declares war on GOP
WASHINGTON – One of the architects of the Reagan Revolution is calling on fellow conservatives to withhold support of the Republican Party establishment – including most GOP incumbents in Congress this year.
In "Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause," Richard Viguerie, the man who invented the idea of using direct mail as a means of going over the heads of what he considered to be a biased establishment press, says it's time for radical action to save the Republican Party from itself.
His plan includes the following actions, which would spell bad news for the GOP in the 2006 midterm congressional elections and in the 2008 presidential election:
Withhold financial support from Republican committees and most Republican incumbents.
Withhold support from all 2008 presidential candidates.
No longer call yourself "a Republican" but rather a Reagan Republican or a Reagan conservative.
And work for wholesale change in Republican leadership.
Viguerie helped transform American politics by
pioneering the use of direct-mail fundraising in the political and ideological
spheres. Dubbed by some as the "Funding Father of the conservative
movement," Viguerie motivated millions of Americans to participate
in politics for the first time.
In his new book, Viguerie shows federal spending under the Bush administration has grown five times larger than that during the second term of the Clinton administration, painting the president as a traitor to his party.
Viguerie compares spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, during the Clinton years vs. the Bush years. In Clinton's first term, federal expenditures rose 4.7 percent. In his second term, they rose 3.7 percent. In the first term of the Bush administration, however, spending rose 19.2 percent.
"If ever there was a case for divided government, here it is," writes Viguerie. "The lesson for many Americans is that today's Republicans cannot be trusted with the keys to both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government."
No matter how you slice it, Viguerie says, Bush makes Clinton look like a spending piker by comparison. For instance, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University in New York keeps records that show how much the federal government spends on average each year for each person in the country.
When this standard of measurement is used, the comparison between the two administrations is even more pronounced.
Cumulative growth in federal expenditures, adjusted for inflation, during the Clinton years actually shrunk by 1.1 percent. Yet, in the Bush first term, it rose 15 percent.
"During President Bush's first five years in office, the federal government increased by $616 billion," Viguerie writes. "That's a mammoth 33 percent jump in the size of the federal government in just his first five years! To put this in perspective, this increase of $616 billion is more than the entire federal budget in Jimmy Carter's last years in office. And conservatives were complaining about Big Government back then! How can Bush, (Dennis) Hastert, (Bill) Frist and company look us in the eye and tell us they are fiscal conservatives when in five short years they increased the already-bloated government by more than the budget for the entire federal government when Ronald Reagan was assuming office?"
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