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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time to Crash the Democrat Party

Once again, the Northampton County Dems are having a party, and they've failed to invite me.

Sure, I support nearly as many Republicans as Democrats, especially on a local level. In fact, instead of pissing $2 million down the drain in another goofy attempt to dump Congressman Charlie Dent, I think Northampton County Dems should either support him or at least turn their head the other way while most of us continue to vote for him.

This is probably a violation of some by-law, but party boss Walt Garvin has yet to give them to me. Walt Garvin himself is in fact featured on the party web page with Not-So-Jolly Joe Timmer, a rabid conservative Republican who ran for Bethlehem City Council about 3,000 years ago and finished dead last. On his radio station, Timmer currently features conservative libertarian Dennis Miller, and before that, hosted Bill O'Reilly. They make Dent look like Jimmy Carter.

Now, just like the tea party, Democrats were supposed to have some trial to eject me as a member. But instead of going to all that trouble and following the by-laws he is trying to use against me, Garvin has decided instead to just ignore me and refuse to send me notices of upcoming meetings.

This just pisses off other Democrats. They may not share my views, but resent a party boss just excluding someone on his own.

So I've received about 20 notices that tonight, at Northampton Community College, Room 190, Main Floor, a new Vice Chair will be elected. According to Garvin, "The election of Vice-Chair will be the only business conducted at this meeting."

I wonder if that will change when I crash the party.

I wonder if Barron von Footinmouth will be wearing his kilt.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie, please ask Lord Barron, now that Gracedale must be successful, what specifically is he doing to help.

I would love to know what the so-called financial and procedural expert plans are.

During the debate many were told that Barron was the "brains" behind the "how" in saving Gracedale.

Now I would have thought some experienced county hands like Jerry Seyfried, Rich Grucela or Ron Heckman sounded a bit more knowledgeable when addressing the topic. We were wrong, the Party made it clear that Lord Barron was the expert and the salvation as he represented the new Democrats.

So as someone who is a bit curious, what are his plans

A Dem longing to know

Anonymous said...

I'm a life-long R who is puzzled by anyone's frustration with a party that is bent on supporting its own party members. I can understand the inner party battles, but those who want to support the other party's guy should join the other party or stand down. Nobody is forced to join a political party.

Anonymous said...

Political science students, this is how it's done:
The reporter (or blogger) tails off his story with some seemingly innocent, gratuitous remark about, say, a candidate in a kilt.
Some one thenm pops up with a question, seemingly vague, and in the guise of a friend, looking for an answer for said candidate.
Whether the candidate or his proxy responds, the questions will become more focused, more antagonistic, and more personal as the comment thread develops. For light relief, some one will pick on the candidate's clothing choice, or his general aspect and appearance, often referencing fictitious characters from the movies and TV to underscore the persoanl attack.
The blogger will chip in, offering commentary ostensibly to keep the thread on track, but really to reinforce the attacks on the candidate.
Dissenters will be abused; reasonable people without any interest other than fair play will have their motives torn asunder - in the classic Republican black and white, good v evil mode, you're either with the blog or against it.
Congratulations will then be passed around, phone calls, high five, even e-mails for those who are computer literate enough to use them, celebrating yet another good day at the office of disinformation.
Couldn't happen here, though, could it?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but if you say loudly that you're a Democrat while supporting a slew of Republicans, the hope is that you will make them more appealing, moderate, independent-friendly. It's a standard tactic which I have seen used a lot lately somewhere, now where did I see it used lately....mmmm...it escapes me, oh well.

Anonymous said...

No worries bernie we are comming at your boy.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

The Barron will be there if there is a free buffet.

Jon Geeting said...

This is a great example of the point Rich Wilkins was making when he wrote about the strange hostility to competitive elections in LV politics.

Why on earth would the Democratic Party not run a challenger against Charlie Dent every single cycle until they beat him? Or even weirder - provide institutional support to a Republican!

Maybe you don't care about any actual issues, but the vast majority of people who care about politics participate because they want to move government policy in their direction. Why would Democrats help elect a guy who doesn't support any of their core values?

Anonymous said...

While you're at it find out when Callahan is going to announce his 2nd bid for Congress. Also find out when Wee Willie Reynolds & Karen "I can't shut up" Dolan are going to announce their bid for Mayor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jon Geeting, the reason why Dems should not run a candidate is bc they will waste money they don't have and will be trounced by a candidate who is not so different. They should know this by now. They've run Driscoll, Dertinger, Bennett and Callahan. In all elections, they have had their heads handed to them, and the candidates they have run have been ruined.

Most Democrats do not share your extreme notions, and are closer to Dent than they are to you. He does support most of their values, which are not yours. There is little difference between a mainstream Republican and a blue collar Dem.

And Geeting, why would anyone listen to anythng you say? Especially after you repeated a story that has been proven false?

I would not. I am disappointed that you have such little regard for the truthm as you demonstrated in your little Angle snippet.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:18, Actually, there's a few problems with your theory. First, you ascribe Machiavellian traits to me that I simply don't have. Second, my Barron von Footinmouth comment was intended as humor, something that appears to be lost on you. Third, your own comment belies the notion that differing views are shouted down on this blog. Finally, most of the shouting down on this blog comes from supposed Democrats who hate when I tell the truth. I've been called a pedophile, thief, crossdresser (by the same assholes who want a Human Relations Comm'n) and read things about my own personal life and family that are simply untrue.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'm a life-long R"

Sure you are.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

In your response to Jon Geeting @ 8:58am you state that Representative Dent "does support most of their values," with "their" being "Most Democrats." Could you please tell me what "Most Democrats" value and the votes that Dent has made to back up your claim?

I ask because from what I have seen, Dent votes pretty much inline with the Republican leadership and will only divert from this on issues that are regional in nature or so far off the map or reasonable that he could never get elected. Here are some examples of his voting record, just this year:

He voted to end financial support for National Public Radio.

