Sunday, August 11, 2002
Bipartisanship follies: If a married couple often argues and the husband decides to try to "change the tone" there's only so much he can do to prevent his wife from screeching insults, throwing china and hurling knives.
So it is with Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who blames President Bush for the failure of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. Obviously the devil made him do it.
Bush was, perhaps, a little naive that he alone could change the tone in Washington when you've got a harpy like McAuliffe as your counterpart.
But it's worse than that -- the Democratic Chairman has gone off his rocker when it comes to criticizing the president. Certainly there are things that Bush has done that deserve criticism (steel tariffs, that disaster of a farm bill and the federalization of airport security screeners come to mind), but McAuliffe's talking points appear to the result of an illicit affair between Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone and Rep. Cynthia McKinney.
One has to wonder about the decision to federalize security screeners that miss bombs and guns, but take great glee in confiscating G.I. Joe's plastic rifles, Medals of Honor and toenail clippers. Does the federal government have some compulsion that no incompetent bureaucracy exist in the private sector? All incompetents must be federalized. This might explain the Democrats' desire to nationalize the health care system.
The lead paragraph of the aforelinked Washington Post article:
President Bush exploited the attacks of Sept. 11 for political advantage, sought to manipulate the markets to suit his ends and cannot combat corporate scandals because of his own business background, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe charged here today in a harsh opening to the November midterm elections.
That's really all that you need to read of the story to know it's probably the worst partisan claptrap that the Democrats have uttered since Sept. 11.
If Bush has aimed to use the events of Sept. 11 for political advantage, then he's done a piss-poor job of it. If he had wanted to use it for political advantage then he would've turned the word Democrat into a curse word after pointing out how, under 8 years of Clinton-Gore, the military was cut, trimmed and downsized to the point that made projecting U.S. power difficult. He would've pointed out that we don't have nearly enough laser-guided bombs or cruise missiles because Clinton was too busy trying to save his own skin after he'd "known" (in the Biblical sense) an intern.
Now, some of these criticisms have some merit. Others don't. But the point is that Bush made none of these things. Instead, he urged the Congress to look forward on how to kill Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and end Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
As far as manipulating the markets -- is the DNC chairman really a blithering idiot? Maybe these corporate accounting scandals had something to do with it. We have had a recession -- and the downward trend started back in 2000 -- before Bush was officially a candidate; before Bush was the Republican nominee for president; before Bush had won the election.
Maybe Bush isn't really as dumb as the Democrats like to make him out to be. Maybe Bush has incredible mental powers that enable him to move American financial markets according to his whim.
As far as President Bush's business background, maybe during this sort of crisis a background in business offers some insight into the situation.
But, even if you want to make the dubious contention that a background in business prohibits you from dealing with business problems (swap in "medical" for "business" -- or any other specialized field -- and see how much sense that contention makes), McAuliffe has no room to speak. McAuliffe's dealings with now-bankrupt Global Crossing effectively eviscerates his claim to any sort of moral authority on this issue.
All politics is local. Democrats would do better for themselves to focus on local issues, instead of these hysterical (in more ways than one) attacks on the president.
Besides, if McAuliffe really wants to see what "exploiting the attacks of Sept. 11 for political advantage" looks like, Bush can accommodate him. Start invading Iraq in October.
McAuliffe will scream bloody murder then -- but no one will be listening.