Thomas Sowell
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A long-standing joke at election time is that if someone were to run under the name "None of the above," that candidate would win. This year, the Democrats are running as "None of the above" and polls show that they may well win the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate.

Can we afford to have Congress controlled by people who refuse to discuss their own record or agenda, at a time when a nuclear Iran and a nuclear North Korea loom over our future and over the future of our children and grandchildren?

Some clever people say that Democrats will have two years in which to discredit themselves in Congress before the 2008 elections. But clever people have led many nations into catastrophes. Is this the time to experiment with "None of the above"?

Who are the Democrats who will take over key Congressional committees affecting the destiny of this nation if their party wins the House of Representatives?

Do we really want Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, who was impeached as a federal judge and removed from the bench due to charges of accepting bribes, put in charge of a committee handling top secret national intelligence?

Do we really want far-left Congressman Dennis Kucinich to be chairman of the subcommittee on national security?

This is the same Dennis Kucinich who once introduced a bill "to abolish all nuclear weapons," who has refused to condemn Hezbollah terrorists, calling instead for us to have a "recognition that connects us to a common humanity and from that draw a flicker of hope to enkindle the warm glow of peace." Poetic but dumb.

Do we really want John Conyers to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, when he has already indicated that he wants to use that position to impeach the President -- which is to say, to absorb endless hours of White House staff time answering his charges instead of spending those hours dealing with one of the most dangerous international situations ever faced by this nation?

Then there is Congressman Charles Rangel, who has favored tax increases time and again and bitterly denounced tax reductions equally as often and as loudly. He would become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, in charge of tax legislation, if the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives.

On the Senate side, do we really want Senator Pat Leahy to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he and Ted Kennedy pioneered the techniques of character assassination of judicial nominees known as "Borking"?

The only judges who could get confirmed under Leahy's chairmanship would be the kind of judges who will create new "rights" out of thin air for terrorists, as they have created new "rights" out of thin air for criminals, and who would impose gay marriage on the country, regardless of what the people or their elected representatives want.

Legendary House Speaker Tip O'Neill once said that all politics is local politics. Yes and no.

In one sense, there are hundreds of local elections for Congress, rather than a national election. But the consequences of these local elections will be national and lasting, especially as regards the confirmation of federal judges who will have lifetime appointments.

Even voting for a moderate Democrat like Harold Ford in Tennessee for the Senate can mean putting extremists like Ted Kennedy and Pat Leahy in charge of the Senate and liberal activist judges on the bench for decades to come.

Voting for a moderate Democrat for the House of Representatives can mean putting extremists like Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Kucinich, and Charles Rangel in charge of the House, where all spending bills and all impeachment bills originate.

Some people are justifiably angry at some of the Republicans in Washington. But voting to vent your emotions will have national and long-lasting consequences, both through lifetime judicial appointments and through the prospect of seeing the United States denied the resources needed to fight international terrorists at a time when our future and our children's future are on the line as never before.

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate