Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Don't Put Words In My Mouth

It is interesting to note that the first politicians to step up to the podium and demand civility and decency in the political arena are always Democrats. Why is that interesting? Oddly enough, I try to follow politics and I expect people to do what they say. I like to call that integrity. So, it’s interesting to me when people don’t. Watching Democrats is like watching "Jeopardy"; there’s that tension to see who’s going to pound on that buzzer first.

I’ll set the stage by accepting, in a left-handed fashion, that my side engages in nastiness occasionally. Dick Cheney ‘dissed’ Patrick Leahy on the floor of Congress and Democrats were aghast and expected an apology. Frankly, I think that Cheney was absolutely right to do what he did - Leahy had been bad-mouthing both him and his boss in vehement and vitriolic diatribes. What Cheney said was said man-to-man, face-to-face, when Leahy came looking for a photo-op. Why are Democrats shocked when ‘that sense of collegiality’ collapses in the wake of their attacks?

What the Democrats are willing to excuse and fluff-off is totally amazing to me.
Teresa Heinz Kerry tells a reporter to "shove it" and she’s not held to account, but rather applauded as heroic - she did what we’d all like to do, but don’t have the chutzpah to do. The truth is, if she had taken his pen and pad and "shoved" it for him, I’d have applauded too, but that’s not what happened. She gave a speech to the Pennsylvania delegates to the Democratic National Convention in which she called for more civility in American politics, "that we keep this at a high level, with dignity, with respect". In her fervor she opined that "we need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian - and sometimes un-American - traits that are coming into some of our politics." All very fine and good. Except shortly thereafter Colin McNickle asked her what she meant by ‘un-American’ and she told him that "I never said that...you said something I didn’t say...now, shove it." Folks, I saw the event live on TV! Not one Democrat that I’ve heard or met thinks she did anything wrong. Not one wants to know what she meant.
In the August issue of Ladies Home Journal Teresa is asked if Americans have a narrow-minded view of the role of the First Lady. Her reply should send up alarms. "I don’t think American people are at all [narrow-minded]", all fine and good - if she had stopped there. But no, she didn’t. She went on, "I always go back to Pittsburgh...and to the hard-working, honest and tender people of that place...a lot of them are not very educated in the formal sense...that’s where I get my grounding in terms of who Americans are." Do the Democrats just assume she’s only referring to the Republican citizens of Pittsburgh? Sure, you can say she meant that they didn’t have college educations, but even so, how much more elitist, arrogant, derisive, and condescending can one get?

Just this month, she’s calling her, and her husband’s, detractors "scumbags" and "idiots". Leslie Marshall, a radio talk show host (yes, the left do have some), actually praised Teresa for these sterling epithets. I can’t imagine Leslie being so awed by a Republican spewing language that the left has tried to qualify as hate speech. In fact, Teresa is described as eloquent and feisty, opinionated and unafraid to speak her mind. "I’m a woman of a certain age and I deserve my opinions," Teresa says of herself, "I’ve earned them the old-fashioned way." (By which, she means marriage, I assume - the same way she earned her wealth in marriage to her first husband, Republican Senator, H. John Heinz III.)

But we’re not voting for Teresa, Democrats are quick to point out. Which is a fair position. But keep in mind: ‘one is judged by the company one keeps.’

How about the snow-boarding incident? John Kerry falls on the slope, but he didn’t fall because "I don’t fall...that son of a bitch" Secret Service Agent (who’s there to take a bullet meant for you, Mr. Kerry) got in his way and tripped him. Of course the Agent was not on the slope the next five times Mr. Kerry "didn’t fall." This behavior is just plain unacceptable and no one would tolerate it EXCEPT from one of the elite.

Then there was Cedric Brown at the Town Meeting in Bethlehem. Mr. Brown wanted to know who the foreign leaders were that had been telling Mr. Kerry that he really needed to beat George Bush. John Kerry’s response was "That’s none of your business!" Again, I watched it live on television and the vitriol in Mr. Kerry was palpable. In fact, he then encouraged the crowd to chant against this 52 year old gentleman - and I use that description specifically.
How about the assault weapons ban? Kerry vilified Bush for allowing that ban to lapse and subjecting all Americans, if not the world, to automatic gun-fire on the streets. And yet, it was the responsibility of Congress to present a bill to extend the ban to Bush to sign. The President supported the ban, but couldn’t do anything without a bill from Congress. Where was Senator Kerry on this ‘most’ important issue? In fact, Kerry co-sponsored a bill that would have expanded the weapons covered by the assault weapons ban - a bill which he didn’t have the leadership capabilities to gather a following to pass. At a recent rally, Kerry was given a weapon as a gift - that weapon would have been illegal under his own bill! Did he refuse the gift on the grounds he believed it was an illegal weapon? No, he gladly took it.

Joe Lockhart just explained to us that he spoke to Bill Burkett but the topic Bill called him to discuss "never came up". Bill wants to trash the President’s National Guard Service. The Kerry Campaign wants to trash the President’s National Guard Campaign. CBS and Dan Rather want to trash the President’s National Guard Service. CBS puts Bill intouch with Joe because he has ‘the goods’ to effect everyone’s goal. But we are to believe that Joe never talked to Bill about it.

Where, oh where, is the civility, decency, and integrity in the Democratic Party today?

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