He voted to not allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas regulation for the purpose of addressing climate change. (Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011)

He voted against Federal Funding of Abortions (No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act) ***Keep in mind that this is a legal procedure, just like chemotherapy, regardless of your religious point of view.***

He has voted for every repeal attempt and defunding attempt of last years healthcare legislation.

Those votes do not seem in line with what "most Democrats" value. I'll give you that he voted to keep funding Planned Parenthood (family planning) and is in support of stem cell research. But to me, these are not issues of Dem vs. Rep., but just common sense and a believe in science.

Publius

Rising Sun said...

Bernie, With all due respect, math simply would disprove your notion that most Democrats are closer to Dent than Jon. Even though Dent has won, anyone over 35% usually wins their own party's voters, so most Dems don't actually vote for Charlie. Plenty do, but I chalk that up to not actually knowing Dent's voting record. They read that he's a centrist in the paper. I'm just asking here, what exactly makes him a centrist? I see nothing.

Anonymous said...

Curiosity. When the R's on Council had the opportunity to appoint an "R" to a vacancy on Council, didn't the "R's" appoint a Dem (Gerry Seyfried)? Not only a Dem but one of the highest ranking Democrats in the County's history. Why would they do that? Also, I understand (the word around Gracedale) was that there was a secret meeting with Rich Grucela and top union leaders that brought forth recommendations to save Gracedale and get union "give backs". Do you know anything about this issue and is it true? Also last but certainly not least, Have the Dems ever supported a Qualified "R" for any office like we supported Seyfried? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Charlie dent is right on women's issue, he is right on the second amendment (the right to own guns) and he was right on the government bail-out issue and people ask why he is so popular.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am unaware of any secret deal concerning Gracedale.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rising Sun, Many Dems do support Dent or he could never be elected in a blue district. Take that math to the bank.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Publius, Dent is no left wing loonie. So if that is what you want, don't vote for him. He is like most of us, a centrist. He leans a little right. So what? I know many Dems who lean right, too.

Anonymous said...

11:15 You almost made me throw up. Right on women’s issues, are you out of your mind? He voted against Lilly Ledbetter, he apparently thinks women are second class citizens and do not deserve equal pay in line with their male counterparts. He may have the abortion issue in his checkbox, but that is it on women’s rights.

And Bernie, this is a presidential year look for things to be much different. We will have a great candidate well funded with a great message. We will be running against a guy who voted in the 112th congress 84% of the time in party. That is rank and file republican my friend. The key is to be able to get the message out and get the party more motivated than last election.

And you never commented on his now number one donor and how it dovetails with his hydrogen caucus issues. APD loves Charlie

Seamus

Rising Sun said...

Bernie, a majority of Dems voted against him, probably around 70%. Now, 70% from the other party vote against almost every Congressman in the country, so that's obvious, but do not claim he represents most Dems, he simply doesn't. I also take exception to your saying Dent is a centrist. On what? His voting record is conservative.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You didn't answer my questions: what is your definition of "Most Democrats values? And what evidence do you have to show Dent has supported those values? Very simple questions that go a little beyond telling me he is "moderate" or "a centrist." Those are nice words, but without anything to back them up, words is all they are.

Are you telling me that funding for NPR is "left wing loonie?" How about protecting the environment? You are old enough to remember what the air quality was in the Lehigh Valley back in the day.

I am not asking any more of you than I do of Scott Armstrong or Patrick McHenry. All I am asking for is a little proof to back up the rhetoric. Besides, as an ardent supporter of Rep. Dent this would be a good thing for you to do anyway. I get that you are friends with the guy and you think he is a good person or whatever. But that doesn't mean that he is "moderate" or "centrist" or has actually voted in Congress that way.

So again, what are the values of most Democrats and how has a "moderate" Rep. Dent shown support to any of these values?

Publius

Anonymous said...

Publius the Dent camp has said it enough and the papers printed it enough that people actually think he is a centrist....and a nice guy. As he stated last cycle he only knows one way hard or uncontested.....wwell get ready to rumble!

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Semus,

That is exactly my point ... just because he says it is true, doesn't mean it actually is. I also believe that this is the problem with politics today. Nothing is based on facts or science, just rhetorical statements and gut feelings. And this goes for most all politicians, not just Dent. But since Dent "represents" me, he is more of a problem for me than others.

Publius

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you'll wait a long, long time for Jon Geeting to admit to a factual error.

I've pointed out a ton at his blog - and we're talking about stuff like "the sun is green" - and he simply won't even acknowledge let alone admit errors.

Anonymous said...

Publius, read the Political Brain by Drew Westen if you have not yet done so...it talks about this in great detail.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Dent voted with Paul Ryan to end medicare. Not a very "Democrat" friendly thing to do. In fact, I know quite a few thinking Republicans who caught the hypocrisy of calling Obama on cutting $500 million from medicare then winning the majority and coming up with a Republican bill to end medicare as a system and instead give seniors coupons to redeem with private insurers at .30cents on the dollar.

Yeah, the "centrist" in charlie is really oozing out. Charlie had a chance to tell extremists in both parties, "I am a thinking moderate Lehigh Valley resident, like most people in the Valley".

Instead, he cast his political lot with the "20% club. The extremists teabaggers that may control a primary but not a general election.

After the Ryan vote people are now wise to the continuing Republican effort to destroy what little remains of social safety nets for the middle class of this country.

"Boy, I say, oh boy, bring me my pen to sign this new Republican Bill freeing you from Social Security".

Stop the Madness, use a brain, buy a clue!

Anonymous said...

Keep spending your damn faces off and be happy

V. LENIN

Anonymous said...

Never worry about running out of other people's money ... that is only propaganda designed to discredit Socialism.

Talk to the Greeks, if you are confused.

