March 9th, 2012
Josh Israel writes:
"FreedomWorks for America, the super PAC for former Rep. Dick Armey’s (R-TX) FreedomWorks USA, just released new radio and TV ads urging the defeat of longtime Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The spots are the latest in a series of attacks by the group against the six-term senator, who is facing a challenge from the right in this year’s renomination process.
The new commercials note that Hatch "voted 16 times" to raise the debt limit, allowing for $7.5 trillion of the national debt. Both ads say that it’s "time to retire" the man who "wracked up half of our nation’s debt."
The ads are available HERE and HERE.
The reason this is insane is as follows:
"Prior to joining FreedomWorks in 2003, chairman Dick Armey served nine terms in Congress. Six of those debt-limit votes took place between the time Armey was elected to the House in 1984 and his retirement at the beginning of 2003. Armey voted for at least five of those six." EMPHASIS MINE
Steve Benen is disgusted:
"Armey, a right-wing Texan, even delivered an impassioned plea to his congressional colleagues in 2002, telling them voting to raise the debt ceiling was "good for America."
Are the folks who FreedomWorks' attack ads offended by their own boss' voting record?
The larger point is that Republicans who served in Congress as recently as the Bush/Cheney era, developing reputations as consistent far-right stalwarts, are suddenly Republicans In Name Only. There's no mystery here -- as the GOP sprints past the right-wing cliff, even Dick Armey's conservative outfit no longer has any use for Republicans with Dick Armey's voting record.
The debt-ceiling issue is actually quite illustrative. As we talked about a couple of weeks ago, Mitt Romney condemned Rick Santorum for his debt-ceiling votes at an event in Ohio, while standing alongside Sen. Rob Portman (R) -- who not only voted repeatedly to raise the debt limit, but was also Bush's OMB director, demanding routine debt-ceiling increases from Congress. Indeed, most of Romney's supporters agreed with the line that all Republicans accepted for decades -- the debt limit had to be increased regularly to protect the integrity of the full faith and credit of the United States.
Former Rep. Chris Chocola (R) of Indiana cast votes to raise the debt ceiling, and now he's the president of the Club for Growth -- which condemns Republicans for voting to raise the debt ceiling."
As we have seen with nearly every policy or legislative position "conservatives'" once championed, from the personal medical mandate to cap and trade, this is just another example of the profound denial of factual reality which is coming to define their dying movement.