“shameless exploitation”

This is how Eleanor Clift so aptly describes (MSNBC.com-Newsweek) the bullying techniques being brought to bear against the two Republican holdouts on Bush’s outrageous tax-cut proposal–Ohio’s George Voinovich and Maine’s Olympia Snowe.

The conservative Club for Growth is running an ad in Ohio with a photo of Voinovich next to a French flag. The group’s press release calls Voinovich a
“Franco Republican.” The same ad is slated for Maine with Snowe pictured alongside the French flag. A narrator equates the senators’ opposition to the full Bush tax cut with French opposition to the Iraq invasion.

In a separate article for the Associated Press, Jim Abrams records:

“These Franco-Republicans [Voinovich and Snowe] are as dependable as France was in taking down Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein,” Club for Growth president Stephen Moore said in a statement.

In her own article, Clift goes on to explain:

More than 60 percent of Americans say large tax cuts now are not needed, yet President Bush is making support for tax cuts a test of party loyalty and patriotism….

The president’s claim that the dividend tax cut would benefit most taxpayers goes largely unchallenged. Seventy percent of taxpayers would receive no benefit at all according to the IRS. By contrast, the three top executives at each of the Fortune 100 companies would gain an average of $400,000 a year. Bush trades on the trust he enjoys with voters, which makes him a formidable campaigner. He gets credit for being plainspoken and a truth teller even when he falsely portrays his dividend tax cut as a jobs program.

What is going on in this country? How in the world can we even try to justify a program of tax cuts when we have a war to pay for, and a country–Iraq–to mend the wounds we’ve inflicted upon it? Has Bush no shame?