So much for the Bush White House being the center of baloney in Washington. At least the Bush years will end. I hope Bush takes the Washington Post editorial page with him.
In a ridiculous column, Richard Cohen condemns Democrats for not defending William Bennett’s right to speech. If you recall on his radio show Bennett, “Responding to a caller who argued that if abortion were outlawed the Social Security trust fund would benefit — more people, more contributions, was the apparent (idiotic) reasoning — Bennett said, sure, he understood what the fellow was saying. It was similar to the theory that the low crime rate of recent years was the consequence of high abortion rates: the fewer African American males born, the fewer crimes committed. (Young black males commit a disproportionate share of crime.) This theory has been around for some time. Bennett was not referring to anything new. But he did add something very important: If implemented, the idea would be “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.”
So, Bennett refers to a reprehensible theory that more blacks equals more crime, but that’s okay because its not anything new. Of course this is the same guy who opposed safe sex education in schools at the height of the AIDS panic. Funny, Washington DC has a lower homicide (and violent crime in general) rate than at any time since 1986 (just before the crack epidemic). Just up the street, Baltimore (a city that has been majority black since the late 1970s) saw violent crime rates in 2004 that were lower than at anytime since the early 1970s.
Crime is a sport of youth. The 1986-1993 crime boom notwithstanding, violent crime tends to fall when the number of 18-24 yr old falls and rises when their numbers rise. Violent crime rose in the 1960s-the same decade the number of 18-24 year olds rose by 53% a bigger increase than all other decades of the 20th century combined. I’ll bet (which seems to happen a lot around Bill Bennett) that Bennett never read that statistic.
Cohen also accuses for the Democrats of having no ideas. Uh Richard, did you ever check out www.johnkerry.com during the campaign. Or if you can’t stop looking down your upper class DC pundit nose at Kerry, may I suggest the websites for the Center for American Progress, the Brookings Institution, aflcio.org or the Century Foundation. You’ll find six and twelve point plans for any problem you can imagine: securing loose nuclear weapons, reforming public education, promoting international trade, bolstering the military, boosting wages and unionization, etc.
Perhaps most ridiculous of all is Cohen’s charge the Dems are mimicking Gingrich by yelling “Corruption, Corruption.” Can someone give me one reason Democrats shouldn’t do this? Yeah the GOP had an idea or two in 1994, same ones they had in 1945-Cut taxes, Cut spending, cut the deficit, cut regulations on business. While Dems should never adopt Gingirich’s policies, given the fact that the GOP has controlled the Houe for 11 of the last 11 years and the Senate for 9.5 of the last 11 years, maybe Democrats are finally understanding a fundamental thruth of politics: know thy enemy (and give him a taste of his own medicine).
Why the hell do Democrats have to be so nice anyway? The media did next to nothing to refute the phony flip-flop charges against Kerry in 2004 and gave Bush a pass on his numerous flip-flops. Kerry mentions that one of Cheney’s daughters is gay and all hell breaks loose. Kerry ran a very good campaign, but like many Democrats both before and during 2004, too much time was spent trying to ge the press to like them. I say elected and unelected Dems should let the Tim Russert’s, Chris Matthews’, and Joel Klein’s of the world know we don’t give a bleep what they think.
Frankly, it’s not the Fox News’ and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world that confused the people about Kerry and the Democrats-most Americans already know those guys are to the right of Atila the Hun. Instead, Dems are hurt more by the fact that those journalists and others of their ilk too often seemed to offer confirmation by by repeating and not pointing out the lies the Right-Wing-Noise machine told and continues to tell. It’s so hard to tell that this was the same paper that broke the story on Nixon’s many scandals. If the Post of the 1970s was of the same quality of the Post of the 2000s, Watergate would just be the name of another hotel.