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Moving the Center Back to the Center

I don't know if recent comments by Howard Dean and Dick Durbin where made for this purpose or not, but they have created an opportunity for other Democrats to move to the "center", and actually still be a bit left of center.

I shouldn't be hard for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat who has presidential aspirations, to take advantage of this. It should be easy for them to stand up and say something like this,

"Hey, I don't agree with Sen. Durbin. I think it is obvious that Gitmo is not a gulag or a Nazi concentration camp, but, just because it isn't as bad as that doesn't mean it is something American's should be proud of or condone either. This administration needs to to tell the American people exactly what is going on there. We need to know that those prisoners are being given due process. The GOP will tell us that they don't leagally derserve due process, but I think most Americans feel that as Americans, we need to provide everyone in custody with the chance to know why they are being held, with access to lawyers, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. These are basic, fundamental things that Americans believe in, and supposedly what we are fighting for in Iraq. This administration's continued disregard for how the Arab world views Gitmo continues to make it more and more difficult for our soldiers in the field to do their job. The administration needs to make the process at Gitmo transparent, not only for the benefit of the American people but for the benefit of the American troops."

Something like that anyway. I mean the Republicans have been doing stuff like this for years. Some crazy right wing Senator will say something totally crazy and then Bush will say something that isn't quite as crazy and comes off sounding like a "centrist". Over the passage of time this tactic has moved the "center" further and further to the right. Now, Howard Dean and Dick Durbin are simply making it possible other Democrats to move the "center" back to the left a little. The problem is, Obama and Clinton et al won't stand up and do it.

Just in case you don't think there are Republican Senators who have said crazy things in the past, here is a sampling.

Sen Tom Coburn (R-OK).

"You know, Josh Burkeen is our rep down here in the southeast area. He lives in Colgate and travels out of Atoka. He was telling me that lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom at a time."

That is nothing compared to this one,

"I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life."

Then there is Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of Thune's fellow freshman senators who have called for Durbin to aplogize

"Let's stop whining about job losses."

And this one,

“folks teaching in school need to represent our values" if teachers are "openly gay, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools.”

And this one,

"In a debate Sunday with Democrat Inez Tenenbaum DeMint said openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in the state's public schools. DeMint defended that remark during an interview Tuesday with the Aiken Standard and said he would feel the same way about single, pregnant women who live with a boyfriend teaching if they were teaching a third grade child."

No discussion of crazy Republican senators would be complete without mentioning Sen Sam Brownback (R-KS). Crazy Sam is not particularly fond of the notion of same-sex-marriage, but did you konw that if same-sex couples where allowed to marry that child abuse and poverty would increase? That's what "good ol boy" Sam says.

"Social science tells us that child poverty, child abuse, and child developmental problems increase with the decline of marriage. It also tells us that the children of intact, traditional marriages are much healthier in body, spirit, and mind, more successful in school and life, and much less likely to use illegal drugs, abuse alcohol, or engage in crime than are children from homes without a mother and a father. This is not to say that good children cannot be raised in other family settings"

By that line of reasoning Sam must want to also have a constitutional amendment making divorce illegal too.

And then there was Senate Bill 2082 that Brownback offered up.

"Senate bill 2082, designed to allow federal, state, and local government officials to overrule all other laws by appealing to the "higher source" of all law ("God") and to forbid the Supreme Court from doing anything about it.

Unbelievable? Here's S. 2082's proposed addition to Sec. 1260 of Title 28, Chapter 81 of the U.S. Code: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."

In case you can't make sense of that, let Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution party break it down for you,

"This means, that the federal judiciary would be prohibited from interfering with any expression of religious faith by any elected local, state, or federal official. In other words, federal judges could not prevent the Ten Commandments from being displayed in public buildings or Nativity Scenes from appearing on court house lawns or 'under God' from being recited in the Pledge of Allegiance or prayers being spoken in public schools, etc. This bill would limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts in these matters."

So now Durbin and Dean are attempting to move the "center" back towards the actual "center" and the Republicans don't like it. I hope Durbin doesn't apologize. I do hope other Democrats take the opportunity say they don't agree with Durbin and actually move the country a little to the left.

By the way, when are these GOP Senators going to apologize for their crazy hatred?


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