Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Borking of Bolton and DeLay

John Bolton and Tom DeLay have one thing in common which incenses Democrats and which forms the basis for their attempts to politically bury both men. They both exist to advance the fortunes and policies of Republicans in very significant ways.

Bolton's purpose is pretty obvious. He represents a shift away from deference to the U.N. towards a more confrontational position where the U.S. advances the interests of its own people before those of a glorified conclave of 3rd world dictators. Bush threatens to move beyond the U.N. and into an era when popularly elected governments run the national scene. The most defining act of his presidency was born out of a defiance of the U.N. Given the price he didn't pay for it, as well as the disdain he has for the organization, Bush certainly intends to use his second term to put the U.S. in a leadership role that is increasingly competitive to that of the useless U.N. Bolton promises to make that message abundantly clear in New York. The left has never been comfortable with a strong U.S. foreign policy because they really do not believe in much of what constitutes American values. And Bolton threatens to expand that uncomfortably bourgeois notion of American global leadership to the exclusion of Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac.

But rather than questioning him about his positions on key foreign policy issues which would be probative of his qualifications for the job, Sen. Joe Biden, plagiarist and professional camera-preener, instead brought witnesses to deliver second hand accounts that Bolton was not nice to a few persons who worked under him. Then Sen. Mensa, Barbara Boxer, took a break from her coloring book to recommend anger management classes and call him a bully. The hearing, if it proved anything, revealed that Bolton was ill-suited to teach a kindergarten class, took national security assessments very seriously, and expected more from analysts than easy answers.

DeLay is a bit more complicated. He was the right hand man to Newt Gingrich for years. Both men were vilified by the Democrats and the media for their refusal to stick with the Democrats' status quo after the power shift in 1995. After numerous spurious ethics inquiries all of which came to nothing, Gingrich resigned his seat after the 1998 elections when he felt that he had failed to properly lead his party. But DeLay did something worse in the eyes of the left. He collected money for Republicans and lots of it. He diverted funds away from the Democrats and into the campaign chests of Republicans which has kept them in control of the Congress for over a decade. The problem that his presence creates for the Dems is obvious. He keeps Republicans in office and gets new ones reliably elected. He keeps the Dems in the minority. Newt Gingrich was a master at the art of de-funding the opponent, and DeLay made it possible. Now the Democrats want to return the favor. And why shouldn't they? Because turnabout is indeed fair play in politics.

But rather than trying to get him knocked out in an election they are trying to smear him personally. From a phony indictment by a politically motivated prosecutor in Texas to charges that he employed family members on his campaign (all true, and ethics committee-approved) as many other Republicans and Democrats also do, the Dems are trying to bring the man down under the pressure of the "seriousness of the charges" or rather the appearance of seriousness, as even a paper cut can seem hideous if you scream enough about it.

Per the title of this post, it harkens back to the days of Robert Bork whose unsuccessful confirmation hearings are the thing of legend. The left scoured his library and video rental records for any evidence of any impropriety; they uncovered a penchance for Disney movies. And while negative politics has its place, because we do need to discuss the bad with the good to have a legitimate debate, it has no place when the charges are trumped up and one's reputation is at stake. Bork was just the opening shot in the Democrats' efforts to prevent conservatives from holding power by personally destroying them rather than disqualifying them on the merits. The reward for their efforts was Anthony Kennedy's appointment to the Supreme Court.

The Democrats simply don't like these men, and there is nothing wrong with their holding such opinions. But there is everything wrong with their fabrication of spurious charges and name-calling all in the interest of scoring a political rather than moral or ethical win. But then again, nobody ever accused these Democrats of caring about pesky concepts such as morality or ethics.

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