Election 2006


The new Congress was sworn in and Nancy Pelosi took over as Speaker of the House. As the news outlets like the Detroit Free Press noted, this was quite a cause for celebration (”It’s a blessed day. I’m so glad the Republicans are out. Look at the price of gas, man. It’s ridiculous.”) Even John Boehner said “Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or an independent, today is a cause for celebration.”

Despite my mild frustration over hearing all of the recycled campaign slogans repeated by the media about how the Democratic Congress is going to champion the middle class, families, and small furry animals — I know that ‘to the victors goes the spoils’… and they should enjoy their honeymoon while it lasts.

One of the post-election dust-ups was over new Representative Keith Ellison’s decision to take the ceremonial photo op posing with a Quran rather than a Bible. I understand the point of Dennis Prager (who did not deserve the villification he got over his comments), but to me it did not seem to be anything to be up in arms about. I am sad to see when tradition is thrown out, but not improved. And while I think Dennis is correct that the Bible has been the unifying piece that really has held the fabric of American culture together, I don’t feel that the Bible’s status is either enhanced or diminshed by forcing Ellison’s choice of accessory for his photo session.

So to this point, I had nothing to say about it.

I knew that it would certainly be mentioned yesterday, given the buzz surrounding the reaction to Prager’s earlier comments. But I was caught by surprise by all of the coverage of Thomas Jefferson’s Quran/Koran/Qur’an being used as the prop. In some way, it was suggested, the use of that book once owned by a founding father somehow put the situation to rest and trumped the opinions of anyone who was against its use.

I was even more surprised to see comments Ellison made about that particular Quran in an interview with MSNBC/Newsweek:

NEWSWEEK: Your swearing in is historic in some senses. How did you come up with the idea of being sworn in with a Qur’an owned by Thomas Jefferson?
Keith Ellison: An individual wrote a letter to the office … It was like, “Wow, isn’t that interesting? Here’s a book that was owned by Thomas Jefferson, a towering figure of American democracy” … Clearly [Jefferson] thought it contained information that he wanted to know about … It just demonstrates that at the very earliest moments of this country, religious tolerance was a principle that one of the Founding Fathers was relying on.

Wow! Never knew that Jefferson had a copy of the Quran, let alone used it’s principles to shape our country.

Ellison also invoked more Jeffersonian approval:

The very foundation of our nation, the authors of our Constitution impressed, is religious freedom, and the use of Jefferson’s Koran shows that the founders not only knew of the Koran but also used it.

Eh?

This is a pretty amazing revelation. And complete poppycock.

An absolute must-read comes from the Independent Conservative, who shreds Ellison’s sound bites about Jefferson’s love of the Quran. I won’t spoil the read, but I thought that I give you at least one treat:

Given Jefferson’s library had religious books from around the world and various times. His owning a Koran does not prove any reverence for Islam any more than his copy of “William King’s Historical Account of the Heathen Gods and Heroes”, which was a popular book of that time, but not regarded as something to revere.

While there is clearly room for any religious belief (including Muslims, Muslim-converts, atheists, or worse) for a member of Congress, and while every one of those members has every right to generate a little publicity for their pet ’cause’… I would be *very* careful before pushing revisionist history about the founding of the country and the importance of the Quran in the formation of America.

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Not content to be known as a complete crackpot, Cynthia McKinney must be looking to establish a political legacy for something other than being known as the Representative who hits Capitol police officers when they dare ask her to submit to security procedures. Since adopting “sore loser” status after being defeated in this summer’s Democratic primary with Hank Johnson, she’s mostly just been an absentee “Representative”.

The Associated Press is reporting that yesterday she introduced a bill to impeach George Bush. But not even content with that, she also wants Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice removed from office.

The Democratic Party must be so proud after their November election victory. They have not yet even taken control of the House and Senate, and already they have members proposing establishing a draft in order to try to hurt the military, controversy about whether or not an impeached judge should chair the Intelligence Committee, and now this. Doesn’t sound like Democratic “leadership” controls much of the agenda yet.

The election in 2000 seems to have triggered some logic imbalance that appears to have become a sickness infecting the entire Democratic party. I fear that there may be no cure. What if this feverish thinking continues on after Bush’s second term ends?

“With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us,” McKinney said Friday night.

