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Arrogance and simple selfishness reigns in Democrats' 2004 political agenda

Mary Mostert

Mary Mostert
December 23, 2003

On Monday, December 15th, in a press conference following the capture of Saddam Hussein, President Bush said, in the presence of two members of the Iraq interim governing council,

    "This weekend's capture of Saddam Hussein was a great moment for the people of Iraq. Iraqi citizens have lost a source of fear, and they can now focus with confidence on the task of creating a hopeful and self-governing nation."

While warning that the "terrorists in Iraq remain dangerous," he went on to comment on the impact of Saddam Hussein's capture to the people of America,

    "This achievement comes at the end of an extraordinary year for our country, abroad and here at home. In 2003, we have become a safer, more prosperous and better nation. Our armed forces, joined by our allies, continue on the offensive against terrorist enemies around the world. We continue our systematic hunt for al Qaeda leaders and al Qaeda cells in many countries. I want to thank the Congress for standing behind our military with needed resources, and for giving vital support to the work of reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "America's economy is growing at a robust pace, and beginning to generate new jobs for America, American workers. I want to thank the Congress for passing my jobs and growth package, which is doing just what it was supposed to do. And we will continue pursuing a pro-growth agenda next year."

Note that the President's words are words of praise for the work of others. He took no personal credit for the capture of Saddam Hussein, the current 8.2% increase in America's GDP, or Congress' passage of the tax cuts, and jobs and economic package he himself had recommended.

Of course, none of that was considered news by most of the media. What we are hearing repeated over and over was Howard Dean, Democrat contender for Bush's job in 2004, saying,

    "The capture of Saddam has not made America safer."

Dean prefaced that statement with,

    "My position on the war has not changed.

    "The difficulties and tragedies we have faced in Iraq show that the administration launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help, and at unbelievable cost."

And he followed that with, in my opinion, an even a more outrageous remark for an American presidential candidate:

    "To succeed we also need urgently to remove the label 'made in America' from the Iraqi transition. We need to make the reconstruction a truly international project, one that integrates NATO, the United Nations."

While Dean doesn't think a self-centered dictator like Saddam Hussein is a threat, he appears to have a mindset that is a bit dictatorial himself. For example, in his speech on Monday he uses "I want," or "I will" 27 times. This was Bill Clinton's style. In literally every speech or press conference Clinton would say at least once, "I'm working" or "I have worked" very hard on this. He took total credit for the rise in the stock market, but said nothing as it began teetering in the late 1990s towards recession while he was in office.

Unfortunately, many Americans have never figured out the system of government they live under. One man cannot do it all. We don't HAVE a dictatorship, as much as the media and apparently about half of the general public seem to believe that we do. We have a republic. The energy of and decisions made by people matter. The people they elect and send to Congress matter a whole lot.

Under our system of government, the Constitution REQUIRES cooperation, whether the White House is occupied by George W. Bush or Howard Dean or whoever. George W. Bush understands that. Howard Dean doesn't appear to. For example, at the Monday Press Conference, a reporter asked a politically charged question that began, "Mr. President, at the outset you said that you will pursue next year, the election year, a pro-growth agenda…"

In responding Bush mentioned the fact that he would like to see a "an energy bill and good tort reform" come out of the Congress "to help the economy and job formation." He noted,

    "It got stuck, unfortunately, in the Senate. In my judgment it was a mistake. It was a mistake not to let class-action lawsuit reform go forward, it was a mistake not to get asbestos reform, a mistake not to get medical liability reform. All three of those measures, in my judgment, obviously, are justifiable reforms at the federal level, which would have made a difference in terms of a pro-growth environment. We need more regulatory relief. We certainly need to send a signal to the capital markets that we're going to maintain spending discipline."

Note how non-politically he phrased his response. The question was a perfect opening for a blast at the small group of Democrat senators that are blocking needed legislation and judicial appointments by filibustering so the matter requires a 60 vote majority in the Senate, rather than the Constitutional requirement of a 51 vote majority. Bush refused to allow the media to make the capture of Saddam Hussein a political issue.

However, we didn't have to wait very long before it became a political issue in nearly every article and on every talk show. A pro-Saddam group that calls itself "International A.N.S.W.E.R." (which stands for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism") responded to the capture with,

    "The long standing demonization of the former Iraqi government followed by the invasion and occupation of Iraq is part of a larger global project by the United States to militarily destroy any government that seeks to maintain even nominal independence from the dictates of Washington and Wall Street."

A.N.S.W.E.R ended its defense of Saddam with,

    "We will continue and intensify our mobilizing work to demand: 'End the Occupation, Bring the Troops Home NOW! Money for Jobs, Health Care and Education, Not for War and Occupation.'"

Saddam himself couldn't have made a better defense of his actions. To a more or lesser degree, it appears, the underlying theme of the anti-Bush, "let's feel sorry for Saddam" branch of politics is simple selfishness. As the wealthiest nation on earth we are being urged to choose between more unearned goodies from government in America versus helping other people on this shrinking plant to gain THEIR right to freedom and a strong economy.

Sadly, this appeal to selfishness works really well with a large number of voters. Hopefully, it isn't more than half of them.

Mary Mostert is a nationally-respected political writer. She was one of the first female political commentators to be published in a major metropolitan newspaper in the 1960s. After working in President Lyndon Johnson's failed War on Poverty programs in New York state, she became a Republican. She ran, unsuccessfully, for the New York State Senate and became campaign manager for a number of candidates. She once served as the secretary of "Positive Action NOW!"--a South African women's group that sought to reduce the hostility among South Africa's various racial, religious, and political groups.

In recent years, Mary has researched, written, and edited articles for national talk show host Michael Reagan's Information Interchange on the Internet, and for The REAGAN MONITOR, a monthly newsletter that provides in-depth information on key issues. Her book, COMING HOME - Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America," was published in 1996 by Gold Leaf Press. Mary maintains a political media site, Banner of Liberty. She can be contacted at mary@bannerofliberty.com. Click here for more information.

© Copyright 2003 by Mary Mostert

Recent columns by Mary Mostert: Click here for other columns by Mary Mostert

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