CHUCK MUTH'S NEWS & VIEWS

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Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a professional political consultant. Mr. Muth is a professional campaign trainer, a newsletter publisher and talk-show host who regularly appears on political TV and radio programs.

Friday

News & Views, 2/4/05


THE REVIEWS ARE IN!

“There may have been better State of the Union speeches, but last night’s was the best I can remember. In fact, it was the only one that didn’t bore me, that didn’t make me pinch myself to stay awake. Let me say at the outset that the president stands for things I disagree with and last night proposed things that I oppose. But that fact in no way lessens the effectiveness of the speech. Parts of it were eloquent, parts were tough, little was conciliatory, all was delivered by a confident and self-assured president who has become a smooth and effective speaker who, last night, at least, gave every indication he was enjoying himself.”

- Former Reagan press secretary Lyn Nofziger, “Musings,” 2/3/05

DO YA FEEL LUCKY...WELL DO YA, PUNKS?

“Peering down from the press gallery, I was looking at a man who obviously feels that the winds of history are at his back. I’ve covered (George W. Bush) long enough to know when he is faking it … The guy I just saw was a man at the top of his game, all but daring the Democrats to make his day.”

- Newsweek’s Howard Fineman on the State of the Union speech

DON’T MEND IT...END IT

“In his State of the Union Address, President Bush said that many options were ‘on the table’ to deal with Social Security’s problems, and that he ‘will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer.’ But there is one idea he will not listen to: the idea that Social Security should be phased out and ended altogether.

“...Social Security in any form is morally irredeemable. We should be debating, not how to save Social Security, but how to end it--how to phase it out so as to best protect both the rights of those who have paid into it, and those who are forced to pay for it today. This will be a painful task. But it will make possible a world in which Americans enjoy far greater freedom to secure their own futures.”

- Alex Epstein of the Ayn Rand Institute

A SMALL FIRST STEP

“The Libertarian Party, which has been urging Social Security privatization for decades, today credited President Bush for starting the debate but said his proposal falls far short of the truly private, no-strings-attached plan that the American people really want. ‘The first step toward solving a problem is admitting that a problem exists, and Bush has done that,’ said Libertarian Party Executive Director Joseph Seehusen.”

- LP press release, 2/3/05

THE TRILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

“A Republican president sits in the White House. The GOP enjoys clear majorities in both houses of Congress. If now isn't the time to control federal spending, when will it be?”

- John Fund, Political Diary, 2/3/05

LOT OF PROMISE, BUT PROOF WILL BE IN PUDDING

“There is a lot of promise in Bush’s statement. But there is also the peril that this won’t matter much. It seems that Bush is now committed to reining in discretionary spending. That’s a good thing--under his watch that portion of the budget grew by 43 percent. But his goal of substantially reducing or eliminating over 150 federal programs might be too little.

“A similar attempt to reduce or eliminate 130 programs in his last budget saved a puny amount of money--only about $14 billion in a $2.3 trillion budget. Yet Congress ignored those cuts and added even more overall spending--an average of $47 billion each year above and beyond Bush’s original request. Bush was happy to encourage this budget ratchet by not vetoing a single spending bill. If Bush doesn’t threaten a veto of spending bills this year, this budget ratchet effect will doom the president’s promised fiscal discipline.”

- Stephen Slivinski of the Cato Institute

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE - I

“Did you catch the Democratic response to the State of the Union address? This one was a complete bust...a real snoozer. It's hard to believe...but it's true: the Democrats have selected a worse communicator than Tom Daschle to represent them in the Senate. Watching Harry Reid is about as exciting as reading an apartment lease. Anyway, it was Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, sitting there looking like they should be selling jewelry or sex aids on the shopping channel.”

- Talk show host Neal Boortz

DEMOCRAT RESPONSE II

“Nancy Pelosi's Democratic rebuttal may have served a public purpose after all -- by illustrating in prime time just how thoroughly ‘homeland security’ has been transmuted into political humbug. Can you imagine a politician ever solemnly declaring that we're spending ‘enough,’ let alone ‘too much,’ on homeland security? Of course not. It'll never happen. This is why Democrats love the issue -- and because the spending goes directly to unionized public-sector employees in every congressional district in the country.”

- Holman W Jenkins Jr., Political Diary, 2/3/05

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE - III

“We watched last night's speech with a mostly right-leaning group of friends, and over their objections we kept the TV on for the Democratic response, for we were really curious as to what Barack Obama was going to say. But as it turned out, the Democrats apparently couldn't get Obama and instead had to go with the B team of Nancy Reid and Harry Pelosi...

