In their dreams: The Democrats in con­trol

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Tony Blank­ley

1: Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid cleared by Se­nate Ethics Com­mit­tee. Af­ter care­fully re­view­ing all the ev­i­dence, the Ethics Com­mit­tee de­ter­mined that Mr. Reid had “in­ad­ver­tently” failed to re­port on his fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure state­ment that he had se­cretly be­come ma­jor­ity stock holder of Cae­sar’s Palace, the Golden Nugget, the Bel­la­gio, the Vene­tian, Har­rah’s, the Mi­rage, MGM Grand and the Ho­tel at Man­dalay Bay. “They were all just friendly “hand­shake” deals be­tween me and sev­eral new friends of mine,” the sen­a­tor said. The fact that th­ese forgotten deals had in­creased the Reid fam­ily’s net as­sets from $812.37 to $3.7 bil­lion was dis­missed as a “tech­ni­cal­ity, and not pro­ba­tive of the sen­a­tor’s in­tent” by an Ethics Com­mit­tee staffer.

The Ethics Com­mit­tee also dis­missed as “a co­in­ci­dence” the fact that a pro­posed zon­ing change pushed by Mr. Reid shortly prior to the eight “hand­shake deals” would have put each of those ho­tels out of busi­ness.

2: Se­nate passes Sen. Ned La­mont’s bill to with­draw all our forces from the Pen­tagon and West Point — leav­ing a small con­tin­gent over the hori­zon in Utah.

Sens. Ted Kennedy, Chuck Hagel, Lind­sey Gra­ham and Jim Webb made the sup­port­ing ar­gu­ment that the U.S. mil­i­tary’s po­si­tion in the Pen­tagon was no longer sus­tain­able now that Democrats (and friends) con­trolled Congress. “We will cut their bud­gets, court mar­tial their of­fi­cers and in­dict any con­gress­man who op­poses us. We will give them 30 days to va­cate the Pen­tagon premises, af­ter which it will be turned over to the ACLU, as their new world head­quar­ters. With those fine fa­cil­i­ties in ACLU hands, we can count on the full vin­di­ca­tion of the civil rights of rad­i­cal Is­lamist Amer­i­cankilling ter­ror­ists. To those poor in­no­cent pris­on­ers at Gitmo, we say: ‘Help is on the way!’ ”

Sen. Hil­lary Clin­ton ar­gued on the Se­nate floor that now that she and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer have won their elec­tions by more than 70 per­cent, the long gray line at West Point will also have to re­treat to Utah “be­fore we come in and get them.”

Ever gra­cious in vic­tory, Mrs. Clin­ton al­lowed: “If the West Point­ers want to do a lit­tle mil­i­tary home school­ing in Utah, that will be per­mis­si­ble — for the time be­ing, and once they are dis­armed.”

3: Demo­cratic Congress passes $12 tril­lion tax in­crease.

In a care­fully crafted tax bill drafted by House Way and Means Com­mit­tee Chair­man Charles “Vengeance is Sweet” Ran­gel and Sen. Charles “Look Ma, Top of the World” Schumer, tax rates will be raised to con­fis- catory lev­els, but only for tax­pay­ers, busi­nesses and Chris­tian churches (ex­cept for the Epis­co­palians) re­sid­ing in, do­ing busi­ness in or pray­ing in con­gres­sional dis­tricts that went for Pres­i­dent Bush by more than 55 per­cent in the 2004 elec­tion.

Mr. Ran­gel ex­plained: “All those Repub­li­cans prob­a­bly had shares in Hal­libur­ton and made mil­lions. If they didn’t, then they prob­a­bly sold En­ron stock be­fore the crash. We don’t have time for tri­als, so we’re just go­ing to take all their money. They’re also chicken hawks. Did you know I served in the mil­i­tary in the 1950s?”

Mr. Schumer ex­plained the re­li­gious an­gle to the tax bill: “We’re giv­ing the Epis­co­palian churches a break be­cause most of their con­gre­ga­tions be­lieve in the prin­ci­ple of choice in both abor­tion and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

Also, their con­gre­ga­tions con­trib­ute to the Audubon So­ci­ety, not the GOP.

For the rest of them, all I can do is to quote from the syn­op­tic gospels: “Red­dite igi­tur quae sunt Cae­saris Cae­sari” (ren­der unto Cae­sar what is Cae­sar’s).

4: In a switch of po­si­tions, all Repub­li­can mem­bers voted for the en­dan­gered species pro­tec­tion act — adding as an amend­ment, the in­clu­sion of Repub­li­cans in the pro­tected class.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the suc­cess­ful fight to de­feat the Repub­li­can amend­ment, cit­ing ap­prov­ingly Her­bert Spencer’s so­cial Dar­win­ist ar­gu­ment that “Thus by sur­vival of the fittest, the mil­i­tant type of so­ci­ety be­comes char­ac­ter­ized by pro­found con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ing power, joined with a loy­alty caus­ing sub­mis­sion to it in all mat­ters what­ever.”

Thus she ap­proved of Repub­li­cans be­com­ing ex­tinct, con­clud­ing her floor ar­gu­ment: “Repub­li­cans are a re­pul­sive species and don’t de­serve to live. In those few ar­eas still habi­tated by Repub­li­can con­gress­men we should im­port large quan­ti­ties of snail darters and Demo­cratic Party op­er­a­tives to has­ten the GOP’s ex­ter­mi­na­tion.”

In mak­ing this harsh ar­gu­ment that Repub­li­cans have no moral right to ex­ist, she dis­proved, by her ac­tion, Her­bert Spencer’s other ar­gu­ment that, not­with­stand­ing the phe­nom­e­non of sur­vival of the fittest, hu­man so­ci­ety main­tains an “in­nate moral sense” — by which hu­mans come to ar­rive at cer­tain moral in­tu­itions and from which laws of con­duct might be de­duced. (The Prin­ci­ples of Ethics, I [1892], p. 26.)

Tony Blank­ley is edi­to­rial page ed­i­tor of The Wash­ing­ton Times. He can be reached via e-mail at tblank­ley@wash­ing­ton­times.com

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