Jan. 04, 2005 #01:  

Political Pedagogy: Christine Todd Whitman slams George W. Bush; Coalition of the Charitable for Tsunami Aid eclipses U.N.; Political Balance: George Bush 41, Bill Clinton 42 and George Bush 43.

            Most, if not all, of those who are farthest to the right of center would abolish the Department of Education, repeal Medicare (rather than merely refuse to expand it to include prescriptions), ban civil unions (rather than merely preserving constitutionally legitimate distinctions between such unions and marriage), ban abortion even in cases of rape, incest or serious risk to the health of the mother, and seek overt governmental support, rather than constitutionally legitimate respect, for their religious doctrines.  George W. Bush has expanded the Department of Education, increased its funding, expanded Medicare to include prescriptions, expressed tacit support for civil unions while advocating preservation of constitutionally legitimate distinctions between them and marriage, recognized that serious, moral people perceive absolutist positions on abortion to be not only constitutionally unsound but also morally offensive, and recognized that most religious Americans want the government to respect, but not embrace, their religious doctrines.  

            So why would Christine Todd Whitman author and publish (on the eve of Bush's second inauguration) a book tacitly, if not overtly, attempting to classify Bush as an extremist rather than as a common-sense centrist?  Can you say "2008"?  On Sunday's Meet the Press, William Safire predicted a "McCain/Rice" Republican ticket in 2008, but Whitman ostensibly would prefer at least "McCain/Whitman" if not "Whitman/McCain."  Whitman's strategy, ostensibly designed to attract "centrists" from the Democratic Party, is likely to offend more Republican centrists than the number of Democratic and independent centrists it's likely to attract.  The way to attract centrists is to repudiate extremists rather than trying to mischaracterize centrists as though they are extremists.    Whitman's effort to portray right-centrists views as "extreme" will redound to her detriment rather than benefit.  Even though she is, without doubt, a decent and honorable person, her ostensible strategy smacks of the same kind of self-congratulatory conceit that changed the JFK/Scoop-Jackson Democratic Party into the Incredible Shrinking Democratic Party.  

Whitman's Political Pedagogy.

I'm Christie Todd Whitman to push
my book which I wrote to bash Bush
for causing me fright
with shifts to the right,
against which I'll pull 'stead of push.

Dubya's Political Pedagogy.

Christine, you're a well-meaning lady,
however, your theories are shaky.
With feet right and left
my balance is deft
for centrist positions I'm taking.

Pat Robertson's Prayer.

I'm praying and pulling for Bush
to shift further rightward and push
a doctrine that's pure
enough that it cures
what ails "ecumenical" Bush.

Dubya's Answer to Prayer.

Though often on Faith I opine,
my views aren't doctrinally blind
because I beware
the people who dare
to "speak for" the God of Mankind.

Annan's Canons as Cannon.

I'm Annan, whose name rhymes with "canons,"
but please don't confuse them with "cannon."
I'm trying to pull
the Dubya t'ward full
reliance on canons of Annan.

Dubya's Cannon for Canons.

I say to my friend, Kofi Annan,
you're right to contend without canons
that might isn't "right,"
but right requires might
of cannon to canonize canons.

Remind you, I must, Kofi Annan
how empty to be proved your canons
when oil sold for food
was used to extrude
the funds for Saddam Hussein's cannon.

Indeed, since extremes I eschew
I'm able to balance anew
from opposite pasts
a team that I've cast
and dubbed "41, 42."

My team, "41, 42"
will serve my endeavor to prove
disaster relief
is best when bequeathed
without Kofi Annan's review.

            The sensible centers of both parties want their parties to eschew political extremes.  But Bush does not represent the extreme wing of the Republican Party.  By deeds rather than merely words, he has already rejected political extremes.  In contrast, the national Democratic Party embraced, rather than repudiating, its Michael Moore wing, fuselage, tail assembly, and landing gear.  Meanwhile, the far right is trying to portray Bush as a closet leftist while the far left tries to portray him as a closet fascist.  In the strange-bedfellows department, both the internationalist left and paleo-conservatives portray him as an imperialist.  More strange bedfellows:  Some neo-cons are going wobbly in the knees by joining the chorus of the left in demanding Rumsfeld's resignation.

            The end of the 2004 Election marked the beginning of the battles for the hearts and souls of both the Republican and Democratic parties.  Both parties will split between now and 2008, which will feature at least two sizeable "third party" movements-- the far left and the far right.  Bush cannot and will not satisfy the far right, and the centrist fragments of the Democratic party will not and cannot satisfy the far left.  The far left and far right can never join "for" anything but will present a powerful force "against" the center.  "Moderate" may be a "dirty word," but any party or movement that perceives "centrist" (i.e., non-extremist) to be a "dirty word" is doomed to minority-party (if not fringe-party) status.  Centrism-- i.e., left-of-center centrism ("left-centrism") and right-of-center centrism ("right-centrism")-- can, and should, dominate the American political landscape.  The country may flirt with multi-party coalitionism but will ultimately re-embrace bi-polar political competition between left-centrists and right-centrists.

            Yesterday, President Bush yet again demonstrated his ecumenical centrism by appointing his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Bill Clinton as a team, whom he dubbed "Bush 41 and Clinton 42," to join him on the national and international stage in marshalling and inspiring suitable charitable responses and disaster relief for the victims of Tsunami Catastrophe on December 26, 2004.  Yet again Bush's visionary centrism casts light revealing the smallness of the shadows cast by ideologically petty efforts to mischaracterize his centrism as extremism.  The pro-U.N. crowd is frustrated that Bush is arranging a Coalition of the Charitable (rather than genuflecting to the U.N.) to provide relief to victims of the Tsunami Catastrophe.  How ironic that he persuaded Bubba to join in such effort. 

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.  

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Jan. 04, 2005 #01 Daily Update at PoliSat.Com, where satire is always commentary, but commentary isn't always satire

Title:  Political Balance .

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