“Reid and Pelosi do not, to say the least, present an attractive face to America. As our friend Rich Miniter observed, Reid looked like a doctor who refuses to administer painkillers. As for Pelosi--who is known mostly for being more charming than Barbara Boxer--she stiffly stared at the camera with a deer-in-the-headlights look.”

- James Taranto, Best of the Web, 2/3/05

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE - IV

“As for the televised Democratic responses to Mr. Bush's speech, party insiders are already calling Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's talk one of the worst they've ever seen. ‘He veered from a bizarre anecdote about a 10-year-old boy he met in a casino back in Nevada to a joke about the movie 'Groundhog Day,' ’ sighed one Democratic consultant. . . . All in all, Mr. Reid's performance suggested the Democratic Party truly deserves Howard Dean's leadership.”

- John Fund, Political Diary, 2/3/05

FRENCH DEMOCRATS

“After the voting, all of Iraq's highest-ranking interim leaders - the president, prime minister, defense minister and army commander - declared it would be ‘complete nonsense’ and ‘very dangerous’ for U.S. forces to leave Iraq in the foreseeable future, because it would leave ‘chaos’ behind. “And yet, the Democratic Party's most visible leaders - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), 2004 presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) - all are emphasizing withdrawal of U.S. forces, instead of staying until democracy and security are stable. It's little wonder that on national security issues, American voters consistently trust Republicans over Democrats.”

- Roll Call columnist Morton Kondrake

GETTING IT ALL WRONG

“Every so often, an American politician takes an unpopular stand for the sake of what's right... Frequently, he takes an unprincipled stand for the sake of what's popular ...Sometimes, even, he does what's right, which also happens to be popular… Only in the rarest of instances, however, do politicians take positions that are both unpopular and unprincipled. That is where the Democratic Party leadership finds itself today on Iraq.”

- Wall Street Journal, 2/3/05

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR HOWARD DEAN

“Speaking to a DNC forum in New York over the weekend, (Howard) Dean indulged once again in some of the undisguised loathing of the GOP that was such a hallmark of Democratic Party activism last year. ‘I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for,’ he told the audience, ‘but I admire their discipline and their organization.’

“ *I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.* Not ‘I oppose the Republicans and everything they stand for.’ Not ‘I'm determined to beat the Republicans.’ Not ‘I reject the Republican message.’ No -- Dean wants it understood that he *hates* the Republicans and all their works. That is the banner under which he is marching as a candidate to lead his party.”

- Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby

SELF-INFLICTED POLITICAL WOUNDS

“As the Democrats continue their search for a new party chairman, I would like to nominate the perfect symbol for the American Democratic Party today: Wile. E. Coyote, Genius. Instead, it appears that the Democrats are going to choose ‘The Anvil,’ aka Howard Dean. They are getting exactly what they deserve. As a Republican, I would love for my party to be able to take credit for the disasters befalling the Democrats at the moment, but like Wile E. Coyote, all of their injuries are self-inflicted. “After all, no Republican urged Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Margaritaville) to give a speech denouncing America's military presence in Iraq as "part of the problem, not the solution." No GOP speechwriter conned Kennedy into calling for a withdrawal of American forces just 72 hours before 8 million Iraqis defied bombs and bullets to pack polling places protected by our soldiers. Ted Kennedy did that all by himself. And, thanks to the Democrat-leaning national media, he did it on millions of TV screens across the nation.”

- Columnist Michael Graham

SURVEY SAYS!

Which is the biggest looming national crisis at this time?

* Social Security
* Medicare
* Terrorism
* Gay Marriage
* Hillary’s 2008 presidential run
* Illegal immigration
* Something else

Cast your vote by clicking the “Survey Says!” tab at www.citizenoutreach.com

YESTERDAY IN DC CONFIDNETIAL...

* Teresa Heinz drops Kerry * Amtrak’s coming train wreck over taxpayer subsidies * The McCainiacs ride again, this time against 527s * state’s rights live as Kansas & Idaho come to different conclusions on marriage * AARP continues to crank out whoppers * and my “kid” brother really ticks off a local Democrat in a letter-to-the-editor battle royale...

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Published by:
Chuck Muth
1315 Wilson Point Road
Middle River, MD 21220
E-mail: chuck@chuckmuth.com

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