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Liberals In Both Parties Just Don’t Get It

By Doug Patton

A lot has been written since the election about how Democrats just don’t get it, but the truth is that it is not just Democrats but liberals, regardless of party affiliation, who are befuddled by the recent repudiation of their agenda. Two statements following the election results prove the point.

The first is Sen. Arlen Spector’s “warning” to President Bush not to send any “out of the mainstream” judges to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. We’ll get back to that one.

The second statement came from washed-up New York pol (now an analyst for Fox News) Geraldine Ferraro. In the typical, dismissive fashion of a liberal analyzing why the “progressive” agenda lost — again — Ms. Ferraro look at that sea of red across America and said, “But look at those blue states! The country is nothing without them!”

Could there be a clearer expression of Northeastern liberal elitism than that? She went on to say that the blue states have all the great universities, cultural centers, business interests, etc., implying that we who populate the red states are backward, uneducated morons who reside in flyover country.

The visceral disdain of elites toward traditional conservative values informed by a Christian worldview is as blatant as we have seen it in our lifetime. Even after being soundly defeated at the polls, American liberals in both parties still believe that only those who share their “enlightened” point of view need apply — especially when it comes to the judiciary.

This brings me back to Arlen Spector and his liberal GOP allies in the United States Senate, people like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Lincoln Chaffe of Rhode Island. These senators are not Republicans. Each of them is a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only), a liberal Democrat with an “R” behind his or her name.

Spector is particularly odious to conservatives who take the party’s stated social agenda every bit as seriously as its economic goals. The Pennsylvania Senator would have lost his seat in the primary to conservative Congressman Pat Toomey had President Bush and Pennsylvania’s other U.S. Senator, Rick Santorum, not come to his rescue by campaigning for him. Within hours of narrowly winning re-nomination, Spector again bit the hand that had fed him by assuring his friends on the left that he would never capitulate to a “far-right” agenda.

After winning a close general election last week, Spector again gave voice to his liberal arrogance by issuing his now-infamous “warning” to the White House not to send pro-life judges to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he intends to be chairing in January.

As Democrats strategize themselves into political oblivion trying to learn “the language of faith,” liberal Republicans like Spector present a two-fold problem. First, they can create real obstacles in the president’s efforts to defend traditional, pro-family values; and second, Democrats love to quote them. How many times have you heard Chuck Schumer say things like, “Even respected, moderate Republicans like Arlen Spector think the president’s agenda is too radical.”

President Bush should ignore the vacuous statements of Geraldine Ferraro and other Democrats, but he should take very seriously the warnings of Arlen Spector and other RINOS — and do something about them. Since the president did not have the good political sense to back a true conservative in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, he should now use some of that political capitol he was bragging about the other day and do some arm-twisting to get someone else appointed to this important committee chairmanship. The Senate Judiciary Committee has several true Republicans, without resorting to another RINO who will undermine qualified judicial nominations just because they don’t meet a liberal litmus test.

Liberals may not get it, but conservatives do, and we are watching.

Doug PattonDoug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter, policy advisor and communications director for federal, state and local candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet websites. Readers can e-mail him at dpatton@neonramp.com.


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