Republicans: Don't give up on "W" now!

Commentary by Henry Lamb


The most serious threat to President Bush's second term is not a Democrat; it is the growing mass of disenchanted Republicans who are accepting the proposition that there is little or no difference between the two major parties.

"Where are they going to go?" says a well-placed Bush operative. "You know they'll never vote for Dean or Kerry. And there's no Ross Perot on the horizon."

Where will they go? Nowhere. And that's the point. Republicans, especially the more conservative variety, are likely to stay home in droves. So far, the Republican strategists appear to be oblivious to this possibility.

Perhaps conservative Republicans expected too much too soon from a Republican administration. The Democrats had eight years to fill the agencies of government with activists from their special-interest groups. It is true that President Bush quickly dumped the most egregious of these types, whose positions are political plums. The underlings hired by the political appointees, however, are protected by civil-service regulations and cannot be fired, or even reassigned, without non-political justification.

The disappointment of conservatives goes much deeper and questions the fundamental philosophy which guides the administration. After eight years of watching the Clinton-Gore team march the United States directly into the jaws of a global socialist government, Bush supporters expected a screeching halt and a major course correction.

Conservatives cheered Bush's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol - a screeching halt and a major course correction - while socialists abroad and Democrats at home condemned the president.

When Bush defied the U.N. Security Council, and created a multi-national coalition to eliminate Saddam Hussein, conservatives split, some cheering the action, some joining the Democrats at home and socialists abroad who condemned the action.

The Patriot Act, the prescription drug program, the "guest worker" program, the so-called "free trade" programs and a half-trillion dollar deficit have left conservatives reeling, wondering why a Republican administration and Congress have produced results that look so much like what they would expect from a Democrat administration and Congress.

Consequently, many, many Republicans have thrown up their hands and have decided to either join some doomed third-party movement or simply stay home.

While this reaction may be understandable, it is not only self-defeating, it violates the first law of true believers: Never, never, never, never give up!

It is true that Republicans hold the White House and a razor-thin majority in Congress. It is also true that the nation is divided, almost down the middle, between people who want to continue the Clinton-Gore path toward global socialist government and those who want to abandon that path and move the United States toward more individual freedom, free markets and voluntary cooperation among sovereign nations.

Rather than give up and stay at home, a better strategy may be for conservatives to realize that the election of President Bush in 2000, and securing a slim majority in Congress in 2002, is just the first step in a long journey. Conservatives should realize that it takes 60 senators to prevail over the Democrats' filibuster.

Rather than throw in the towel, conservatives might throw their effort into the campaigns of conservative candidates for the House and Senate, and for the state legislatures and county commissions.

The global socialist agenda moved into high gear after the fall of the Berlin Wall, aided dramatically by the progressive Democrats in the United States. The Bush election in 2000 disrupted that agenda, and to them, nothing is more important than removing the Bush obstacle. Conservatives who decide to give up and stay at home will be aiding and abetting the enemies of freedom.

A return to progressive Democrat leadership in the United States is a return to the Kyoto Protocol and U.N. control over energy use in the United States. It is a return to subservience to the United Nations - as Howard Dean says, to get "permission" from the U.N. before defending our nation. It is a return to total government control over land use, education and every other facet of life.

In 2000, conservatives barely got a foothold on the bridge of the ship of state. In 2002, conservatives began to get a grip on the wheel. In 2004, conservatives have an opportunity to bring on more hands and to permanently discharge some of the progressive Democrats who continue to fight desperately for control.

Democrats alone cannot regain control. If conservatives give up, throw in the towel and fail to show up for the November battle, the Democrats will win by default. Conservatives who truly believe that freedom is better than socialism, those who want freedom for their children rather than a world socialist government, will never, never, never, never give up. They will show up in November.


Ten reasons for Republicans to sit out the 2004 election

Commentary By Kim Weissman


Conservatives are in a lather over various domestic policies of the Bush administration, and many are threatening to sit out the 2004 election and not vote at all. And who can blame them? After all, it's been a decade since Newt Gingrich and his merry band of reformers won control of the House from the Democrats who dominated that body for the previous 40 years. In the decade that Republicans have controlled the House (and most of that time, the Senate also), our federal government has grown bigger and more intrusive than ever. George Bush has been president for nearly four years, and our government is still growing by leaps and bounds (and a half-trillion dollar deficit). It turns out that Bush isn't a "true" conservative after all (that "compassionate" preface he appended to "conservative" in the 2000 campaign should have tipped us off).

But Republicans are missing the big picture by focusing on "the issues," which will matter less in this election than ever before. Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Bush's National Guard service, Kerry's complaints about underfunded intelligence agencies and his Senate record of voting time and again to cut funding for the intelligence agencies, the economy, the budget, jobs, special interest pandering - none of these will decide this election. Whoever the Democrat candidate turns out to be, and no matter what his record on "the issues," Democrats will turn out in massive numbers with one overriding goal in mind - defeating Bush. Conservatives, so archaic in their fidelity to principle, simply don't understand the reality of modern electoral politics, where principles are irrelevant and attaining power is the only thing that matters. So, by sitting out the election, conservatives can help return us to the good old days of complaining about the outrageous conduct of a Democrat president, rather than the outrageous conduct of a Republican president.

The war against terrorism really isn't a war at all; even though our enemies declared, and have been waging, war against us for a decade, culminating in their strike that killed 3,000 people on 9-11. All of those past attacks against America over the last decade were really just crimes, and we need to have a properly humble president who will ask Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac to pretty-please assign Inspector Clouseau to arrest the bad guys, so they can be taken to the International Criminal Court, where they will have limitless opportunities to explain to everyone why America is so evil. We need a president like John Kerry, who had the good sense, less than one year after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, to introduce legislation to rescind $1 billion from U.S. intelligence-related activities; who, less than two months before the 1995 bombing of the U.S. barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, had the foresight to seek to cut the intelligence budget by $300 million each year, from 1996 through 2000; who, nine months after Osama bin Laden declared war against the United States, wondered why, with the Cold War over, "our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow." And, in case we find out that some poor misunderstood terrorists are on the verge of attacking us, we need a president who will ask permission from the United Nations, before we deploy our military in self defense.

A Democrat president will be able to examine any complaint against America, by any nation on earth, from the sensible perspective that America is, of course, always wrong. Remember all those apologize-for-America tours that Bill Clinton took, jetting around the world to all those foreign garden spots, doing his mea culpa for all of the world's ills which, as the truly enlightened know, were always America's fault? Now those were the good old days!

As long as Democrats keep control of the federal bureaucracy, if any U.S. airlines single out "too many" young Arab males for extra security screening before they board airplanes, those airlines will be properly chastised - and if necessary, sued by our federal agencies - for racial profiling. What was the big deal about 9-11 anyway? Yes, 3,000 people died, but we have to learn to properly interpret those events as our own fault, as the great minds of our era - Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Ted Turner, Ramsey Clark - have taught us. Those great minds must get back to their proper role of advising a Democrat president and, along with their friends in the media, telling us all what to think. Since these people, and most of the media desperately want to defeat Bush, Republicans can help them by not voting.

Then there are the intelligence failures leading up to the 9-11 attacks, and the apparent absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Hearings are demanded, but if Republicans keep the majority in Congress, they will control the witness lists and the hearing agenda, and information might come out, about how badly Democrats have gutted our intelligence services over the last 30 years.

But with Republicans sitting out the election, Democrats could regain control of the House and Senate, so they will then be able to control the witness lists and the hearing agenda, and we won't be bothered by any disconcerting information about their own 30-year-record on intelligence. And, then with Democrats in control of the government, and with their friends in the media whipping up hysteria with one-sided reporting, Democrats might even be able to indict Bush, and members of his administration, for war crimes. Granted, relying on mistaken intelligence (even though the same apparent mistake was shared by the entire world, but never mind that) isn't nearly as bad as allowing nuclear weapon and ballistic missile technology to fall into the hands of the communist Chinese.

But, with a Democrat president and congressional majority, the hard work of Democrats over the last 30 years to eviscerate our intelligence agencies can continue. Oh, sure, CIA Director Tenet has said that politicizing intelligence "may well result in an intelligence community that is damaged and a country that is more at risk," but politicizing every issue is what Democrats and leftists do best, so why shouldn't Republicans and Conservatives help them to advance their ideological agenda, by sitting out the election?

The economy stinks and companies aren't hiring; we can fix that, of course, by electing a Democrat who will turn a blind eye toward frivolous lawsuits that bankrupt companies and who will raise taxes to punish evil corporations and drive them overseas. Even better, if we can elect a man who is himself, a trial lawyer. This will help to paper over the rampant proliferation of medical malpractice lawsuits that are driving up the costs of health care, and the growing burden of government regulation and paperwork that are driving doctors out of the medical profession entirely. If the lawsuits continue to proliferate and the burden of government regulation and paperwork increases, the cost and availability of medical care will become even more difficult for people to obtain, and Democrats will have another issue to demagogue - and maybe even an excuse to give us socialized medicine. And that's what we all want, isn't it?

