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Impeach the GOP congress

JEFF PIERCE


Dear Friends :

After years spent feathering the nests of their wealthiest contributors and kowtowing to the religious right-wing that controls their party, Republicans will again ask Americans to send them back to Congress. I, for one, find this both unbelievable and offensive. And I'm not afraid to say so. Or point out what the GOP has done--and failed to do--over these years.

I ask that you read the following list at your convenience. And share it with everybody you believe cares about making the United States a safer, more prosperous, better educated, and less prejudiced nation. Just e-mailing this list to five or 10 other people, and asking them to do the same, can help change the direction of this country.

It's time that those of us who prefer our politics fair-minded and want ourpoliticians to work energetically on our behalf step forward and startkicking butt again. Let's get rid of the Republicans who do nothing and arrogantly boast about it later on.

The first step is to BE SURE TO VOTE on Election Day

No changes were ever made by Americans who complained of injustices and then failed show up at the ballot box. Republicans are hoping that Americans will be foolish enough to stay home in November and let things go on as they have been. We MUST prove them wrong.

Thank you for your time,
Jeff
Seattle

10 Reasons NOT to Vote for Republicans

Republicans CLAIM to be pro-environment
However, since 1984 they have sought to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and when that effort failed, the GOP campaigned to abolish agencies that are responsible for enforcing EPA regulations. Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Washington) even invited some of the nation's worst polluters to openly help him rewrite environmental legislation. Included in the GOP's budget appropriations plans for this year are proposals to scale back Clinton administration efforts for cleaning up toxic waste sites; to allow construction of a highway in a protected Alaskan wilderness; to delay implementation of new restrictions on toxic air emissions until new studies are completed; to block administration attempts to reform mining regulations; and to require higher levels of timber harvesting in Alaska's Tongass forest.

Further, House and Senate Republicans have moved to restrict the Environmental Protection Agency's activities, and to kill funding for research projects intended to promote energy conservation.

Republicans CLAIM to be pro-education
But what have they DONE?

since 1984? They've tried to eliminate the US Department of Education and head off any efforts to create national standards for educational achievement. They've sought to terminate school lunch programs for children and eliminate after-school activities for at-risk students. They've campaigned to undermine the economic base of American schools by allowing tax dollars that are now spent on public education to be spent, instead, on private and/or parochial institutions.

And this year, they have already killed proposals to hire 100,000 new teachers to reduce class size and repair 5,000 run-down public schools.

Republicans CLAIM that they are responsible for America's present prosperity and historically low unemployment
But remember, the GOP voted unanimously in 1993 against President Clinton's successful economic proposals to overturn the failed "trickle-down economics" of the Reagan-Bush years and move the nation into the economic position it holds today.

Later, Republicans rallied behind a constitutional amendment that would have simply delayed the job of balancing the nation's budget and made it the responsibility of some future Congress, rather than tackling it themselves. It took the determination of the President, Congressional Democrats, and what few moderate Republicans remain in Congress to stop talking about balancing the budget and actually DO SOMETHING about it.

Now, Congressional Republicans hope to fritter away the nation's first budget surplus since 1969 on more bogus tax cuts, most of the money again winding up in the pockets of wealthier Americans
It's just another political ploy, designed to buy votes for Republicans in November. And it disregards the crying need to use that budget surplus to strengthen and preserve the Social Security system for future generations. Another example of Republican short-sightedness.

Even Sen. John Chafee (R-Rhode Island) blasted the GOP's plans to put tax breaks first and ignore the needs of Social Security. "Now is certainly not the time for Congress to embark on massive tax cuts or spending programs predicated on revenues we have not yet received," Chafee said.

Republicans have shown their intolerance for people who are not wealthy, white, conservative, and religiously zealous
This antipathy is demonstrated in their opposition to public schools (which are heavily used by poorer minorities), as well as by their opposition to minimum-wage increases and their efforts to kill the Legal Services Corp., an organization that helps low-income Americans with their legal problems. GOP biases were even more clearly spelled out in House GOP proposals this year to end the federal heating subsidy, which would leave 4 million low-income families without heat this winter. They have also tried to exclude minorities through undercounting citizens in the upcoming Census, and by opposing both affirmative action and bilingual education.

