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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ken Mehlman Takes Out the TCP

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman went up against Little Russ this morning on Meet the Press, and it was an oddly, um, respectful face-off. Sounds like maybe someone remembered all that crap they used to say about changing the tone in Washington. See if you can pick out the Luntz-Approved Phraseology:

Russert: [Quoting NYT op-ed from former Republican Sen. John Danforth accusing his party of becoming "the political arm of conservative Christians.] "That's pretty strong. Republicans have become the political arm of Christian conservatives. That's John Danforth."

Mehlman: John Danforth, I thought, was a great senator and did a great job with the United Nations. I think he's a good man. I would respectfully disagree with that.


Russert: But, Mr. Mehlman, it's gone from $218 billion surplus when George Bush took office to a $427 billion deficit. How can you call that Republican conservative economic policy?

Mehlman: [W]e've also moved forward on modernizing Social Security, reducing class-action reform, updating our bankruptcy laws for the first time in a generation to encourage personal responsibility.... So I would respectfully disagree with Senator Danforth's characterization.


Russert: [Quoting Log Cabin Republican press release] "Using gays and lesbians as wedge issues in an election year is unacceptable to Log Cabin..."

Mehlman: I would respectfully disagree with their statement on that.


Russert: NBC News and The Wall Street Journal has gone out and asked voters what they think of the president's plan for personal private accounts. Good idea, 36 percent; bad idea, 56 percent....

Mehlman: Well, Tim, there are a number of polls that have shown other things as well. I would respectfully disagree with those numbers.


Russert: As Robert Pozen, one of the president's principal advisers on Social Security said, "Because we can't afford it."

Mehlman: Well, I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Pozen, Tim.


Russert: Well, many people close to Pat Tillman have said [the Pentagon tried to turn him into a posterboy for Bush's war on terrorism].

Mehlman: Well, again, I would respectfully disagree, at the same time recognizing the tragedy, and how hard it must be for his mom and his whole family.
In other words, the GOP will still respect you in the morning. After you've already been fucked, that is. And Mehlman has some stern words for other, less respectful, folks, like Sen. Harry Reid, whom Russert quoted calling Bush a "liar" and a "loser": "I really think that that kind of language, the liar, the loser, doesn't really have a place in politics," Mehlman said. "We can disagree in politics without calling each other liars and losers."

For shame, Sen. Reid. As a great man once said, "Go respect yourself."