“To shy away from this responsibility would be easier, but I have not been one to travel the easy road.”

But, you see, the hard road travelled by Rep. McKinney is largely one of her own making:

She has hosted numerous panels on Sept. 11 conspiracy theories and suggested that President Bush had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks but kept quiet about it to allow friends to profit from the aftermath.

Georgia can be quite proud to be associated with such a stalwart legislator. Sigh.

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“Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his recess appointment expires soon, the White House said Monday.”

Even the formerly-weeping George Voinovich finally admitted that Bolton was the right man for the job.

Can’t wait to see who gets the nomination this time.

Harriet Meiers?

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An excellent observation by James Taranto in today’s Best of the Web
about this USA Today blog entry:

In a USA Today op-ed, Kirsten Powers, a onetime Clinton administration official, celebrates the rise of “moderate” Democrats:

It was critical that Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York–who ran the campaign committees–recruited candidates palatable to conservative or moderate voters who wanted to send a message about the war, but who didn’t want to compromise on beliefs about abortion, gay marriage or the role of religion in public life. . . .

In North Carolina, Democrat Heath Shuler ran as a born-again Christian who opposes abortion. Pro-gun Brad Ellsworth, who opposes abortion and favors an amendment banning gay marriage, will be a new representative from red-state Indiana. Rep. Ted Strickland, a United Methodist minister, became the first Democrat to win as governor in Ohio in 20 years.

This column is scrupulously nonpartisan, so it falls to us to point out the double standard here: How come Democrats who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage are “moderates,” while Republicans who hold the same views are “extremists”?

It is an interesting point to make.

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An excellent piece by Leon Wolf over at RedState: A Friendly Reminder for the Circular Firing Squad. While there are many who are bemoaning last week’s election loss and imagine that , Leon warns “fiscal conservatives who are concerned about excessive government spending should lay off blaming the social conservatives for their woes.” He points out that some of the most strident supporters of fiscal conservatism are also social conservatives as well. Well put:

So, if there are fiscal conservatives out there who are sick of the big government spending, don’t look to Specter, Snowe and Collins as models for new Republicans - the social liberals in the Senate are the worst porkers in the entire Republican caucus. The best thing you can do for your cause is to support a person who is conservative through and through - because only such a person will actually follow through on a promise to reduce government spending, even at their own political expense.

On a seperate note, it seems that what can get people in real trouble is that they do not really vote they way they believe, and either become too accustomed to power and perks, or else are afraid to take the tough votes because it could be damaging politically.

While terms limits would certainly rob these bodies of some fine legislators too early - imagine if people did have the courage to vote their heart. Why does Joe Lieberman suddenly feel free? Why did Zell Miller decide to vote the way he felt the citizens of his state wanted him to? Because they were less beholden to someone else.

Anyway, as all of the various Presidential candidates size up the electorate in the coming weeks - there are no easy answers or poll results that will really give the true pulse. But let’s hope that at least some take real positions and stick by them, even if it means that they can no “be everything to everyone”, even for a moment, so that we can get a real look at what they believe.

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You know, there’s supposed to be such a thing a “the loyal opposition”. But when the obstructionists come from within your own party, it’s doubly difficult.

Godless RINO Lincoln Chafee now wants revenge for his loss on Tuesday. And he will extract it in the only way he now can - by continuing to obstruct John Bolton’s confirmation as UN Ambassador during the lame duck session in the Senate. Never mind that the GOP bent over backwards to support him in his primary run against Stephen Laffey, now it’s personal.

As CNN reported:

But Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who was defeated in this week’s election, said he would block Bolton’s nomination. Chafee, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that he did not believe Bolton’s nomination would move forward without his support.

“The American people have spoken out against the president’s agenda on a number of fronts, and presumably one of those is on foreign policy,” the Rhode Island moderate told The Associated Press. “And at this late stage in my term, I’m not going to endorse something the American people have spoke out against.”

News flash to Senator Chafee: please don’t ‘presume’ that just because you lost the election that the American people don’t want John Bolton. Please don’t ‘presume’ anything!

Some may say that it’s not fair to brand him a “Republican in Name Only”. But in his bizarre farewell speech, he basically stated that he might switch parties, but the only reason he hadn’t is because he wanted to be sure to bring the most Federal money to Rhode Island he could.

