What a Democratic victory will mean
By Michael M. Bates
Media analysts and other deep thinkers are touting polls that point to a Democratic sweep next month. Democrats have progressed from thinking in terms of what if to when. Republicans can still win. To do so, they need to nationalize the election.
Most voters believe, understandably, that Congress is doing a lousy job. Simultaneously, they think their own member is doing OK. But who is your Congressman going to vote for to lead the House?
Archliberals will be running things if Democrats take over. The GOP needs to constantly argue that case.
Ms. Pelosi has said she doesn't "really consider ourselves at war" with terrorism, that it's actually just a struggle. Moreover, she's claimed this year's election "shouldn't be about national security."
Maybe she's trying to cover up her votes as the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. In the years prior to 9/11, despite her having inside knowledge of the threats confronting the U.S., she regularly voted against intelligence funding.
On budgetary matters, Congresswoman Pelosi is a big spender's big spender. Her 2005 evaluation from the National Taxpayers Union, which includes every vote of significance involving taxes, spending, debt and regulatory burdens, was 11 percent. For this she was assigned a letter grade of F. It couldn't have been too much of a disappointment though. Going all the way back to 1995, that's been her grade.
The nonpartisan National Journal calculates that last year Nancy Pelosi voted more liberal on social policy issues than 96 percent of her colleagues. Naturally, she's dependably pro illegal immigrant, pro abortion on demand and pro big labor bosses.
She holds a special place of contempt for the Boy Scouts of America. The president of the U.S. serves as honorary president of the Boy Scouts. In 2000, she and ten other members of Congress wrote to President Clinton, requesting he resign from the Boy Scouts because of the organization's "unacceptable" policy of banning homosexuals from leadership positions.
The House at the time had over 200 Democrats. Even so, the Clinton letter was so over the top that fewer than a dozen Democrats would sign it. And Nancy Pelosi was one of them.
Her ascent to the speakership would be only the beginning. Joining her would be the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, New York's Charles Rangel. Ways and Means has principal influence on tax policy, trade, Social Security, Medicare, and welfare.
Mr. Rangel hates tax cuts and loves tax increases. Consequently, he also gets an F from the National Taxpayers Union.
Congressman Rangel is extraordinarily partisan, declaring once that "If (Bill) Clinton dropped dead tomorrow, they would dig him up and open a grand jury investigation."
More ominously, Mr. Rangel is a fan of Fidel Castro and has tried for years to lift the embargo against the Communist tyrant's Cuba. Visiting there in 2002, he touted Castro as "a proud, brilliant man" and praised "one of the best and most sophisticated health care and medical research systems in the world." Evidently he hadn't heard about Cuba's shortage of aspirin and other medical necessities.
Another Democratic chairman will be Michigan's John Conyers at the Judiciary Committee. He's fixated on impeaching George W. Bush and has even held a mock impeachment with him pretending to be the chairman. Moreover, Representative Conyers has a burning desire to make certain that convicted felons are allowed to vote.
A Democratic victory will mean California's George Miller will take over the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He gets terrific ratings from the National Education Association, the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union. One reason is he supports making it considerably easier for unions to organize by curtailing secret ballots. He also believes that pouring more money into education will automatically improve it, a view not supported by experience.
A few paragraphs back, I mentioned the letter from 11 congressmen asking President Clinton to relinquish his honorary role in the Boy Scouts. George Miller was one of the signers, which is suggestive of what to expect when he assumes a position of more authority.
Ms. Pelosi has stated her intention of having Florida's Alcee Hastings run the House Intelligence Committee. Like the others, he has impressive credentials. He was a federal judge who was impeached and removed from office for soliciting bribes.
Let's not forget California's Henry Waxman. As chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, he'll set the priorities on investigations. One, no doubt, will be the war on terror. Mr. Waxman's termed domestic surveillance "illegal," which must spread joy throughout terrorist cells around the world.
A Democratic majority in Congress will enable archliberals to do irreparable harm. Republicans need to pound that point home in the dwindling days of the campaign.
This Michael M. Bates column appeared in the October 19, 2006 Reporter Newspapers.