Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jon Bruning: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

by Kyle Michaelis
Desperate for all the media attention he can get, Attorney General Jon Bruning has resorted to tossing any pathetic and hypocritical complaint he can muster at sitting Senator Chuck Hagel to boost his declared challenge for Hagel's seat in 2008. There's just one problem - along with the kitchen sink, Bruning has already tossed out all logic and principle.

See for yourself, as reported in the Lincoln Journal-Star:
Attorney General Jon Bruning criticized Sen. Chuck Hagel Tuesday for his vote to revive comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

“Unfortunately, Chuck Hagel’s vote gives new life to a bill that the people of this country have soundly rejected,” said Bruning, a 2008 Republican candidate for Hagel’s Senate seat.

Hagel, a Republican, has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election next year.

Bruning said he supports improved border security and opposes any proposal that would grant amnesty to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already living in the United States.

Hagel was one of 24 Republicans who voted to revive the immigration issue.

Nebraska’s Democratic senator, Ben Nelson, also voted with the majority on a 64-35 vote.
Now, here are the absurdities and inconsistencies that don't get reported in Bruning's cry for relevance:

(1) Jon Bruning is criticizing Hagel for merely re-opening debate. That's a world apart from voting for the legislation's final passsage. For instance, Ben Nelson also voted to re-open debate but there seems to be zero possibility of his voting for this legislation in its current form.

(2) Jon Bruning has built his young campaign on being more loyal to President George W. Bush than Chuck Hagel has been. Yet, Bush has declared that those who opppose building a comprehensive compromise on immigration "don't want to do what's right for America." Immigration reform is probably Bush's last chance at a legacy not wholly tainted by his mangling of the Iraq War and America's stature around the world, and Bruning has abandoned his President on the issue just to score political points with the most rabid fringe element of the Republican base.

(3) Jon Bruning declares "the people of this country have soundly rejected" comprehensive immigration reform - except he couldn't be further from the truth. Polling numbers show that the American public overwhelmingly supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country - the so-called "AMNESTY" Bruning opposes and about which we hear so much fear-mongering. If Bruning is looking for an issue "the people...have soundly rejected," he should look to our current policy in Iraq. But, for some reason, there he doesn't seem to care what the American people (or the majority of Nebraskans) think.

Jon Bruning - he's flying blind with nothing to guide him but his own ambition. I hope he keeps it up. If so, we're in for some very amusing and very pathetic moments of pure pettiness and political pandering in the months ahead.

[**Update, 1:30 pm - On today's vote for cloture, Hagel supported putting the above legislation to a final vote. Nelson was on the prevailing side in opposition, likely killing comprehensive immigration reform until after the 2008 elections. Hopefully, the debate over sane and reasonable border security measures will continue and find greater success, so we can eventually move forward with comprehensive reform that finally respects the plight of those in our midst stuck in a sorry state of legal limbo.**]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


I support your views but your article was tough to follow. I had trouble reading it because it didn't make much sense to me.

Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...

If you have an actual question, I'll try to answer it. Otherwise, I guess I'll just have to do a better job next time.

Basically, Jon Bruning's most recent attack on Hagel reveals him to be a self-serving hypocrite (when it comes to presidential loyalty) and a liar (regarding the will of the people in immigration reform).

Same ol', same ol' - nothing we didn't already know.

Is that better?

Blogger JimEenright said...

Immigration reform was defeated because of a flood of calls, e-mails, etc. to the Senate in opposition to this ridiculous bill.
What part of Enforcement First doesn't Sen. Hagel understand? He is UNELECTABLE in Nebraska. His enthusiastic support of this bill has cooked his goose, even if his blind opposition to the war in Iraq didn't.

Anonymous Jon Rehm said...

Bruning isn't stupid. He's a pure Machiavellian operator.

Is he somewhat inconsistent for criticizing Hagel for disloyalty to Bush on Iraq but for sticking with him on immigration? Sure, but that doesn't matter a hoot to most voters -- especially not to Nebraska Republican primary voters. Most of the voters probably don't know or care about the difference between a motion to re-open debate or cloture either.

And remember Bruning is targeting Nebraska Republican primary voters. The American public may support comprehensive immigration reform -- although you can get a poll to say just about whatever -- but I'm guessing most of the people voting int he GOP primary here in Nebraska next may don't.

Hammering Hagel on immigration is good for politics on Bruning's part regardless of what you think of the substance of his charges.

Anonymous Jon Rehm said...

Correction to my post:

I wrote "Bruning hammering Hagel on immigration was good for politics on Bruning's part regardless of what you think of the substance of his charges."

That should be corrected to say good poltics. Take out the for between good and politics.

It's not good to push the political discourse in this state any farther to the right. I think a lot of opposition to the immigration bill from the right is motivated by xenophobia.

Blogger ptg said...

That scraping sound? Its Kyle, scraping the bottom of his empty barrel trying to find some way to criticize Jon Bruning.

Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...


Bruning's already drained the barrel and carved his initials at the bottom looking for more ways to criticize Chuck Hagel. Don't blame me because Baby Face Bruning is so devoid of ideas that there's nothing there to judge substantively.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle, Remember when you said this "This website has always been dedicated to the ideas, the votes, and the policies affecting Nebraska's future. I can't even say what a slap-in-the-face it is to be maligned and demeaned like this after years of working so hard to avoid the easy temptations of personal attacks on those officials with whom I disagree politically." "self-serving hypocrite (when it comes to presidential loyalty) and a liar"

Simply calling someone stupid and a liar does not sound like you are addressing ideas. Just because someone may disagree with you does not make them stupid, racist, homophobic, liar, etc. Maybe I will call you a poo-poo head to class up this blog.

Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...


I haven't blanketly declared Bruning stupid or a liar. I have pointed out Bruning's inconsistencies and his disregard for the truth with actual examples and explanation.

This site holds our elected officials accountable, and I won't apologize for that. But, I'm glad readers hold me to a high standard. I just wish Nebraskans would do the same for our feckless media and puffed-up politicos.


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