(John Andrews debating Susan Barnes-Gelt on Colorado Public Television, Aug. 23) "The heroism of Casey Sheehan, an American patriot, is dishonored by the ravings of Cindy Sheehan, an America-hater. She calls our country fascist and our president a terrorist. That’s moral idiocy. She thinks the actual fascists, Bin Laden and his Islamic holy warriors, can be appeased by American surrender. That’s a prescription for national suicide. Stay the course, America. Stay the course." That was my closing argument in the Iraq/Sheehan segment of our latest Head On TV taping, Tuesday at Channel 12 in Denver. It will air on KBDI-12 and its statewide affiliates in daily rotation with four other topics for the coming month. Those topics are Judge Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court, Colorado's proposed tax increase, illegal immigration, and the 2006 governor's race. Click for airtimes. Here is the full script.
1. CINDY SHEEHAN: PATRIOT OR DISGRACE?
Susan: Cindy Sheehan went home to care for her mother, who suffered a stroke. She’s been camped outside of Bush’s ranch for weeks, waiting to ask the President what her son died for. Legions of Americans join her in questioning the war that killed her son Casey. Citizens of every political stripe have joined her in asking questions about this war. We all deserve answers from George Bush.
John: Casey Sheehan was fighting in Iraq to prevent the Islamic fascists from further devastating attacks on American cities. The London bombings, the 9/11 anniversary, and the missile shots in Jordan all dramatize how urgent that is. Casey was a volunteer soldier, a decorated veteran, who gave his life on a chosen mission to save his buddies. His mother’s loss is great, but she is certainly no patriot. She is a national disgrace.
Susan: What’s disgraceful is that nearly 2,000 American lives have been lost – and for what? Barely a third of Americans support Bush’s war. Either give the troops the money, armaments and military support they need – or get out before we lose thousands more of America’s sons and daughters. Can you spell tipping point? America is at the dramatic moment now, when everything turns upside down. Fasten your seat belt.
John: The media and liberals want Iraq to be Vietnam. Bizarrely, they dislike America and sympathize with our enemies and want us to admit defeat. Cindy Sheehan, a radical peacenik even before her son was killed, is their symbol – but a phony one. Middle America isn’t buying. Sheehan’s own family has disavowed her, and all the defeatist propaganda from Michael Moore can’t erase the memory of 9/11. We must and will win this global war.
Susan: Americans who understand the lessons of Vietnam are asking the right questions about what we can accomplish in Iraq and how and when. Einstein said it best: Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again, believing the outcome might be different. Gandhi phrased it this way: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you. Then you win.”
John: The heroism of Casey Sheehan, an American patriot, is dishonored by the ravings of Cindy Sheehan, an America-hater. She calls our country fascist and our president a terrorist. That’s moral idiocy. She thinks the actual fascists, Bin Laden and his Islamic holy warriors, can be appeased by American surrender. That’s a prescription for national suicide. Stay the course, America. Stay the course.
2. JUDGE ROBERTS NOMINATED TO SUPREME COURT
John: President Bush chose well. Judge John Roberts is everything a Supreme Court Justice should be. He’s smart, fair, decent, honest, thoughtful, principled, and experienced. Best of all, he believes in the original written Constitution, not the so-called “living” Constitution. The liberal attack machine has come up empty in seeking to discredit Judge Roberts, and no wonder. The Senate confirmed him unanimously two years ago. They should do the same this year.
Susan: John, you know the process of advise and consent, proscribed by – your term - the Original Written Constitution – which the framers envisioned as a living document - requires the Senate to thoughtfully and thoroughly question presidential nominees. It’s particularly important for the Senate to do so when the appointments last a lifetime. Judge John Roberts, a Constitutionalist, understands the importance of the process.
John: Thoughtful questioning, yes. But that’s not what the abortion lobby was doing with their outrageous and now discredited TV ad smearing John Roberts. That’s not what Democratic senators like Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy are gearing up for. Anyone who doesn’t share their leftwing ideology, anyone Bush nominates, is a dangerous extremist in their book. Colorado senator Ken Salazar is on the spot concerning Judge Roberts. Will Salazar be partisan or fair?
Susan: Ken Salazar – as he’s proven during his time in the Senate and years as Colorado’s attorney general – will be fair and objective. The real question is whether Republican right-wing fanatics will sit by quietly, while Judge Roberts, a smart, relatively centrist Republican is confirmed. The absence of a clear judicial record is a big worry for uber-conservatives concerned about a sheep clothed as a wolf.
