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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Great Moments In Democracy

The Old Crow flies us to an article about Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who seems to be a "speak first, reflect later" type of guy. Speaking to an overwhelmingly anti-war audience, the soundbite that caught the world's attention was:

"If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," Moran said at the forum in Reston, Virginia, outside Washington last Monday. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should."

Oh, please. But rather than join in the bashing on that comment, I enjoyed the rest of the article. A photo of the soon to be former Congressman in floppy shoes and a big red nose would complete the picture, but we will have to settle for text.

So how about this at a meeting of concerned citizens, most of whom are anti-war?

Democratic opposition in Congress would be futile at this point, he said, and may cost the Democrats their seats, a risk Moran said he was unwilling to take.

Can't fault his lack of candor.

"We look to you to make it not happen," Reston resident Adrian Farrel told Moran. "...So what are you going to do?"
Moran replied that his 13 years in Congress had given him a certain measure of credibility but added, "I need to use that in a measured way so I don't lose it."

Well, I think you just lost it. Bummer. And others found him to be a bit of a downer as well:

"I'm really depressed," said Farhanahz Abdul Haseeb of Herndon. "In between all the 'blah blah blah' he did, the most important thing he said is he won't say anything on the floor because he will lose his seat."
"I think some of us wish he would push the members of Congress a little more perhaps," said Paul Murphy of Reston.

Well, the "lose his seat" scenario seems to have developed in any event. Now, a great moment in citizen's democracy:

SEVERAL PEOPLE got up during the question-and-answer session and asked Moran how they could help prevent a war.
"Use the tools of democracy," he answered urging them to write letters to the editor, call the radio shows and send letters to their senators and to the White House.

Yes, just don't expect Congress to act, as noted above. And evidently, he had developed an appetite for shoe leather, because he re-inserted foot in mouth with this next bit:

...he cautioned against taking part in the protest movements that have sent millions of people into the streets worldwide.
"The protest marches so far have been relatively ineffective in the United States," he said. "The speakers chosen have not been credible."
When asked who these speakers were, he said: "The worldwide socialist movements, the Al Sharptons of the world, the Cynthia McKinneys."

Yes, socialists and blacks. Can anyone stop this guy?

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