What is the Deal?
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November 20, 2005
The Washington Bizarro World
By Jan A. Larson
Is there any place in the country more bizarre (with the possible exception of San Francisco) than Washington? The word bizarre barely describes what goes on within the halls of Congress.
There exists today a very real and potentially devastating threat to the United States and to the western way of life. The threats from Islamic extremists are greater than the threats at any time in history.
Many in the American public and, more seriously, many in positions of leadership in this country act as if this threat is nothing more than a movie that they wish would be over soon or a game can be replayed if it doesn't go the right way. One would have thought that 9/11 would have demonstrated just how serious this on-going threat is, but it appears that either memories are short or a lot of people are simply in denial.
With the 2006 elections less than a year away, it seems it is never too early for politicians to start checking which way the political winds are blowing. As a result of polls that show that more Americans are having second thoughts about the war in Iraq, there is an increasing chorus of anti-war posturing going on in Washington.
Last week, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. When Republicans put it to a vote, it failed 403-3. Murtha himself voted with the majority. Democrats called the non-binding resolution "politically motivated." Duh! Everything in Congress is politically motivated including the Democrats' complaining that the resolution was politically motivated.
The war in Iraq isn't a game and it isn't a movie that follows a script. Every time political panderers like Nancy Pelosi (D-CA_, Harry Reid (D-NV) and the like rant on about Bush "lying" about WMDs (he didn't) or demanding plans for withdrawals, they are simply aiding and emboldening the enemy. Make no mistake; the enemy hears everything that is said on the subject.
Three years after the fact, the debate rages on about pre-war intelligence. The prevailing "wisdom" of Democrats is that the President manipulated the same pre-war intelligence that those same Democrats had access but apparently few bothered to read.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) stated on the November 18 broadcast of Special Report with Brit Hume that Americans would be "disappointed" in the actual number of members that actually took the time to look at those pre-war intelligence reports. Nevertheless, that little omission doesn't seem to stop some from jumping on the "manipulation" bandwagon. What were these bandwagon jumpers saying when Bill Clinton was in office? Mark Alexander's November 19 TownHall.com article spells it out.
The war and intelligence (a Washington oxymoron if there ever was one) aren't the only subjects on Capitol Hill worthy of the bizarro world. Congress debates slowing the growth in federal spending and the Democrats throw a hissy fit. Nancy Pelosi, easily the dimmest of the many dim bulbs in the House of Representatives, gasped breathlessly that slowing growth of spending is an "attack on the middle class." Please. How stupid does she think the American public is anyway?
Pelosi and her Democratic cronies are constantly harping on the budget deficit but woe is Pelosi should the Congress actually do anything about it try to slow, never mind stop, the torrent of wasteful government spending.
Bizarre doesn't even begin to explain the grandstanding Senators grilling oil executives over gasoline prices. Oil company profit margins are in the area of 7-9%. Ironically federal and local taxes take from 25 to 50 cents per gallon. Even at $3.00 per gallon, government's "profit margin" is as much or more than Exxon's.
With a Social Security crisis bearing down on future retirees like a freight train, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) announced that reform is not likely to happen until 2009 at the earliest. When it comes to money, time is of the essence but while Social Security burns, the Senate fiddles, more concerned about how to get reelected.
It is absolutely shameful that members of Congress bloviate, spin and demagogue about serious issues. It is amazing to me that these people, ostensibly educated and intelligent (Pelosi and some others excepted) can actually believe that the people listening to their rhetoric will actually believe them. Is the American public this naïve and gullible? Apparently some of them are. After all, they elected these bizarros.
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