One of the most egregious examples of the GOP's intolerance, however, came this summer, when Republicans lined up in support of Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), who had denounced gays and lesbians, comparing homosexuality to kleptomania, alcoholism and, sex addiction. Subsequently Rep. Joel Hefley's (R-Colorado) attempt to block President Clinton's executive order banning job discrimination against federal workers who are gay. Fortunately, that legislation was defeated. "This vote reflected the values of our nation," the President said. "The American people believe in fairness, not discrimination, and the Hefley amendment would have legitimized government-sponsored discrimination against its own citizens based on their sexual orientation."

The vast majority of American voters support anti-smoking legislation
However, Republicans--backed up by a $40 million advertising blitz engineered by big tobacco companies--succeeded this last summer in killing landmark Senate legislation that would have made tobacco companies financially accountable for the dangers their products do to the health of our citizenry; given the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased powers to regulate tobacco, especially among our young people; and restricted tobacco advertising targeted at young Americans.

"Say goodbye to tobacco. It's gone," crowed National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Representative John Linder (R-Georgia) after this voter-friendly legislation was defeated. Principally responsible for its failure was Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who, during the Senate debate on anti-teen smoking legislation, was given $36,250 by the tobacco industry and its lobbyists.

Congressional Republicans have consistently attacked efforts to increase health care opportunities for all Americans
In 1995, Republicans passed their own federal budget proposal--which President Clinton ultimately vetoed--that would have cut Medicare by $270 billion in order to pay for a $245 billion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. The 1995 Republican budget would also have dramatically reduced funding for most health and nutrition programs for women and children in need.Now, at a time when Americans are crying out for better regulation of health-maintenance organizations (HMOs), Republicans are putting forward proposals that do more to protect insurers than patients. The GOP plan, already approved by the US House, fails to cover all health plans (leaving millions of Americans unprotected) and puts accountants--instead of doctors and patients--in charge of life-or-death medical decisions. President Clinton and Democrats support a much stronger HMO reform bill that Republicans have blocked. So far. Recently, Republicans said they were just too busy to tackle HMO reform legislation until AFTER the November elections. A weak excuse.

Are Republicans at least making the streets safer for us and our children? Hardly
While they may speak loudly about throwing people in prison, they have been hostile toward efforts to reduce gun violence on our streets.

Republicans, you'll recall, vehemently opposed legislative efforts--backed successfully by President Clinton and most Congressional Democrats, as well as by law enforcement personnel across the country--to ban 19 types of deadly assault weapons from the United States and to force a mandatory waiting period on gun buyers, during which those buyers could be checked for a background of violence. This summer, Republicans returned to their pro-gun ways, killing efforts to require child safety locks on all handguns and to punish adults who improperly store a gun that is subsequently used by a child in a crime. The GOP also killed an amendment which would have closed a loophole in the 1994 assault weapons ban. The amendment would have banned the importation of large capacity ammunition clips. Due to a loophole in the 1994 law, ammunition clips made before 1994 can still be imported.

Since winning control of Congress in 1994, Republicans have reduced the level of political discourse in this country to something little better than schoolyard name-calling
"Hate talk" has become synonymous with the GOP, as party members (backed up by right-wing radio talk-shows and right-wing publications) have launched insults and innuendo against their political opponents, rather than engage them in honest and meaningful debate. Our nation's Founding Fathers would be appalled to see the mean-spiritedness and uncivil partisanship that has infected today's political environment. Republicans and others who make it their mission to destroy others for their own political benefit don't deserve to hold public office.

And what are Congressional Republicans doing for Americans in 1998? Hardly anything
Republicans this year are presiding over one of the least productive sessions of Congress in recent memory, according to official statistics released in the Congressional Record. What few things they HAVE done include renaming an airport and passing a highway bill that was full of giveaways to Republican backers.

"The proof is in the pudding ... The number of bills enacted into law is sharply down," said congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. Ornstein added that Congress "has been around less often and is trying to indicate more activity by voting ... But the end product is really quite remarkably low."

A top GOP aide explained last January that this inactivity was deliberate. "The less we do," he said, "the better."

Do we really want to send people back to Washington, DC, whose foremost goal is to do as little as they can for as many Americans as possible, and then BRAG about it?

Of course not.


"I love when Republicans pretend that they're for prescription drug entitlement, they're for Medicare, they're for Social Security. This year's election is the greatest right-wing cross-dressing since J. Edgar Hoover hung up his brassiere. "
Paul Begala, Crossfire, 09/03/02


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