Culture of Expedience

Whether it be Paul Martin in Canada, Harry Reid in the United States, or Gerhard Schroeder in Germany, leftists have shown a propensity towards political expedience rather than a foundation of principle.

First, take the current Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Martin. In an English language television debate last Friday, he lectured Gilles Duceppe (leader of the Bloc Quebecois) that his Canada would not be taken away from him by the separatists. He somewhat—boldly declared that "his country" would not be torn apart by "treachery."

Did Martin use the same sort of rhetoric during the French language debate, geared mainly at Quebecers, the night before? No. Why? Because it would politically risky to make such a rigid statement and could push undecided Quebecers towards the separatists. In short, Martin took the easy road, the road more traveled.

It is also no great mystery that the Liberals are amazingly able to declare huge budget surpluses before each Canadian election. Martin is still stuck in the notorious sponsorship scandal which showed that the Liberal Party was engaged in a corrupt system of payoffs to advertising firms in exchange for political donations. The investigation by the Liberal Party declared that all $1 million would be returned to the public treasury.

What smells bad is that the Liberal Party was the one who investigated how much had wrongfully been taken and how much was owed. That's like letting a bank robber tell you how much he stole and all will be forgiven once he returns the cash. The Canadian people still do not know how much was actually taken and for how long the scam actually lasted. It is possible that it continues and is corrupting the current election underway right now.

Here in America, the Drudge Report published a picture of Harry Reid grinning like he just won a free breakfast at IHOP while standing next to President Bush as he signed the Patriot Act in October of 2001. Like his counterpart to the north, Senator Reid proclaimed to his minions that "We killed the Patriot Act."

 Is Senator Reid truly proud to have killed the piece of legislation he so happily stood behind in October 2001? What has changed?

Certainly the terrorist threat is still real, despite the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq are now free countries. There has been no major attack on American soil or attacks on significant American interests abroad since 2001. President Clinton was not able to prevent such attacks in his 8 years in office. Al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center, two American embassies in Africa, the ambush of American soldiers in Somalia, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, a failed plot to bomb LAX in 1999 that was foiled by customs agents in Seattle, and the attack on the USS Cole. The Patriot Act has been an essential domestic tool in the fight against terror and probably a central reason as to why no significant attack has occurred since 2001.

It is a tragedy for Senator Reid and the Democrats that they are choosing the potential for short term political gain by pandering to the extreme elements of their party to the detriment of the national interest.

Finally, the former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, has recently accepted a job with a Russian state controlled company, Gazprom, who plan to build a pipeline through Eastern Europe. Mr. Schroeder championed the pipeline while chancellor, despite the fact that it was very controversial politically. The Washington Post's Anne Applebaum has likened Schroeder's actions to Jimmy Carter negotiating the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama and then accepting a job overseeing the shipping lanes.

Schroeder has long had a reputation of having questionable character traits. His three ex—wives are a testament to that in itself, but now it seems his character is questionable politically as well. Certainly, it seriously calls into question his true motivations for his support for the pipeline while chancellor. This also raises concerns as to what were his true motivations for so vigorously opposing the Iraq War.

It is also a fact that the pipeline's Chief Executive is a former officer of the East German Secret Police, and a close friend of Vladimir Putin from when Mr. Putin was stationed in East Germany with the KGB. The pipeline is strongly opposed by other Baltic and Central European countries who could be cut off from the sole source of energy from Siberia. It should be noted that Mr. Schroeder frequently turned a blind eye to Russian efforts to eliminate the free press, commit atrocities in Chechnya, and suppress political rights.

My point is not that all leftists have no principle, but there is a systematic patter of expedience in the actions of major left—leaning politicians throughout the western world. There are plenty of conservatives with patterns of expedience as well, but the conservative leaders like Stephen Harper of Canada, President Bush, Prime Minister John Howard, and new chancellor Merkel seem to have more principle than their leftist counterparts. Its no wonder that the citizens of the west find so much disenchantment with their political processes. Its no wonder that the American people forgave President Bush for getting it wrong on WMD's in Iraq, because he truly believed he acted rightly in defending American interests. Character goes a long way.

Jonathan D. Strong, Esq. publishes The Strong Conservative.

