Friday, July 01, 2005

I am sick again, just plain sick to death

I don't always agree with Dave Obey, and I do have issues with people who make politics a career...but this editorial is right on point. This kind of rhetoric also makes me proud of Wisconsin's political traditions.

The Capital Times: By Dave Zweifel
July 1, 2005

As you may have read in E.J. Dionne's column on this page earlier this week, Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey doesn't kowtow to despots, no matter what their political stripe.
And in today's political climate, where you are called un-American if you take a stand against George Bush or anti-Christian if you speak out against government forcing religion on people, that takes more than a little courage. More than one political career has been ruined because someone took a principled stand. That's how bad it is these days.
But for those of us who have known Obey over his long and illustrious political career, he has always stood up for what he believes. It probably explains why Wisconsin's 7th District has re-elected him 15 consecutive times. Wisconsin voters, after all, like leaders who show some intestinal fortitude.
Bush's senior adviser, the notorious Karl Rove, got the liberal Obey's blood boiling last week when he told the audience at a Republican fundraiser: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for out attackers."

Obey went to the House floor the next day and delivered the following speech:

"Mr. Speaker, in light of Karl Rove's savage attack on the patriotism of liberals in this country, I have a couple of questions.

"Two days after 9/11, the gentleman from Florida (C.W. Young, a Republican congressman) and I, on a bipartisan basis, pushed a $20 billion package through this House in response to the attack. We had to sit in the speaker's office and defend the president's request against people like Phil Gramm and Don Nichols (two senators) of the president's own party. Are those the liberals that Karl Rove was talking about?

"One month after 9/11, the gentleman from Florida (Young) and I went to the White House and urged the president to support a greatly increased homeland security budget. The president, without even looking at what we were proposing, said, 'If you add one dime to our budget for homeland security, I will veto the bill.' Mr. Rove was sitting over his shoulder when President Bush made the remark. Is President Bush one of those out-of-line liberals that Mr. Rove is talking about?

"I come from the state of Wisconsin," Obey added. "I know a third-rate Joe McCarthy when I see one and I saw one in Mr. Rove's comments yesterday."

Indeed, Karl Rove, like Joe McCarthy, has no decency. Obey hit the nail on the head once again.

Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times.