The Internet Monk
"the power of opinion, the phenomenon of speech, the impact of truth"
A Webjournal and News Review by Michael Spencer
John Ashcroft: The Left's Pathetic Case for Racism
by Michael Spencer
The Democrat argument is simple. Because Ashcroft vigorously opposed the appointment of an African-American as a Federal judge, he is unfit to be attorney general. This argument depends on the public's general lack of knowledge about Ashcroft's record, since as a two-term Missouri governor and one-term U.S. Senator, he was not only astonishingly successful by every measure, but widely respected as a person of character and unquestioned fairness. The fair application of the rule of law is his passion. Take note of the WSJ's summary of Ashcroft's record on the issue of race:
"Ashcroft is hardly a George Wallace: The AP dispatch notes that as Missouri's governor from 1985 to 1993, he signed into law a state holiday honoring Martin Luther King, established musician Scott Joplin's house as Missouri's only historic site honoring a black person, created an award honoring black educator George Washington Carver, named a black woman to a state judgeship, and led a fight to save Lincoln University, which was founded by black soldiers. He also voted for the confirmation of 23 of 26 black judicial appointees during his six years in the Senate." In addition, Ashcroft's wife is a professor at Howard University, which should be an interesting place for Al Sharpton to visit in the near future.
There is more. He balanced the state budget eight times. Under his leadership, only one other state had a lower tax-burden. As a senator, he added "charitable choice" to welfare reform and supported increased federal spending on education. Citizens Against Governement Waste rated him as a "hero" with a perfect voting record. His passionate attack on the methamphetamine trade in his state was effective and unprecedented. And sorry Mr. Gore, but guess who was talking about that Social security lockbox long before you?
Missourians sent him to the senate and the governor's mansion with more than 60% of the vote. He is the chairman of the Senate subcommittee on the constitution and serves on the Judiciary and Foreign relations committee. He was attorney general of Missouri. Bill Schneider from CNN said "No one can compete with Senator Ashcroft on family values... He's trusted by both social and economic conservatives... He combines deeply conservative convictions with a moderate political style -- open, accessible, tolerant..." Tolerant. Look it up. It's a term much used, but apparently little understood.
This is our new David Duke? C'mon my Democrat friends. I know you guys are a little shaken up, but does anyone with half a brain really think that the Senate of the United States will turn this man into your poster child for Republicans as racists? Yes, he is pro-life and a Christian and doesn't dance, drink or smoke, but even if your Hollywood and media elite toadies try to portray him as a prude or a religious zealot or out of step (All terms courtesy of Bill Maher), do you really think you can make the public believe the man is a racist?
It is true that Ashcroft's opposition to a black federal judge was vigorous and his efforts to defeat the appointment were extraordinary. But the issue was the sentencing of criminals and the fair application of the death penalty. The liberal attempt to say that everyone who approves of the death penalty is a racist just won't work. Ashcroft deserves to say why he opposed that appointment, but the Senators who voted with him to halt the appointment know it was about ideology, not race. (I know that in our postmodern times, that sentence may not make sense to several of you.)
So how about the truth here? Liberals and Democrats are bitter and angry. They will appear marginally bi-partisan because the public wants it, but they are hoping for the first brushfire to break out in the Bush administration so they can fan it into a political inferno. Terry Macauliffe has said as much. Bush has done a brilliant job of cabinet selection and liberals don't have much to work with. Ashcroft, Norton and Chavez. And all will, barring unforeseen developments, make it past the Senate easily.
I am not a Democrat because liberals believe it is immoral to disagree with them. The actual outworking of tolerant and civilized disagreement are beyond them. The "evils" of Ashcroft and others are simply their principled disagreements with the failed policies of the Democratic party. They reject the twisted logic that the only compassion is more and more big government. They reject the liberal belief that protection of the unborn is racism and oppression of women. They believe union members shouldn't have their dues spent on views they disagree with and they believe environmentalism and intelligent use of natural resources are not mutually exclusive. They reject multi-culturalism in education and the slow cultural suicide of bi-lingual education. And for this, the Democrat party says they are racists and threats to America's women, children, schools and environment.
There is more diversity in Bush's cabinet than in any previous administration, Democratic or Republican. To even consider the idea that Janet Reno is fit to be AG and John Ashcroft is unfit is laughable. There are lots of things wrong with the Republican party and plenty of individual Republicans that deserve to be derided and criticized. But John Ashcroft is not one of them. He's not a racist and my Democrat friends know it.