Last week, President Bush and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, in speeches one day apart, appeared to have rediscovered an ingredient the absence of which has contributed to the administration's falling poll numbers: offense.
In a Veterans Day speech in Tobyhanna, Pa., President Bush took on his critics who have said he lied about intelligence to justify deposing Saddam Hussein. While acknowledging it is "perfectly legitimate" to criticize his conduct of the war, the president said, "Some Democrats and anti-war critics are claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs."
The president said the stakes in the global war on terror are too high "and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges." He said too many of his critics are "deeply irresponsible" and sending the wrong signal to America's enemy and to U.S. troops.
Democrats reacted immediately, accusing the president of using Veterans Day to politicize the war. What have they been doing the other 364 days of the year, if not trying to undermine the war effort by playing politics and contributing to disunity, thus encouraging the enemy?
In his speech to the Federalist Society on Nov. 10, Rove gave a brief history of the consequences of judicial activism and how it has violated the separation of powers clause of the Constitution and contributed to disrespect for the courts and the law.
He noted the changes to the courts that were made in Texas when citizens realized their will and constitution were being frustrated because of "millions of dollars from a handful of wealthy personal injury trial lawyers" that were "poured into (Texas) Supreme Court races to shift the philosophical direction of the Court." He noted the court "earned the reputation as 'the best court that money could buy.' '"
Alabama, he said, faced a similar situation when the state legislature passed tort-reform legislation in 1987. "However," noted Rove, "activist judges on the trial lawyer-friendly state Supreme Court struck it down, prompting a period of 'jackpot justice' through the mid-1990s, where the median punitive damage award in Alabama reached $250,000 - three times the national average. Time magazine labeled Alabama 'tort hell.' "
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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