Alexander's Column

Middle of the road

Mark Alexander · May 25, 2001

Stand in the middle of the road – sooner or later you’ll get run over. President George Bush, purveyor of “compassionate bipartisanship,” tasted road kill this week, as Vermont Sen. James Jeffords, whom former Senate “Leader” Chester Lott repeatedly coddled, officially left the Republican Party to caucus with the Left.

“In order to best represent my state of Vermont, my own conscience and principles that I have stood for my whole life, I will leave the Republican Party and become an independent,” Jeffords said. “Conscience and principles”? That explains the cool million dollars he took from the GOP last year to get re-elected. (Don’t let the door hit you in the @$ on the way out!) In other words, Jeffords, shift commander of the “Strom Thurmond Death Watch,” figured he would deliver the evenly split Senate to the Democrats now and cut himself a good deal, rather than have no leverage should Republican Sen. Thurmond die or be otherwise incapacitated.

Asked about the possibility of Jefford’s departure the day before his announcement, Chester Lott replied, “Just because you have…a Republican that votes with the Democrats, that doesn’t mean that they’re fixing to make a switch.” Lott and Jeffords are members of the “Singing Senators” quartet, and Lott noted, “We can’t afford to lose another singing senator.”

Chester, Chester, Chester – your cheerleading days are over. Somebody get Sen. Don Nickles on the line!

As for the implications of Jefford’s jump, to suggest he was a moderate Republican is to greatly understate his Leftist voting record. As a member of the House, he regularly voted against President Ronald Reagan. In the Senate, he regularly voted against Bush(41) and with the Clintonistas. More recently, Jeffords voted against Bush(43)‘s miniscule tax cut, and as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, butchered the President’s so-called “Education Reform” legislation beyond recognition. Though Mr. Bush chastised Jeffords for his votes on taxes and education, the President simply failed to make his case in the Senate on both counts, and stood idly by as Lott sold out.

Though Jeffords called himself a “Republican,” they never actually had a voting majority in the Senate. However, the majority in name did allow Republicans to set the agenda. At great peril now are Mr. Bush’s judicial nominees.

Moving forward, we welcome Tom Daschle’s ascent to Senate leadership. At least the Senate will now have a leader with a strong ideological identity – even if it is Marxist. In Daschle, American patriots now have a clearly discernable enemy, rather than the “friendship” of Chester Lott, who has done as much for conservatism as Gen. Tecumseh Sherman did for states’ rights.

“I’m ecstatic. I’m truly ecstatic. The liberals are now in charge,” said Amy Isaacs, director of Americans for Democratic Action, the Left’s oldest advocacy group (founded by Hubert Humphrey and Eleanor Roosevelt). “The [liberal] committee lineup is absolutely stunning.”

Indeed it is! Sen. Patrick Leahy will head the Judiciary; Teddy Kennedy will head Health, Education and Labor; Robert “Pork Barrel” Byrd will head Appropriations; Paul Sarbanes will head Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Carl Levin will head Armed Services; and Joseph “The Hair” Biden will head Foreign Relations.

Now we are going to see what George W. Bush is really made of. He has a history of doing well under adverse conditions. But will he finally stand firm for the principles underlying our constitutional republic, or will he further attempt to utilize “compassionate bipartisanship,” which has now proven to be such a failed strategy?

Memo to Mr. Bush: It is Memorial Day weekend. Get rid of the “compassionate bipartisanship” folly and stand for enduring truth – for our Constitution – and all who have sacrificed their lives in its defense. When you speak of them this weekend, remember for what they sacrificed – honor them by honoring our Constitution! You can stand with patriots, or condemn our posterity to tyranny, poverty, servitude and – if, God willing, a remnant of patriots survive – revolution to restore the liberty too many Republicans have abandoned to political expedience. Where ballots fail, bullets will, indeed, prevail.

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