He said he made a “conscious decision” to remain a Republican through the election, worrying that if he had “jumped ship” to become an independent or Democrat before the election, Rhode Island might have lost military bases to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, or not have gotten millions of dollars for projects like the Jamestown Bridge demolition from the highway bill.

Now there’s some ideological guts!

The Political Pit Bull and Ace already ask a great question: Can you take someone off a committee and replace them at this point?

And House of Eratosthenes has a good analysis of the Bolton confirmation fight.

Okay, I understand what the typical left-winger’s reaction to this is going to be: Good riddance. Yelling at subordinates, wants to take floors off the U.N., bushy eyebrows, blah blah blah.

Well if not Bolton, then who?

Don’t forget, this “unpopular war in Iraq” was authorized by the United Nations. They authorized it…Bush and the coalition followed through. To object to the follow-through without objecting to the authorization is illogical — and to object to the authorization, and hope for more of it, while excoriating anyone who follows through subsequently “just like we did in that disaster over in Iraq,” would be patently absurd. To say the U.N. needs reform, is to state a decidedly reasonable and middle-of-the-road viewpoint. Hell, it’s to stand guilty of stating the obvious.

Amen.

Maybe Linc Chafee will come to ‘presume’ that as well, before it’s too late.

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The other day I mentioned about the ridiculous campaign ad which was created by John Eaves, candidate for Fulton County (Georgia) Commission Chairman. He won the election on Tuesday.

He also publicized several commercials on his website (which have since been removed after the election), but luckily Political Vine captured the most offensive one.

Here’s a my attempt at a transcript of the commercial (any error are mine, but the grammar is not corrected):
JL: This is Congressman John Lewis.
SF: And I’m Mayor Shirley Franklin.
AY: And I’m Andy Young.
JL: On November 7th we face the most dangerous situation we ever have. You think fighting off dogs and water in the Sixties was bad, [now we?] we sit idly by and let the right-wing Republicans take control of the Fulton County Commission.
SF: The efforts of Martin and Coretta King, Hosea Williams, Maynard Jackson, and many others will be lost. That’s why we must stand up. And we must turn out the vote for the Democrats on Election Day.
AY: And especially for John Eaves for Fulton County Commission Chairman. Unless you want them to turn back the clock on equal rights, and human rights, and economic opportunity for all of us, vote for John Eaves as Fulton County Chairman.
JL: Your very life may depend on it.
This message paid for my the Committee to Elect John Eaves.

Now tell me, what person can hear this and seriously say that this ad isn’t accusing Republicans?

In an understatement of the year, today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution noted “Bloggers, conservative radio and letters to the editor have labeled the ads as racially inflammatory.” No kidding! I guess that the AJC is unable to make such a determination on it’s own. But what’s worse, when Atlanta Mayor Franklin was asked about her role in the ad, she gave a non-apology (”If you were offended by something I said, I apologize.”) and then became indignant:

But I’m actually infuriated by some of the partisan and divisive politics I’ve seen in the past five years. What I said in that ad, I said right-wing Republicans, I didn’t give them any gender or race. I happen to believe that right-wing Republicans have made some big mistakes in America, and I said exactly what I thought.

John Lewis spoke of his experiences. Andy Young spoke of his. I know I wouldn’t be standing here if it hadn’t been for Andy Young and John Lewis. The bottom line is that I don’t know of anybody in my position who wouldn’t stand with Andy Young and John Lewis.

Eh? But then there’s John Lewis, who throws out the race card, then lies:

Lewis said the ad was not racist.

“I don’t think there was anything racially inflammatory at all,” Lewis said this week. “The ad was straightforward. Anyone who saw it as race-baiting failed to see the ad.”

Failed to see the ad? No, the ad did not say that all white males are racists who will put down blacks. Just all Republicans (regardless of gender or race) who will do this.

So why is this accepted? Newsbusters reported how professional race-baiter Al Sharpton failed to see anything wrong with the ad when asked on Hannity & Colmes.

SHARPTON: I think what they tried to do with those suppressive measures of voter I.D. in Georgia came right out of an era that John Lewis and others fought.

Seriously? Requiring a photo ID instead of one of the other 17 forms of ID is deemed equivalent to bringing out police dogs and water hoses in the 1960’s? This is how far we have come.

Political Vine and Peach Pundit also covered more of the mess.

I don’t expect much from a hack like Sharpton. But I’m most surprised about Shirley Franklin. I wonder if she is really proud of this moment…

And John Eaves is no where to be found on this. His campaign website has removed references to this (must not have been too proud after all). There is one recording still there. This contains far less controversial statements. Why these were not sufficient, I can not understand.

Again, my (possibly faulty) transcriptions:
Hello this is John Eaves, and I want you to hear a very special message from a very special friend.

(MUSIC)

Hello, this is Mayor Shirley Franklin. I’m urging you to vote for my friend, John Eaves, for Chairman of the Fulton County Commission. We need a person like John Eaves to bring our county together. From North Fulton to South Fulton, Sam Town to Midtown, Bankhead to Buckhead. John has the skills, the know-how, and the compassion to lead Fulton County. He’s a collaborator, and a consensus-builder, who understands the importance of cooperation, while not yielding on his personal beliefs and values.
Together we can make a difference for you. And I’m pretty certain, if we elect John Eaves four our Fulton County Chairman, he will make us proud.

I’m John Eaves, and I approved this message because in Fulton County we’re focused on the future.

Hello, this is Andy Young. And I want to tell you why I’m supporting John Eaves for Fulton County Chairman. Atlanta and Fulton County are at a crossroads. We’ve worked for many years to get where we are. Now there are forces which you are very much aware of that want to roll our progress back. We’ve got to vote. And we’ve got to vote for men like John Eaves. He’s a good family man. He’s well educated: Morehouse, Yale, University of South Carolina. He was a representative with the Peace Corps.
And I’ve known him for some years, and he’s the kind of person who has the brains and integrity to protect our interests in Fulton County. And that’s why Shirley Franklin is voting for him, Hank Aaron, John Lewis. And John can help move us forward. He’s a decent, honest, man, someone we can trust. Vote for John Eaves for Fulton County Commission Chairman. I’m Andy Young.

I’m John Eaves, and I approved this message because in Fulton County we’re focused on the future.

Hello this is John Eaves, and I want you to hear a very special message from a very special friend.

This is Congressman John Lewis, and I want to tell you why I’m supporting John Eaves for Fulton County Chairman. Atlanta and Fulton County are at a crossroads. With new growth and development we need a leader like John Eaves who can work hand-in-hand with all the people of Fulton County to maintain our growth and development. John is as comfortable in a board roam suite as he is talking with the people in the street. John has the know-how to get the job done. He graduated from Morehouse, earned his Masters Degree from Yale, and have a Ph.D degree. Not only is John a loving husband, and a proud father of two children, but he also spent years helping thousands of our young people. That’s why smart people like Shirley Franklin, Andy Young, and Hank Aaron, and I are voting for John Eaves for Fulton County Chairman. And you should too.

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Yahoo! News and Fox are reporting breaking news: Donald Rumsfeld has resigned.

Who said there would not be ramifications in the execution of the war?

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Well, this morning we wait to see the final results in two Senate races, but the night was a disappointing one. At least all of the reporters on TV this morning are giddy, so it’s good to see them in a good mood.

I think my wife summed it up best: it gives hope for 2008 because people will get to see 2 years of Democratc “leadership” in the House… as long as we aren’t blown up by then!

Some opportunities were lost over the last few years. Lincoln Chafee didn’t leave the Senate before obstructing John Bolton’s confirmation. “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” now likely means giving everyone citizenship and stopping enforcement of laws already on the books. (Any bets on how the funding for continued construction of a border fence is going to make it through the House?)

It will also be interesting to see the posturing for the next Presidential race. With no clear Republican front-runner, will every Democratic Senator think they can enter the race?

It may take a while for some to recover, but at least I don’t think we’ll see the wailing and gnashing of teeth that came from the left in 2000 and 2004, but we will move on (unlike the organization of the same name). (That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about Ali Bubba who proclaims ” I hate hope ….” — but I get what he means!)

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Shameful.

Listen (if you dare) to this ad, as captured by Political Vine.

John Eaves has to be the winner HANDS-DOWN for the Most Shameful Political Radio Advertisement of the 2006 Election. And all this to trying to become Fulton County Committee chair! Racism is alive and well in political campaigns, but maybe in a different fashion from most of the Democratic accusations.

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