Tuesday, June 07, 2005

(Not-so) Twisted World of Harold W. #5

by Kyle Michaelis
Harold W. Andersen's most recent OWH column certainly contained some note-worthy points. First, he shared his own perspective that Gov. Heineman's selection of the Chimney Rock state quarter design was purely political, as:
Tourism boosters in western Nebraska would be more likely to have some influence on next May's Republican gubernatorial primary than would historians and others supporting the Standing Bear design.

So it was no surprise to me when Heineman announced his choice of the Chimney Rock/covered-wagon design - a rather pedestrian choice but understandable from a political point of view.

Andersen failed to mention the hypocrisy underlying the proposed "Standing Bear" quarter already discussed here. He was similarly just shy of the mark as he tackled the right wing's extremist complaints about the judicial filibuster compromise in the U.S. Senate. Andersen understands that:
Especially incensed have been some conservatives who say the only acceptable course is to force up-or-down votes on all of Bush's nominees for judgeships.

The religious right's feeling is that all of Bush's nominees are likely to be conservatives who can be trusted to find any way they can to restrict or outlaw abortion and make other decisions with which the religious right is comfortable.

From there, however, he foolishly excuses their power grab as business as usual, as if both sides of the issue are exactly the same. After speaking about the necessity of compromise, he asks rhetorically:
Is "my way or the highway" to become the new norm in approaching controversial political issues?

There is nothing normal about what the Republican Party is doing here. Under the guise of restoring the "traditional" constitution, they seek to circumvent 200 hundred years of progress in the realms of personal and religious freedom. For this, Andersen let's them entirely off the hook either because he can not see it or can not say it.

In his third and final mini-column, Andersen reveals that he's been invited to a $2,500/plate dinner in honor of President Bush and in testimonial to those like Andersen "who played vital roles in Bush's re-election campaign." To this, he responds:
I didn't realize I played a vital role. I simply pointed out some ways in which Bush seemed to me to be a better candidate than John Kerry - not a particularly difficult choice, in my opinion.

Au contraire. Let us not forget the groundwork Andersen has laid for decades in Nebraska for just such a candidate as President Bush and just such a political monstrosity as the Republican Party of 2005. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this has been his life's work, and he deserves this "honor" even if it comes with a hefty price tag. He's already sold them his soul and the future of this state - what's 25 hundred bucks compared to that?


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