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The Democrat Danger Zone
by Hans Zieger
05 November 2003Democrat Donkey

The Democratic debate in Detroit was just the place for a conservative group of Hillsdale College students looking for a protest. 

Downtown Detroit, Michigan is not exactly known for being a safe place. It was a particularly dangerous city this past week when all ten Democratic candidates for president gathered at the Fox Theater for a televised debate. I showed up outside the theater with a bunch of fellow young conservatives from Hillsdale College to protest the Democrats.

As The Reverend Al Sharpton emerged from his limo at a side door, some of us college students approached him, shouting "Bush, Bush, Bush." I wanted to meet The Good Reverend, but he carried himself in a dignified manner through the door, his portly figure accented by the bright red handkerchief tucked in his coat pocket. I am half tempted to cast my vote as a Democrat for Reverend Sharpton in the primary election next year, knowing that his nomination would result in the most entertaining presidential campaign season in the history of the United States.

Then Howard Dean drove up. I walked forward with my press pad opened to a blank page and asked the Democratic frontrunner for a signature. He gruffly stopped and applied pen to paper, then entered the theater. Maybe I'll sell the scribble to a die-hard liberal someday.

During the debate, the candidates divided their time arguing over who had been most consistently liberal and over who hates President Bush the most.

Outside along Woodward Avenue, an eleventh Democratic candidate was protesting because the debate officials wouldn't let him inside. Don Hackett, who has run for president every year since 1988, says that his first platform issues are to lower the cost of Viagra and to remove special interest money from the political arena. Mr. Hackett came over to my group of pro-Bush College Republicans with his hand-scribbled campaign sign and began screaming various slogans such as, "Bush is Adolph Hitler," and "Get big money out of campaigns."

After the debate had concluded, the candidates left the Fox Theater. John Kerry made his way out to a press campout with a small brigade of burly bodyguards. General Wesley Clark hopped in his motorcade. And a few friends and I met Carol Moseley-Braun, one of the more friendly candidates in this race.

We walked over to where the scrawny Leftist wacko, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, was making his way to an SUV to escape the mean streets of Detroit. Kucinich was keeping a brief pace and a look of anxiety filled his face. He quickened his step, and I soon discovered a homeless man was pursuing him for money.

I walked up to Dennis Kucinich, known by the owners of www.kucinich.com as the elfish spokesman of the Keebler Company, and shook his hand. "Hello Congressman," I said, "Good to meet you." It was clear that he wasn't really in the mood to be friendly. His handshake was weak, his beady eyes avoided mine and he walked on.

Then, suddenly pointing back at the homeless man, Kucinich said, "Hey, can you help this guy -- he's homeless and he needs some money. " Two months ago, Kucinich demanded a Justice Department investigation of violence against the homeless. And over the past few years, Kucinich has taken home millions of dollars in taxpayer pork to redistribute to homeless special interest groups in his district.

So Kucinich himself solidified the homeless vote by forking over some bucks for the homeless man, effectively buying off his vote. "I'm gonna vote for this guy here -- he's a good person," the homeless man told me. 

The homeless man noticed that a Hillsdale student was taking pictures, so he decided it would be fun to have a group photo with his favorite candidate. "Hey, let's all get together and have a group picture," exulted the homeless man, "let's have a group picture." So we all surrounded the Congressman and compelled a nearby man wearing a "Kucinich for President" shirt to snap a picture.

After the Keebler Elf had moved on, one young conservative in my party decided to take up Dennis Kucinich on his suggestion. He handed some cash to the homeless man on the condition that he cast his vote to re-elect George W. Bush. "Sure," said the man of the streets, "I'm gonna vote for that guy -- he's a good man!"

Hans Zeiger is a Seattle Times columnist and conservative activist. He is president of the Scout Honor Coalition and a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan

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