"Too many Republican leaders are acquiescing to a poisonous 'demagoguery' that threatens the party's long-term credibility, says a veteran GOP House member who was defeated in South Carolina's primary last month. While not naming names, 12-year incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis suggested in interviews with The Associated Press that tea party favorites such as former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and right-wing talk show hosts like Glenn Beck are the culprits.
"He cited a claim made famous by Palin that the Democratic health care bill would create 'death panels' to decide whether elderly or sick people should get care. 'There were no death panels in the bill ... and to encourage that kind of fear is just the lowest form of political leadership. It's not leadership. It's demagoguery,' said Inglis, one of three Republican incumbents who have lost their seats in Congress to primary and state party convention challengers this year. Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're 'preying on their fears' and turn away."
Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar criticized Mitt Romney for what Lugar described as a "hyperbolic attack" on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Lugar said Romney "repeats discredited objections and appears unaware of arms control history and context," and added: "In advancing these arguments, he rejects the Treaty's unequivocal endorsement by the Defense Department led by Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also distances himself from prominent Republican national security leaders, including Jim Schlesinger, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and Brent Scowcroft, who have backed the Treaty after thoughtful analysis."
Speaking of demagogues... At an event for Ken Buck in Colorado, Tom Tancredo called President Obama the greatest threat to America. "I firmly believe this--it's not just, you know, sort of a dramatic statement that a person would make to get press or something, or ink," Tancredo began. "I believe this with all my heart. The greatest threat to the United States today, the greatest threat to our liberty, the greatest threat to the Constitution of the United States, the greatest threat to our way of life, everything we believe in, the greatest threat to the country that was put together by the founding fathers is the guy that is in the White House today."
Buck, for his part, denounced Tancredo's comments on a conference call with reporters: "I was surprised when Tom said that. I think he tends to exaggerate sometimes… I respect him [President Obama] as our leader."