J. STALIN

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie,

Any press released from Mr. Dent on the total abdication of the Republicans on the debt limit issue? Does he support Senator McConnel's proposal or does he stand with Ms. Bachman? Does he believe it is all smoke and mirrors and that there will be no consequence to raising the debt ceiling? It would be nice to know where our Representative stands.

Still Looking

Rising Sun said...

You won't be getting that press release. You only get those when he's naming a post office or reading to school kids. Or you know, introducing legislation (that never passes by the way) to not give drivers license to terrorists or something. You're talking about a major national issue, and he'll let the big boys decide his position, and he'll vote how Mr. Boehner tells him to. Then he'll say he's a centrist.

So don't wait up too late waiting.

Anonymous said...

I still say keep spending your damn faces off and be happy.

I always hated America, anyway.

V. LENIN

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rising Sun, that is bullshit and you know it is bullshit. Charlie Dent issues news releases about nearly every issue facing this nation. When I pass them on here, they are regularly attacked. The person who refused to take a satnd on anything last election cycle was Johnny Casno. He did not endorse the Health Care Reform Law until the day after it was enacted.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Dent supports unrestricted abortion - including partial birth - and doesn't mind the government funding it. There are more one issue voters than anyone wants to admit. He's got the abortion inoculation and enjoys significant Democrat support because of this and other liberal social views. He enjoys their money and their votes. He's called a RINO for a reason. He's a better Democrat than most of the douche bags D's have served up for worsening slaughter each time.

Rising Sun said...

We're not talking about "Johnny Casino," Bernie, we're talking about our Congressman. Where's his position on the debt ceiling? Where was the press release on RyanCare? I saw the press releases on any number of lesser issues, where's he on these issues? He came out with some mish-mash of a statement on Afghanistan, after the President's position. This isn't new to Charlie either, so no, it's not bullshit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There was a news release concerning Ryan's proposed budget and I posted it. there has also been at least one news release concerning the debt ceiling.

Dent gets slammed for not doing what he does all the time. this is a bullshit criticism Ricjh and you know it is bullshit. Dent has been out front on nearly every issue facing this nation, while people like Callahan stick their fingers in the wind.

If you want to criticize Dent's positions, fine. But it's unfair to portray him as having none and running from issues, as you did.truth be told, it is har for me to keep track of them all because there are several every week. And when he makes a controversial vote, he releases a statement explaining it.

Rising Sun said...

No I do not know it's a bullshit criticism. I personally don't think Charlie Dent's stupid by any means, but he seems to issue these press releases you put up that repeat GOP talking points, and only come out after he's told how to vote by the leadership of his party. And if you even try to claim he's not basically at their mercy, you're admitting he's not a centrist, so you can take your pick on this one. He almost always votes their way. Besides that, all I ever seem to see are after the fact statements, like on RyanCare, or statements on "powder puff" issues. Where's his statement of intent on the debt ceiling? Is he for Mitch McConnell's plan to give away Congressional authority? Or Cantor's demands? Or is he waiting to hear how he'll vote?

Anonymous said...

Is there a fee to have the meeting @ NCC?

Anonymous said...

Charlie has a call into Eric Cantor and will get back to you on the debt ceiling issue. in the meantime, he feels anything that Obama says is a lie and he is opposed for the good of the nation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Is there a fee to have the meeting @ NCC?">

I assume a payment was required. When I had a meeting there concerning the bond issue, I had to pay.

Bernie O'Hare said...

". Besides that, all I ever seem to see are after the fact statements, like on RyanCare,"

Bullshit. On the day that Ryan proposed his changes, Dent had a news release. What's a powderpuff issue? Praising our vets on memorial day? Getting some overdue recognition for the merchant marines? Proposing bipartisan legislation to promote stem cell research?

In addition, he reaches out to voters regularly at town halls, where he shares his views with voters and listens to theirs.

And now he sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

You want to throw that all away bc he does not do what Nancy Pelosi wants??

Good luck with that.

You've been trying, and falling on your face, for years. You want to waste money on another disastrous campaign? Knock yourself out.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Deleted commenter:

If you want your comment to stay longer than 30 seconds, don't use the word "teabagger." I'm sick of it.

Anonymous said...

If you meet up with Mr. Barron I want you to be very respectful. I only ask one thing;

Did he get da baby in hais belly, he put da baby in his belly!!!

Did he get his baby back, baby back, baby back ribs???

Rising Sun said...

And name me a major project he's getting for us from Appropriations. I'll give you the next, I don't know, ten years if necessary to find me one. Any member of Congress, literally all of them, do the things you just labeled "powder puff," so should we all clap for them now? Town Halls? Again, the worst guys in both parties have them, so what? You speak of him "proposing" legislation, how about passing some? And no, I'm not faulting him for not voting 100% with Pelosi, I'm faulting him for voting 100% with Boehner when the chips are down. As far as the facts are concerned, he's a loyal GOP vote, which is his right to be, but saying we should give him a pass for that is insanity. Blaming people for voting against a Congressman who votes against them is just stupid. I'd toss out a record like his any day. Besides that, he's not even that good of a Congressman at delivering for us. We vote for a Democrat for President, then vote for a Republican who votes against everything that Dem does. Does that make sense to you? Voting is kind of the job he goes to DC to do.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rich,

1) I am certain that Dent himself will be naming some projects he gets from Appropriations, and when he does, people like you will be slamming him for earmarks.

2) I did not start out labeling anything powder puff. That was you. And I don;t consider Dent's achievement powder puff achievements. You may want to snark the merchant marines, but I respect their service.

3) Few Congressman conduct the number of Town Halls that Dent conducts or makes an effort to travel the district like Dent. And practically no Congressman is willing to actually listen to constituents who would just as soon see him impeached.

Go ahead. Keep banging tour head against he wall. If you folks had any sense, you'd save your money for Obama bc he is going to need it. But go ahead and let Callahan or some other sacrificial lamb take a shot.

