2004-11-26

On Rather and Specter: Let's not lose our focus


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The election turned out better than I had dared hope, and like most Republicans, I'm pleased. This is an opportunity to do some great things in shaping our nation's future.

Instead, as Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) is considered for the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as Dan Rather announces that he will step down as Anchor at CBS News, I'm hearing some troubling messages.

On the radio here in Louisville, one group is running a series of ads fighting Specter's candidacy for the post that will be instrumental in handling the President's Supreme Court nominees. To be fair, Specter brough the firestorm on himself with his post-election comments defying President Bush, without whom Specter might very well not even be a Senator today. But scare tactics and gross exaggerations are the craft of Gore, Kerry and Kennedy.

And now we have so much dancing on the grave of Dan Rather. Sure Rather was a shameless partisan. Did the forged memo do him in? No. The memo was part of a several year progression that has seen Rather's credibility melt and his ratings decline. The fact that Rather was last among the evening anchors and was cementing that last-place position year after year did him in. Let Rather and CBS front that the departure is on Rather's terms. He's been irrelevant for quite a while now. The official time and manner of his departure is merely a formality.

My point is: This isn't a game. It's not about winning and losing. It's about educating children and keeping our country safe. It's about not crippling this nation and its citizens with taxes. It's about reining in government and creating a moral environment in which decency and humility are championed. When you focus on winning you engage in tactics which negate much of the good you might have done.

The common wisdom is that one must shifth their campaign message to accomodate voters in order to be elected and govern with one's true ideology.

Everyone involved in the process; candidates, campaign staff, pundits and VOTERS need to re-think this. During the campaign and election, talk your walk. And then walk your talk.

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