In the conservative world, there is a saying that goes, “The only
thing worse than a liberal Democrat is a Republican who thinks like a
liberal Democrat.” That little colloquialism rang true again yesterday,
compliments of GOP House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert, proving once again
that there is no constitutional party in control of Congress.

Hastert, for whatever reason, further weakened constitutional
protections on firearms Wednesday by proclaiming that he not only now
supports background checks at gun shows, but he also wants to raise the
legal age of handgun ownership to 21 in all states.

Hastert told CNN, “I’m just saying 21 is basically a standard of
adulthood, and there’s probably a uniformity that fits there. … On the
background check issue, he said, “I think there needs to be uniformity
in what they do at gun shows and what they do in a retail business.”
Hastert made his comments shortly before the Senate voted 78-20 to
require the sale of “secure gun storage or safety devices” with all
handgun purchases.

This disgrace follows a reversal last week in the Senate, whereby
Republicans initially stood tall against further gun rights
infringements by rejecting a Democrat-led measure to require background
checks at all gun shows. Within 24 hours, the Republicans — claiming
they had “heard from their constituencies” on the matter — reversed
their unusually brave decision to defend the Constitution from further
attempts by congressional Socialists to turn America into the next
Maoist-Marxist “utopia.”

It’s interesting that Hastert centered on the concept of “uniformity”
when making his comments to CNN. “Uniformity” dictates that we make all
gun laws the same, he says, even though right now, the legal age to buy
a handgun in the U.S. is ‘uniform’ — it’s 18 years of age.

And speaking of uniforms, why does Hastert feel it’s OK to give
handguns to 18-year old soldiers but not 18-year-old civilians? As long
as neither is a criminal, and would support and defend this country with
that weapon, what in blazes is the difference?

There is no difference, really, considering that the Second
Amendment was brilliantly written to assure that Americans could not
only defend themselves against an oppressive government, but also
against any enemy foolish enough to attack a nation with 200 million
firearms in circulation.

Then, of course, there is this fact: Hastert, like many of his
colleagues who wear GOP lapel pins, are nothing more than cowards and
hypocrites. Like millions of other conservatives, I am shaking my head
wondering what happened to the will of the Republicans to defend the
Constitution in the whole of the U.S. Congress?

I have some theories. Bear with me.

I don’t believe for a second that tens of millions of Americans “made
their opinions promoting more gun control” known to House and Senate
Republicans. So this garbage about GOP members “listening to their
constituents on this issue” is a bald-faced lie. We all know that.

Does that mean that all of these Republicans are just closet
liberals? Of course not; I do truly believe that most GOP members are,
in their hearts, conservative and lovers of individual freedom.

So what gives? I have a word I think best describes the endless
series of perpetual cave-ins to liberal Democrats and President Clinton
since 1994: Filegate. Think about it.

I don’t think any reasonable person can believe that a president as
obviously corrupt as Bill Clinton could survive ten minutes in
office without a whole lot of dirt on his political opponents. And I
don’t think any reasonable person can believe that the Democrats, led by
Clinton, are so politically brilliant as to “outmaneuver” the
Republicans so often, and on so many diverse issues — unless these
liberal socialists are hanging some mighty dirty laundry over the heads
of dozens of Republican congressmen and senators.

After all, why else would Clinton have seized them? The very fact
that he had them, sent a signal to Republicans that they had better
leave the issue of Filegate alone or suffer the political consequences.
In some measure the tactic worked, because it prevented some Republicans
from rising in rank while forcing others to fade away or resign. What
else could possibly have caused such damage other than sordid filth
contained in a member’s FBI file?


Since the GOP “revolution,” led by former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich, I cannot think of one single issue where the
Republicans have prevailed, either to limit the size and scope or to
limit the power of the federal government.

Since 1994 taxes overall have gone up, not down.

Since 1994 Americans have far more, not far fewer, gun control laws.

Since 1994 Congress has been paralyzed while trying to outlaw the
most blatant form of infanticide known as partial birth abortion.

In the past five years federal agencies have grown in size, funding
and power. Republicans could not even get rid of the National Endowment
for the Arts, for crying out loud.

Since 1994 the U.S. military has grown steadily smaller but has been
deployed to more places around the globe than were British troops in the
days of English empire-building.

Since 1994 Americans have seen their take-home pay either stagnate or
fall in terms of real dollars, while corporations have reaped
huge profits, driving Wall Street over the 11,000 mark.

In the past five years, overall inflation — while still low — has
climbed, not fallen (if you don’t believe this one, tell me why an
average small car cost $15,000 in 1994 but it costs nearly $22,000

Under the “control” of Republicans in Congress, public education has
gotten worse but more expensive, despite their public pronouncements of
support for school choice.

Since 1994 more scandals have gone unpunished than in the 40 years

In five years public displays and public support for God and
Christianity in general has been curbed not expanded, as the First
Amendment suggests it should be.

Since 1994 more Internet regulation has been proposed, not less.

In five years time, more government snooping and invasion of privacy
has been “legalized,” not less.

Before Republicans came into office, it used to be illegal for the
police to stop, search, then seize a person’s car — regardless of the
charges — without a search warrant mandated by the Fourth Amendment.

In view of all of these realities, can any serious conservative
really say that the Republican Party has been good for the
Constitution and the rights proscribed therein?

A Republican presidential hopeful said this week that unless the GOP
shapes up and aggressively begins to reinstate policies which propelled
it to power in 1994, there is a real chance that the Party of Lincoln
may lose most of its formerly diehard (read conservative)
constituents to a “viable, powerful third party — but not along the
lines of Ross Perot’s Reform Party.” I say, let it happen — and tell
me where to get a party membership card.

After all, if most influential Republicans are too dirty themselves
to oppose Dirty Guy No. 1 — Bill Clinton — then conservatives don’t
need them in office any longer anyway. Most of these people are already
voting and acting like liberal Democrats already so where is the big

I may be wrong about Filegate, but I’m not wrong about the sum total
of Republican “defeats” and cave-ins since 1994, or the fact that
overall, constitutional freedoms have taken it on the chin.

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