Patrick McHenry said...

Rising Sun said:

"We vote for a Democrat for President, then vote for a Republican who votes against everything that Dem does. Does that make sense to you?"

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sun -

Holy cow, we finally found something we can agree on!

It makes no sense at all.

And I'll be there with my Republican, Independent, and (growing number of) Democrat friends to correct it in 2012 when we vote Obama out of office.

Anonymous said...

Bernie you always talk big about crashing partys to make a trouble.
Well I have been to a few partys where you showed up --- no trouble-
you only sit there with your tail between your legs and your mouth shut. You are full of hot air.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If I sit there quietly and meekly, how can I be full of hot air? You make no sense.

I attend many meetings. Most of the time, you do never hear a peep from me. I do sit quietly and listen.

But there are times when I need to say something, and I do. It might happen once or twice a year before County Council, and it happened last night at NCC.

Rising Sun said...

Patrick,

The President leads almost every poll. Please though, do go vote, I'm not going to discourage that. You just might be disappointed in the outcome. At least we agree that voters sometimes make no sense, especially when they don't know what they're voting for.

Bernie,

I didn't snark the merchant marines, you brought them up. I think I pretty clearly only cited Post Office namings. I cited most of what Charlie actually accomplishes for the Valley as powder puff too. I can't name a major transit project, or for that matter anything else, that he's gotten done. Frankly, no I won't slam him for "earmarks," I don't oppose anything that lowers the unemployment rate in a time when it's 9%. He'll get slammed for it by many because he's in a party, a majority, that he and they have pontificated about how bad earmarks are for years, and how they won't take them. I'm also willing to bet that he'll deliver little to nothing that brings good paying, sustainable jobs to the Valley. Instead we'll get the regular, "I named this school this, I got AirProducts that," stuff from him. Frankly again, please tell me the list of such great, positive things Charlie has delivered to the Valley. He's been around since 1990, been on the Appropriations Committee now through a couple of supplemental appropriations, and we've not seen him deliver much, but he's darn nice, his staff's darn nice, and he actually has town halls (again, he's not special there, I've been to several of his town halls, he doesn't have some especially high number of them), so now he's a good Congressman. Kind of like he's a centrist, without taking many centrist votes.

The President doesn't need a dime of money based on today's reports, and so there's no reason to allow a conservative Congressman to go unchallenged. The guy would be a lobbyist today had someone like Callahan or Cunningham been his opponent in 2006 or 2008. With the GOP's stunningly stupid posturing on the debt ceiling and RyanCare, plus their incredibly weak field, there's some good odds that 2012 will look more like 2008 than 2010. Dent's won against exactly one reasonably strong, well-funded opponent since his first race 20 plus years ago. I believe his luck will soon run out with the crazy right-wing votes he has taken. In the end, he's just a mid to back bench member.

Bernie O'Hare said...

rich, if obama expects to win in pa, he will need money. last i heard, he loses Pa. link below. so far, I have seen no R candidate I consider better than Obama, but that could change. And if Dems waste money on a race they are going to lose anyway, they may not have enough money for a race they could win.

Rising Sun said...

The President lead everyone but Romney, who he was tied with in today's poll. Additionally, there are enough undecideds who were the same "Clinton Democrats" who broke late for him last time, to put him over the top. I can only hope that the GOP puts their hopes on PA, and not VA, NC, and FL, but hey, I'll let them do their on strategizing. I do not know if the DCCC will put a lot of money in here again, nor do I think it actually has to (if the President wins PA easily again, with anyone stronger than Bennett, Dent is in the race of his life). If the seat's gonna flip, it's gonna flip. I'm obviously of the opinion that 2010 was a complete and total fluke, so I guess we'll just have to see. The President raised more than the GOP field combined, and their not good candidates without money. They also have months to walk themselves out on the right plank, which they seem capable of doing easily. Ultimately, this race is stacking up perfect. Romney is their "Mr. Electable," right now, but has more holes in his candidacy than Swiss-Cheese in the end.

Anonymous said...

Rising Sun,

I know of at least one critical transportation project Mr. Dent was supportive in securing funding for, the expansion of route 412. This project will be important to the future development of the 1600 acres of the Bethlehem steel site. He did this when he was a freshman Congressman.
My frustration with Dent and with most of the elected leaders in Washington is that they no longer lead, they follow. Follow small minorities of the party, follow the talking points pushed out by the party, follow the money and most refuse to take positions on critical issues. I did not see Mr. Dent's press release on the Ryan budget, but I am sure it did not explain the flip of positions in the cutting of the money from medicare. I hold the press accountable for this as well. They have a role in questioning our elected officials on these issues. The local papers do not offer any real coverage of our officials in Washington, both Senate and Congress. It is shameful.
I think the current crisis is the moment for the moderates and grown-ups in each party to stand together and make some important decisions about the future of our country. I have not heard an official position on the issue from Mr. Dent's Tuesday group about these issues. Issuing press releases and having controlled town hall meetings where you give visitors a list of questions is not to me leadership, its accessibility, which is not a bad thing. Bernie is right Mr. Dent did take an early position on Obama's healthcare plan saying he would vote against it because of the 500 million dollars worth of cuts from medicare, then turned around and voted for those same cuts in the Ryan plan. That is not leadership in my opinion. Bernie is entitled to his opinion, I just don't hold Dent in the same regard he does. Sadly, I am not sure that if a democrat was elected the situation would be any different. I just know it won't change with Mr. Dent in office.

Still Looking

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

A lot of back and forth here yesterday. Sorry to say that you still have not addressed the issue of being specific about how Rep. Dent has shown himself to be a moderate and what exactly is his appeal to Democrats. Seems to me that you have put forth a lot of words with Rich, but nothing really concrete to prove that Dent actually votes as a Moderate Republican.

