- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 17, 2005

Say what?

Democratic strategist Paul Begala says Republicans want to kill him and his children to preserve tax cuts for the rich.

Mr. Begala was featured last week at the first-ever Campus Progress National Student Conference, which was designed to provide liberal students with the tools necessary to fight the conservative movement. The event in Washington also drew former President Bill Clinton, for whom Mr. Begala once worked as an adviser.

Mr. Begala, who was participating in a panel discussion, created a stir when he declared that Republicans had done a “poor job of defending” the United States, CNSNews.com reports.

Republicans, he added, “want to kill us.”

He continued, “I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit” on September 11. “I had friends on that plane. This is deadly serious to me.

“They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted — that while they didn’t protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won’t have to pay any money on the money they inherit,” Mr. Begala said.

Bond’s invective

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond has been known to use intemperate language, but he may have outdone himself at the civil rights organization’s annual convention in Milwaukee last week.

Mr. Bond deemed three venerable right-leaning public interest organizations, including the American Civil Rights Institute, headed by anti-quota crusader Ward Connerly, as nothing but front groups for the racist power structure, independent journalist Evan Gahr reports at www.chimpstein.com.

“The very names of these groups — the Institute for Justice, the Center for Individual Rights, the American Civil Rights Institute — are fraudulent, and their aims are frightening,” Mr. Bond said. “Having stolen our vocabulary, they also want to steal the just spoils of our righteous war.”

Mr. Bond also cast black conservatives as Uncle Toms.

“Like ventriloquists’ dummies, they speak in their puppet master’s voice, but we can see his lips move and we can hear his money talk,” Mr. Bond said. “They’ve financed a conservative constellation of make-believe, black-faced front organizations, all of them hollow shells with more names on the letterhead than there are people on their membership rolls.”

Bob Woodson, president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, told Mr. Gahr: “[Mr. Bond] does nothing but protest [the good works] others do.”

Mr. Woodson added: “Coming from Julian Bond, that’s almost a compliment. All he does is attack anyone who is not a Democrat. He is a minstrel show.”

Articles of faith

“There is a strange pairing of positions on the left,” Hugh Hewitt writes at the Weekly Standard Web site (www.weeklystandard.com).

“The first is that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda were not connected. The work of Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn in the Weekly Standard, which is supported by other serious investigative reporters such as Claudia Rosett has already established beyond any reasonable doubt that there was a web of connections, but the combination of the left’s indifference to inconvenient facts and the international version of the soft bigotry of low expectations — an Arab dictator couldn’t have had a sophisticated intelligence service capable of hiding such matters — make it an article of faith among Bush haters that there was no connection,” Mr. Hewitt said.

“Exactly the opposite approach to facts and evidence is emerging on the left’s claim that Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists. ‘Breeding ground’ means something quite different from ‘killing ground.’ The term conveys the belief that had the United States and its allies not invaded Iraq, there would be fewer jihadists in the world today — that the transition of Iraq from brutal dictatorship to struggling democracy has somehow unleashed a terrorist-breeding virus.

“The fact that foreign fighters are streaming across Syria into Iraq in the hopes of killing America is not evidence supporting the ‘breeding ground’ theory. ‘Opportunity’ to act is not the same thing as ‘motive’ for acting. There is zero evidence for the proposition that Iraq is motive rather than opportunity, but the ‘motive’ theory is nevertheless put forward again and again.”

Time to grovel

“When it comes to issues involving race, apparently the first instinct of congressional Republicans is to grovel,” Abigail Thernstrom and Edward Blum write in the Wall Street Journal.

“They don’t believe in appeasement abroad — only at home. The immediate issue is the reauthorization of the ‘emergency’ provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act — provisions such as preclearance that constitute such a radical, unprecedented intrusion into state electoral prerogatives that they were originally designed to expire in 1970. Repeatedly extended, they are now due to die on Aug. 6, 2007,” the writers said.

“But, terrified by the reauthorization campaign that the NAACP, the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, and other advocacy groups have begun to mount, Republicans in the House and Senate are pledging their support for reauthorization.

Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay and House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner have announced that they will introduce legislation extending the ‘temporary’ provisions another 25 years. This comes on the heels of Bill Frist, who said: ‘We must continue our nation’s work to protect voting rights. And that is why we need to extend the Voting Rights Act.’

“Sen. Frist’s statement is a non sequitur. Protecting voting rights is vital, but extending the temporary provisions of the Voting Rights Act is quite a different matter. Most of the legislation is permanent; basic 15th Amendment rights will never be denied again. And those who point their fingers at Florida should note that arguments over hanging chads had nothing to do with the Voting Rights Act. Florida was not a state covered by the emergency provisions in 1965, and today only five scattered counties (none involved in the battle of 2000) would be affected by another extension.”

Mrs. Thernstrom is vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Mr. Blum is senior fellow at the Center for Equal Opportunity. They have co-authored a book on the Voting Rights Act that will be published by the AEI Press.

Still attacking

“How many attack blogs does it take to keep former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle‘s political hopes alive?” Paul Bedard asks in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“So far, five. Or so say friends of Daschle-slayer Sen. John Thune, the target of the blogs. Maybe it’s revenge or just his old pals trying to soften up rookie Thune for a 2010 race, but we’ve failed to find any other political newcomer hit so hard by the latest Internet fad. Is it a conspiracy? The Rapid City Journal reveals that Daschle’s political action committee still pays his old campaign partner, who runs one of the blogs.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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