Three cheers for an end to bipartisan folly

By Phyllis Schlafly
web posted November 8, 1999

The media, Bill Clinton and Al Gore have all been having tantrums about the defeat of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Clinton accused Republicans of "partisan politics" and "a new isolationism," and Gore chimed in with a chorus of calling Republicans "right-wing extremist" and "breathtakingly irresponsible."

Now we know what those epithets mean. If Republicans acquiesce in Clinton's policies, they are praised as "bipartisan" and "responsible," while if they oppose his policies they are "partisan," "isolationist," "irresponsible," and part of a "right-wing conspiracy."

It's Clinton, not the Republicans, who has tried to turn the Test Ban Treaty from a national security issue into partisan politics. Clinton substituted name-calling because he lacked rational arguments to rebut the six former Secretaries of Defense and two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs who opposed this dangerous treaty.

For days, the New York Times headlines screamed such headlines as "The G.O.P Torpedo," "Partisanship Arrives in Foreign Affairs," "A Nuclear Safety Valve Is Shut Off," and "New Isolationism Imperils U.S. Security."

The media blamed Republicans for setting a trap. But the Democratic leadership had threatened to shut down the Senate and prevent it from transacting any other business unless Majority Leader Trent Lott scheduled a vote; so Lott gave them their vote and the Democrats crashed.

Contrary to the torrents of outrage pouring forth from Clinton lackeys, the world isn't coming to an end because the Senate exercised its constitutional "advice and consent" power to reject a bad treaty. Nor did the world stop turning when the Senate refused to ratify Jimmy Carter's SALT II treaty, and we would be a lot safer today if the Senate had rejected Carter's giveaway Panama Canal treaties.

If it's true that the Senate Test Ban Treaty vote dealt a blow to bipartisanship, that's a good thing for American security. The Test Ban Treaty is only the latest effort of the Clinton-Talbott-Albright interventionists to use the bipartisan slogan as a fig leaf to cover the indecencies of flawed, foolish and unverifiable agreements that would put U.S. sovereignty and security in the noose of foreign control.

Our Constitution wasn't designed for Senators to "get along" or "work together" in bipartisan happy-talk, and it's a perversion of the system when both parties support the same policies. Our Constitution was designed for constant conflict and controversy because that is the way we can maintain our freedom and independence,

Self-government demands vigorous advocacy of different points of view on foreign as well as domestic policies. After both parties make their policy recommendations, the people can make known their decision.

Bipartisanship has betrayed the American taxpayers and our armed services again and again. The leadership of both parties supported a long list of crucial policies that never enjoyed majority support among the voters.

Enormous sums of taxpayers' money were used to bail out corrupt foreign regimes, including Mexico, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. Billions went through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Russia where mob-style politicians pocketed our tax dollars in their secret bank accounts.

Bipartisanship rams through big appropriations every year for all those unaccountable international lending agencies, including the IMF, the World Bank, and the ripoff called the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Bipartisanship is paralyzing all efforts to deal with our problems with China, probably our biggest enemy in the coming decades. Neither party wants to talk about China's human rights violations, espionage, cash contributions to Clinton, or its $60 billion trade surplus that is financing its military-industrial complex.

Bipartisan folly prevents the Republican leadership from telling the American people the truth about the humanitarian disaster and foreign-policy failure of Clinton's wars and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti. We didn't hear a peep from Republicans when Clinton cavalierly canceled the debt of $5 billion that 38 foreign countries owe to the U.S. taxpayers.

A good example of foolish bipartisanship is former Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour becoming a paid lobbyist for Ted Turner's campaign to persuade Republicans in Congress to vote $1 billion in alleged unpaid dues to the United Nations. Barbour is even running a full-page ad in the conservative Weekly Standard in support of this goal.

Bipartisanship has built a fence around extravagant federal spending programs so none is being reduced. The bipartisan leadership couldn't even bring itself to cut the National Endowment for the Arts, despite its current blasphemies at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Clinton's treaties are dangerous and costly for America, and bipartisanship is a Clinton ploy to coopt Republicans into becoming a party to his mistakes. The voters are looking for leaders who will stand tall for American national security, and the vote against the Test Ban Treaty is a good start.

Phyllis Schlafly is president of the Eagle Forum.

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