Af­ter some ‘bi­par­ti­san­ship’ it’s back to pol­i­tics as usual I

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - OLIVER NORTH

t all sounded too good to be true — and now we know it was. For a few days af­ter the midterm elec­tions, lead­ers of the new con­gres­sional ma­jor­ity talked like they re­ally wanted to work with the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion for the “com­mon good.” But like so much in Wash­ing­ton, it’s now clear, that was just hype.

In their first flush of vic­tory, the idols of the Amer­i­can left scram­bled to sound like rea­son­able, re­spon­si­ble leg­is­la­tors who rec­og­nized our na­tion faces se­ri­ous chal­lenges. Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat, ini­tially de­scribed the Nov. 7 vote as a man­date “to re­store sta­bil­ity and bi­par­ti­san­ship” in Wash­ing­ton. Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader-in-Wait­ing Harry Reid, Ne­vada Demo­crat, said: “The only way to move for­ward is with bi­par­ti­san­ship and open­ness, and to get some re­sults. [. . .] I want to work with the pres­i­dent of the United States.” Un­for­tu­nately, rhetoric has sur­ren­dered to re­al­ity. Noth­ing has changed.

The “wake-up call” about how Amer­ica’s lib­eral icons will run the 110th Congress came two weeks ago when the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion urged that John Bolton — cur­rently serv­ing a re­cess ap­point­ment as our am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions — be con­firmed by the Se­nate. The sug­ges­tion had barely been ut­tered when Sen. Joseph Bi­den, Delaware Demo­crat, an­nounced that Mr. Bolton — de­spite ad­mirable work try­ing to pro­tect U.S. in­ter­ests — would be re­jected. “I see no point in con­sid­er­ing Mr. Bolton’s nomi- na­tion,” he said.

Though Mr. Bolton says he still hopes for, “a straight up-or-down vote on the Se­nate floor,” lame duck Repub­li­cans on Capi­tol Hill have been act­ing like crip­pled chick­ens. When Repub­li­can “lead­ers” failed to rally to Mr. Bolton’s cause, tri­umphal Democrats be­gan float­ing the names of po­ten­tial re­place­ments. Among those deemed “ac­cept­able” as U.N. emis­saries: for­mer Repub­li­can Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa and for­mer Demo­crat Sen. Ge­orge Mitchell — both ar­dent sup­port­ers of the in­ter­na­tional body’s glob­al­ist agenda.

Just to make sure Mr. Bush is get­ting the mes­sage about how stiff the op­po­si­tion is — and how rud­der­less his party has be­come — the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives re­fused to vote on a trade bill that was all but as­sured two weeks ago. As a re­sult, the pres­i­dent ar­rived in Viet­nam for the Asian Eco­nomic Sum­mit empty-handed.

For an ad­di­tional taste of the way things will be, Air Force One was still in the air when the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee sum­moned Gen. John Abizaid, the se­nior U.S. of­fi­cer fight­ing the global war on ter­ror, to ap­pear be­fore them to dis­cuss next steps in Iraq. Though the gen­eral ar­gued against set­ting time­lines for with­draw­ing U.S. forces and stated, “the pru­dent course ahead is to keep the troop lev­els about where they are,” it didn’t mat­ter to in­com­ing com­mit­tee chair­man, Carl Levin, Michi­gan Demo­crat. He has al­ready de­cided that we must “be­gin a phased re­de­ploy­ment of our forces within four to six months.”

And, in case any­one has forgotten how the leg­isla­tive branch can make just such a with­drawal hap­pen, Den­nis Kucinich, Ohio Demo­crat, re­minded his col­leagues — as the pres­i­dent was headed to Viet­nam — how a hos­tile, lib­eral-led, anti-mil­i­tary, blame-Amer­ica-first Congress en­sured de­feat in Viet­nam: “There’s one so­lu­tion here,” Mr. Kucinich ex­plained, “and it’s not to en­gage in a de­bate with the pres­i­dent [. . .] but it’s for Congress to as­sume the full power that it has un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion to cut off funds.”

Fi­nally, to re­move any doubt as to where she re­ally stands on co­op­er­at­ing with Mr. Bush on Iraq, Mrs. Pelosi threw her weight be- hind the most out­spo­ken critic of the war in the Demo­crat cau­cus, Rep. John Murtha, Penn­syl­va­nia Demo­crat, in his failed bid for ma­jor­ity leader. No­tably, Mr. Murtha com­mented two weeks ago that a pro­posal made by his col­leagues was “to­tal [ex­ple­tive].” He was — for once — not re­fer­ring to Amer­i­can troops in Iraq, but to sug­gested ethics re­forms. Af­ter los­ing the ma­jor­ity leader’s race to Steny Hoyer on Nov. 16, Mr. Murtha will now have to con­tinue mak­ing out­ra­geous claims against the war and the troops in or­der to gar­ner any head­lines.

The brief post­elec­tion hia­tus from lib­eral vis­cera is now over. The left is — as it was be­fore Nov. 7 — still fer­vently com­mit­ted to un­do­ing the Bush pres­i­dency — what­ever the cost. A few name­plates have been re­placed on doors in the Pen­tagon and on Capi­tol Hill — but things are pretty much un­changed.

While they sa­vor their tri­umph, the Democrats would be wise to con­sider some other things that their “new man­age­ment” will not change:

Our por­ous borders are still a ma­jor vul­ner­a­bil­ity and the Amer­i­can peo­ple know it.

Kim Jong-il in Py­ongyang, Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad in Tehran, Hugo Chavez in Cara­cas and now Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua are still evil despots and will do us great harm if given the chance.

The ji­had be­ing waged against us con­tin­ues and Amer­i­can cit­i­zens are still the No. 1 tar­get for Is­lamic rad­i­cals.

If those in thrall over their new­found power in Wash­ing­ton re­ally want to change things, they should start their term of of­fice by read­ing the Medal of Honor ci­ta­tion for Marine Cpl. Ja­son Dunham. He was killed on April 14, 2004, shield­ing his men from an en­emy grenade with his own body. He­roes like Cpl. Dunham are peo­ple who put them­selves at risk to the ben­e­fit of oth­ers. Our armed forces are full of he­roes. And as long as our “lead­ers” in Wash­ing­ton let them do their jobs, that’s not go­ing to change.

Oliver North is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist and the founder and hon­orary chair­man of Free­dom Al­liance.

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