Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Duncan Hunter plays to his base: Blackwater

Yesterday, I wrote about how Tom Tancredo is working to wrap up the Dog Chapman vote. Today, we learn that Duncan Hunter is playing to the mercenary crowd. Raw Story covers the story where Blackwater wants to turn a chicken farm into a mercenary training camp for Blackwater. They report former California congressman and current presidential candidate Duncan Hunter is a client of Blackwater. They also raise questions about whether Hunter was lobbying for the project.

So, that got me to thinking about Duncan Hunter. Who is he? What does he stand for? Here's a recent clarifying editorial from Michael Reagan (Ronnie's son, the conservative one):

Rep. Duncan Hunter, former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and now its ranking Republican member, appeared on the Hannity and Colmes show on Fox, and I was astonished to hear him castigated for failing to see that our troops in Iraq needed equipment[,] ... specifically ... on [the] matter of the alleged lack of body armor for our troops in Iraq[.]

Ignored were certain inconvenient facts such as the amount of body armor that was available under Bill Clinton, which was zero. Today ... thanks to Duncan Hunter's work ... the armed services have one million sets of body armor. That's one million!

Wow! Duncan Hunter supports the troops! Iraq equipment shortages must be blamed on Bill Clinton. Okay, check.

Chris Reed is a conservative op/ed-er San Diego U-T. He must be a huge Hunter fan, having gotten to view him close up over a long time, particularly as Reed gives Hunter the honorific of NOT being a Reagan Republican (in case anyone missed it, reeps have no interest in being Reagan Republicans anymore - well, except maybe the folks on Fox and Friends, but I digress):

Periodically, I get e-mails from supporters of the presidential candidacy of Alpine Rep. Duncan Hunter who express disbelief, befuddlement or fury, or a mix of all three, at my flat contention that he is a populist demagogue and anything but a principled conservative. These folks cannot fathom any talk that he's not free-trade, small-government Ronald Reagan reincarnated.
Okay, Hunter is not Ronald Reagan Reincarnated. Check.

Here's a synopsis of Hunter on Iraq (from Congressopedia):

On November 18, 2005, in response to Pennsylvania congressman John Murtha's resolution to terminate the deployment of United States forces in Iraq, to redeploy the forces already involved in Iraq, and to "pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy",Hunter and other Republicans drafted a two-sentence counter-resolution which read:

"Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

"Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately."

Democrats condemned the bill as a political stunt. As expected, it was soundly defeated, 403-3, in the House of Representatives.
Okay, Hunter is simultaneously pro-blood bath, but wants our troops home now. That's presidential timber; Oh, yeah!

What else. Hunter hates illegal immigrants. Hates the Chinese government. Runs strongly on the Three G's platform (Guns, God and Gays).

On the other hand, Hunter batted oh for 19 on the Jeff Flake amendments to stop earmarking. However, when he was a congressman, Hunter did at least make his earmark requests public. From the Sunlight Foundation:

Hunter has decided that [earmark] transparency is necessary to defend the practice. Transparency also allows me to point out that two of his earmarks are to one of his biggest campaign donors, Titan, Inc. For more information Hunter's ties to Titan -- a very controversial defense contractor -- check out this blog post by Jason Vest at POGO.

So, that's it on Hunter, the dream candidate of military contractors and mercs. Which brings me back to Tancredo and his support for Dog Chapman. Bounty hunters and mercenaries. Seems like a similar demographic. Could Tancredo be a stalking horse for Hunter? Or the other way around? Will either candidate top 1% in any Republican Primary?

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