Jewish World Review Oct. 27, 1999/17 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
Tom Daschle Hones His Demagoguery
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- LAST WEEK, the Democratic Party, previewing the desperation that will shape their 2000 election strategy, staged the most naked, partisan peepshow of politics that I’ve ever seen in such a short period of time.
Using Pat Buchanan as a backdrop, taking advantage of the still-bubbling controversy over his fringe, right-wing views—which are not limited to curious interpretations of World War II—but never mentioning his name, Democrat after Democrat stood before the press to denounce their opposition. It’s a clever ruse: I give credit to Bill Clinton, who obviously has a lot of time on his hands if he’s really playing golf in the rain, and James Carville. Drape the GOP as a Father Coughlin/Joe McCarthy/Pat Buchanan organ of the shadowy past, despite the infectious optimism of front-runner Gov. George W. Bush, and let savior Al Gore rush in from Nashville to guide the country safely into the millennium.
But it’s all too scripted, even for Clinton.
After the President’s petulant and ugly press conference about the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s defeat didn’t play well even in the liberal mainstream press, Clinton sent surrogates—on every front—to blast the Republicans. In a speech last Thursday night at the Council on Foreign Relations here in New York, Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, said: “The new isolationism of 1999 fails to understand precisely what the old isolationism of 60 years ago failed to understand—that local conflicts can have global consequences.” This absurd attack was meant only to shroud the GOP in Buchanan’s rhetoric, for Republicans including Gov. Bush, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Richard Lugar, Henry Kissinger and Richard Cheney, all of whom opposed the bill, are hardly isolationists.
On the same day, Oct. 21, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle spoke from
the gutter at a DC press conference, essentially calling all Republicans
racists. Daschle’s comments are remarkable for their sheer political
calculation, and will follow him for the rest of his career. It’s been
said Daschle’s an honorable man, who rises above
Carville-/Blumenthal-like invective and hyperbole: this performance
proves that theory wrong.
But Daschle said to reporters: “I have never seen a party become this defiant when it comes to protecting minority rights in my time in public life. Carol Moseley-Braun is just the latest victim of increasing sentiment expressed by an increasing number of Republican senators that I think is very dangerous for this country and very, very harmful to the progress we’ve made on minority rights over many decades... It’s a sad, sad commentary on circumstances involving minorities in the country and in the Senate, and I just hope that it’s recorded as such... I think there’s a pattern here, and I think we ought to be given some explanation for why this pattern has become so apparent and so dangerously ill-considered.”
Now, you must remember, the last controversial ambassadorial appointment that was held up by Sen. Helms was in 1997 and the nominee was a Republican. A redheaded patrician and twice-elected governor from Massachusetts, William Weld. Roosevelt money, summer resorts. And the last former senator to be denied confirmation for a cabinet post was the late John Tower, a Republican from Texas who served in the Senate with infinitely more distinction than Moseley-Braun.
Democrat Daschle speaks as the Senate leader of the same party that lied
to Christians in Missouri and Maryland last November and said that if
Republicans won in congressional districts churches would be burned. He
speaks as the representative of a president who’s conjured up fictitious
church-burnings in his youth in Arkansas. And he speaks as a
congressional leader of the party that excoriated Supreme Court Justice
Clarence Thomas in 1991 and subjected him to the “politics of personal
destruction” that President Clinton so hypocritically