GOP Convention Will Be a Trip To Oz

Tamara Baker in American Politics Journal, July 11, 2000

SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA -- The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken.
Pinocchio Dubya, at the behest of his Geppetos Rove and Hughes, has ordered the
Republican Party to guarantee a kinder, gentler GOP convention for July 31 in Philadelphia.

No shots of Tom Delay or Bob Barr or Trent Lott railing against those Commie Liberal
Symp Democrats. No mentions of pitchforks. Just nothing but peace and love and -- as was
also seen at the last GOP mass gathering -- constant camera shots of J.C. Watts, the only black
Republican in the GOP Congress, as a sop to diversity.

All the while Dubya and his handlers will be murmuring "Ignore the man behind the curtain!"

Not if I can I help it!

Emulating Toto, I'm going to pull back the curtain as far as I can. But frankly,
it won't be that difficult a task, since Republicans nationwide seem to be
determined to rend that curtain to bits themselves.

Item One:

Even as the national GOP party apparatchiks are sounding the
kinder-gentler theme of tolerance and equality for all, their Washington
state brethren are humming a different, and openly racist, tune. As noted in
these two pieces from the Spokane Spokesman-Review (one and two), the
Washington state Republican Party decided on June 17, 2000 to pass a
resolution calling for the abolition of Indian tribal governments.

The resolution, understandably, outraged Indian groups, human rights
organizations, and sane people everywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
As Rebecca Nappi noted in her editorial for the Spokesman-Review,
"It would be comparable, they say, to Republicans passing a resolution
requiring that all African-Americans be shipped back to Africa or that
all women be required to stay home."

Has the negative reaction chastened the persons behind the resolution?

Of course not.

In fact, John Fleming, the GOP delegate who wrote the resolution, ended up
making an already bad situation even worse. According to Ms. Nappi, he
said that he thought his suggested abolition of tribal governments could be
done peacefully, but if not, "then the U.S. Army and the Air Force and the
Marines and the National Guard are going to have to battle back."

Way to go, John! Give 'em a whiff of grapeshot!

Alas for Mr. Fleming and the Washington State Republican Party, there's
this little matter of law that needs to be addressed before or anyone else
can make like Reinhard Heydrich against Washington State's Native
American community. As Ms. Nappi goes on to note:

Tribes in the United States have always governed their own territory and
their own affairs. The status of tribes as self-governing nations has been
upheld by treaties, case law and the Constitution, according to a reporter's
guide to Native American issues titled "100 Questions, 500 Nations."
And legal scholars explain that "tribes are inherently sovereign, meaning
they do not trace their existence to the United States."

Funny how the self-styled "rule of law" crowd comprising the Washington
State GOP didn't catch this when they were drafting up all those feel-good,
red-meat, kick-the-downtrodden resolutions on June 17.

Item Two:

Speaking of resolutions and party platforms, if anyone needs to know why
the "compassionate" George W. Bush is avoiding contact with both the
Texas and the national GOP Congresses, just get a look at the Texas GOP
party platform, available for download here.

Limited Federal Powers - The Party urges the re-establishment of states'
rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which
reserves for the states powers not specifically delegated to the federal
government. We further support the abolition of federal agencies involved
in activities not constitutionally delegated to the federal government.

In other words: Abolish all Federal agencies outside of those that
shoot things at people.

Judicial Restraint - The Party further adopts the principle of judicial restraint,
which requires that judges interpret and apply rather than make the law. We
encourage the support of judges who adopt this philosophy since our
government is one of law, not of men.

I guess that means that Royce Lamberth and Antonin Scalia are soon to
be unemployed...

Oops! I forgot: this only applies to DEMOCRATS who try to "make" the law.

District of Columbia - The Party strongly opposes all efforts to make the
District of Columbia the fifty-first state in the United States of America.
We don't need another state where the majority of voters are black and Democratic!

Census - The Party strongly supports the constitutional method of actually
counting each citizen and urges the Governor and elected officials to resist
taking a census by any other method than that called for in the U.S. Constitution.

Because we know perfectly well that if scientific methods were used to
count the American people, there'd be a lot more black and Democratic
Congressional districts than there are now.

Elimination of Executive Orders - The Party demands the elimination of
presidential authority to issue executive orders and other administrative
mandates that do not have congressional approval. Further, that there
be a repeal of all previous executive orders and administrative mandates.

Don't worry: We'll remove this from the platform if we ever have
another Republican as president

Preservation of Republican Form of Government - We reaffirm our support
for the provisions for a Republican (Representative) form of government as
set forth in the Texas Constitution and Texas Bill of Rights [Art. I, Sec. 2; Art.
I, Sec 29; Art II, Sec. 1; and Art. XVII, Sec. 2(g)] and we oppose any attempt
to introduce direct democracy (I & R) into our state constitution thereby bypassing
the legislative process and the checks and balances between the executive, legislative,
and judicial branches of government. We hereby reaffirm the principles espoused
in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

Interesting. Why should these lovers of liberty fear democracy in its purest form?

There's a lot more, but you get the general idea.

Item Three:

Jesse Helms, that True Son of the (Old) South, has done it again. As the
Los Angeles Times reports, the Senator from Philip Morris has turned back
the latest of President Clinton's attempts to put a black judge on the bench
of  the lily-white Richmond, Virginia, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals:

Last year, the president nominated Carolina state Appeals Judge
James A. Wynn Jr., a well-regarded moderate, to the 4th Circuit, which
oversees federal cases in five Southern states from Maryland to Carolina.

But Sen. Jesse Helms (R-Cro-Mag.) has blocked a hearing on Wynn's
nomination, even though there are four vacancies and no Carolina
representatives on the 15-member court.

Now this is fascinating! Many Virginians, especially those of the oldest or
the most conservative families, tend to look down their aristocratic
antebellum noses at what they see as the Poor White Trash of North
Carolina. To see a whose passel of prominent Virginians bending the knee
of fealty to a North Carolinian is worthy of comment in and of itself.  But to
see them bending the knee, even though they are so woefully short of
judicial power that they have no choice but to shovel out decisions with less
consideration than is even provided by the State of Texas, is truly amazing.

It isn't as if any of President Clinton's nominees have been fire-breathing
Marxists, or were legally unfit. But, to both Jesse Helms and the notoriously
conservative and tobacco-friendly 4th circuit, they might as well have been.

As the President himself points out in the article, "The 4th Circuit has the largest
African American population of any circuit in this country, yet it has never had
an African American appellate judge. It's long past time to right that wrong."


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