- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Infidels, heretics

Joe Lieberman is a heretic,” James Pinkerton writes at www.tcsdaily.com.

“Please don’t get me wrong. Nobody, not even Lieberman’s enemies, questions the Connecticut senator’s abiding Orthodox Jewish religious faith. But as [last] Tuesday’s primary election shows, a majority of Nutmeg State Democrats see their senator as disloyal to the party line, which is increasingly dovish on Iraq. And a heretic, of course, is much worse than an infidel,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

“So Lieberman had not only to be defeated, but to be crushed and vilified. Which he was. Lieberman supporter Lanny Davis detailed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal all ‘the hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle’ that poured down on his candidate, including scurrilous anti-Semitism.

“Here’s the distinction: An infidel is someone who never believed what you believe; an infidel is a stranger, and so there’s not much point in investing emotions in him. But a heretic is someone you know well, someone who once believed what you believe, but now has a different faith — that’s much more threatening. You often fight wars against infidels, and in those wars you seek to defeat, even destroy, the enemy. But with heretics, even tougher measures are needed, because the threat of heresy is so much more insidious, threatening to eat away the true faith. So you launch inquisitions against heretics, to eliminate even the thought of heresy. The proper anti-heretical strategy is to torture ‘em, make ‘em confess, make ‘em repent — and then kill ‘em.”

Limiting term limits

“If elected officials were half as imaginative at solving real problems as they are at perpetuating themselves in office, we’d see real confidence in government restored. Alas, the big issue on many pols’ minds right now is getting rid of the term-limit laws that threaten to knock down their impregnable incumbent fortresses,” John Fund writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

“Although the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995 threw out 21 states’ voter-approved term limits on members of Congress, that 5-4 ruling didn’t affect limits on state and local legislators and other officials. This year, such officials are mounting full-scale efforts to overturn the will of the people. Voters must remain constantly vigilant, lest incumbents roll back restrictions on their own tenure,” Mr. Fund said.

“This desire is bipartisan. A majority of Idaho voters supported term limits four times during the 1990s, but in 2002 that state’s Republican-dominated Legislature overrode GOP Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s veto and passed a law repealing them.

“In New York City, the Democratic city council is contemplating subverting the will of the voters by voting to extend its own members’ term limit to 12 years from eight. That puts councilmen on a collision course with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who thinks turnover on the council is good. He also supports the existing two-term limit on his own tenure.”

Ney’s decision

Rep. Bob Ney formally requested yesterday that his name be removed from the November election ballot in Ohio, ensuring that a special primary election will be held to replace the embattled Republican.

His letter officially notifying election officials ends speculation about whether he would wait until after Aug. 19, when party leaders would have been able to appoint a replacement.

Mr. Ney announced he would withdraw from the race a week ago, citing the strain of an intensifying corruption investigation that had focused for months on his dealings with lobbyists. The six-term congressman denies any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Democrats targeted Mr. Ney’s seat in the wake of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Mr. Ney’s campaign began hemorrhaging money after his former chief of staff pleaded guilty to conspiring to corrupt the congressman, and the Justice Department subpoenaed Ney aides in Ohio and Washington.

Democrats hope Mr. Ney’s legal troubles will help them gain one of the 15 seats they need this fall to take control of the House, the Associated Press reports.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said he spoke to Mr. Ney yesterday morning about the decision to have a primary instead of letting local party officials choose a new candidate.

“He told me he really thought the voters of the district should make the decision in selecting the candidate, rather than the party chairmen,” Mr. Bennett said.

Happy birthday?

Yesterday marked the 71st anniversary of Social Security being signed into law, and a slew of Democrats celebrated by praising the 1935 program and attacking Republicans who want to change it.

“For the last 71 years, Social Security has provided dignity, safety and security to millions,” saidHouse Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat. “Preventing the privatization of Social Security that President Bush and congressional Republicans have been advocating is one of the key elements of Democrats’ plan to lead America in a new direction.”

Many other Democrats, such as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada joined in the chorus, bashing Republican proposals to allow individuals to voluntarily divert a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into government-regulated private accounts.

A local chapter of the group Americans United will take the fight today to Sen. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican in a tight race for re-election. The group plans a “special birthday party for Social Security” across the street from one of Mr. Santorum’s state offices.

Pain in the neck’

Guest blogger Karol Sheinin has some choice words at michellemalkin.com for Howard Dean’s choice of words to refer to deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Mr. Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday and, Miss Sheinin notes, referred to Saddam as “a pain in the neck.”

“The truth was, we were controlling Saddam Hussein’s air space; he had no air force, he had little army; Saddam Hussein was a pain in the neck and a bad person, but the fact [is] that there are a lot of pains in the neck and bad people in this world,” Mr. Dean said.

But Miss Sheinin writes that “A ‘pain in the neck’ is what parents call their kids when they won’t stop whining for ice cream, what you call your boss when he gives you work at 5 p.m. on a Friday, and how you refer to the umpire that gave your team a bad call. It’s not really tough enough for a dictatorial mass murderer.”

“Dean’s comments are just more proof that Democrats really, truly, wholly don’t get it,” Miss Sheinin continues. “Saddam Hussein invaded two sovereign countries, brutally murdered the Kurds, his thug sons raped women and young girls, cut off limbs, slaughtered whole families, built prisons for children and rained down pain and destruction on the people of Iraq like Howard Dean can not possibly imagine. … I can’t wait for Dean’s statement that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is such a jerky face and that Kim Jong-il is so, like, annoying.”

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

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