Whether it be Paul Martin in Canada, Harry Reid in the United States, or Gerhard Schroeder in Germany, leftists have shown a propensity towards political expedience rather than a foundation of principle.

First, take the current Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Martin. In an English language television debate last Friday, he lectured Gilles Duceppe (leader of the Bloc Quebecois) that his Canada would not be taken away from him by the separatists. He somewhat—boldly declared that "his country" would not be torn apart by "treachery."

Did Martin use the same sort of rhetoric during the French language debate, geared mainly at Quebecers, the night before? No. Why? Because it would politically risky to make such a rigid statement and could push undecided Quebecers towards the separatists. In short, Martin took the easy road, the road more traveled.

It is also no great mystery that the Liberals are amazingly able to declare huge budget surpluses before each Canadian election. Martin is still stuck in the notorious sponsorship scandal which showed that the Liberal Party was engaged in a corrupt system of payoffs to advertising firms in exchange for political donations. The investigation by the Liberal Party declared that all $1 million would be returned to the public treasury.

What smells bad is that the Liberal Party was the one who investigated how much had wrongfully been taken and how much was owed. That's like letting a bank robber tell you how much he stole and all will be forgiven once he returns the cash. The Canadian people still do not know how much was actually taken and for how long the scam actually lasted. It is possible that it continues and is corrupting the current election underway right now.

Here in America, the Drudge Report published a picture of Harry Reid grinning like he just won a free breakfast at IHOP while standing next to President Bush as he signed the Patriot Act in October of 2001. Like his counterpart to the north, Senator Reid proclaimed to his minions that "We killed the Patriot Act."

 Is Senator Reid truly proud to have killed the piece of legislation he so happily stood behind in October 2001? What has changed?

Certainly the terrorist threat is still real, despite the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq are now free countries. There has been no major attack on American soil or attacks on significant American interests abroad since 2001. President Clinton was not able to prevent such attacks in his 8 years in office. Al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center, two American embassies in Africa, the ambush of American soldiers in Somalia, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, a failed plot to bomb LAX in 1999 that was foiled by customs agents in Seattle, and the attack on the USS Cole. The Patriot Act has been an essential domestic tool in the fight against terror and probably a central reason as to why no significant attack has occurred since 2001.

It is a tragedy for Senator Reid and the Democrats that they are choosing the potential for short term political gain by pandering to the extreme elements of their party to the detriment of the national interest.

Finally, the former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, has recently accepted a job with a Russian state controlled company, Gazprom, who plan to build a pipeline through Eastern Europe. Mr. Schroeder championed the pipeline while chancellor, despite the fact that it was very controversial politically. The Washington Post's Anne Applebaum has likened Schroeder's actions to Jimmy Carter negotiating the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama and then accepting a job overseeing the shipping lanes.

Schroeder has long had a reputation of having questionable character traits. His three ex—wives are a testament to that in itself, but now it seems his character is questionable politically as well. Certainly, it seriously calls into question his true motivations for his support for the pipeline while chancellor. This also raises concerns as to what were his true motivations for so vigorously opposing the Iraq War.

It is also a fact that the pipeline's Chief Executive is a former officer of the East German Secret Police, and a close friend of Vladimir Putin from when Mr. Putin was stationed in East Germany with the KGB. The pipeline is strongly opposed by other Baltic and Central European countries who could be cut off from the sole source of energy from Siberia. It should be noted that Mr. Schroeder frequently turned a blind eye to Russian efforts to eliminate the free press, commit atrocities in Chechnya, and suppress political rights.

My point is not that all leftists have no principle, but there is a systematic patter of expedience in the actions of major left—leaning politicians throughout the western world. There are plenty of conservatives with patterns of expedience as well, but the conservative leaders like Stephen Harper of Canada, President Bush, Prime Minister John Howard, and new chancellor Merkel seem to have more principle than their leftist counterparts. Its no wonder that the citizens of the west find so much disenchantment with their political processes. Its no wonder that the American people forgave President Bush for getting it wrong on WMD's in Iraq, because he truly believed he acted rightly in defending American interests. Character goes a long way.

Jonathan D. Strong, Esq. publishes The Strong Conservative.