Two short weeks to Election Day. As one of those post-9/11 security moms, it all comes down to a simple question for me: Who will keep this country -- and my children -- safer from harm?
I have many heated differences with the Bush administration over its refusal to fully enforce immigration laws; soft-headed pandering to jihadist lobbying groups; profligate spending on illusory transportation security; failure to confront the spread of sharia law; and kowtowing to Saudi princes eager to send over more young students to learn aviation in our universities.
For all the White House's faults, however, there is no doubt in my mind that Republicans as a group are better informed, better equipped and better able to lead this country in a time of war than the Democrats. The donkey party is led by thumb-sucking demagogues in prominent positions who equate Bush with Hitler and Jim Crow, call him a liar in front of high school students and the world, fantasize about impeachment and fetishize the human rights of terrorists who want to kill me.
Put simply: There are no grown-ups in the Democrat Party.
Maybe this is what a prematurely giddy Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meant when she told the Los Angeles Times this week: "The gavel of the speaker of the House is in the hands of special interests, and now it will be in the hands of America's children."
Yep. Put the gavel in the hands of Pelosi and the Democrats, and you will put the gavel in the hands of children. Couldn't put it better myself.
Another clarifying moment that underscores the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats on matters of national security, seriousness and secrecy took place on June 29, 2006.
That was the day the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn the decision by several newspapers -- led by the newspaper of wreckage, The New York Times -- to publish details of the Bush administration's classified program to track terrorist financing. Known as SWIFT, the program had led to the capture of a key Bali bombing suspect and identification of a convicted al Qaeda helper based in New York City, as well as helping investigators probing domestic terrorist cells and suspected Islamic charities fronting for jihad. Under specious claims by anonymous accusers that the program's legality and oversight were in doubt, the Times splashed details of the program all over its front pages. Democrats dutifully piled on to condemn the White House for its "illegal" "abuses of power."
But House Republicans refused to roll over for the blabbermouth media and the blabbermouth Democrats. They put Washington on record with a vote on a nonbinding resolution stating the obvious -- that news organizations may have "placed the lives of Americans in danger" by disclosing SWIFT and that Congress "expects the cooperation of all news media organizations" in keeping classified programs secret.
The resolution passed 227-183, with only 17 Democrats joining nearly all House Republicans in condemning the leak-dependent news media and supporting the surveillance program.
"This measure attempts to intimidate the press and strengthen the hands of this despotic administration," railed New York Democrat Rep. Maurice Hinchey. "It is a campaign document," pouted Rep. Pelosi in attacking the resolution. Republicans "have adopted a shoot-the-messenger strategy by attacking the newspaper that revealed the existence of the secret bank surveillance program rather than answering the disturbing questions that those reports raise about possible violations of the U.S. Constitution and U.S. privacy laws," wheedled Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.
Why do I remind you of this vote and the Dems' kindergarten reaction? Because the Times' own ombudsman admitted this week that the story should never have run. Public editor Byron Calame 'fessed up: "I don't think the article should have been published. . . . I haven't found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal. . . . The lack of appropriate oversight -- to catch any abuses in the absence of media attention -- was a key reason I originally supported publication. I think, however, that I gave it too much weight."
Not a single one of the Democrats who lambasted Bush and Republicans for protesting the reckless story has stepped forward to apologize to the president and the American people or acknowledge the harm caused to counterterrorism efforts.
Do you need to know any more to judge which party will keep this country safer? I don't.
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