Vox Populi
A Letter to the Editor

The Complete Lack of Patriotism shown
by the Democrats and their Congressional Leaders

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

by Fred Onderdonk

I'm curious about what Mr. Berg-Andersson thinks of the complete lack of patriotism shown by the Democrats and their Congressional leaders, Senator Tom Daschle [D-South Dakota] and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi [D-California]-- what with Senator Daschle so recently chastising our Nation's Commander-in-Chief about his diplomatic efforts- which only failed because of France's refusing to back our position, by the way- and Congresswoman Pelosi afterwards defending Daschle, just as this country is about to go to war! Senator Daschle himself once called for "regime change" back during Bill Clinton's Presidency and, just last Fall, voted for the Joint Resolution giving the President the authority to do what he is about to do now, while Congresswoman Pelosi- who represents nearby San Francisco- has to be just about the biggest "peacenik" in Washington!

The Democrats spent the entire Clinton Administration complaining about what they called "partisanship" by the Republicans who controlled Congress during most of Bill Clinton's Presidency; apparently, now that it is a Republican who is in the White House, the "pot" is clearly enjoying calling the "kettle" black. It is all such sheer demagoguery!

Fred Onderdonk

Pittsburg, California

Mr. Berg-Andersson responds:

First of all, if only in the interests of accuracy, I believe that Congresswoman Barbara Lee- who represents Oakland and Berkeley (even closer to Mr. Onderdonk's home than San Francisco)- was the only Member of Congress to have voted against the War Against International Terrorism in the wake of the September 11th; Ms. Lee's vote against military operations in Afghanistan must not have bothered her constituents very much, by the way, since she was re-elected in the most recent Congressional elections. At any rate, given this little factoid, I can't honestly agree with him that Congresswoman Pelosi- however liberal- would qualify as "just about the biggest 'peacenik' in Washington".

Secondly, as to the main point Mr. Onderdonk has above raised: what Senator Daschle said yesterday might have been rather silly- for the reasons Mr. Onderdonk himself has pointed out (particularly the fact that Mr. Daschle supported the Congressional Joint Resolution of this past October under which the President is about to act against Iraq-- I noticed, by the way, that Senator Tom Harkin [D- Iowa], also a supporter of last Fall's Congressional Resolution, was on the floor of the Senate today asking for a debate and a new vote on the issue of war against Iraq and criticizing President Bush for not coming back to Congress before ordering military action: while I myself- as I have quite often said on this very website- would have liked to have seen a request for a formal Declaration of War emanating from the White House, the fact is that one has to reasonably ask Mr. Harkin: "If you wanted President Bush to have to come back to you for authorization to go to war, why the heck did you vote for that Joint Resolution?") and it might even be true that the Senate Minority Leader's remarks may very well have bordered on "sheer demagoguery", but I would hardly accept that they indicate a "complete lack of patriotism"! The Senator has every right to his opinion, no less than I to my own or Mr. Onderdonk to his; in addition, as an elected officeholder (unlike Mr. Onderdonk or myself), he- like Congresswoman Lee- will be held to account by his constituents come the next election: after all, isn't that what- in the larger scale of things- the U.S. Military soon to enter into battle is actually fighting to defend?!

And just what was the Republican response to Senator Daschle's remarks? To take just a couple notable examples: Senator Rick Santorum [R-Pennsylvania] saying that Daschle was positing "the French position" and House GOP leader Tom DeLay [R-Texas] going so far as to tell Daschle to "Fermer la bouche!" [French for "close [the] mouth!" (that is, "shut up!") for the uninitiated]. Now, if these remarks are not themselves "partisan", where not also- if perhaps only on the verge- "sheer demagoguery", then I have to confess I can't honestly know just what the terms 'partisanship' and 'demagoguery' might, in fact, actually mean!

Inside the Beltway, when one Party criticizes another Party one happens to support, it is ever defined as "partisanship"-- yet, when the Party one happens to support engages in what is basically the same stupid behavior against the first Party, most everyone in support seems to act like they've just been handed the original copy of the Ten Commandments! Most assuredly, that which is a type of Idiocy when expressed by the Party one does not support does not then suddenly transmute into a form of Intelligence when similar Stupidity is, in response, also expressed by the Party one happens to support!!

I will close by simply noting my finding it altogether interesting that Mr. Onderdonk seemingly admits to the Republican "kettle", indeed, being as "black" as the Democrats' "pot"!!!


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