Party of Government Obstructs Governance
by LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET)
February 17, 2017
A brief exchange on leadership perceptions occurred in 1961 between President John F. Kennedy and Iraeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion as they met in New York City. Late to the meeting due to a domestic political issue, Kennedy apologized explaining, "Mr. Prime Minister, you have no idea what it's like to be president of 180 million people." Ben Gurion's purported response was, "Mr. President, you have no idea what it's like to be prime minister of 2 million prime ministers!"
Ben Gurion shared a reality of Israeli politics: All Israelis hold contrary opinions and assume the role of prime minister to press them forward. Obviously, such an approach to governance made life most difficult for the elected prime minister.
This statement is true today about the Democratic Party leadership. No leader is without a contrary opinion to that held by our elected president and, as such, committed to making his governance most difficult.
Voters not only denied Democrats the White House in the 2016 elections but also a majority in both Houses of Congress. Consequently, party leaders' actions have not only become obstructive of President Donald Trump's effective governance but destructive to our national security as well.
Such leadership goes beyond politics. It encourages violence and the chaos and anarchy emanating therefrom. So committed is it to obstructing governance, the party is incapable of grasping its own hypocrisy in doing so.
Newly elected presidents are normally afforded a sense of expediency and cooperation in granting congressional approval of Cabinet nominees. But Democrats have worked hard to disrupt the process. Nowhere was this more evident than Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination for U.S. attorney general.
Democratic opponents endeavored to link the senator to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which he denied. The effort to derail his nomination failed, despite attempts to go back decades to sling mud.
(Interestingly, it was the Democratic Party that gave birth to the KKK.)
While choosing to attack Sessions by reading on the Senate floor a 1986 letter written about him by Coretta Scott King opposing his nomination for a federal judgeship, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., demonstrated the Democrats' hypocrisy by ignoring a 2000 CNN video in which King praised him.
Even Martin Luther King's niece criticized Warren for playing the race card during debate on Sessions' nomination.
Most hypocritical too is the gall of Democrats making unsubstantiated, decades-old allegations against Sessions while promoting today as a candidate for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairmanship Rep. