Being a Republican at UCSB is a little trying at times. Most of your friends are liberal Democrats. So are most of your professors. Many of the authors you’re assigned lack a diversity of political views.
So, when some wide-eyed Democrat get-out-the-vote activist or credulous Nexus columnist starts lecturing on the corrupt Republican Party, I’m occasionally unable to let it go. Today only, for the benefit of the brick-wielding citizens in the glass-house complex on Liberal Lane, I’d like to discuss the following points of interest when it comes to Democratic ethics.
After the 2004 election, the nonpartisan American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund formally reported that Democrats outperformed corrupt Republican-linked activists in their disenfranchisement schemes, with operatives slashing the tires of Republican get-out-the-vote vans and using names of dead citizens to vote multiple times for Democrats. In Ohio, groups received a court order barring them from calling registered Republicans with false poll-locations and dates, and ACORN, a liberal voter registration group, received multiple indictments all over the U.S. And, unsurprisingly, leading up to the 2006 election, four more ACORN workers were indicted for the same activities.
For all the concern over Mark Foley, who resigned in disgrace after instant messages showed his attempts to seduce a 17-year-old page, Democrats were much less concerned about the conduct of Congressman Gerry Studds, D-Ma., who in 1983 was censured for actually having sex with a 17-year-old page. He was barely disciplined, and went on to continue serving for another 14 years, and has recently been the subject of praise by Democrats, including Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.
Harry Reid was recently revealed to have made a $1.1 million profit off of a land sale – for land he didn’t own. Reid bought a parcel for $400,000, sold it to business buddy Jay Brown – recently investigated in a massive political bribery scandal – and didn’t report to Congress that he had sold the land. In a highly unusual maneuver, Brown got the land rezoned for commercial development with help from Reid’s son Roy, who is conveniently chair of the county commission that approved the rezoning. The land’s value was increased by its development potential, and Reid reported the subsequent deal as a personal land sale. Disputes over the legality of this regarding laws linger.
African-American Republican Michael Steele, running for senator in Maryland, has been described by liberal publications, activists and political figures as an “Uncle Tom,” a token black and a traitor, and was even pelted with Oreos by hecklers linked to his previous Democratic opponent in a successful run for lieutenant governor. The Democrats’ message is obvious: African-Americans aren’t supposed to hold personal political opinions, but must all think and vote alike, or their blackness is illegitimate.
Prominent Democrats have called for the trials of Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Lewis “Scooter” Libby for their supposed conspiracy to out undercover agent Valerie Plame as revenge for her husband’s pre-war intelligence revelation, which has since been disputed by the CIA, MI6 – also known as the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service – and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. It has recently been confirmed, however, that the source for Robert Novak’s infamous piece was Richard Armitage, a State Dept. official and a sometime critic of the Bush administration. In contrast, Clinton administration-member Sandy Berger’s theft of classified U.S. anti-terror documents during the 9/11 hearings has not resulted in many Democrats calling for felony indictments.
Rising Democrat star Barack Obama has spent more than a few years opposing the enactment of born alive legislation, voting against it in the Illinois State Senate twice in committee and on the Senate floor in April of 2002, and later blocked it from being heard in the Health and Human Services Committee, which he chaired at the time.
If I had more room, I’d talk about John Kerry’s refusal to release his service records, or Barbara Boxer’s legislative pacts with Indian casinos and California zoning laws. I’d reference people to Hillary Clinton and the Whitewater scandal, and look into how intelligence cited by Bill Clinton about Saddam Hussein was misinformed while that same data used by George W. Bush was lies. The Democrats’ grab bag of dirty secrets is virtually bottomless. But then, if the above hasn’t at least piqued some curiosity among liberal Democrats, I have a feeling it’d be a wasted effort anyway.
Paul Jones is a senior political science major.