December 06, 2005

The Blame Game

Well, you can tell that an election year is coming up. The Democrats are trying to indict Tom Delay for anything that they can possibly scrape up. Democratic mouthpieces are coming out of the woodwork to talk about how corrupt this administration is and attempting to tie them to every wrongdoer being indicted, investigated, charged or on trial. They've even trying to use the 9/11 comission in their desperate grab for power. It seems to me that when the original 9/11 report came out, they went to great lengths not to blame anyone for that horrible act of terrorism. Yes, Clinton could have done things differently. So could most Presidents before him. Of course that doesn't keep the Democrats from taking that report and attempting to point fingers.

It seems that the one thing they want to harp on most is the lack of a unified communication system for all police, fire, emergency and other first responders. The 9/11 comission had recommended this as a suggestion in their report. Now Democrats are saying that this "Republican stranglehold" on Congress is preventing anyone from doing anything to implement it. A number of Democratic congressmen are attempting to place the blame solely at the feet of the Republicans for this not happening yet. Now, I can't seem to find a straight story on the whole thing, but it looks to me as if Congress has been attempting to free up some spectrum for this for some time. There is currently a law that requires TV broadcasters to give up analog spectrum in favor of digital by December 31, 2006. Unfortunately, there was also a huge loophole left in that law. TV broadcasters only have to give up the spectrum in areas where 85% of the TV sets are digital capable. By those standards, it could take quite some time to clear that spectrum. Senator McCain (a Republican of all things) and Conrad Burns (another Republican) are attempting to change this by setting a hard date of January 1, 2009 for release of the disputed spectrum. This bill was amended in comittee (by another Republican!) to set the deadline at 2008 instead of 2009. It has currently been introduced to the Senate, but I can't find the status of it from there.

Now, there were a number of Democrats on TV last night at a press conference taking every possible shot at their Republican counterparts, and of course the emergency spectrum was something they harped on quite a bit. I don't seem to recall, however, any of them mentioning McCain's actions. But hey, maybe they just forgot. No, that couldn't be, because they actually did mention one part of McCain's bill. They mentioned the fact that the original estimate for getting the needed spectrum was $15 Billion, but the Republicans were only willing to spend $500 million on it. Their conclusion, of course, was that the Republicans wanted to put a cheap price tag on the safety of American citizens. Of course the actual truth of the matter is that passing McCain's bill will only cost a small fraction of what they started out wanting to spend. I can only see saving $14.5 million as a Good Thing.

The yammering went on for quite a while after that, but to be honest I lost interest in listening to how Evil Bush and his Republican Cronies are responsible for all the woes in our society. One of the reporters at that press conference must have gotten a little tired of it as well. He asked them why, if these issues were so important, the Democrats hadn't done anything about them. That was when the whole "Republican stranglehold" was mentioned.

So I just want to make sure that I have this straight. A conservative judge on the Supreme Court is such a horrendous threat to our American way of life that the Democrats are willing to stop the entire government from moving forward by filibuster simply to prevent him from being appointed. But when it comes to potentially saving the lives of thousands, or even millions of Americans, you are completly powerless? Something about that doesn't sound right. I'm pretty sure that any Senator or Congressman can introduce a bill. And I'm pretty sure that there are enough Democrats still in both houses that it would at least stand some reasonable chance of getting through. So take a good, hard look at yourself and give us a real answer. If this issue is as important as you say it is, are you REALLY doing everything you can to make sure it is taken care of?

By at 08:14 AM | Comments |