Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A tale of two hypocrites

It was the best of wartimes; it was the worst of wartimes. It was the age of bloggers; it was the age of mainstream media becoming the New Media. It was the epoch of voter gullibility; it was the epoch of voter cynicism. It was the season of economic growth; it was the season of foreboding recession. It was the spring of prosperity; it was the winter of the "unsustainable" and "bubbles." We had continued good fortune before us; we had civilization's collapse before us. Muslim terrorists believed they were going to heaven; Pat Robertson believed a lot of Americans were going to hell.

And to directly quote Charles Dickens, "in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." Nothing ever changes, in other words, and as politics' biggest loudmouths continually talk about the present relative to the past, they do so only in the most exaggerated manner. When dealing with typical Democratic hypocrisy, however, only mild comparisons to their past actions are needed.

On Monday, Al Gore criticized President Bush's NSA wiretapping policies: "What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law [rising applause] repeatedly and insistently... A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government." He also said he wants Congressional members to "start acting like the independent and coequal branch of government you're supposed to be."

Gore's former boss, the one for whom he worked from 1993 through 2001, could have used a dose of that advice. Byron York detailed last month how Bill Clinton did largely the same type of wiretapping, except that he did it without warrants. Initially, Clinton refused to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, eventually acquiescing to Congressional demands. I'm not saying obtaining warrants from the secretive FISA court is any better than none at all, but this is another example of Democrats' double standard. Though I think the wiretapping of American citizens is unconstitutional, I'm glad the White House isn't just taking it. It fired back with quite strong language for the realm of politics. Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said, "I think [Gore's] hypocrisy knows no bounds."

Indeed. Gore also stated, "The disrespect embodied in these apparent mass violations of the law is part of a larger pattern of seeming indifference to the Constitution that is deeply troubling to Americans in both political parties." Somehow I don't think he referred to Bill and Hillary's unconstitutional plan for universal "Hillarycare," their support of other unconstitutional federal spending, or the Clinton White House's push for unconstitutional infringements of the Second Amendment. Clearly President Bush himself has pushed for much unconstitutional spending, but how can Democrats pick up stones when they themselves are full of the same sin?

What really irks me is Gore's perenially minimal understanding of the Constitution: it sets up the executive, legislative and judicial branches as checks on each other, but that does not make them equal or coequal. I may not have the Robert Byrd edition of the Constitution that most Democrats (and too many Republicans) seem to use, but reading through mine, I fail to see any "equality" between the branches. This may seem like semantics, but because each branch is given different powers so it may serve different functions, there's no common basis of measurement by which to call them "coequal." The only equality they share is that they're all subject to the limitations of their Constitution authority.

And now Hillary Clinton, queen of state-worshippers and my junior senator, said the House of Representatives "has been run like a plantation," where was the outcry? After all, Mayor Mike Bloomberg was called "racist" simply for calling the 70%-minority NYC transit union "thugs," so Hillary Clinton should be called "racist" for her insult to all black Congressmen. Why doesn't she follow up by applying the same demented phrasing to the White House, so she can become an honorary member of the Ted Rall Club?

Let's never mind that Hillary's "apology" for the federal government's post-Katrina response is a testament to her worship of the nanny state, which takes care of people at everyone else's expense. And as I said Monday, the plantation really didn't go away -- it's transformed into servile dependency on big government. Hillary, though, took it as far as she ever has: she declared that the House of Representatives "has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard."

That's a strong accusation she made without citing specific examples. The stifling of presenting legislation isn't altogether a bad thing. Perhaps if we'd had a little, things like the monstrous transportation bill wouldn't have been filled with so much pork. And is Hillary claiming any personal knowledge of how the House is being run? After all, she's a Senator. In fact, if anyone is threatening to block others from being heard on the floor, it's her fellow Democrats in the Senate who mumble threats of filibustering Samuel Alito.

"We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence...I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country." The latter is a matter of opinion, but regarding the first, let's not forget the Clinton Administrations own "shortcomings." Beyond Bill's escapades and perjury, if you want examples of corruption, cronyism and incompetence, look no further than Ron Brown and Henry Cisneros. Unlike Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby, Brown and Cisneros were not just advisors, but Cabinet members who wielded direct political authority in the executive branch.

As I said to a friend last night, Gore may have been correct in some things. Hillary can even be correct...once in a very great while. I just pray the American people can see past this Democratic opportunism and not elect them into office just for a bit of appealing rhetoric.

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1 Comments:

Blogger samrocha said...

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:56:00 PM  

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