Top 10 Letters
Bill Moyers, Dick Armey, Texas, Oregon, and more.
11:00 PM, Nov 17, 2002
Milwaukee is a classic study in contrast. The blue-collar workers always vote Democrat because the union tells them to and because their fathers and grandfathers, voted Democrat, too. But on the issues, they shouldn't. These same people do not believe in anti-gun laws (deer hunting is a religion in this area). They do not believe that gays and lesbian should receive special benefits. They're not real crazy about affirmative action either. Welfare? If you want to see a reaction, just mention welfare here in the Milwaukee area. Unfortunately, these are the same people who consistently vote for every Democrat candidate. They just can't connect the dots.
The first time I ever voted in a national election, I voted for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. In the fifty years since, I have seen Texas gradually become more Republican. It is not so much that Texas has changed. Instead, the Democratic party has moved away from where most Texans live day to day. Texas is largely a conservative state. When Reagan galvanized conservative democrats here in 1980, he began the downward slide of the state Democratic party. Lots of folks found out then that it was okay to vote Republican. Beth Henary's analysis of the 2002 vote in Texas was right on target and The Daily Standard is the only national media outlet that has said anything at all about the three Republican African-Americans who were elected to statewide office in Texas. All we have heard since Kirk's defeat is that Texas is not ready to vote for African-Americans for statewide office.
I, for one, will miss having Dick Armey as my congressman. Hopefully he will remain a neighbor to all of us in Flower Mound, Texas. I know all the bass in these parts are trembling in fear at the thought of him having extra time on his hands.
I can't agree with David Skinner's argument that Dan Savage's patriotism makes his otherwise dubious opinions about sexuality somehow acceptable (Dan Savage's America). If he was truly concerned about loving our country, he would be far more concerned about the common good. His sleazy, "everything goes" attitude toward sex is clearly not in the best interest of preserving the institution of marriage. Further, he is not in the least bit concerned with fostering the healthy courtships that help preserve a high ideal of marriage, which this country has to have if it is really concerned with being a virtuous republic. His opinion columns turn sex into an idol at which far too many Americans worship.
Lee Bockhorn is right, and there is a practical sequence to getting the partial birth ban on the books (When Life Begins).
(1) Clear the backlog of judicial nominees.
(2) Get the tax cuts done.
(3) Get the message out on partial birth before proposing anything. Don't use Lott or DeLay, find someone who can sell it. There are probably Democrats who will support it.
(4) Then pass it. But make sure that if you bring it up, the votes are there. Coleman, Chafee, Talent, etc. could get squishy when push comes to shove. And don't bring it up if the votes are not there. It could send the suburbs racing back to Gore or McCain or Kerry or whoever the Democrats nominate.