Thursday, January 27, 2005

Are You Really A Democrat?

I am a Conservative Republican [period]. I am proud to proclaim it. I know what I stand for and I know what my party stands for. But what about Democrats? Few Democrats proudly identify themselves as Liberal. In fact they consider it a pejorative label used exclusively in Conservative attacks. Random House recently released a pair of books outlining the history of each party. The Republican history was written by a well respected historian while the history of the Democrats was chronicled by a reporter who’s credibility is that he’s covered every campaign in the last 50 years, or some such. So, I wonder, what do Democrats really know about themselves?

Democrats claim to be “the party of the people” and suggest that they are uniquely qualified on civil rights. This is as far from the truth as one can possibly get. The Republican party was created in 1854 by abolitionists (that’s people against slavery, for you recent public school graduates) and the first Republican candidate for President was John C. Fremont, whose slogan was “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont.” He lost, but in 1860, the Republicans ran Abraham Lincoln (he’s the guy who ended slavery in the United States). Stephen Douglas was the Democratic nominee in 1860 and only the year before he said: “the Union can exist forever divided into free and slave states, as our fathers made it.” It was the Democratic party, in the bodies of the Southern Democrats with the support of their northern bretheren, that seceded from the Union and instigated the Civil War. In case you think this is old history, consider George Wallace who became governor of Alabama in 1962 at the height of the civil rights movement on the slogan: “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” He ran as a Democrat and (oddly) was endorsed by the NAACP (how does that happen?). To this day, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd (W.Va) is perennially re-elected to his seat in Congress despite the fact that he was a ‘Kleagle’ (recruiter) in the KKK and joined (by his own admission) because it “offered excitement” and was an “effective force [in] promoting traditional American values.” In his own hand, Byrd wrote in 1946 (after he allegedly quit the group): “the Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia [and] in every state in the Union.” Of course, 1946 is ancient history, but Byrd filibustered (for public school grads, that means ‘blocked the vote on’) the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and, more recently, opposed the nominations of both Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Thomas, and Condi Rice - they’re all black. When Byrd used the phrase “white niggers” on national television in March 2001 not one single civil rights group stood up to decry him or suggest ‘sensitivity training” cause he’s not a racist (go on, pull the other one).

Democrats say they are for equality and women’s rights, but are they really? On June 4, 1919, the Senate passed the 19th,or Susan Anthony, Amendment which gave suffrage to women. The vote was 56 to 25 and broke down as 36 Republicans and 20 Democrats for and 8 Republicans and 17 Democrats against. More than two-to-one Democrats as Republicans against and almost twice as many Republicans for it as Democrats! Just as an FYI, the women’s suffrage movement claims it’s birth in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY with Susan B. Anthony and a group of abolitionist ladies and, as noted previously, the abolitionists were largely Republicans. I am not going to get into the argument of whether “a woman’s right to choose” is a good or bad thing, but I will note that the proponents of choice never seem to credit a woman with the intelligence to choose not to have unprotected sex - go figure. However, it was Jimmy Carter in December 1977 who denied Medicaid funding for abortions and Bill Clinton who pulled Medicare funding for abortions in 1999 and (lest you forget) Bill also cut AFDC, food stamps, and Medicaid for many with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Democrats will hasten to point out that these events were orchestrated by Republican Congresses, but I would counterpoint that the legislation would not have passed without Democrat support and that the Democratic Presidents didn’t have to sign them. In the last Presidential campaign, Kerry and Edwards spoke often about the plight of women and how they were riding in to the rescue. This is a common refrain of Democrats - that glass-ceiling stuff - but the truth of the matter is both the Women’s Freedom Network and the Independent Women’s Forum have debunked gender wage discrimination and reported that, on average, men work 2,174 hours per year while women work 1,675 hours. The Democratic party does have some prominent women that the Republicans just can’t claim: Mary Jo Kopechne, Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broderick, and the Dodd-Kennedy ‘waitress sandwich.’ When a Republican, like Jack Ryan or Bob Packwood, has a sex scandal he (or she) resigns, usually in shame, but a sex scandal for a Democrat is resume enhancement.

Democrats are the party of Human Rights. The Republicans oppose the United Nations which the Democrats embrace. The United Nations that posted Libya, Syria, and Iraq to the chairmanship of the Human Rights Council while voting to oust the United States from it. Two liberal icons participated in that inhumane war known as Vietnam. One JFK started the war and the other so hamstrung the government that we lost it. Joseph Kennedy, JFK’s father, was a Nazi appeaser and sought peace with Hitler. Like father like son, Edward Kennedy last week compared Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo with Hussein’s torture chambers (where hands were routinely cut off and victims garrotted - all preserved for posterity on VHS) and rape rooms (where fathers and husbands enjoyed the violation of their wives and daughters) and found the Iraqis were better under Saddam! Anyone remember the Hutu/Tutsi celebrations in Rwanda that Bill Clinton ignored?

Democrats have the corner on honesty as long as you ignore Sandy Berger, Dan Rostenkowski, the late night tire slashings, Bill’s use of the word “is” et al, Hillary’s cattle futures, health-care stocks, and book deal, the Corzine funeral, the Torricelli campaign, David D’Amiano (sentenced to 2 years for extortion and bribery related to his work as fund-raiser for James McGreevey), and that’s just off the cuff and recent.

CORRECTIONS: Kurt Staudert was “shocked to see Condi Rice become belligerent with a Senator that calls her on past lies.” First, look up the word “belligerent” in the dictionary and then watch Rice again - she was the epitome of grace and decency. Secondly, it was Boxer who lied, not Rice - the October 2, 2002 Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq (that Boxer said had only one casus belli) included no less than 16 reasons for carrying the war on terror into Iraq. She said she read it (I did), perhaps she missed the other 15 reasons. Bernie Sanders criticizes Bush on out-sourcing, but I can’t find anywhere support for his claims of what Bush might have bought. What I do note (and try to live by in my own life), is Bush’s advice: “buy more United States products.” The simple fact is, just like abstinence, this always works - if you refuse to buy products not made in the USA, you support US industry, US workers, the US economy, and yourself, it really is just that simple - so, where does Bernie shop?

CHUCK ROAST: Mr. Gregory up-chucked about Dr. Jeffery [sic - he couldn’t bother to spell it correctly] Runge, head of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Gregory impugns Dr. Runge: “I don’t know what qualifications...Runge had....maybe the usual healthy contributions” and criticizes his record on car seats. The facts (readily available on a simple Google search) are that Dr. Runge was an emergency room physician who “has seen his share of victims of highway crashes,” has been highly critical of the automotive industry and especially SUVs with their tendency to ‘roll.’ He said he wouldn’t let his own daughter own one “if it were the last vehicle on earth.” “The Bush Administration was none too happy with his comments [but] it won’t be the last time the administration will hear unpopular words from him, according to Washington sources.” Failing to institute a national mandatory motorcycle helmet usage rule, Runge is trying to come through the back door via the Inland Transport Committee (an international road traffic safety group) of the United Nations - the decision is still out. As to car seats, Runge has corralled the major auto manufacturers into better standards, is widely recognized for his commitment and good work in the field, and created federal grants for state-level “child passenger safety programs” - Michigan was awarded the first grant of $247,800 in May 2002. Chuck, we are not having an “ongoing exchange” - you write some wildly inaccurate drivel and I am forced to correct you - that’s not a dialogue. As for Vermont Republicans, I know quite a few and believe me, you don’t speak for them. If it will get you to stop referring to me and my family in your letters, I invite you to go head-to-head with me in ‘dueling letters’ - we’ll agree on a topic and write about it. E-mail me if you’re game.

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