Ellsworth To Close Thanks To Daschle’s Leadership

The Limits of SysAdmin,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 7 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001757.html.

Ellsworth,” by Quentin Riggins, South Dakota Politics, 11 May 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week19/index.html#a0004665723.

CCK and Liberals Against Terrorism, as well as AP through National Public Radio, and Kelo, and KSFY, are saying that Ellsworth AFB is going to close. I thank Bush, Rumsfeld, and Daschle for making this possible.

Noted geostrategist and Kerry vote TPM Barnett recently criticized blood pork Senators

The push to get out of Iraq is getting serious, as I don’t think Chairman Myers testimony on his way out the door was in the same backward-glancing manner of Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki last year on the question of troop levels in Iraq. I think Myers is voicing the same concern I hear when I visit military commands down in Florida: the sense that if the White House wants further actions in the Global War on Terror, it better figure out how to make the SysAdmin load lighter in Iraq.

Same basic logic drives the report of the Overseas Basing Commission: that sense of being so heavily concentrated in the Middle East when there’s still unfinished business of the most crucial sort in Northeast Asia. Expect the Pentagon to begin arguing for a diminished role in the region as it anticipates a build-up toward an inevitable showdown with North Korea.

Meanwhile, expect Congress to engage in all sorts of idiotic arguments to stave off base closings in their states and districts. Isn’t it amazing how congressmen and women who don’t know their elbows from their a–holes on defense get all uppity on the Pentagon’s judgement whenever their slices of the pork pie are put at risk? “Reality check” my ass.

I am truly happy that my former Senator, Tom Daschle, was not one of these men. The Ellsworth Air Force Base in Box Elder, South Dakota would not have closed without Daschle’s leadership

The liberal bloggers are aghast that someone would point out Senator Daschle’s and Senator Johnson’s role in the creation of the 2005 round of military base closures (Known as Base Realignment and Closure or BRAC). All of their foul-mouthed vitriol is much sound and fury; signifying nothing. The 2005 BRAC round did not just magically spring into existence. It took an act of Congress. That act of Congress occurred during the Daschle-led Senate’s debate in September, 2001, over the fiscal year 2002 defense authorization bill. The bill contained a provision authorizing another BRAC round in 2003 (in conference negotiations, the year was changed to 2005). The House DID NOT HAVE a BRAC provision in their version of the authorization bill, and in fact was adamantly opposed to the idea. When a group of senators tried to introduce an amendment to take the BRAC provision out of the defense authorization bill, Daschle marshalled the votes to defeat the amendment, and explicitly voted to defeat it, as did Senator Johnson. At every point where the 2005 BRAC round could easily have been prevented, Senate MAJORITY Leader Daschle did all he could to push it forward. He explicitly voted for a new BRAC round, and appointed Senate conferees who refused to back down from keeping the provision authorizing the 2005 BRAC round, despite heavy opposition to it from the House conferee

.

While Daschle played political games like everyone else, this rationalization of America’s defense would not have been possible without Senator Thomas Daschle’s leadership.

Thank you, Tom.

11 thoughts on “Ellsworth To Close Thanks To Daschle’s Leadership”

  1. Um, didn't John Thune campaign on how he could save Ellsworth? What a fucking liar. Now we lose our jobs. That's the last time I ever vote republican.

  2. Gotta love astroturf 😉

    To answer your question, “no.”

    PS: Johnson also deserves credit for the news, voting with Daschle against the North Dakota Democrats.

    PPS: I'm not being sarcastic. I truly admire what Daschle did.

  3. Actually Thune DID campaign saying that his close relationship with Bush would give him more clout than Daschle on the issue. He absolutely said he had just as much if not more power to keep it open than Daschle. John Thune failed the state of South Dakota in a MAJOR way today.

  4. Please, not vague allegations, what is your reference? What did Thune /actually/ say (not some half-correct summary)?

    I'm surprised at the liberal effort to rewrite verbal history. While the GOP is hardly perfect, I do not remember such efforts on their part during the '90s.

    Must be a new tactic.

  5. Does this work for you:

    “I think we have got to have somebody that has a relationship with the President of the United States, and can work constructively across party lines in the congress to get this done if we're going to save Ellsworth.” (emphasis added) [KSFY/KOTA debate 10-17-2004]

    Or how about the newspaper ad that read:

    “South Dakota's hope of saving Ellsworth Air Force Base rests on not electing the chief opponent of the President, but rather in electing John Thune who understands the importance of increased mission for Ellsworth. John Thune will have the ear of the President and the Republicans who will nominate seven members of the nine-member base closure commission. A vote for Tom Daschle may well be a vote to close Ellsworth.”

