- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DEJA VU

“Someone ought to tell the president and the speaker of the House that they are creating a new Bob Casey problem for their party. And his name is Bart Stupak,” Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn writes.

“The Bob Casey in question is the late governor of Pennsylvania, so famously humiliated at the 1992 Democratic convention. Party officials who denied the podium to the pro-life Democrat somehow found speaking slots for several pro-choice Republicans. That moment helped tar the Democrats as a party of abortion intolerance - a problem the party thought it put behind it in 2006 when the governor’s son, Democrat Robert Casey Jr., was elected senator as a pro-life Democrat,” Mr. McGurn said.

“Now party elders are making the Casey mistake all over again. A nine-term congressman from northern Michigan, Mr. Stupak is the kind of Catholic who once constituted the heart of the Democratic Party. Just like Gov. Casey before him, Mr. Stupak’s stand for life - in this case, his fight against tax dollars for abortion - is making him a thorn in the side of a Democratic president.

“It didn’t have to be this way. In his Notre Dame speech, President Barack Obama called for ‘open hearts’ that would help us find ‘common ground’ to ‘reduce the number of women seeking abortions.’ During his more recent address to a joint session of Congress, the president was even more specific about health care reform, promising that ‘no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.’

“That is just what Mr. Stupak is trying to do with an amendment to the health care legislation that would explicitly ban federal funding for abortion. Here’s the problem: His own party won’t let him bring it to the floor for a vote. It’s a replay of earlier this year, when the leadership blocked a similar Stupak effort on a financial appropriations bill that ended up removing restrictions on D.C. taxpayer funding for abortion.”

MOUTHS CLOSED

“On Thursday, September 24th, after an apparently productive day at Fengler High School in Chicago, Derrion Albert, a black 16-year-old honor student, was knocked to the ground by a blow to the head with a railroad tie. He was then punched, kicked and stomped. Those who responded to rescue him were too late,” E.W. Jackson writes at www.americanthinker.com.

“Derrion had walked into the middle of a fight between two rival black gangs. He attempted to help one of the victims in the melee and was killed for his trouble. This took place in Barack Obama’s Chicago. All his work for ‘social justice’ did a great deal for Obama, but it did nothing for Derrion Albert,” Mr. Jackson said.

“Of course the president is not responsible for this tragedy, but it does expose the fatuous claim that such occurrences are the result of social injustice rather than the personal choice to engage in lawless behavior. The ghettos, drugs, gangs and violence are on display for all to see in spite of Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, ACORN and all the community organizing.

“Treating poor black people as victims to be ‘organized’ has been an abject failure. They are human beings to be educated, inspired and required to take responsibility for their own lives. The tragedy here is that Derrion was doing just that and it was working, but the malignant pathology of the ghetto spread to him on that unfortunate day and ended his promising life.

“There is another tragedy. The so-called black civil rights leaders have been mute. Had this been a white gang attacking a black gang member, they would have jumped in front of every camera and microphone available to decry racism and injustice in America. If it had been a black criminal with a long rap sheet, killed in a confrontation with a white police officer, there would be protests and perhaps riots against systemic racism in the police department.

“Yet in this case and others like it, there is a deafening silence from some of the biggest mouths in America. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Louis Farrakhan and the Congressional Black Caucus see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.”

SHABBY SHOWING

Thomas Perez was confirmed as head of Justices Civil Rights Division by a 72-22 vote. This is a shabby showing by Senate Republicans, lifting a hold, refusing to force a cloture vote, and then voting overwhelmingly to confirm him,” Jennifer Rubin writes in a blog at www.commentarymagazine.com.

“As detailed here, Perez holds extreme views of civil rights law and has long advocated racial quotas even for jobs for which merit should be the sole criterion (e.g., doctors, firefighters). Moreover, this was perhaps the only leverage Republicans had to extract cooperation from the Justice Department with efforts by members of Congress and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to investigate the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party case,” the writer said.

“Keep your eye out now for potential personnel changes now that Perez has his ticket to the Justice Department. Observers with knowledge of the Civil Rights Division explain that once Perez is confirmed, the Obama team may look to replace Christopher Coates, the Voting Section chief, who has been, as one informed attorney describes him, ‘the Departments chief champion for applying federal civil rights laws in a racially fair and neutral fashion.’ The attorney explains that Coates ‘oversaw the New Black Panther case and was an aggressive advocate for pursuing a complete remedy against all defendants.’

“If Coates is removed, it will be a clear statement about the Obama administrations efforts to remake civil-rights enforcement and adopt the Lefts view that the laws only run in one direction - against white perpetrators. Keep in mind also that, once Perez is sworn in, there is a 120-day cooling-off period that freezes personnel shifts at the section level. However, before Perez is sworn in, all bets are off. Stay tuned.”

THREE WORDS

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, did not endear himself to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, when Mr. Daniels joked about Chicago’s failure to win the 2016 Olympics, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Mr. Daniels wondered what the world was coming to when Chicago “can’t fix an election any more.”

Mr. Quinn, when asked about his fellow governor’s joke, responded with just three words: “Hardy har har.”

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

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