I hate to say this but it appears that you are more concerned with words and not actions. I, on the other hand, could care less about what the rhetoric is as the stand he takes when he votes is important.

His support of Ryancare and opposition to last year's healthcare legislation is a perfect example. The plan passed by Congress is fundamentally the same plan that Sen. Bob Dole tried to get passed in the early 1990s. The individual mandate (personal responsibility) is right out of the Republican playbook. Or at least, the traditional Republican playbook. So Obama presents and passes a traditional Republican plan and Dent et. al. reject it.

So again, what exactly are Dent's moderate credentials?

Publius

Bernie O'Hare said...

Everything you need to know about Dent is at govtrack.us. He is a rank-and-file R, but a statistical analysis of his voting record places him in the center of most of his Congressional colleagues. He is a centrist. He is rated in the top half of Congressman as a legislative leader. He has sponsored 39 bills, 2 of which have been enacted. He currently is sponsoring 6 bills, although govtrack only lists 5. His bill concerning stem cell research is the work of a moderate.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=400648

Rising Sun said...

Still Looking,

I might be wrong, but wasn't that in the Stimulus he voted against? Again, I might be wrong.

Bernie,

Claiming Charlie is a centrist just isn't so. You keep citing the one bill, stem cell research, over and over. One bill a Congress does not make a centrist. Two passed laws out of thirty-nine attempts, in seven years, does not make a leader.

Anonymous said...

Still Looking,

You are correct that Dent did support the Rt. 412 project, but keep in mind that whoever was the Congressman representing the 15th district at that time - even Pat Toomey - would have supported that project. It is an economic development issue; it is a regional issue; it is not a left/right or liberal/conservative issue.

I also agree with you that a deal in the middle needs to get done. When Cantor says that he has moved just by being at the table he looses all credibility with me. Sad that when we need real leadership it is nowhere to be found in Congress.

Publius

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I guess the point that you are missing is that the middle has moved so far to the right that he is nowhere near the middle. Just because he may be statistically in the middle does not mean that the policies he votes for are moderate in their content and character.

The fact that you call the stem cell bill centrist proves my point. He is in the center on this issue only because the Santorum wingnut wing of the Republicans who don't believe in science is considered to be mainstream conservative.

But his votes on things like the Ryan Plan and continuously against the Dole/Romney/Obama healthcare plan puts him very much out of the center. The plan that passed last year is a right of center, moderate proposal. And Dent voted against it.

It is about the content of his voting record, not if he is statistically in the middle.

Publius

Bernie O'Hare said...

The middle has moved to the right? I know many who think it has moved to the left. Perhaps you think it has moved right bc you've moved left yourself. And frankly, I don;t think a vote against Obamacare is a right-wing vote. Most Americans opposed that legislation. It was deeply flawed, as we have discovered, although Dent was trying very hard to point that out before it was enacted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rising Sun, I have always maintained Det is a centrist. He has been rated that way for years, and by nonpartisan publications like the Congressional Journal. I mention the stem cell bill as only th most recent example.

I have been consistent. But what people like you and Geeting do is scream that Dent is a conservative now, but at primary time, you scream he s a moderate. It's all about getting rid of Dent, not substance.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rising Sun, I have always maintained Det is a centrist. He has been rated that way for years, and by nonpartisan publications like the Congressional Journal. I mention the stem cell bill as only th most recent example.

I have been consistent. But what people like you and Geeting do is scream that Dent is a conservative now, but at primary time, you scream he s a moderate. It's all about getting rid of Dent, not substance.

Rising Sun said...

No Bernie, he's always a conservative. His voting record is over 80% with his party, please explain to me how that's not conservative? Considering he's pro-choice (supposedly), and therefore votes against leadership on social issues (sometimes), that means he's almost got to be a 100% vote on economics and foreign policy. The National Journal is the only publication from DC I've found that listed him as a moderate, and they only cite his use of earmarks and support for Stem Cell Research. It is absolutely about getting rid of Dent, because he's a reliable right-wing vote, on the substance Bernie. He voted to fund the wars under Bush, but not under Obama. He's voted every time to continue the Bush tax cuts. He voted against the Stimulus and Health Care Bill. He voted for Bush's Wall Street bailout, but against the Obama's Detroit bailout. I can go on all day. Hell, for the fun of it, he voted against the clean debt ceiling raise a few weeks back, with his party. On the substance Bernie, his VOTES (his actual job?), he's a conservative. He votes with his Republican bosses on every issue, so of course, me as a Democrat, should not want him to be my Congressman. Why would I, because he's nice? Because he does what he's supposed to and has town halls? Seriously here, give me something substantive that makes him a moderate? Some magazine and Stem Cells don't make it so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rich, Voting with his party 80% of the time does not make him a conservative. Voting with Dems 80% of the time, like Murtha did, did not make him a liberal. Dent has consistently been a centrist his political career, both in Congress and on the state level. I can think of individual votes that are too conservative for me, but all in all, he has been a centrist, and has been consistently rated as such by the Congressional Journals. You can deride that magazine, but unlike you, the Congressional journal is nonpartisan and works for no political party.

Voting for the bail out makes Dent a conservative? Well, then I guess Obama is a conservative, too.

Dent HAS never shied from voting to support our troops and just voted for measures that increase their pay. You're talking goofy DCCC talking points now. Be real. Stop auditioning for a job on the Callahan campaign.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Just a little about where I stand, I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian. On the social side this means that Government should stay out of my life. I do not believe that it is "conservative" to tell me that gays cannot get married or that my sister cannot get an abortion. It is disingenuous for someone to claim that "liberals" are taking their freedom when they would like to do the exact same thing. The difference is that these "conservatives" think it is ok to to limit rights ... as long as it goes with their personal beliefs. Hypocritical to say the least.

