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SILENCE IS NOT LEADERSHIP
by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2013
(Oct. 27, 2013) — In the ten years since I started writing this weekly column, I have written numerous columns with three-word titles… the second and third words being “must go” and the first word being the surname of a reputed Republican “leader.” I haven’t searched the archives to count the number of Republican leaders I’ve written off, but it’s an extensive list. It includes Bush (41), Bush (43), Dennis Hastert, John McCain, and others. It comes as no surprise that the Republican leaders I’ve most wanted to banish are all “establishment” Republicans, members of the Rockefeller wing of the party. In this week’s column I offer a “three-fer,” a triple header.
The crises we face here at home and around the world are far more serious than any international challenge since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the D-Day invasion of France. The primary difference is that the lethality of the weapons now in the hands of madmen makes war a far more dangerous proposition than ever before.
But what is so concerning is that, at a time of such impending danger for Americans, at home and abroad, we find ourselves totally leaderless. We find Barack Obama… a rank amateur with a forged birth certificate, a forged draft registration card, a stolen Social Security number, no military experience, no background or experience to qualify him for national leadership, and not an ounce of credibility… occupying the Oval Office. We find the Democratic Party being led in the House and Senate by totally evil people… Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi… individuals whose every decision and every public statement is governed, not by what is best for the country, but by what they deem best for their party.
On the Republican side of the aisle we have three nearly invisible ciphers. When I see the minority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), on TV, I don’t see a strong leader; instead, I see a man who is a dead ringer for Sgt. Bilko’s bumbling commanding officer in the long-running TV series, The Phil Silvers Show. John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA), the Speaker and Majority Leader of the House, respectively, are all but invisible. They are silent at a time when their leadership is most essential. Not knowing what to say, they say nothing. The only Republicans we hear from, endlessly, are Senators McCain and Graham… the two men rank-and-file Republicans least want to hear from.
On those rare occasions when House Republicans decide to appear before the TV cameras to tell the Republicans’ side of the story, we often see John Boehner march into the room, followed by a large entourage of Republican caucus members, all jostling for space on the platform that will allow them a few seconds of “face time” on national TV. Comparisons with the old Howdy Doody Show, starring Buffalo Bob Smith and the Peanut Gallery, are inescapable.
On other occasions, Boehner appears at the podium accompanied by Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Republican Conference Chairman; Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Whip; and Eric Cantor. On those occasions, each of the four takes a turn at the microphone, speaking for approximately 30 seconds, and each saying exactly the same thing. Boehner then announces that he will take “a couple” of questions… each of which receives a crisp, smart-alec, 30 second response. Then, without another word, he turns abruptly and stalks out of the room, followed closely by the other three leaders marching in single file.
In recent months, as Obama prepared to attack civilian and military targets in Syria, just to demonstrate his manhood for the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, he found allies to be a bit scarce. Not even the normally reliable British would express support for his “incredibly small” offensive. So, finding himself way out on a limb and all alone, he took his decision to attack Syria to the Congress for ratification. After all, he reasoned, if his attack on Syria was to be greeted with such universal disdain, he might as well share it with congressional Republicans.
No one in America, or elsewhere in the world, took Obama’s saber-rattling as a serious move except the Republican congressional leadership. After a White House meeting with Obama, at which John Boehner sat glumly at Obama’s side in the Cabinet Room, Boehner emerged to tell reporters, “I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action. We have enemies around the world that need to understand that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior.”
But that should have been only his preamble. A Democrat in his position would have added, “I take this action for one reason and one reason alone: no leader of any country should be allowed to get away with using chemical weapons against innocent men, women, and children. That being said, my support for an attack on Syria should not be considered as an endorsement of the way in which the president has handled this crisis. I regret that, because of his complete lack of experience, he has so thoroughly mishandled the crisis that he endangers not only America’s standing in the world community, but the lives and property of every living American.”
Because of the many scandals swirling around the Obama administration… scandals far too numerous to mention… the Democratic Party is now more vulnerable to crushing defeat than ever before in history. Yet the actions and the public statements of Republican leaders fail to reassure us that they are even aware of the unprecedented advantage that lies before them.
For example, in recent days, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), the most despicable man ever to set foot inside the U.S. Capitol, has distributed a fundraising letter in which he compares the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan. The fundraising letter contains a depiction of a burning cross in which the burning cross serves as the “T” in Tea Party.
Although the KKK was founded in 1866 as a paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party, Republicans have always been hesitant to pin the Klan label on Democrats for fear of being branded “extreme.” The Encyclopedia Britannica, not sharing the Republicans’ lack of courage, reported that the “Democrats’ resentment (of the Emancipation Proclamation and the loss of the Civil War) led to the formation of the secret terroristic organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camelia. The use of fraud, violence, and intimidation helped Southern (Democrats) regain control of their state governments….”
Historian Allen Trelease wrote: “Klansmen in disguise rode through Negro neighborhoods at night warning Negroes either to cast Democratic ballots or stay away from the polls. The Klan also sent notices to Republican office holders, warning them of death and telling them to either resign or leave the vicinity… Republicans of both races were threatened, beaten, shot, and murdered with impunity.”
KKK atrocities occurring between 1866 and 1882 went largely unrecorded. However, Tuskegee Institute archives show that, between the years 1882 and 1951, some 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites, nearly all Republicans, were lynched by KKK marauders… i.e., Democrats dressed in white capes and hoods.
So, if Republicans in the past have been hesitant to tie the KKK directly to the Democratic Party, why not do so now after an outspoken Democrat has raised the issue by attempting to tie the Klan to Republican-leaning conservatives in the Tea Party? To date, only one brave Republican spokesman, former congressman Allen West (R-FL) has had the courage to point out that the KKK was, and is, an arm of the Democratic Party. Could it be that Republican leaders are simply not aware of the roots of the KKK? And if they are, then why have they not made others aware so that every Republican in America can begin to set the record straight?
Because of the many failings of the Obama administration, capped off by the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the centerpiece of the Obama presidency, Republicans have never been in a better position to seize long-term control of the Congress and the presidency. Yet, Republican leaders seem not to understand that, a) since Obamacare is the culmination of more than two hundred years of anti-Constitutionalist attacks on the U.S. Constitution, b) since the principle vehicle for the relentless attacks on our Constitution has been the Democratic Party, and c) since the United States is the last remaining bastion of true individual freedom on the face of the Earth, therefore, by definition, the Democratic Party can only be described as the enemy of mankind.
As such, it is imperative that every Republican leader use whatever weapons they have at their disposal to paint Democrats as they are. The times demand opposition leaders with real backbone. Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Majority Leader Cantor do not fit that description and it’s time for them to go.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has charged that, during the recent government shutdown negotiations at the White House, a House Republican leader told Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you.” Durbin has refused to disclose the identity of the plain-spoken Republican leader but, if what he says is true, it’s at least a good beginning.