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  Square Pegs and Round Holes - The Democratic Disconnect
by Paul Walfield
31 January 2003

A post-State of the Union analysis.

Democrats and Republicans are people; after that any similarities seem to
For example, when it came to what they saw and heard during the State of the
Union Address, our political leaders heard what Mr. Bush had to say,
however, the Republicans listened to the President and retained the
information, the Democrats, steeped in their dogma, could not.
According to Green Party Presidential candidate, and champion of consumers,
Ralph Nader, Democrats and Republicans are the same, "if you stack up the
similarities, they just tower." I think he is wrong.
President Bush said, "Evidence from intelligence sources, secret
communications, and statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam
Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida."
Adding, "Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans –
this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one
canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like
none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure
that day never comes."
Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado said, "…didn't hear
anything new about why we should have a unilateral attack against Iraq."
Senator Edward Kennedy said the military should not go to Iraq on the basis
presented by the President to date. Kennedy wants another congressional
resolution requiring the President to present "convincing evidence of an
imminent threat."
New York Congressman Charles Rangel said, "President Bush failed to
demonstrate that there is an immediate threat from Iraq to us or our
Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords said, "I don't think there's anything, after
listening to him, but that they've got their minds set on war and they're
going to go to war. That's very sad."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "He did not make a convincing case
that the use of force now is the only way to disarm Iraq, or that removing
Saddam from power would guarantee that a new regime would not pursue the
same policies. The clear and present danger that our country faces is
terrorism, and the president did not explain how a war with Iraq would not
compromise our efforts against terrorists."
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, "What I didn't like was his reiteration of
all of the policies we've heard him say over the last few months that we
know are very harmful," Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said, "He talked about holding Saddam Hussein accountable, but has too often ignored opportunities to unify the world against this brutal dictator." Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said, "Tonight, the president used all the right rhetoric, but he still has all the wrong policies. Regrettably, he passed up this opportunity to close the widening credibility gap that is putting him further and further out of touch with the American people."
The Gallup polling organization says 67 percent of people who watched the
speech believe the president made a convincing case for military action.
Before the speech, only 47 percent said Mr. Bush had made his case. Perhaps
Mr. Daschle's perception of what constitutes "wrong policies" is not the
same as his constituencies'.
President Bush said, "Health care reform must begin with Medicare, because
Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must renew that
commitment by giving seniors access to the preventive medicine and new drugs
that are transforming health care in America." Adding, "My budget will
commit an additional 400 billion dollars over the next decade to reform and
strengthen Medicare."
Presidential candidate Howard Dean said, "The president continues to
threaten war without making a case for war." Adding, President Bush
"proposes no serious health care reform."
President Bush said, "Lower taxes and greater investment will help this
economy expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers – and higher revenues to our government." Adding, "This tax relief is for everyone who pays income
taxes – and it will help our economy immediately. Ninety-two million
Americans will keep – this year – an average of almost 1,100 dollars more of
their own money. A family of four with an income of 40,000 dollars would
see their federal income taxes fall from 1,178 dollars to 45 dollars per
year. And our plan will improve the bottom line for more than 23 million
small businesses."
New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews said, "This is trickle-down, the sequel," adding, "It didn't work the first time and it's not going to work this
House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt said, "The president failed to ease the
nation's anxiety over his economic plan and fell short of addressing the
nation's increasing concern about the future."
Senator John Edwards said, "The President just doesn't get it. Giving tax
cuts to the very wealthiest Americans should not take priority over the real
economic, health care and security concerns facing regular people."
According to a CBS News Poll, 59% of Americans before the Address, approved of the job President Bush was doing and 54% said the Administration's priorities were the same theirs. After the President gave his State of the Union Address, 81% of Americans agreed that the President's priorities were the same as theirs and support for President Bush rose to 71%.
The disconnect between Democratic Leaders and Republican Leaders is becoming ever more obvious, the disconnect between the Democratic Leaders and the American people is becoming ever more ominous.


Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and member of the State Bar of California with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and post-graduatestudy in behavioral and analytical psychology. He resided for a number ofyears in the small town of Houlton, Maine and is now a California attorney.Paul can be contacted at [email protected]