Fiscally I define my self as a conservative, but much different than what Grover Norquist might call conservative. Bill Buckley, not Ayn Rand.

Being a conservative used to mean making the hard choices and taking some pain to reach a greater, long-term goal. Today's "conservatives" think we can tax cut our way to prosperity. Today's "conservatives" attack countries without paying for their war (Iraq). Today's "conservatives" refuse to believe the simple math of deficit reduction (as do the "liberals").

To me, Dent comes close on the social side but he is nowhere near where I am on the fiscal side of things. I have seen and read enough of what he has said to conclude that he spews out Rep. talking points (stem cell research excluded).

This may be acceptable to you, but not for me. I apologize if I expect more from my representatives. Of all the people who represent me & the LV, I have respect for Boscola and Toomey, as they are the only ones who seem to have an original thought and will fight publicly for it. Please do NOT read that to mean I have voted for either or both of them, or even agree. But they have clearly put themselves out there and I believe they would vote as they believe regardless of the political consequences.

I honestly do not believe that Dent would take a hard vote that could cost him his job or standing in his party. And if you really believe that he would, that is fine. But for me, Dent is just a career politician who will never meet my expectations, and has moved from the true center as his party has moved to the right.

Publius

Anonymous said...

Wow, I have very little to add to the posts of Rising Sun or Publius. I would however challenge the concept of Dents town halls. He announces them late and then hold them in his strongholds. He should actually go out and listen to his constituents instead of speaking to his base. He felt some heat at the last one, much much more to come. Even though he wasted so much time with a questioner, I thought he was supposed to tell us about his perspective of the issues not collect polling data for the next election.

Seamus

Rising Sun said...

Bernie, I don't need a job on John's Campaign, but maybe he should have asked based on the outcome. The attempted insult is welcome, but try a little harder next time. Anyone who knows me knows I think the DCCC did a crappy job with that race, and I'm willing to bet you know that too.

You're basically saying that words mean more than actions from a Congressman. Sorry, that's bullshit, and you know it. If voting with one's party over 80% of the time doesn't make you a run-of-the-mill, in the bank vote. Being a pro-life Dem, or a pro-choice Republican, also doesn't make you a moderate. It's one issue. Jack Murtha was a solid Democratic Congressman, and yes, a good liberal vote on economic and many foreign policy issues, especially later in his career. For God's sakes, Nancy Pelosi wanted him to be her Majority Leader when she became Speaker, at least pick a good example. Btw here, i've never read the Congressional Journal, and I cited the National Journal. Those were there words on why Dent's a centrist, earmarks and stem cells. Over all the major votes and issues they take on each year, that doesn't make you a moderate.

Your whole argument is that Dent's a centrist, basically because people say he is. My point is, there's zero facts that back up him being a centrist. He's a reliable conservative vote in the Congress. His job is to vote, not to talk. You say that Obama's vote on the bailout must mean he's a conservative too. No, that's foolish. First off, the President is, was, and will always be, a moderate. Despite the Tea Party's shrieking about socialism, the truth is we've seen no such work from him. The President is also consistent on this. He voted for Bush's bailout, and proposed his own. Dent voted for Bush's, then voted against Obama's. That's some solid partisanship if there's ever been any. Your claims of Dent's centrism just aren't grounded in any actual work he's done.

Rising Sun said...

By the way, I call bullshit on your talking point on Dent supporting the troops. Was it supporting the troops when he voted against funding the wars in 2009 under President Obama, after supporting funding the wars in 2005-2008? The plan in either country really didn't change under President Obama, nor did the people running those wars. Votes matter more than words Bernie.

Patrick McHenry said...

Sun -

Today's Gallup poll has the President losing to the generic Republican candidate by 8 points, the second such month he's been behind. I've also seen many polls that show him trailing at least 4 of the announced Republican candidates, with his numbers being well below 50%. I can only hope that you - and other liberals - think that he will win.

By the way, I don't understand the socialism charge either. Just because he's mandated that every American has to purchase a service and has the government owning a share of the auto companies doesn't make him a socialist. Neither does hiring admitted Socialists, admitted Communists, and admirers of Mao to work in the White House. Or a never-ending attack on business in this country, or policies that can do nothing but tank a free market economy.

No maybe you'd like to believe that all of that doesn't scream out "Socialist", but most others would probably differ. The best I can suggest is that he's generally clueless about how capitalism works.

Anonymous said...

Another point O'Hare. "We have discovered the new healthcare law is deeply flawed". Who discovered that, the Tea party Express, Fox News, the RNC, come on O'Hare. Really?

Fact is healtcare reform in this country was long overdue. It is more than tort reform and interstate competition, two things many Democrats actually support. Be honest Bernie. Where was a the Republican Senate, the Republican House and the Republican president when they ran it all?

Social issues are not on Republican radar screens. Since the right wing extremists have taken over the Party we are more concerned with gays and abortion,s than whether you can afford see a doctor and get medicine.

Obama is not very popular right now but he is more popular than any specific Republican. Once next year hits and the platforms are out in the public, as always the independents will decide who the next President will be.

Obama will probably win. If only to have a veto on the crazy shit coming from a Republican Senate and House. People know if it was up to the Republicans, they would legislate us to Cambodian life standards in a heartbeat.

As of October 2012, Obama will be leading every legitimate poll in the country. Most independents are thinkers and rotational. The current brand of Republican crazy is a great way to blow off steam and anger at the shitty economy. When the rubber meets the road in the election, the people will take moderate over crazy any day of the week. Particularly when you are talking about the President of the United States.

Even if Bachmann says our eyes were designed by God to like women's breasts, He did not design them to like crazy.

Indie Pendent III

Rising Sun said...

