For God’s sake, will somebody get Tom Daschle off caffeine?
The South Dakota Democratic Senator, majority leader only because a political traitor named Jim Jeffords bolted the GOP, took the floor of the Senate Wednesday to scream and shout that Dubya is politicizing the war against terrorism.
“We ought not to politicize this war. We ought not to politicize the rhetoric about life and death,” Daschle said in his speech. “You tell those who fought in Vietnam and in World War Two they’re not interested in the security of the American people. That is outrageous, outrageous.”
Tom got his underwear in a bunch over Bush’s remarks on Monday that “the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people.”
This sent Tommy into a tizzy. In fact, it is a tizzy he’s been waiting for the past year to launch and he’s been pissed as hell that it took Bush this long to give him an opening.
Daschle is a partisan snake, a heartless viper who would turn the crucifixion of Christ into a political opportunity if it served his unlimited personal ambition.
Ever Since the terrorist attacks on 9-11-01, Daschle has been waiting for the right opportunity to turn the tragedy into a political issue that he can use to put more Democrats into office this November.
He watched dourly as Bush took control and rallied the American people during the crisis. It drove him crazy. As Dubya’s popularity soared in the polls, Daschle searched in vain for an issue, any issue, to turn attention away from the President’s appeal to the people.
Griping about the economy didn’t work. The corporate accounting scandals didn’t stick, despite the best efforts of the Democratic National Committee to manufacture culpability for both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
In recent weeks, aides reported Daschle was depressed because his party was running out of time to invent an issue that would sway voters in the midterm election.
Then Dubya gave him an opening. But it took more than 48 hours of meetings between Daschle and Democratic strategists to decide if this was the right time to launch an all out political attack on Bush. They talked, they argued, they called in more strategists and talked some more. According to Democratic sources, most in the room told Daschle that getting on the Senate floor and screaming his head off would be a bad move.
But Daschle ignored the advice and took the floor Wednesday.
Reaction came swiftly.
“The accusations levied against the president of the United States today cannot stand. This is not about unity. That’s the worst kind of division,” said Senate Republican leader Trent Lott.
“Now is a time for everybody concerned to take a deep breath, to stop finger-pointing, and to work well together to protect our national security and our homeland defense,” said Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
“Sounds like the Senator from South Dakota stopped taking his medication,” said retired Democratic political consultant Arnie Reynolds.
In fact, although Democrats are attempting to rally behind their Majority Leader, many are grumbling behind the scenes.
“My boss came back from the floor and said ‘you’re not going to believe what that SOB did,’” says one Democratic Senate staffer. “He was talking about the Majority Leader.”
While Tom Daschle may ignore the advice of political experts in his own party, he won’t – and can’t – ignore the demands of a powerful special interest group that owns his ass: organized labor.
Labor opposes Bush’s efforts to demand that employees of the new department of Homeland Security actually perform their duties and prove their worth. Instead, they want what organized labor always wants in a government job – a haven for incompetents, a place where achievement is stifled because all decisions rest with union bosses, not employers.
Labor owns most Democrats in Congress, but they control Tom Daschle to the point that he will not only bend over and grab his ankles, he’ll even pay for the Vaseline (using campaign contributions from labor, of course).
Senate sources say Daschle met with labor leaders before taking the floor on Wednesday and delivering his tirade against Bush.
They gave Daschle his marching orders, he pulled up his pants and headed for the Senate floor. And they probably didn’t even kiss him first or give him a reach around.