was a great place to live with clean and safe towns and cities.

WAS? Is the backward thinking? You tell me. You seem to be in touch with everyday LV residents and I so far removed. Is it the NJ transplants that have you down, anon 1:20? Is it the dwindling open space? Is it the rising Hispanic population? Are you thinking backwards? Are you opposed to economic development? THATS the thinking I meant when I used the hayshaker allegory. Sorry if do not agree.

Thanks for the debate, Mr O'Hare.

Greendogdem said...

I endorse the bag of Donuts

river said...

Anon said"""" Everyone knows that was Mike Fleck who ran the GOTV effort for Pawlowski.

9:45 PM '''''''""""""""""" I hear Fleck is really getting known for "slingin the sh*t", er I mean tossing the trash :):)

river said...

Anon said"""" Everyone knows that was Mike Fleck who ran the GOTV effort for Pawlowski.

9:45 PM '''''''""""""""""" I hear Fleck is really getting known for "slingin the sh*t", er I mean tossing the trash :):)

river said...

Hayshaker said" Dent may be a good looking, good guy but he's no friend of the United States Bill of Rights or the United States Constitution. I suppose those papers have no place in hayshaker politics though. ""

Hi Haysnaker, Ask Oshama bin and Hugo C. If they agree with you, and Adolph and Pol, and Benito, and Castro and Stalin. I am sure they will back you up. Thanks in advance for your prompt response.

Miller Park said...

Gentlemen, gentlemen,

wow, a great debate!!! It was fun, but for a quick fact check.

1.) Bernie, even the ISG believed we should begin to withdraw from Iraq within no more than one year, but while doing so, we should be doing other things. We should begin to get out of there within no more than a year. Our presence there is causing more harm than good, and even our best of intentions can't help Iraq now.
2.) National issues do not make up for Bennett being a "faithless politician (in this case the Morning Call would be classy to say it)." Dertinger was a solid man, and good Democrat, who was worthy of debating Charlie Dent, and in fact beat him at the debates I saw (which were most). Bennett is not on his par. She's an opportunist who seems to even screw up her multiple chances to make something.
3.) Dent is a politician, and if he grandstanded, that's what they do. He is by all means a conservative, and even your best arguments Bernie, don't take away from that. If you're pro-war, pro-tax cuts, and pro-NSA, you are a conservative. Did Hillary Clinton vote the same on most of that? Yes, she did, and this is why I won't vote for her unless every other Dem, and any decent GOP'ers, is dead.

Them's is the facts. Hey, am I a hayshaker?

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Miller Park:

I think you're pretty much right.

1. The ISG proposed a lot of things that Bush simply is not doing, and it did not propose an indefinite deployment. He is our Achilles heel. Most importantly, we need to be negotiating hard with surrounding nations to secure a peaceful withdrawal, one that does not result in even more bloodshed than our continued presence.

2. I saw only the debate in Pen Argyl. Dent killed Sertinger in that one, and in fact used some of Dertinger's statements against him in radio ads, including Dertinger's claim that he was "more or less dragged" into the vongressional contest. But even in this debate, in which Dertinger clearly did not bring his A game, he brought sincerity and passion that I don't think you'll find in Bennett.

3) Dent most certainly is a conservative politician, but his meeting with the prez was not political grandstanding, as most of my friends in the blogosphere seem to think. He never alerted the press, so it's pretty hard to make that case. Dent may be the most liberal congressman the LV has seen since Tad Walter, but that still makes him a conservative. You're right. My best arguments don't change that.

I'm pretty far to the left, even among those who blog. My views have always been a bit on the extreme side. So I have spent most of my life supporting people who don't really share my ideology. Most Dems come down far to the right of what I think about most issues. So I don't really condemn a candidate whose views are different than mine. I try to look at the person, too. In Hillary's case, it's hard for me to like her. I'd support her husband in a heartbeat. Her views might actually be a little more liberal than his, but I can't really bring myself to support her. Is it because she's a woman? I hope not, I hope it's not disguised sexism, but there itr is. Personalities matter, at least to me. I don't subscribe to the "nice guys finish last" philosophy spearheaded a few weeeks ago by NC Councilperson Ann McHale. I do think we need to listen to each other. In fact, that's what i said when I started this blog. That's why the comments here are so important.

And I thank you for yous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The typical LV resident is not a farmer. The tern "hayshaker" is just allegory.

Most LV residents are descendants of coal miners, steelworkers or farmers. The term "hayshaker," with its farming connotations, was definitely a slur, especially since you felt the need to add that the "typical LV resident" has a "backward mentality." It was a little more than some allegory. If you think people in the LV can't think, you're in for a rude awakening.

As far as Dent's First Tuesday's group is concerned, their idea was not to publicize it. That's just the truth. All of these congressman manged to meet w/ the prz, and there wasn't a sinlge press release. It wasn't until later in the week that Tim Russert managed to find out about it. It's a little hard to call that move a public relations move.

As far as Iraq is concerned, there is only one thing that I can say with any degree of certainty - I don't know what the hell I'm talking about and don't know the answer. I think that's painfully obvious whenever I post the topic. Equally obvious, however, is that a great multidude of us are in the same boat. It's not a clear or easily solved situation. Those who think so are only kidding themselves.

Finally, your snark to Anon 1:20 should be addressed. There could be many reasons for that statement. The ones that hit me are the loss of industrial and manufacturing jobs as well as our open space. Those are not the complaints of someone with a "backward mentality" but you choose to say so because it fits in nicely with your own little biases.

I appreciate and thrive on debate, especially with someone who disagrees. You'll do better at this if you make your points without snarking my readers. I don't mind the shots at me. I deserve every one of them, and more. I know you think you're better than everyone, but your snarks have revealed that you've been the only one with a "backward mentality." Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hayshaker said --

"Your endorsement for Chuck Dent is an endorsement for the 3,665 dead soldiers in Iraq and the ones yet to be slaughtered. Cheers!"

In my opinion, any one who really felt for our U.S. servicemen and women who have lost their lives in Iraq would not have posted the statement above with the snarky comment "Cheers" appended to it.

What are we supposed to "Cheer" about, friend? Are we "cheering" your effort to score a rhetorical point in a blog-off by using -- and yeah I mean using, because that's what you did -- the kids who died in service to their country?

I believe that there are people on the Left who absolutely want to see the situation deteriorate in Iraq, solely for their political advantage. Top Democrat leaders like Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel have repeatedly said they want to make the Republicans put up so-called "bad votes" on Iraq on Funding bills just so they could have them to use in campaigns.

Speaking about the "Surge," the House Majority Whip, Democrat James Clyburn, of South Carolina said that any success could be a problem for Democrats who want to stop the war. Don't believe it? Here's a link to one of his home state's newspaper's article on his comments:

http://www.thestate.com/politics/story/135934.html

Here's an article on the Washington Post's site about his comments as well:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/30/AR2007073001380.html

Reasonable people need to do the math. Fortunately, math is one thing us LV Hayshakers are good at. We learned it in our one room schoolhouses.

First: Approval for the Democrat-lead Congress is at historical lows. They actually have to look up to see Bush's approval rating. This is in large part because they have not delivered what they promised to their base -- an end to the War.

Second: This makes a hasty withdrawl from Iraq (and goddamn the consequences to the Iraqis, to the entire Middle East, and most importantly to our troops) a political necessity for them.

Third: Unfortunately, there's now a guy in charge in Iraq who seems to be able to tell his ass from his hat and he has been achieving slow, but discernible progress.

Fourth: Whoa! That kind of progress might be good for the country, and for our troops and for the Iraqi citizens not getting killed by murder squads -- but it sure isn't what Speaker Pelosi and DCCC guru Rahm Emmanuel want to be hearing. I bet they both spit out their Cheerios when the New York Times published the opinion piece by O'Hanlon and Pollack of the Brookings Institute titled: "A War We Just Might Win."

Which is why that I can't help but to feel that as much as Democrats accuse the Republicans (and to our discredit, rightfully so) of using our men in women in uniform as political objects, I think that they are just as guilty of doing so.

Whether it be the "No Good News is Acceptable" Brigade running out of the DNC and Speaker Pelosi's circles or Hayshakers callous "Cheers" throwaway line to score a cheap debate point in a statement where he talks about 3,665 America War Dead.

That attitude is wrong. It is a true disservice to our troops. It is poisoning public discourse and hurting our country.

HOW CRAZY IS IT THAT BAD NEWS FROM THE FRONT IS VIEWED AS GOOD NEWS FOR ONE OF OUR POLITICAL PARTIES!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:19,

You put things in perspective very well. It's time we start coming together, left and right, Dem and Rep, to decide what is best for the country. In the end, we're all on the same side. I've got to admit that I don't have all the answers and start listening. We all need to do that.

I have no problem with putting everything on the table and trying to find the best answer. If the best answer is that we leave, so be it. If the best answer is that we stay, so be it.

But I'm tired of people form both parties who have needlessly politicized this war. Lately, it's been the Dems, and in a big way.

Anonymous said...

I can't claim total disagreement with anonn 12:19. The middle east is a mess and Iraq is not as easy as 'pull out now' or 'stay the course'. As a Democrat I freely admit Democratic leaders have politized the war. Yet the president and company have been less than honest and straightforward since before this war started up to the cuurent time. As someone who was intimately familiar with the 'Vietnam era' people can support troops by debating in a free society the war they are engaged in. Even guys who dutifully served but came home and said/say this isn't working.

LVDem said...

"Dent most certainly is a conservative politician, but his meeting with the prez was not political grandstanding, as most of my friends in the blogosphere seem to think. He never alerted the press, so it's pretty hard to make that case."

