Debra J. Saunders
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Welcome to the new political lexicon, a modern doublespeak that will explain Democrats' earnest and special reasons for opposing the Bush agenda and select Cabinet nominees. "Compassionate conservative" means that George W. Bush is supposed to govern like a compassionate liberal and name compassionate liberals to Cabinet positions. "Bipartisanship" occurs when Republicans grovel before the same Democrats who will use every opportunity to accuse the new Cabinet of racism and/or right-wing extremism. Bush is supposed to give the Dems what they want, the Dems hold up their end of bipartisanship by letting him. "Paying down the deficit" means spending billions more on new federal programs instead of paying down the deficit. "Mainstream" is the term pundits use to describe their liberal causes, as in affirmative action. Forget that left-leaning California voted in favor of a state initiative banning state racial preferences. D.C. liberals say governmental racial preferences are mainstream, and votes against their pet cause are irrelevant. "Racism" no longer applies solely to those who denigrate minorities; racism and conservatism are synonymous; racism and Republican are synonymous. A conservative's actions don't count; only labels matter. Hence civil rights advocates like Jesse Jackson can attack New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman, whom Bush wants to head the Environmental Protection Agency, as racist because there has been racial profiling in New Jersey. It doesn't matter that Whitman has sought to curb the practice. And it's different when there are racial inequities in the federal criminal justice system under Bill Clinton. A "different standard for the attorney general" is the new standard that allows Dems to impose a pro-abortion litmus test to discredit nominee John Ashcroft. Because Ashcroft opposes abortion, they say, they are not sure he can be trusted to enforce the law that protects abortion clinics. These same Dems would be outraged if Republicans argued a pro-gun control nominee should not be attorney general because he might not protect gun sellers' rights. An "extremist" is someone like interior secretary nominee Gale Norton who believes in expanding domestic oil drilling to fuel the bigger cars that Main Street Americans choose to drive. The Bush Cabinet picks, with record numbers of minorities and women, are not "truly diverse" because the choices -- except for Transportation Secretary nominee Norm Mineta -- are Republicans. Whereas Bill Clinton's first Cabinet picks represented "true diversity" because there were many like-thinking liberal pro-choice Democratic women and minorities. Labor Secretary nominee Linda Chavez is a Latina who doesn't speak Spanish, which allows the Left to question whether she is an authentic Latina -- even if government preference programs fail to make that distinction. And the very people who questioned whether Bush had the intelligence or experience to be president, now berate his resumez-rich Cabinet picks for being "too experienced," or "too old Washington," or as columnist Maureen Dowd put it, having "an "I Like Ike' feel." Because Al Gore's attorneys failed in their dubious strategy of trying to steal an election by winning a recount with new Gore-friendly counting standards in select Democratic counties, Dems say Bush "stole" the election. This confers upon Bush not only guilt for which he can never truly atone, but also an obligation to please the voters who supported his opponent at the expense of the voters who supported him.
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Debra J. Saunders


 
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