Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Tom Harkin's Temper Tantrum

Opinion Journal's "Best of the Web Monday featured an angry screed from Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa against Judge Priscilla Owens and the Christian Right.

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, though, is following the Dean example, to judge by this report from columnist Robert Novak:

Harkin, appearing on liberal Randi Rhodes's national radio talk show, became animated as he said of [Priscilla] Owen: "This is not a person to put on the bench for a lifetime appointment. This person is wacko! She's wacko!"

On the same program, Harkin said Christian broadcasters are "sort of our home-grown Taliban." He added: "They have a direct line to God. And if you don't tune into their line, you're obviously on Satan's line."

Tom Harkin is dangerous to the United States. He's not dangerous because he might foment a rebellion, or because he would sponsor attacks upon this nation, but because he's filled with Democratic Party-sponsored hate.

Looking back over Judge Priscilla Owens' long tenure in the Texas judicial system shows no "wacko" behavior. There are no FBI files that show her involved with any extremist groups, or issuing any extremist statements, on the left or right. She appears to be an intelligent, capable legalist, well-versed in both the laws of the United States and the laws of Texas. Tom Harkin's labeling her a "wacko" demands that he provide some type of proof. Don't hold your breath waiting for it, though.

Harkin also spews the party propaganda by identifying Christian broadcasters and alternative media as "America's Taliban". Excuse me? I read my local newspaper, the Gazette, in its dead-tree edition, and a half-dozen other newspapers on the Internet. I've never seen a word about Baptists stoning anyone for alledged adultery. The Methodists have never blocked either female children or grown woman from attending public school, up to the Doctorate level. The Catholics don't require women to dress in head-to-toe body coverings, and only allow them out of the house accompanied by an adult family member.

Using such rhetoric not only demeans the torture imposed upon people by the Taliban, but also cheapens a certain US Senator who made such a correlation.

The truth is, the Christian Right has held its hand for 60 or more years while the left had continuously attacked, vilified, and marginalized religion. That they will finally begin to respond to such institutionalized, demeaning marginalization sets people like Tom Harkin frothing at the mouth in rage.

Too bad. Times change. People change. The world changes. It's time for the Democrats to recognize that such a change has taken place, and accommodate itself to those changes. The world certainly won't change to accommodate the Democrats. If the party refuses to acknowledge these changes and respond to them, it will be further and further marginalized until it no longer exists.


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