The GOP and the Senate
When Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican party — of which he was a member in name only, voting with the Dark Side roughly 92% of the time — I contended that the GOP had only kept Jeffords around in order to stay in power.
Could there have been any other reason to regard Jeffords as anything other than a wolf in sheep's clothing? To be blunt, no. (The same goes for John McCain).
Now the Washington Post reports that a most unsavory candidate may replace Jesse Helms in the event that Helms might retire. Recall that Helms is 80 years old. Again, one is forced to wonder what deep philosophical and political principles are allegedly defended by the Republican Party when they continue to nominate statists and Leftists in disguise (such as McCain and Jeffords, although there are of course others).
The story in the Washington Post, of course, is a "trial balloon" to gauge public reaction to the possible replacement candidate. If reviews are favorable, the possibility may become a reality. If reviews are unfavorable, then the GOP must continue to beat the bushes in search of a candidate to run for Helms' seat. The alternative is to let congressional power slip more fully into the grasping hands of the Democrats.
The potential GOP candidate for the US Sentate from North Carolina was a GOP presidential candidate in 1999.
Unfortunately, it is also the person who, as Secretary of Labor, raised the minimum wage — driving numerous teens out of work — and who also cracked down on child labor. Under this Secretary of Labor, 14 and 15 year olds who were working — presumably because they needed the money, and sought to spend their time productively rather than in gangs or drugs — were put out of work under Operation Child Watch.
As Secretary of Transportation, the same possible candidate rammed a Neo-Prohibitionist 21-year old drinking age down the throats of the 50 states, which were formerly free to decide such issues based on the views of their diverse citizenry.
Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, the potential candidate, although born and educated in North Carolina, has spent a very long time in Washington, DC. On a personal level, many of the people that grew up with me in my home town, but have lived and worked elsewhere (and not in government jobs, where they might have acquired a taste for controlling the lives of others), return home as if to a provincial backwater, convinced that they will teach the local yokels how things are done in the Big City.
The potential candidate to replace Jesse Helms has never run for office in North Carolina, and may not be regarded as genuinely "from" North Carolina.
Oh, I almost forgot: the potential candidate is Elizabeth Dole.
Say, are the Republicans merely copying the Democrats, after the Dems got Hillary Clinton — who comes from Illinois by way of Arkansas — elected to the US Senate from New York? Given the bumbling nature of Republican strategy, that wouldn't come as a surprise.
June 18, 2001
Mr. Dieteman [send him mail] is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America.
© 2001 David Dieteman