Last Sunday, September 28, Democrat presidential wannabe Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.) appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press with Tim Russert” and further made the case for conservatives why he should not be elected.
#1 — Selective Law Enforcement
- RUSSERT: The Washington Post reports today that a senior administration official said that White House officials called six reporters to identify the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, who is doing a report for the CIA on this matter, that she was an undercover agent and therefore was outed, which breaks the law. What should the president do?
GEPHARDT:If the law was broken, if something was done that was improper and wrong legally, you know, the law ought to be enforced and people ought to be punished for doing this.
Though he has apparently come around since the Clinton-days on the idea that the law ought to be enforced and law-breakers punished, most Americans would probably want a President who subscribes to the rule of law at all times.
#2 — More Domestic Spending, No Matter What
- RUSSERT: The Congress will have an opportunity to vote for $87 billion more for the operation in Iraq. Will you vote for that?
GEPHARDT: . . . On the $20 billion or so of this $87 billion that is for the reconstruction of Iraq, there are a lot of tough questions that the Congress needs to ask and will ask, both Republicans and Democrats.
. . . I want some moneys for America, if we’re going to be using money for the further work in Iraq. All of our states pretty much are bankrupt. They need help. They’re cutting health care, they’re cutting veterans, they’re cutting all kinds of important programs. . . .
Gephardt will use any excuse and vessel he can find to increase domestic spending – even if he has to hold the supplemental bill hostage to do it. Watch the pork roll as the $87 billion request is in Congress.
#3 — Leave U.S. National Security to the UN?
- GEPHARDT: I told [President Bush] a year and a half ago that if he wanted to deal with Iraq or Afghanistan or any of these situations that he had to get us help. I encouraged him in February or March of last year to go to the U.N., to start the inspections so that it can bring our allies with us.
If Mr. Gephardt wants our national defense to be dictated by the actions and approval of foreign governments, how, then, does he resolve this:
- GEPHARDT: Tim, I didn’t just take the president’s word for this. I went out to the CIA three times. I talked to George Tenet personally. I talked to his top people. I talked to people that had been in the Clinton administration in their security effort. And I became convinced, from that, all of that, that [Saddam Hussein] either had weapons of mass destruction or he had components of weapons or he had the ability to quickly make a lot of them and pass them to terrorists.
Look, after 9/11, we’re in a world, in my view, that we have to protect the American people from further acts of terrorism. That’s my highest responsibility, that’s the Congress’ highest responsibility, and the president.
So, under President Gephardt, would the United States always need to ask the UN for permission in order to protect herself?
#4 — Cares Not for the “High Ground”
- RUSSERT: There’s a sense from some critics . . . that you now are trying to make up for lost ground by imitating some of Howard Dean’s positions by saying the president’s a miserable failure or this: “This phony macho business is not getting us where we need to” go. Is that appropriate, to accuse the president of being a phony macho?
GEPHARDT: Tim, I try to say what’s in my heart and what’s right, and I don’t mince my words, I don’t, you know, try to find the political high ground.
American voters surely already can see who has not taken the political “high ground” – just pick a Democrat running for the White House. We have all heard the Congressman’s labeling of the President as a “miserable failure” and his claims that Bush has “declared war on the middle class.”
A reminder of Mr. Gephardt’s lack of public civility is not necessary, nor is a President who showcases such a lacking.
#5 — Facts Are No Deterrent To Political Rhetoric
- GEPHARDT: And in our darkest hour, the day before we took up the Gingrich budget in 1995, Howard [Dean] was the head of the National Governors’ Association. He made a speech in which he endorsed, basically, the Republican position on the $270 billion cut in Medicare, that Bill Clinton called the biggest cut in Medicare’s history. It would have decimated the program. And so later in the year, they even shut the government down over this. They were trying to do big Medicare cuts to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. . . .
[Dean] said just a week ago, or two weeks ago, that he still thinks we ought to slow down the growth of Medicare by 7 to 10 percent. That was the $270 billion cut.
The Congressman needs to get his stories straight: it was either a Medicare cut or a slow down in the rate of growth.
#6 — Equivocal Sense of Responsibility
- GEPHARDT: The buck stops on the president’s desk and the president has to stand the responsibility for the failure or the success of whatever is done.
Conservatives would point out, as most Americans probably would, that like the rule of law, Democrats, during Bill Clinton’s tenure, failed to govern by the standard of responsibility Gephardt now trumpets.