- The Washington Times - Friday, March 7, 2003

Silent Democrats
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay yesterday called on Democrats to distance themselves from remarks this week by Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who seemed to compare Osama bin Laden to George Washington and the other Founding Fathers.
However, Mr. DeLay, in a prepared statement, predicted that Democratic leaders would look the other way.
Miss Kaptur, Ohio Democrat, told the Toledo Blade, "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown."
Said Mr. DeLay, Texas Republican: "This is not a gaffe and should not be treated as such. It seems the Democrat leadership don their earmuffs when it comes to insensitive and extreme rhetoric from their friends. We know the Democrats want this to go away, but not before we find out if they agree and if they are outraged like we are."
Mr. DeLay noted that Democratic leaders were mum when, a few months back, Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, suggested that bin Laden was popular in countries such as Afghanistan because he built day care centers and provided other social services.

Kaptur's history
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Ohio Democrat, shocked many Americans this week when she compared Osama bin Laden's terrorists to the Founding Fathers.
"If you think back to our founding as a country, we are a country of revolution," Miss Kaptur said in an interview. "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown."
To which Clayton Cramer responds: "We could say that, but it wouldn't be true."
Mr. Cramer, a historian and author, wrote on his Web site: "There are some shameful and embarrassing incidents [of Patriots] attacking Tories in the Revolutionary period. There is nothing comparable to the beheading of Daniel Pearl, or the Bali nightclub bombing, or the [September 11] attack on the World Trade Center in terms of wanton killing of non-combatants."
At an anti-war workshop in Toledo, Miss Kaptur invoked Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys a revolutionary militia as comparable to al Qaeda. She said the Green Mountain Boys were "organized in 1770 in Bennington, Vt., to confront British forces," according to the Toledo Blade.
Not exactly, Mr. Cramer says at www.claytoncramer.com: "The Green Mountain Boys were organized to fight against the authority of New York State government, because of disputes about land titles in what is now Vermont not the British royal government." And they weren't terrorists: "When the Green Mountain Boys seized Fort Ticonderoga from the British in 1775, they did so without killing anyone and certainly without killing any civilians."

Candidate of business
A black magazine with a pro-business readership endorses Democratic presidential contender Al Sharpton in its upcoming April issue.
"We can't win the election with anyone else," is the conclusion of Black Enterprise publisher and longtime Sharpton pal Earl Graves Jr. in the page-long paean to Mr. Sharpton.
"It is foolish to support a candidate who does not stand for or worse, stands squarely against our best interests, even if that person has the best chance of winning," Mr. Graves said. "We have a responsibility to support the candidate who is willing to champion the issues of our community. Clearly, Sharpton is the only candidate who meets that standard."
The magazine has a circulation of 467,900, according to its most recent figures.
The endorsement from a publication out of the black business community "smashes the view held by my critics that the black middle class and the business establishment will not support me," Mr. Sharpton said.
And who are those critics?
"The Democratic Party has tried to divide its members with some very personal attacks, calling me hateful and so on, and they call me divisive," Mr. Sharpton said. "So now when a member of the business community comes out and supports me, even after all those attacks, what does that say?"

Impeachment plan
"Ever since President Bush's controversial victory in the 2000 election, die-hard Democrats have dreamed of revenge for the Clinton impeachment," David Enrich writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"Now, as the country braces for war, some liberal Democrats in Congress are preparing to introduce articles of impeachment against Bush and perhaps members of his Cabinet, according to lawmakers and congressional aides," Mr. Enrich said.
"Over the past few weeks, some of the most liberal members of the House have discussed the possibility of impeaching Bush. Talks have intensified this week, lawmakers say, largely because war with Iraq appears imminent.
"At least one senior House Democrat has produced a draft impeachment resolution. It accuses Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General John Ashcroft of more than a dozen 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' including bombing civilians in Afghanistan and constitutional violations in the domestic war on terrorism.
"The resolution also charges Bush with 'threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently proclaiming an intention to change its government by force while preparing to assault Iraq in a war of aggression.' A congressional aide provided the resolution's text on the condition of anonymity."

Bob vs. Bill
Bill Clinton and his 1996 presidential election opponent, Bob Dole, will join the CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes" for weekly debates on national issues in the show's old "Point-Counterpoint" style.
The two agreed to 10 segments, starting Sunday night, but CBS executives say the network will consider extending the debates into next season, the Associated Press reports.
The politicians taped their first segment last Friday morning. Asked who won, Mr. Clinton said, "He did."
"I got a 'B,'" said Mr. Dole, the former Senate majority leader. "He got a 'B-minus.'"
Mr. Clinton, who reportedly has been offered several television opportunities, said the CBS idea appealed to him because "60 Minutes" is a serious show. "It's just once a week and not too long, so we won't be in anybody's way," he said. CBS would not say how much he and Mr. Dole will be paid.
The segments will revive the "Point-Counterpoint" segments that were popular until they stopped airing in 1979, but will instead be called "Clinton/Dole" one week and "Dole/Clinton" the next week.
Executive producer Don Hewitt said the planned format calls for one debater to pick a topic and write a 45-second script that would be faxed to his opponent. The response would also be 45 seconds. After the initial arguments, the first debater would get 15 seconds to rebut, followed by a final 15 seconds from the opponent.

Losing ground
President Bush would lose narrowly to a Democratic Party candidate if the U.S. presidential election were held now because of concerns about war and the economy, according to an opinion poll published yesterday.
The survey of registered voters by Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., found that by a margin of 48 percent to 44 percent, voters would pick the as-yet-unknown candidate out of nine Democrats running against the Republican incumbent. The survey of 1,232 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent, Reuters news agency reports.
Mr. Bush's approval rating was at 53 percent to 39 percent, the poll found, but only 9 percent were "very satisfied" with the way things were going in the nation. Thirty-five percent said they were "somewhat satisfied," 28 percent "somewhat dissatisfied" and 26 percent "very dissatisfied."

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