Patrick,

You have no idea what socialism and communism is, clearly. Mandating people to buy a private sector product is not at all socialist. Socialists would have simply ended the private health care companies and put everyone under "U.S. Government Health Care I." That did not happen. Giving tax dollars to private sector car companies and then having them pay it back in loan form is not socialist. Closing them and starting "U.S. Government Auto" would be socialist. Lowering everyone below $250,000 tax rates in the Stimulus is not "socialist." Having a regulatory bill for the banks is not "socialism," closing them up and having the government own them is. I could go on all day, but the Tea Party argument that the President is "socialist" is stupid, ignorant, and embarrassing to this country. You folks have claimed Van Jones was a communist for wanting environmental regulation, using the crazy microphone of Glenn Beck to push that stupidity. You bring up someone's college writings about Mao to make them into a "Maoist." This is stupid talk. The President's actions have been as Capitalist in the traditional sense as this country has ever seen. You're just for a radical right-wing agenda.

Rising Sun said...

Also Patrick, anyone who knows dirt about politics knows generic ballots are meaningless. President Bush was losing to generic Democrats but beat Kerry, the Dems lead the 2002 Congressional generic ballot and lost. Generic ballots mean nothing at all. None of the GOP candidates besides Romney even come near the President, and he's got more holes than Swiss Cheese. The President will probably win by default against your crappy field. To be honest, Daffy Duck would beat several of these candidates.

Anonymous said...

Patrick McHenry,

You state the following: "Neither does hiring admitted Socialists, admitted Communists, and admirers of Mao to work in the White House."

Either please provide proof of these absurd claims or STFU. Seriously, there is no place in the debate for such nonsense. All you do by making such unsubstantiated claims is embarrass yourself and make anything you might say that is relevant to the conversation suspect at best.

Publius

Anonymous said...

Patrick McHenry,

Just an FYI on the personal mandate for healthcare, this is something that has been around since the late 1890s in Germany where Otto Van Bismark implemented such a system. Bismark is not exactly what you would call a liberal, socialist or a communist.

Just another FYI, Sen. Bob Dole in the early 1990s proposed healthcare legislation with an individual mandate with the full support of the business community. Why did they support it? Because it moved the burden of providing health insurance from corporate America to the individual. Personal responsibility, not corporate responsibility.

Socialized medicine would be more along the lines of what they have in the UK, where the healthcare system is owned and run by the government. A system that, in case you didn't know, the Brits are very happy with.

Publius

Rising Sun said...

Publius,

Patrick doesn't care what the Brits, French, Canadians, Germans, or any other foreign country does. He probably thinks we're divinely better, and they are damned socialists too, just like everyone who worked for/supported/liked Obama/Clinton/Pelosi/Kennedy, etc.

You're right though. Take a trip to Toronto, walk the streets, and ask the Canadians how they feel about what the Conservatives say is "socialism" in their medical system. You wouldn't be surprised, but many are.

Anonymous said...

to anyone who cares, i am a union official at gracedale. and no there were no secret meetings held. and no sweetheart deals made. at least not to my knowledge. when there are meetings, i'm sure everyone will know.. there will be no "secret" anything as long as i am here!!!
signed, union official at gracedale!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Publius and Rising Sun for speaking plainly about some of the nonsense that is coming from the Tea Party extremists. They throw around terms like Socialist, Communist ans even Patriot as some sort of cheap applause line.

It is sad to think that intelligent, reasoned discussions and debate are being stifled by these screamers.

Mr. Good

Anonymous said...

Rick,

I know he could care less. Just really tired of hearing baseless rhetoric.

Publius

Patrick McHenry said...

Pubicus -

I'll start with Van Jones and Anita Dunn. With about 2 minutes of research on the internet, I could find a multitude of others, but I suspect the facts don't matter to you.

In case you'd like to respond, re-read the above and then YOU can STFU, loser.

Rising Sun said...

Ah yes, Van Jones, obviously a commie, Glenny Beck said so. He might even have written a paper in college on communism.

Facts aren't a part of conservatism. "Red Baiting" still is.

Zorn said...

8:47 union puke, ignorant teachers running away from the real world

Anonymous said...

In the new world of American right wing extremism, if Glenn Beck or Rush or any of the Fox talking heads say it it is truth. They will claim no one else says it because everyone else is part of the "conspiracy". it is a brilliant strategy, crazy in real terms, but politically brilliant.

never need a fact except the "hidden" facts everyone else has kept hidden from you. Brilliant, just brilliant.

Joe Logic

Anonymous said...

It is sad that as we move into the 21st century, we are making our beliefs facts. It reminds me of the dark ages after the fall of Rome.

While the Chinese are teaching their kids math and science and to think logically. We have the "flat earthers", calling healthcare policy "socialism". And teaching us about God made anti-gay eyeballs, good grief.

These will be challenging times for America. We need to break the stranglehold of bogus conspiracy theories and the revisionist history being spewed by the wingnuts.

Even the "Founding Fathers" who these folks have elevated from breathing shitting humans to demigods, knew the need to compromise and give and take. Otherwise we would have never even had a revolution.

The Chinese will never bother to conquer America. They will just sit back and let us destroy ourselves.

Anonymous said...

And unfortunately we are doing a damn good job of it....

Seamus

Anonymous said...

There is little difference between a mainstream Republican and a blue collar Dem.

This statement is so out of touch with reality. It explains the blog author's repressed feelings of conservatism.

Anonymous said...

he is right on the second amendment (the right to own guns)

I would hope so since it's a Constitutional right. Duh. I don't recall any Democratic challenger looking to repeal the 2nd amendment. Please, fill us in.

Anonymous said...

I would however challenge the concept of Dents town halls. He announces them late and then hold them in his strongholds.

Yes, yesterday Dent robocalled us telling us about the town hall he JUST HAD. How about robocalling before the town hall, Charlie?

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what socialism and communism is, clearly. Mandating people to buy a private sector product is not at all socialist.

OBviously, our less informed conservative posters don't even recognize mandated insurance coverage as a conservative position. It's only socialism now because our Muslim socialist President was for it. Bob Dole proposed a mandated healthcare coverage because it falls in line with "personal responsibility." The Repubs never want to pay for someone else's well being so why would they want to pay for someone's healthcare through higher premiums?

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 9:24 -

You're partially right.

No Dem challenger would SAY THAT THEY'RE "looking to repeal the second amendment". But many Dems currently in power would love to do that if they could.

But honesty about their agenda is not the Progressive way. It's all about incrementalism and time.

For now, they will be happy to regulate that "Constitutional right" contained in the Second Amendment into something meaningless and unrecognizable to most Americans.

As to specifics on Dent's challengers, I don't remember any of them speaking out in favor of the Second Amendment and against the gun control schemes of the political left. I also believe that most, if not all were either rated poorly by the NRA or outright refused to answer the NRA questionnaire on Second Amendment issues. That speaks volumes.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 10:09 -

If you don't believe that having the government mandate something on a person merely for breathing is an encroachment on their freedom - or the freedoms that this country was founded on - you're nuts.

Where does it stop? If the government can mandate healthcare, it can mandate anything.

And don't we have enough examples - both here and across the globe - that people know what's better for them and their families than some government planner in a distant capital?

Anyone who understands socialism knows that it can take many forms. It could be the government taking control of the health care system. Or it could be the government regulating the industry and forcing individuals to buy into a system that they may not want to.

I understand why the left cannot be honest and admit that mandated healthcare is socialism, but it's still socialism.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:2, I know many high-profile Dems from this area who agree with me that there is little difference between a blue collar Dem and mainstream R. In fact, that's exactly why you can't beat Dent.

Anonymous said...

We have not as yet beaten Dent because the message still has not gotten out to the people what his record really is. He is excellent at voting in line with party and coming back here and acting in a completely different manor. Then you and the complicit Mcall are great at saying exactly what he wants you to. The Morning Call is a rag and their supposed reporter in DC is more enthralled with the interpersonal and night life issues than she is with reporting the facts. Reminds me of the Song Dirty Laundry.

Seamus

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seamus, So with $2 MM and a top tier candidate, you could not get your message out and probably ruined your candidate's viability for anything else. Who are you going to ruin next? Why not instead fight the battle you can win? For all his flaws, Obama seems better than anything I've seen so far from the Rs. Why not help him?

Anonymous said...

WOW 90 comments...

Anonymous said...

Part of the loss was most certainly messaging as you surely agree (I remember your bile during the election). The money was a non issue as the mayor (top tier candidate) can raise as much as he needs (though I hate that it takes so much). The big issue as I see it was a huge R turnout and non motivated base in an off year election. Charlie has proven to be a well known and liked candidate, I cannot argue that at all. Heck I have been around him many times and though I don’t like his politics found him to be an amiable guy. The issue is that people do not really know his record and he is very good at hiding his true self to his constituency.

Keep in mind also that the Mayor was an unknown entity outside of Bethlehem and DC. His recognition was way behind Charlie's, but if he chooses to run again it will be from a very different position.

I for one hope the Mayor does run again since I feel strongly that the 15th is not properly represented as the true D+ district it is and he is our best chance at winning.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

and I won't take the bait as I didn't "ruin" anyone. Decisions need to be made, some we agree with some we do not....that's life

Anonymous said...

Old Patrick is swimming in koolaide. The lack of reality or cohesion in your statements is, well, it is what it is.

Henry M.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I for one hope the Mayor does run again"

It would be like Christmas to me.

Anonymous said...

Patrick McHenry,

So I guess I have to give you a little credit for at least trying. But, seriously, Anita Dunn & Van Jones were called "followers of Mao" and "Marxist" by Glenn Beck and Michele Malkin. Not exactly what I mean when I say I want facts. Instead, you give me "facts" that are just more partisan BS.

And Dunn is correct when she says that Fox News is a wing of the Republican Party and not a legit. news outlet. All you need to do is watch their coverage to know that. Now that Rupert Murdock owns The Wall Street Journal, the coverage there has become much more biased, partisan and loose with the facts. Really a shame that I had to drop drop my subscription.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment, just because you "believe" that a Dem. really, really wants to repeal it, doesn't make that the truth. And if by limit,you mean not allowing people to own hollowed out ammo or automatic weapons, I am ok with that.

Yes, you have a right to own a gun, but putting limits on the types is reasonable. There is no reason anyone outside of the armed forces needs to have an automatic weapon. I have a 1st Amendment right to free speech, but there are limits to that as well.

Publius

Patrick McHenry said...

Pubes -

Dunn praised Mao in a public commment. Jones similarly admitted that he was a Communist (and there was also evidence that he was also a 9-11 truther, I believe). Are you trying to deny what they've admitted in their own words?

You should know that automatic weapons have not been allowed in private hands since the 1930's. I'm sure you know that.

That you and other liberals continue to spew that lie is indicative of the way you approach the debate on any issue.

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

Not a gun rights expert, but I would check your facts on the rights of private citizens to own automatic weapons. Certainly they are heavily regulated but the most certainly can be owned by private citizen. For the brief period form 1994 until 2004 there was a ban on the purchase of assault weapons manufactured in that time, but that law sunset in 2004.
I don't know about the rest of the facts in your post, but your error on the rights of ownership on the automatic weapons made me suspect of the rest of your post.

Still Looking

Anonymous said...

99.

Anonymous said...

100, winning!!!

Patrick McHenry said...

Looking -

Sorry, I was in a rush yesterday when I posted and didn't have time to write a long post.

Yes, you can own an automatic firearm subject to (I believe) the Firearms Act of 1934. However, they are highly regulated (as you note), and these are not the weapons that liberals are trying to ban.

They want to ban the SEMI-automatic firearms that are owned by millions of Americans. The "assault weapons" ban you cited is proof of that.