I have no problem saying that Dent was grandstanding. He was. I accept that as grandstanding as I do that Rendell grandstands when he goes to a grandmothers house and talks about property taxes. As far as alerting the press, they didn't find out on their own. I'm sure a subtle leak from a source close to Dent made it possible for him to say he never alerted the press. And to be honest, if he didn't want to make a big deal of it, he could have said, very simply, "I met with the president as I do from time to time and would prefer not to discuss the conversation." That would have been somebody not grandstanding on the issue. But he talked about how it (the war) hurt him politically and that he told the president that. He was concerned about the politics and said it. The only way he could have been more clear was if he said that he was in danger of losing b/c of the war. If a Democrat did the same thing, I'd be equally annoyed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem, Let me help yopur fading memory about what happened.

1) 11 GOP members, led by Charlie Dent, met with the prez, Gates, etc.

2) The meeting was private.

3) The prez was basically told he's lost all credibility.

3) When someone tipped off Russert, Dent did speak about it. I looked to see where Dent clkaimed he was worried about how this affects him politically and can't find a damn word to back that up. I looked thru a lengthy KOS post from Smitheus that tries very hard to slam Dent, but that statement just isn't there. It's wishhful thinking.

Some congrtessmen are quoted as saying they're worried about losing, but it's not tied to Dent specifically.

“The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There is no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus."

I applaud Dent for giving the prez his frank assessment and for doing what he can to steer Bush in the right direction. I don't think it was political grandstanding. I think Russert found out about it, after the fact, either because he was tipped off by Rove or, more likely, Kirk. And I'm unaware of any statement from Dent in which he claims he's doing this for political reasons. Enlighten me if I'm wrong.

LVDem said...

Sheesh, this thread is long...

Here is the article that I paraphrased that we posted at KP. It's from the NY Times.

"He said lawmakers wanted to convey the frustration and impatience with the war they are hearing from voters". That is not a direct quote of Dent but it is very clear in the article that it was his intention to convey the frustration of the voters. Why convey that frustration? I'm sorry, but whenever somebody expresses concerns about voter frustration, it's b/c the voters are saying "fix it or you've got a problem."

Just to give you some context on the responses from KP readers, here is a quote from one of our conservative readers:
"Most of this seems political – Northeastern moderates such as Dent and Gerlach are scared out of their wits over the next cycle and don’t want to go the way of Nancy Johnson, Sue Kelly, et. al."
The reader goes on to say that he applauds Dent for saying what other Republicans aren't saying, but the guy points out that Dent is scared of the political fall out.

We are seeing the same facts. Where we diverge is in motives. I see Dent as covering his butt. You see him as speaking truth to power (correct me if you want). But in my experience, nobody goes to the governor or president or mayor to speak truth to power. They are going b/c the going just got really tough and that politics are forcing a change of heart.

And finally, where do you think Russert's news director got his "tip" about that meeting? I don't think it came from the white house. My guess would be that it came from within the group of congressmen in that meeting. And yes, that would include Chuckie D.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem,

Yep, This is a lengthy comment thread. It tells me I need to post about political grandstanding and the real phonies.

Nothing in the NYT cite you provide backsd up your insinuation that Dent had stupidly told the press he met with Bush because he was afraid of the political fallout. He's just not that dumb. But most of us now believe he actually said that because the claim has been repeated often enough in blogs.

Also, quoting an anonymous conservative commenter means nothing. It doesn't back you up, dude.

I'm sure Russert got his tip from one of the Rs. I'll agree with that. But I doubt it was Dent. He hasn't been in DC long enough to be pals w/ Russert. My guess is it came from someone who's been around.

Sadly, it is Democrats who are trying to male political hay with endless immediate withdrawal resolutions. They are only hurting themselves because their motivation is so obvious that it's disgusting.

Let's drop the frickin' politics and grandstanding thjat we see on both sides, and let's stop blaming Dent for actually meeting with the prez and telling him he's lost credibility. If a Dem congeressman did that, you'd be praising his courage. If Dent was not a part of the group tha met w/ the prez, he'ds be criticized for that, too.

Give the guy a break! I realize he's a republican but the political bullshit has to stop. This is too important.

LVDem said...

"If a Dem congeressman did that, you'd be praising his courage."

If a Dem was in the white house right now and my democratic congressman went to see him in response to sagging poll numbers (which I maintain is the case and the cause for that visit... why else run an all out agressive campaign against Dertinger a few months earlier), I'd be furious with my congressman. If I was alive at the time of Vietnam, I'd have been ticked then too. You know that I'm consistent in saying Dems are grandstanding fools too. Heck, I even sited Rendell above.

I give up on this thread. You love Charlie Dent the way I love beer and I can say pretty confidently that neither love is healthy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem,

Here's your problem. You claim Dent went to see Bush bc of his sagging poll numbers, but you have no factual basis. Do you even know he conducted a poll? Did he make that clasim to the press? Of course not. Isn't it possible, just possible, that he was fed up w/ the Bush approach? The ISG report had just been released, and Bush was choosing to ignore large portions of that report. And Dent did publicly say he liked that report. I believe Dent, as a politician, can grandstand with the best of them. I just see no factual basis for that assertion here.

And I do not love Charlie Dent nearly half so much as you love beer. That would be Saint John of Stoffa.