Rascals Whupped & Kicked Out of Office!

The vast majority of rascals are getting reelected tonight. That’s the bad news.

But since I am a “glass one-eighth full” kind of guy, let’s focus on some of the bad guys going down in flames.

Here are two of my favs from the evening so far. Who else should we be celebrating here?

Chris Shays, a Connecticut Republican and one of the most pious and greasiest members of the House, just conceded victory. He weaseled his way into another term in 2006 and then double-crossed voters who thought he had reformed.

Elizabeth Dole just saw her Senate career crash and burn. At least North Carolinians have repented of their folly in electing her in 2002.

I had some fun with Dole’s campaign for the presidency. Here’s the lead paragraphs of a piece touting her achievements from the American Spectator from June 1999:

HEADLINE: Liddy Dole’s Regulatory Ride

BYLINE: James Bovard.

Maybe it is my fault that Elizabeth Dole is famously terrified of “unscripted” encounters with the press.

Ten years ago, researching an article on a federal job training program for Reader’s Digest, I asked for an interview with then-Secretary of Labor Dole. Her press secretary put me off, first wanting to know whether the secretary’s picture would appear with the piece. (I told her that, since I was a mere freelancer, such matters were out of my hands.) Finally, after much suspense, I learned that a 30-minute meeting would be granted.

On October 12, 1989, Bill Schulz, the managing editor of Reader’s Digest, and I arrived for our appointment with Dole. We barely had time to enter her palatial office suite and sit down before the secretary launched into a filibuster about what the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) meant to her. She picked up a framed photograph from her desk showing her hugging a black teenage girl at a White House ceremony the previous July, and recalled: “She cried–and I cried–and we hugged!” Dole kept talking rapidly, seemingly to run down the clock.

I finally interrupted her in mid-sentence and asked, if JTPA was such a well-run program, why had it given $3 million to finance a gay job-matching network run by the Gay and Lesbian Service Center in Los Angeles?

Dole froze. After a pause, she said she did not know anything about that. Schulz and I asked for her response to findings of the General Accounting Office and the Labor Department’s inspector general about deep structural flaws in the program. Looking indignant, she declared that she had not expected to be asked those kind of questions. She showed no awareness of any of the major criticisms raised by the government’s own auditors. About this time, I noticed that the press secretary’s knees were visibly shaking and I feared that the young woman might faint at any moment. Dole soon made it clear that the interview was over.

Elizabeth Dole is revered by moderates and much of the media, hailed as the Republican answer to the gender gap, and treated as one of our most distinguished public servants. In fact, during her tenures as Reagan’s secretary of transportation and Bush’s secretary of labor–the most significant jobs in her political career–Dole blundered blindly from one wrongheaded and costly program to the next. Having helped open some of the worst public policy Pandora’s boxes of recent decades, she remains oblivious to the resulting damage. Now touted as a realistic possibility for the Republican presidential nomination, her record suggests that she would actually be more at home in the
pro-regulation, anti-business mainstream of the Democratic Party.


10 Responses to Rascals Whupped & Kicked Out of Office!

  1. Dirk W. Sabin November 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    Well, at least the Democrat Party now has a standard bearer who clearly understands the power of discursive government. The media will oblige him and more. One wonders if we will see rise some small government , laissez fire, liberty-centric intellectual conservatives to counter Mr. Obama, raise him and turn this rout into a real high stakes poker game of productive results.

    The sanctimonious script-adhering apparatchiks of the current GOP, both Neo-Con and Populacho Cultural Conservatives have plunged the rig into a ditch. Talent will be required now and that aint something that can just git bought.

  2. Jim November 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    On the bright side, Newt Gingrich has signaled that he would be willing to re-enter public life to lead a new Revolution.

  3. Dirk W. Sabin November 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    Newt Gingrich offering to lead a “new Revolution” of the GOP is like the Unibomber offering to take over PETA to introduce a more vigorous approach. On second thought….that might actually have some logic whereas Newt offering to lead the scuttled Republicans is like Pee Wee Herman offering to lead the Red Cross….When will we be rid of these scheming cranks? The GOP is like a bad S. Clay Wilson Comic strip without benefit of humor.

  4. Marc November 6, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    I wish that I could have seen Dole’s expression when you mentioned $3 million in funding for a gay job-matching program. She and her press secretary probably expected you to follow their lead and limit the interview to a few polite questions about the tearful hugging photo. I’m sure that is what the MSM would have done in the same situation.

  5. Lester Ness November 6, 2008 at 6:31 am #

    Newt returning to public life? What’s he been doing? Still selling one-sided history lectures on video to low-level Bible Colleges?

    Lester Ness

  6. Jim November 6, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    Dirk – your mastery of analogies is rare in this age of declining literacy…

    Newt Gingrich as Unabomber… I expect he would be akin to some of the nitwits in the 1960s who blew themselves up with their own pipebombs.

  7. Jim November 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm #

    Marc – Ms. Dole looked a bit thunderstruck.


    Reader’s Digest hanged tough on that story – they did not flinch from exposing Dole’s and the Labor Department’s follies.

    Unfortunately, the Digest did not keep up that record.

  8. Ron Moss November 7, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    Could you come up with something like A Republic deficit syndrome? Since the founders rejected a democracy calling it a volcano that would consume itself.

  9. Marc November 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    Jim, the complete inability or unwillingness to look at the muck and carnage generated by government programs has become almost synonymous with being good (compliant) citizens as well as performing what is currently passing for state-of-the-art journalism. You are unusually adept at cutting through the glossy rose colored veneer of the politicians and bureaucrats feculent falsehoods like a laser beam.

  10. Jim November 7, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    Marc – thanks for the kind words.

    Yep, it is puzzling that there is so little interest on government abuses.

    People just don’t appreciate the macabre like they used to.