Election Turnout and Alternatives

Paul  Weyrich
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Posted: Oct 24, 2006 12:01 AM

So now some people in the White House and their allies are accusing conservatives of whining about the ensuing election. They claim some conservatives with no following are saying that voters will stay home and that this is just a ploy accusing the Administration of not doing enough for them. I have bad news for those persons in the White House and their operatives. There are voters who tell me they will not vote. (They are not so advising me because they believe the Administration has not done enough for me. I have not asked the Administration for anything.) These voters tell me they are upset, there is too little difference between the political parties, and they are angry about immigration, spending and the War in Iraq.

Sean Hannity is absolutely correct when he says that the election will not be over until the ballots are counted and it is up to us to assure that people vote. This election will be about turnout. If we want to punish ourselves we will stay home. I agree that Republicans largely have wasted the 109th Congress. I wish they had accomplished much more. Is that failing a reason to elect people who believe the exact opposite of what we do?

Here are two matters for consideration. If Democrats win, the incoming Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers (D-MI), has said he wants to impeach both President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney. I have my differences with President Bush but do we really want our President dragged through an impeachment process in front of the world when we have a worldwide enemy, Islamofascists, whose devotion is to death? Will the impeachment of our President help us defeat this deadly enemy?

I realize that Republicans impeached President William J. Clinton. He was only the second President to be impeached. There are those Democrats who are still angry about that action. But Clinton was impeached for perjury. Bush and Cheney would be impeached for "lying us into war." I disagreed with the Iraq conflict. But to suggest that the President and Vice President deliberately lied to get us there is over the top. I believe our President meant well and I surely do not want to see him tried.

Consider also the matter of judicial nominees. This has been the very best part of the Bush Administration. Judicial appointments are the one legacy of an administration that lasts long after it has faded into history. The Supreme Court Justices who were appointed by Bush may stay on the High Court for 30 years. Justice John Paul Stevens was appointed by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975. He shows no sign of retiring and is in excellent health. It is not only the Supreme Court Justices who are important. President Bush's nominees to the Courts of Appeals have been superb. More than 98% of Federal appeals are decided at that level. Well under 100 cases are adjudicated by the Supreme Court. If the Democrats take control of the Senate they have pledged to filibuster Bush's judicial nominees. Even State Auditor Robert Casey, Jr., the Democratic nominee against Senator Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, who says he is pro-life, also says he would support the filibuster of Bush nominees. James H. Webb, Jr., the Reagan Republican turned Democrat to run against Virginia's Senator George Allen, also has indicated he would oppose Bush nominees. Those are the most conservative Democrats running. The other candidates who could win are in Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Ohio and Rhode Island and are strong liberals. There is no question that they would oppose Bush nominees.

When I was at the swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., at the White House, Justice Clarence Thomas pulled me aside and he said, "If the other party had controlled the Senate, Alito would not have even gotten out of the Judiciary Committee."

Thomas himself survived the Judiciary Committee despite Anita F. Hill's accusations, but only because there were some moderate Democrats on the Committee then. There is none now. In fact, there is only one real conservative Democrat left in the Senate, Ben Nelson of Nebraska. There are a couple of liberals who will vote with the President on occasion, such as energy policy, but there is none other. And the Judiciary Committee is the most ideological of all the committees. The Senate Democratic Leadership has made sure that only leftists serve on that Committee.

I understand the polls are discouraging to Republicans. Each poll seems more decisive than its predecessor. A memorandum circulated on Capitol Hill questioning the samples used in these polls. The fact is this election will be entirely determined by the volume of turnout. If conservatives, pro-life and pro-family voters cast ballots there may be some surprising results. Of course, if these same voters were to remain at home, then the results trumpeted by the pollsters would be correct.

I completely agree with Hannity when he says that we have it within our power to make the difference. If White House personnel think that the potential stay-at-home vote is not real they ought to see the e-mails many of us receive. I understand, and am sympathetic to, the reasons not to retain the current crowd in office. But there are two very big reasons why they should be re-elected. If they do not improve their performance in the 110th Congress, recruit primary candidates and replace them.