The Prince of Darkness appeared before the crowd at the Young America’s Foundation Conservative Students Conference on Wednesday. In truth it was just Robert Novak, the evil moniker is one he said friends (and probably a former CIA employee and her ex-diplomat husband) use to describe his less than sanguine perspective.
“A lot of my friends think that I look at the glass as half empty,” Novak told the group of at least 300 students from across the country.
Even more shocking to the vernal assemblage than seeing the Lord of all that is Evil in human guise was the revelation that he is a Democrat.
“Right now I’m a registered Democrat,” Novak said.
He explained that as resident of the District of Columbia (roughly 90% Democratic) the only way to participate in local politics was to register as a Democrat. Much of the voting in the District is confined to Democratic primaries.
Novak, of course, still considers himself conservative with a strong libertarian streak and made no attempts to disguise his growing distaste for the current Republican leadership.
“Nobody in the majority since the Democrats in ’94, so richly deserve to lose their majority,” Novak said of the Republican-controlled Congress.
Citing a list of Republican transgressions like increased spending on education programs and entitlements such as the President’s prescription drug plan, Novak said Republicans have grown “addicted to massive-runaway earmarks and pork barrel spending.”
In 1996 for example, Congress inserted 950 special-project earmarks into legislation, while in 2005 the number had swelled to nearly 14,000. Between 2000 and 2005 the price tag of earmarks grew from $15 billion to $27 billion. (See: “Renovating a $1 Million-Tax Funded Pool,” Human Events July 3, 2006)
Maligning the Republican Congress for a lack of leadership on issues like immigration and Social Security reform, Novak said, “You have come to Washington in time when fear stalks the land — especially for Republicans.”
Congressional Republicans, Novak said, live in fear of losing the House, Senate and Presidency by 2008.
“Republicans have not done much to pursue an agenda over the past 12 years,” Novak said. Instead, according to Novak, they have grown comfortable holding the reigns of power and done little more than pursue avenues for remaining in the majority.
Novak said Republicans in Congress have resorted to a “Henny Youngman defense,” referring to the comedian who when asked how his wife was said, “Compared to what?”
“Compared to what?” Novak said, is the best Republicans can only hope for when the public, come November, heads to the ballot box.
“The question is: Are we so disgusted with the Republicans that we want something far worse?” Novak said. “It’s a sad way to win an election.”