Then there's the federal judiciary. If President Bush is re-elected, he will continue nominating judges who are so extreme that they actually think their job is to follow the Constitution as written and the laws as enacted. Naturally, we can't have any of that sort of extremism clogging our federal bench; otherwise, how would progressive judges be able to make up new laws, and discover new Constitutional rights, to make our society function as they think it should?

Bush's proposal for a new guest-worker program for illegal aliens really brought out conservative anger with his domestic agenda. But this guest-worker plan is just a half-way measure (virtually every Hispanic spokesman tells us that Hispanics don't like it, because it doesn't go far enough - so much for sacrificing the interests of citizens in order to pander to Hispanics). But, the Democrats will really solve the problem of illegal immigration, by skipping right over the "worker" part and proceeding right to full American citizenship, with all of the entitlements that go with it. As guest-workers, after all, illegal immigrants would still have to go through the tedious citizenship application process. But with the amnesty plan Democrats are floating, illegal immigrants can sign right up for the full range of our nation's social service programs. And with the broad family re-unification provisions that the Democrats will probably enact, tens of millions more tired, hungry, and poor immigrants from around the world can come here to benefit from our tax dollars.

Nor can we forget the social issues. With the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that gay marriages deserve all of the legal rights of heterosexual marriage (civil unions just won't do), we can see the direction in which enlightened society is heading. Certainly a Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress would obstruct such progress, so by sitting out this election Republicans will help move us towards enlightenment and progress.

Then there's the opportunity to re-live the days of foreign campaign contributions. Remember Johnny Chung ("the White House is like a subway, you have to put in coins to open the gates") of foreign campaign contribution scandal fame? In Newsweek, Michael Isikoff reminds us that John Kerry also knew the ubiquitous Mr. Chung: "In July 1996, the Massachusetts senator was locked in a tough re-election fight, so he was more than happy to help when he heard that a generous potential contributor wanted to visit his Capitol Hill office. The donor was Johnny Chung, a glad-handing Taiwanese-American entrepreneur. Chung brought along some friends, including a Hong Kong businesswoman named Liu Chaoying." Federal investigators later discovered that Liu was in fact a lieutenant colonel in China's People's Liberation Army. And, Chung "went on to become a central figure in the foreign-money scandals of 1996. Chung eventually pleaded guilty to funneling $28,000 in illegal contributions to the campaigns of Bill Clinton and Kerry" (a "straw donor scheme," the Washington Post called it, in 1998).

In a 1998 National Review article on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee investigation into Chinese campaign contributions (impeded by many witnesses who refused to testify pursuant to the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, or fled the country), then-Senator Fred Thompson wrote, "The Democrats on the Committee issued a minority report which minimized and denigrated the significance of our findings. Now Johnny Chung has gotten everyone's attention. However, Chung is describing events that are two years old. One must wonder if the trail has gotten cold while we have been arguing." Now that we also know that President Clinton was loosening restrictions on technology transfers to China at the same time that Chinese money was coming into his campaign, everyone is jumping to the question of quid pro quo, something that is almost never provable by direct evidence.

On another, not necessarily related front, the Democrat candidates have made it clear that they want to mend fences with our European "friends" who stiff-armed us over Iraq (including France), and France is currently pushing to have a European ban on selling weapons to communist China lifted. Foreign campaign contributions - technology and weapon transfers to communist China - congressional investigations - now admit it: won't it be fun to get back to all that again?

Finally, there's the "Hillary Factor." As President Bush looks increasingly weak as he alienates conservatives, and if the Democrat field looks disorganized or the convention dissolves into chaos, the odds of Hillary jumping into the race at the last minute - that is, being "drafted against her will" to "save the party" - increases. Bill is already deeply engaged in counseling Democrats how to take back the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. And, since our country has already gone four years without the beneficent presence of a Clinton in the White House, conservatives need to do their part to help return the Clintons to the White House, so they can guide the nation into the future, as only they can. For all of these reasons, conservatives and Republicans should let principle guide them, and sit out the election.


Kim Weissman says he's "just a retired private citizen, doing what I can to restore fidelity to our Constitution."


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