- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2006

The Rottweiler effect

“The uncovering by British authorities of the terror plot is expected to strengthen President Bush’s hand in campaigning for Republican candidates this fall,” Kenneth Walsh of U.S. News & World Report wrote yesterday.

“GOP strategists say that the latest developments prove that Bush’s vigilance in the war on terrorism is paying off and that he is, indeed, working with allies — particularly Great Britain — to foil plots by the ‘evildoers.’ The continuing bad news from Iraq has depressed both Bush’s job approval ratings and support for U.S. policy in Iraq, but the British arrests will now be portrayed by Republican strategists and White House officials as evidence that the broader war on terrorism is being waged effectively — and, more subtly, that the country can rely on Republicans in Congress rather than the Democrats to keep them safe.”

“The Democrats see this as a law-enforcement issue, and we see it as a war,” a Bush adviser said.

Eagle eye

Former Secretary of State George P. Schultz offered apropos insight on the war on terrorism in Policy Review yesterday, advising citizens to remember the Great Seal of the Republic.

“The eagle holds in one talon an olive branch and in the other arrows, showing that the United States understands that if you are to be successful in seeking peace, you must have strength. Strength and diplomacy are complements rather than alternatives,” he wrote.

Gore-y details

“If Al Gore is the world’s role model for ecology, the planet is doomed,” Peter Schweizer wrote yesterday in USA Today.

“For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. … As Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.”

Mr. Schweizer continued: “According to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore’s office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.”

He added: “Gore has held these apocalyptic views about the environment for some time. So why, then, didn’t Gore dump his family’s large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? … Humanity might be ‘sitting on a ticking time bomb,’ but Gore’s home in Carthage is sitting on a zinc mine. Gore receives $20,000 a year in royalties from Pasminco Zinc, which operates a zinc concession on his property. Tennessee has cited the company for adding large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River.”

Carville ready to woo

Democrats have their eye on Republican heartland, according to a strategy memo released yesterday by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, founders of Democracy Corps.

“White rural America — one of the cornerstones of the Republican base — is up for grabs. Disenchanted with Bush, squeezed by rising costs and stagnant incomes, and embittered by the ongoing conflict in Iraq, white rural voters are ready to vote for change,” the memo stated.

“Moral values are the traditional ties that have bound white rural America to the Republicans. But Democrats can win the moral values debate in rural America both by reassuring their stance on gay marriage where appropriate. … Democrats, however, should expand the moral values debate to a larger narrative about family life, economic pressures, and family values. A Democratic narrative that emphasizes these themes dominates a conservative values narrative.”

The memo later states, “Winning the votes of rural America on moral values is about more than just mentioning church and faith: Democrats need to expand the debate to talk about the Democrats as the party on the side of the average family.”

Social insecurity

Democrats and liberal activists said yesterday they’re sounding the alarm in races across the country that Republicans plan to dismantle Social Security if they retain control of Congress.

“Leading Republicans including the president have not given up on partial privatization of Social Security,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future, which released a report yesterday revealing Republicans’ support for President Bush’s plan for individual retirement accounts. “Privatization” would ruin the system, Democrats say, and November’s ballot boxes determine whether it comes to pass.

” ‘06 is really going to determine the future of Social Security,” said Rep. Sander M. Levin, Michigan Democrat.

He said House Republican candidates are “pretending they were innocent bystanders,” in the private accounts push, which failed to gain steam last year. “They can try to run from Bush but they can’t hide from their own record,” Mr. Levin said.

He specifically cited Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., a Florida Republican now running a re-election ad touting his support for Social Security reform. Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, also has traded jabs with his Republican opponent and said he plans to drive the issue further at town-hall-style events. “This is very much an issue in this election,” Mr. Menendez said.

Cattle call

Gangway ladies and gents, the politicians arrive in Iowa today — the Iowa State Fair, that is.

“Fairgoers won’t be able to turn around in the pork chop line without bumping into someone thinking about running for president, from the looks of politicos planning to be around Des Moines in the next few days,” the Des Moines Register said.

Among Republicans: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, New York Gov. George E. Pataki and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia. Among Democrats: Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Mr. Vilsack will be a busy boy tomorrow, moderating a “renewable fuel forum followed by lunchtime chop-flipping at the Iowa Pork Producers tent. He caps the two days by showing a steer nicknamed ‘Commander in Beef’ at the Livestock Pavilion,” the paper said.

Contact Jennifer Harper at 202/636-3085 or jharper @washingtontimes.com

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