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Put "liberal" in front of Gary Condit's name
By Bruce Walker
It took awhile for those grand engines of public enlightenment to figure it was safe to tell us yokels in Flyover Country that the philandering, lying, and perhaps kinky Rep. Gary Condit is actually a Democrat -- some people at CBS were in Dan-ial for a long time, and would Rather that all the moral creeps in American government were not Democrats -- but the message has always carefully massaged with the ubiquitous "conservative" before Gary Condit's name. He was a "Blue Dog" Democrat, like Gene Taylor of Biloxi, Mississippi. Not quite: Condit is a Blue Dog Democrat (Barney Frank could be one too, if he chose) put he is anything but a conservative: all the hoopla to the contrary is simply an attempt to gray the issues.
We conservatives should have gotten a clue from Gary Condit's political pals, most conspicuously California Democrat Governor Gray Davis. While Davis likes to portray himself as a moderate, Gray Davis is actually a liberal; moreover, Governor Davis has been a pal of Congressman Gary Condit for many years (a topic Republicans would do well to explore). Gary Condit and Gray Davis have been very, very close allies -- something that the voters of California should be reminded often as evidence of Governor Gray Davis' immorality, just as often as Governor Davis' incompetence in dealing with the utterly preventable power shortage.
But back to Congressman Gary Condit: he is not an overt Marxist (which is probably what "confused" the media), but consider his voting record as recorded by the myriad conservative and liberal advocacy groups. Consider the bread and butter of all liberal activism: labor unions and government bureaucracies. During the last Congress, Condit voted with the AFL-CIO 60 per cent of the times and he voted with this labor union umbrella organization 73 per cent of the time over his career. He also voted with AFSCME, the union which represents government workers, 71 per cent of the time and he only voted with AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) 60 per cent of the time. And good 'ol "conservative" Gary had a perfect 100 per cent record with the NEA.
On "Campaign Finance Reform" and other gross abridgements of free speech so loved by liberals, Condit also tilts to port and not to starboard: He voted 67 per cent of the time with the goofy Congress Watch, which is intended to protect the electoral process from dangers like the First Amendment. Common Cause lists six year campaign finance reforms it favored in the last Congress, and Gary Condit voted with Common Cause five out of those six votes.
He also always voted with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, mortal foe of the Second Amendment, and on nine out of sixteen votes Condit voted the way the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. This California Congressman is hardly a friend of the Second Amendment either.
There is a monotonous regularity to Condit on other issues of special interest to liberals. The League of Conservation Voters found him a good environmental whacko 53 per cent of the time. The Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (and guess how?) found Condit a good, robotic liberal 67 per cent of the time.
Where is his "conservatism"? Not on other social issues. This
putative "conservative" voted 100 per cent of the time with
the ACLU. The Children's Defense Fund found him on the right side (i.e.
the left side) 80 per cent of the time. Planned Parenthood says he voted
right (i.e. wrong) a whopping 82 per cent of the time. And NARAL, the
flagship of abortion rights, agreed with Condit 75 per cent of the time.
The Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, found Gary
on their side of the fence 60 per cent of the time.
Business-oriented conservative groups found Condit bad, but not horrible. The National Taxpayers Union gave Gary a "D" on its score card, finding him on their side only 43 per cent of the time. Americans for Tax Reform also gave him a tepid 50 per cent rating, although he is not listed among the 139 House members who are called "heroes."
These numbers are not misleading. Americans for Democratic Action gives him a better rating than any Republican from California and the American Conservative Union gives him a lower rating than any Republican from California. His ADA rating is 50 per cent and his ACU rating is only 44 per cent. Remove his modest support of big business, and he is consistently liberal.
So why is Gary Condit even called "conservative"? Well, to most pundits, Fidel Castro is a "moderate" and Bob Dole is a "arch-conservative." The talking heads always shove the nominal "political center" as far to the left as possible. So anyone who calls himself a conservative, they will buy. After all, liberals long ceased existing anyway: only "progressives" exist in the rhetoric of the political establishment.
But there is another reason why Gary Condit is considered a conservative. Go down Memory Lane to 1992. Bill Clinton was considered a "moderate" Democrat, as was Al Gore. They weren't, of course, but they made noises that sounded okay to the good people of Arkansas and Tennessee. Condit is another Clinton: he lies about everything. How interesting that it recently came to light that he even lied about his age on his marriage license -- sound familiar?
Indeed, the similarities between Condit and Clinton are striking. Both came from states in which the Democrat Party ran government as the two men grew up. Both have brothers with criminal drug records. Both are serial adulterers with a penchant for very young women working in government and both are reflexive liars. And both have always been as liberal as they could get by with politically.
So now that the media has finally added that scarlet "D" in front of Rep. Gary Condit (CA), we conservatives need to make sure that the even uglier "L" is added as well. Because Gary Condit is no more conservative and no more honorable than California Governor Gray Davis -- both are liberal Democrats.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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