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Compassionate   Conservatism ???
American Politics Journal

"Compassionate" Conservatism?
GOP's Deeds Don't Match Their Words

Tamara Baker

Tuesday, July 11, 2000 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA -- The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken.

Pinocchio Dubya, at the behest of his Geppetos Rove and Hughes, has ordered the Republican Party to guarantee a kinder, gentler GOP convention for July 31 in Philadelphia.

No shots of Tom Delay or Bob Barr or Trent Lott railing against those Commie Liberal Symp Democrats. No mentions of pitchforks. Just nothing but peace and love and -- as was also seen at the last GOP mass gathering -- constant camera shots of J.C. Watts, the only black Republican in the GOP Congress, as a sop to diversity.

All the while Dubya and his handlers will be murmuring "Ignore the man behind the curtain!"

Not if I can I help it!

Emulating Toto, I'm going to pull back the curtain as far as I can. But frankly, it won't be that difficult a task, since Republicans nationwide seem to be determined to rend that curtain to bits themselves.

Item One :

Even as the national GOP party apparatchiks are sounding the kinder-gentler theme of tolerance and equality for all, their Washington state brethren are humming a different, and openly racist, tune. As noted in these two pieces from the Spokane Spokesman-Review (one and two), the Washington state Republican Party decided on June 17, 2000 to pass a resolution calling for the abolition of Indian tribal governments.

The resolution, understandably, outraged Indian groups, human rights organizations, and sane people everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. As Rebecca Nappi noted in her editorial for the Spokesman-Review, "It would be comparable, they say, to Republicans passing a resolution requiring that all African-Americans be shipped back to Africa or that all women be required to stay home."

Has the negative reaction chastened the persons behind the resolution?

Of course not.

In fact, John Fleming, the GOP delegate who wrote the resolution, ended up making an already bad situation even worse. According to Ms. Nappi, he said that he thought his suggested abolition of tribal governments could be done peacefully, but if not, "then the U.S. Army and the Air Force and the Marines and the National Guard are going to have to battle back."

Way to go, John! Give 'em a whiff of grapeshot!

Alas for Mr. Fleming and the Washington State Republican Party, there's this little matter of law that needs to be addressed before or anyone else can make like Reinhard Heydrich against Washington State's Native American community. As Ms. Nappi goes on to note :

Tribes in the United States have always governed their own territory and their own affairs. The status of tribes as self-governing nations has been upheld by treaties, case law and the Constitution, according to a reporter's guide to Native American issues titled "100 Questions, 500 Nations." And legal scholars explain that "tribes are inherently sovereign, meaning they do not trace their existence to the United States."

Funny how the self-styled "rule of law" crowd comprising the Washington State GOP didn't catch this when they were drafting up all those feel-good, red-meat, kick-the-downtrodden resolutions on June 17.

Item Two :

Speaking of resolutions and party platforms,
if anyone needs to know why the "compassionate" George W. Bush is avoiding contact with both the Texas and the national GOP Congresses, just get a look at the Texas GOP party platform, available for download here.

Limited Federal Powers - The Party urges the re-establishment of states' rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves for the states powers not specifically delegated to the federal government. We further support the abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not constitutionally delegated to the federal government.

In other words : Abolish all Federal agencies outside of those that shoot things at people.

Judicial Restraint - The Party further adopts the principle of judicial restraint, which requires that judges interpret and apply rather than make the law. We encourage the support of judges who adopt this philosophy since our government is one of law, not of men.

I guess that means that Royce Lamberth and Antonin Scalia are soon to be unemployed...

Oops! I forgot : this only applies to DEMOCRATS who try to "make" the law.

District of Columbia - The Party strongly opposes all efforts to make the District of Columbia the fifty-first state in the United States of America.

We don't need another state where the majority of voters are black and Democratic!

Census - The Party strongly supports the constitutional method of actually counting each citizen and urges the Governor and elected officials to resist taking a census by any other method than that called for in the U.S. Constitution.

Because we know perfectly well that if scientific methods were used to count the American people, there'd be a lot more black and Democratic Congressional districts than there are now.

Elimination of Executive Orders - The Party demands the elimination of presidential authority to issue executive orders and other administrative mandates that do not have congressional approval. Further, that there be a repeal of all previous executive orders and administrative mandates.

Don't worry : We'll remove this from the platform if we ever have another Republican as president

Preservation of Republican Form of Government - We reaffirm our support for the provisions for a Republican (Representative) form of government as set forth in the Texas Constitution and Texas Bill of Rights [Art. I, Sec. 2; Art. I, Sec 29; Art II, Sec. 1; and Art. XVII, Sec. 2(g)] and we oppose any attempt to introduce direct democracy (I & R) into our state constitution thereby bypassing the legislative process and the checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. We hereby reaffirm the principles espoused in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

Interesting. Why should these lovers of liberty fear democracy in its purest form?

There's a lot more, but you get the general idea.

Item Three :

Jesse Helms, that True Son of the (Old) South, has done it again. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the Senator from Philip Morris has turned back the latest of President Clinton's attempts to put a black judge on the bench of the lily-white Richmond, Virginia, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals:

Last year, the president nominated North Carolina state Appeals Judge James A. Wynn Jr., a well-regarded moderate, to the 4th Circuit, which oversees federal cases in five Southern states from Maryland to South Carolina.

But Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) has blocked a hearing on Wynn's nomination, even though there are four vacancies and no North Carolina representatives on the 15-member court.

Now this is fascinating! Many Virginians, especially those of the oldest or the most conservative families, tend to look down their aristocratic antebellum noses at what they see as the Poor White Trash of North Carolina. To see a whose passel of prominent Virginians bending the knee of fealty to a North Carolinian is worthy of comment in and of itself. But to see them bending the knee, even though they are so woefully short of judicial power that they have no choice but to shovel out decisions with less consideration than is even provided by the State of Texas, is truly amazing.

It isn't as if any of President Clinton's nominees have been fire-breathing Marxists, or were legally unfit. But, to both Jesse Helms and the notoriously conservative and tobacco-friendly 4th circuit, they might as well have been.

As the President himself points out in the article, "The 4th Circuit has the largest African American population of any circuit in this country, yet it has never had an African American appellate judge. It's long past time to right that wrong."

Indeed.