Senator John Cornyn has taken charge as the voice of the loyal opposition on the Senate side for Republicans. He is now taking some heat for voting in favor of the new Secretary of Treasury, Geithner. Our other Texas Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, voted against the appointment.
Senator Cornyn is head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The mission in this position is to get Republicans elected to the Senate. Now his creditials as a 'true' conservative are being called into question. I would argue that this kind of sniping is why Republicans are now in the political wilderness.
Rich Galen, a Republican political strategist, said, "The statesmanlike and judicial demeanor is really good cover for a very crafty and smart political guy...and that's the kind of guy that is needed." Senator Cornyn is a former Texas Supreme Court justice.
"The public is less tolerant of sort of the harshness and angry tone they've seen out of Washington," Cornyn said. "I think it is entirely appropriate to talk about differences in a civil and dignified way...and then let's let the people decide."
Cornyn slowed to a halt the Senate vote on the confirmation of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State until he was satisifed that she would be more transparent with the dealings of her husband, the former president, and foreign monies donated to his presidential library. This was a perfectly legitimate concern and rightfully pursued by Senator Cornyn. In the end, he was personally assured by Clinton that she would abide by stronger guidelines of transparency and that all the other members of the Obama administration should, too. Cornyn was satifified with her agreement and voted for her appointment.
The far side of the Republican spectrum applauded Senator Cornyn as he challenged Hillary Clinton. Cornyn challenged Geithner, too, and when satisifed with the man's answers, decided to vote in favor of his appointment, too.
Senator Cornyn has successfully fought to prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate from seating Al Franken until all the legal tools available to Senator Norm Coleman are used, as is his right under Minnesota election law.
Senator Cornyn took on Harry Reid via a news release for inviting lobbyists to an inaugural brunch. "Spokesman Brian Walsh said in the statement that in orfer for Obama to change the culture in Washington he'd first have to change Reid." That from the Houston Chronicle. Harry Reid has sons who are very successful Washington lobbyists. Cornyn cited "so pervasive are the ties among Reid, members of his family and Nevada's leading industries and institutions that it's difficult to find a significant filed in which such a relationship does not exist." That was part of an article in 2003 about Reid and lobbying activities by members of his family.
"I didn't come to the Senate to be a wall flower and the only tools you really have available in the Senate are your voice and your vote," Cornyn said.
Senator Cornyn has vowed to continue with a more aggressive approach to running the National Republican Senatorial Committee. This approach is needed and welcomed by Republicans across the country as we rebuild the party, from the local level up. Cornyn has targeted Harry Reid in his reelection bid in 2010. Reid is not too popular with the folks back home these days and it is a good opportunity to restore Nevada back to the Republican column.
Last week, according to an article in The Hill, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanded that a U.S. Ariways flight leave earlier than scheduled so that Schumer could make a vote in Washington. Cornyn blasted Schumer for such an arrogant demand. "Anyone who has flown on an airplane, particularly in our post-9/11 security world, has experienced delays and frustrations," said Walsh, the committee's spokesman. "But unlike Sen. Schumer, who apparently waved around his Senate pin at La Guardia on Sunday, regular working-class Americans have to just accept it." That from The Hill article.
Now, Cornyn is blocking the vote on Eric Holder to be Attorney General.
Thank you, Senator Susan Collins, for making an important point for me. For years now I have been trying to stop fellow Republicans from using the term "RINO" against others in the party not falling in line 100% in shared thought. It is a standard attack from the most conservative of our party. The very people who hold President Reagan in the highest of esteem violate his number one rule in politics - do not speak ill of fellow Republicans. Our party must grow. To expect everyone who share the basic tenets of the Republican party to hold the same opinion on every policy or vote decision is nonsensical at best. Reagan said we are a big tent party. The very ones most critical of more moderate or liberal members of the Republican party - the ones most often accused of being 'country club Republicans' - are in fact the most exclusionary of the party.
We continue to be a center-right country. President Obama won a clear majority but his mandate was lessened by the 48% of voters who pulled the lever for John McCain. It was not a blowout at the polls, as the Democrats had hoped. This is a perfect opportunity to allow our party to regroup. In order to regroup, we must be inviting to all who wish to contribute to the Republican party. Welcome them with joy.
Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from the state of Maine, is frequently called a RINO. She voted against Geithner by saying, "I can't vote for a tax cheat for Treasury secretary." Sounds very Republican to me. Her fellow Senator from Maine, Republican Olympia Snowe, voted in favor of Geithner. Just like in Texas - one Republican voted yes, one Republican voted no. Are either state any less in the Republican column?
Especially in the northeastern section of our country, Republican candidates are needed to challenge the growing Democrat majority in Congress. It is important to acknowledge there is room for everyone. All voices make a contribution.