- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2002

Scaring seniors

The Democratic National Committee has produced a fund-raising cartoon showing President Bush pushing a man and an elderly woman off a cliff to their deaths.

The clip shows him pushing the man into a wheelchair and shoving it over a hill, drawn as a graph line dramatizing the stock market's recent decline.

The video also shows him pushing an elderly woman over the same cliff, with her crashing at the bottom in a cloud of smoke. It then shows Mr. Bush running back and forth, looking for new victims to push in the wheelchair.

Republicans are furious at the cartoon, available on the Web site democrats.org and also sent out in an e-mail asking for donations.

"Democrats have taken gutter politics to a deplorable new low," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican, who is head of the committee tasked with electing Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives. "We have not seen an attack this outrageous coming out of a national party in modern political history."

The president's commission on Social Security has offered three plans to revamp the system, all of which include some form of allowing workers to invest a portion of future payroll taxes in the markets.

"Democrats typically resort to scaring seniors through half-truths and outright lies in an election year, but creating videos that depict the president rolling wheelchair-confined seniors off of cliffs is absolutely reprehensible, even for them," Mr. Davis said.

Whitman's legacy

"Six of the seven New Jersey Supreme Court justices responsible for Wednesday's 'interpretation' of the state's election laws to permit the Democratic party to substitute a more credible candidate for the faltering Robert Torricelli were put on the bench by liberal Republican former governor Christine Todd Whitman," Robert P. George writes at National Review Online, www.nationalreview.com.

"Whitman's goal in appointing these men and women was to ensure that legal abortion and other policies favored by social liberals would be protected by the judiciary against legislation that might be enacted by the people's elected representatives in Trenton. (Recall that these are the judges who tried to force the Boy Scouts to permit homosexuals to become scoutmasters.)

"To achieve her goal, Whitman needed to appoint justices who would refuse to be bound by the letter or even the spirit of the law, but would feel free to displace or rewrite laws they didn't like. In short, she needed individuals who would have no qualms about legislating from the bench. She found them. [On Wednesday] they proved their mettle."

Masquerade party

"The Democratic Party has come down with a bad case of schizophrenia and it's not just about Iraq it's about how to cope with President Bush's popularity and the root question of what Dems stand for," writes Deborah Orin of New York Post.

"You'd almost think they're trying to masquerade as Republicans or at least Bushies. Dem Senate candidates in South Dakota Missouri, Montana and Georgia have all run I'm-a-Bushie-too ads," Miss Orin said.

"Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, the Vietnam War hero who's the latest Dem in trouble with a new poll showing he's just 4 points ahead, has a new ad trumpeting how he 'supports the president on Iraq' and is 'working with President Bush.'

"But it's not just on Iraq. Sen. Jean Carnahan, Missouri Democrat, ran one ad declaring 'I voted for President Bush's defense budget' and another backing him on education. South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson touts support for Bush tax cuts. So does Sen. Max Baucus of Montana."

Here comes trouble

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told a delegation of lawmakers that he had "some juicy details" about the sexual orientation of a missing Miami girl's caretakers, the Associated Press reports.

During a meeting Wednesday, Mr. Bush implied that the two women, who had just been charged with fraud stemming from an investigation into Rilya Wilson's disappearance, were lesbians.

"As [Pamela Graham] was being arrested, she told her co-workers, 'Tell my wife I've been arrested.' The wife is the grandmother, and the aunt is the husband," Mr. Bush explained, using his fingers to indicate quotation marks to emphasize the word "grandmother."

"Bet you don't get that in Pensacola," he told his guests, a group of lawmakers from Florida's Panhandle.

The women, Geralyn and Pamela Graham, were charged Wednesday with stealing more than $14,000 in public assistance. They were not charged in the disappearance of Rilya, who was missing 15 months before the state Department of Children and Families realized in April that she was gone.

The Hispanic vote

A survey of the Hispanic electorate in the United States released yesterday suggested that the loyalty of the Hispanic constituency to the Democratic Party could shift as more Latinos join the ranks of voters.

While the survey confirmed heavy support for Democrats among Latino voters, it also indicated that this could change, especially if Republicans make inroads among the more recent immigrant communities whose loyalties are less defined, Reuters reports.

The national survey of 4,213 Hispanics by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation showed the group had more faith in the role of the government, in line with Democratic Party principles, but were more conservative on social issues, such as abortion and having children out of wedlock.

While registered Hispanics were more inclined to vote Democrat, they held a generally favorable opinion of President Bush and were divided on whether he or congressional Democrats were better at handling the economy.

"There are signs that this traditional party affiliation is susceptible to change," the survey said in its conclusions.

Hunker down, Dawgs

Hoping to score a touchdown in his Senate race, Rep. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican, has brought in a franchise player: Herschel Walker.

The 1982 Heisman Trophy winner who led the University of Georgia Bulldogs to their only national championship campaigned for Mr. Chambliss in the Atlanta area this week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Mr. Walker and Mr. Chambliss spoke to about 50 children and their parents at the Boys and Girls Club in DeKalb County.

While appearing with Mr. Chambliss, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, Mr. Walker said, "I don't call myself campaigning. I am just doing this for friends."

The former Dallas Cowboy now owns a food distribution business in Texas and has campaigned at various times for both Republican and Democratic candidates.

Mr. Walker acknowledges he is a "Bush fan" and says: "I support the person who's best for the job. If you limit yourself to just being a Republican or a Democrat, you might end up putting the wrong person in office."

Gephardt's reversal

House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt says he made a mistake in voting against war with Iraq in 1991.

"In retrospect, I conclude that was not the correct decision," the Missouri Democrat told reporters yesterday, a day after he stood beside President Bush at the White House to announce their agreement on a resolution that would pave the way for the United States to initiate military action against Iraq.

"Is it because I didn't want to make the correct decision in 1991? Of course not. I wanted to do the right thing. But I didn't know everything that I now know. I didn't see what Saddam Hussein did in the last 11 years. And so now I come to a different conclusion. It is a different situation. It is a totally different set of facts," Mr. Gephardt said.

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