Jewish World Review Sept. 8, 2003 / 11 Elul, 5763

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Who's looking out for us?



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Let me break this to you gently: Neither of the dominant political parties in America is looking out for you. Now, I know the ideologues on both sides will reject my thesis because they are like arrogant parents who will never admit that their darling children can do wrong. But both the GOP and the Democrats have veered away from looking out for you.

Let's begin with the party in power. The Republicans control the national agenda but have done little problem solving. We are slowly coming out of a recession, but the federal deficit is historic, the borders are still chaotic, there is no cohesive national health plan, and we are still overly dependent on foreign oil.

President Bush is popular because he vanquished the Taliban and has aggressively waged war on Al Qaeda and villains like Saddam. This is the president's strongest suit, and it may carry him into a second term. But Mr. Bush is also secretive and unsteady on many issues. The weapons-of-mass-destruction situation is a clear example. All Americans, but particularly those families who have lost soldiers in Iraq, deserve to be kept appraised of the WMD investigation. Fair-minded Americans will accept mistakes if they are made honestly, but there is no excuse for an information blackout on this important issue. We have captured enough Iraqis to get some kind of picture about what that country had or didn't have in the weapons department.

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And why hasn't President Bush urged Americans to conserve energy? Almost every week we find out another bad thing about our "friends," the Saudis. Recently, that country cut oil production for absolutely no reason other than to drive up prices. Thanks again, guys, you've been great in the war on terror.

Inexplicably, the Bush administration has not mandated fuel efficiency standards from American carmakers, nor have they urged Americans to use less fuel so we can send OPEC a message. Hey, Dick Cheney, can you explain that?

As far as the Democrats are concerned, you don't have to look any further than California. The nation's largest state has been rendered almost insolvent by Democrat party hacks who spend recklessly and tax ruthlessly. All over the country elected Democrats rarely impose discipline on public spending. They are in business to buy votes from special interests, and the working person be damned.

A new CBS News poll shows that two-thirds of registered voters can't name one Democratic candidate for president. These guys are largely invisible, because they lack the boldness or notoriety that Americans crave from public figures.

There is no question that Senator Hillary Clinton is the great hope of the Democratic Party, but look at her record. Mrs. Clinton was in charge of improving public education in Arkansas, and that didn't happen.

Her national health care proposal was hooted out of town, and her promise to improve economic conditions in upstate New York has been completely empty. Unemployment is up big in Buffalo and Rochester since she was elected.

Even if you are the most committed liberal on earth, this question demands an answer: What has Senator Clinton ever done to be the most powerful Democrat in the country?

So the political landscape on both sides of the aisle is bleak, and no amount of spin is gonna change the failures of both parties. President Bush needs to level with us and solve some problems. The Dems need to get their hands out of our pockets and get some new ideas.

Leslie Gore once sang: "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to." We should want to.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.

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© 2003 Creators Syndicate