    Is that specific enough for you?

  6. No.

    Before:

    “He absolutely said he had just as much if not more power to keep it open than Daschle”

    Now:

    “I think we have got to have somebody that has a relationship with the President of the United States, and can work constructively across party lines in the congress to get this done if we're going to save Ellsworth”

    Quite the fall-back!

    So instead of Thune saying he will save it with “power,” he promises to work with others. And he did. Senator Tim Johnson repeatedly mentions bi-partisan cooperation on Ellsworth-style issues. Or is Johnson being dishonest?

    I have a higher opinion of Tim than that. Senator Johnson voted for BRAC 2005, bucking many in both parties and purposefully risking Ellsworth for a better military posture. Good.

    And partially-quoted unreferenced newspaper ads? What am I to make of that? Who put it out? Thune? What papers did it run in? Which days? Please, some sort of citation!

  7. He clearly said in that debate quote that he, not Daschle, held the key to keeping Ellsworth open. If Daschle was still minority leader, Ellsworth is not on the list. Just look at the windfall coming Nevada's way. They stand to gain more than 1,000 jobs. It's because the minority leader appoints one of the members of the commission, which Daschle did and therefore kept Ellsworth open and kept those jobs in South Dakota. Now he's gone and Ellsworth is closed. Clearly Thune didn't hold the key to keeping Ellsworth open. He said he was better positioned to do it than Daschle. Either he was lying or he was naiive. Everyone said the White House owed Thune big time for beating Daschle. The bottom line is that John Thune failed South Dakota in a big way.

  8. “He clearly said in that debate quote that he, not Daschle, held the key to keeping Ellsworth open. “

    Certainly he said that he, not Daschle, was capable of working bi-partisanly. Why you imagine him saying somethign different I can't say.

    “It's because the minority leader appoints one of the members of the commission, which Daschle did and therefore kept Ellsworth open and kept those jobs in South Dakota”

    Then why did Ellsworth first appear on BRAC '05 candidate lists on 2004?

    Good link to CCK. He reads what he wants to into Thune's works just like you.

  9. The first appearance of Ellsworth on any BRAC list was May 13, 2005 — the official DOD list. Any so called “lists” prior to that date were not official nor part of the BRAC process.

    No one is trying to parse worse here except you. That newspaper ad was the Rapid City Journal's endorsement of John Thune. Thune said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he would be able to keep Ellsworth open. He and Bill Frist stood at Ellsworth touting their coult. Whether or not he claimed he could do this because of some greater “power” or his ability to be bipartisan is beside the point. The point is that Thune and his allies made Ellsworth a major part of his campaign, and diretly and indirectly said that electing Thune would keep the base open. The fact that it is on the DoD list calls legitimate questions into whether Thune will actually be able to deliver.

    Oh, and Daschle did not push for the BRAC to close bases willy-nilly. Rumsfeld and the President pushed for it, as did a majority in the Republican (and Democratic) caucuses. Daschle wasn't the only one to vote for a new BRAC round in 2001. At the time, it was felt that Ellsworth was in a better position to weather a BRAC round. B-1s from Ellsworth pretty much ruled the skies in Afghanistan and Iraq. To say Daschle is the reason Ellsworth is on the list for closure because he voted for the BRAC is as short sited as those who say Thune is to blame for it being on the list right now.

    Daschle later cosponsored legislation with Trent Lott to delay the BRAC in 2003, which failed. What's more bipartisan than that?

    Criticism of Thune at this juncture is valid due to in his campaign claims in 2004. The fact of the matter is that Daschle would have appointed a member of the BRAC commission. Instead, Harry Reid got to appoint a Nevadan, and Nevada is gaining more than 1,000 military personal. South Dakota elects Thune and we lost 3,000. It is clear that the DoD has been gunning for Ellsworth. It's entirely possible that it would have would up on the DoD list with our without Daschle's reelection. It's too early to say what the BRAC commission will do and whether Ellsworth will stay on the final closure list. Thune made campaign promises with respect to Ellsworth, and it is up to him to deliver on those promises. What I can say is that Daschle had more respect and political capital — on both sides of the aisle –than anyone in Washington, which is more than I can say for Thune. That will be key in determining the fate of Ellsworth.

  10. I originally read that as First and Thune's “cult” and was going to send you an Amazon Gift Certificate.

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