John: Whoever Uber was, Susan, he certainly doesn’t speak for me. I’m a Reagan conservative, and I know more than enough to feel good about John Roberts from his days working for Reagan down to his present duties on the nation’s second-highest court. Judge Roberts will make an outstanding Supreme Court Justice, much in the mold of his judicial mentor, William Rehnquist. Soon may he start, long may he serve.
Susan: John haven’t you heard? Uber is down the road – waiting for Gidot. Judge Roberts seems a reasoned, smart and funny mainstream conservative. America will learn in due time – thanks to due process – what he’s truly about. And of course – as history demonstrates – his past doesn’t necessarily predict his future. Americans on both sides of the aisle hope Roberts is informed and possessed of a curious intellect. Time will tell.
3. REFERENDUM C & D CAMPAIGN IN HOMESTRETCH
John: Have you noticed, Susan? The Democrat-led campaign to cancel everyone’s TABOR refund, $3000 per family, is not catching fire. Colorado voters are hard to fool. They look at the improving economy and say no-thanks to the Romanoff rescue plan of higher taxes, deeper debt, and bigger government. Referendum C & D is going down.
Susan: John – want to sing along? I can’t really carry a tune but the words to your favorite song are all over town: I don’t care about roads and bridges I don’t care about courts and prisons- All I care about is $25 dollars for me – just me.
John: State spending increased from $10 billion to $15 billion in just five years. That’s no crisis. The C & D tax grab is favored by powerful teacher unions, self-interested corporations, and unaccountable tenured professors. It insults the common sense of taxpayers and will lose for that reason. Look for Colorado to ax the tax.
Susan: Taxpayer supported think tankers – you, John Caldara and out-of –state, anti-government luddites are the main opponents to C & D – most of ‘em don’t give a hoot about Colorado or its citizens. Local leaders who give a darn– are voting YES on C & D.
4. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION WORRIES GO MAINSTREAM
Susan: This nation’s abuzz over immigration. Governors of Arizona and New Mexico have declared a state of emergency at their respective borders. Bush has been promising immigration reform for nearly six years and once again, his mono-manical focus on an ill-conceived war, keeps him from attending to urgent matters at home.
John: The war against Islamic fascists over there and the concern about secure borders over here are two sides of the same coin. Both relate to America’s literal survival as a nation. Tancredo led the way in warning against economic invaders from Mexico and nuclear suicide squads from Mecca. Now others are waking up to the threat.
Susan: America’s survival depends a lot more on our ability to adapt to rapidly changing global economics and demographics. Our head in the sand energy policy, mediocre public education system and myopic, testosterone driven foreign policy are much greater threats to democracy than our schizophrenic border policies.
John: A defiant Mexican told a friend of mine in California, “Never mind learning English, we’re taking this place back.” Another said that to a friend of mine in Iowa. Aztlan, the dream of Latino secession for the entire Southwest, is promoted at universities here in Colorado. You better believe we need secure borders.
5. BRIDGES' EXIT SHAKES UP GOVERNOR’S RACE
Susan: Democrat Rutt Bridges withdrew from the Fall ’06 governor’s race. Now the field is wide open for a challenge former DA, Bill Ritter. I’ve still got my eye on Denver Mayor Hickenlooper –he’s got the discipline, the message and the personality to appeal to voters in every quadrant of Colorado.
John: Bridges was pathetic, frankly. Hickenlooper is soft on illegal aliens and hard on Christmas – not exactly a dream candidate outside of liberal Denver. Ritter is beating the drum for higher taxes – good luck with that. On the Republican side, Holtzman is gaining on Beauprez by fighting the tax increase. Salazar remains the wild card.
Susan: Beauprez and Holtzman are the jokes. Neither cleans up very well. Holtzman is many things – but he’s no responsible steward of this State. And Beauprez –typical politician is all over the board. Which side of the fence is he on – panderer to the right or spokesperson for pro-business, pro-Colorado moderates?
John: Colorado’s next governor will have his hands full. The state pension system is mismanaged and going broke. Teacher union guarantees and Medicaid giveaways are on the way to swallowing the entire budget. The Democratic legislature is on a spending spree. The state needs responsible, Republican leadership.