Friday, March 18, 2005

The rage of Bob Taft

Bob Taft chaired the Committee on Un-Republican Activities.

Taft, a man of great stature, the former Senator from Ohio and Presidential aspirant, looked down from the chair to the witness that had been brought before the committee. He felt disdain, utter disdain for the man who had brought shame upon the party that he had done so much to champion.

First, he said, tell us about your management of the national budget. You inherited a budget that was in surplus. We had an opportunity to retire the national debt and leave a legacy to our children of moral and fiscal strength. In two regards here, you have committed sins against our party and our nation. You cut taxes and led the nation into fiscal profligacy, and you fought a war without paying for it.

The witness squirmed in his seat and began to protest. We needed the tax cuts to promote economic growth!

Quiet! Taft thundered, his 300-plus pound frame trembling as he raged. So you are a Keynsian! Just as I suspected.

Taft went on. You took the nation to a war on some speculative fears and theories, and have tarnished our nation’s name, spent our treasure, and overseen the murder of our youth. Foreign adventurism is anathema to all that we stand for!

The witness sat up proud in his chair. I was defending the nation against her enemies, he protested.

Quiet! Taft enjoined. The world is full of dictators. The war you chose was not against those who attacked us, but rather was a contrivance to settle family scores. Believe me, I know about family scores and family honor. These are things to be settled, but as men of honor, not in ways that despoil the public purse.

The witness remained silent, realizing that to question the chair was futile.

And you have run roughshod over the very civil liberties that are the core of our Party and our nation.

But the terrorist…the witness blurted out, unwilling to hold his tongue.

Terrorists, nonsense! Without civil liberties we have no nation to defend, Taft went on, each of us must defend our homeland, but we can never walk away from our core values as a nation. The gummint can never be allowed to trample on the rights of the individual, not as long as our Party, OUR Party still lives. If you were half the Republican I am, you would understand.

I am half the Republican you are, the witness rebuked, a grin slipping across his face.

Quiet! Taft screamed, angry now that things had turned personal. I will not countenance your efforts to resort to personal attacks. Your Grandfather would be ashamed at your conduct here today, and your conduct as President. Prescott Bush was a friend of mine, sir, and a true Republican. And you, sir, are no Prescott Bush.

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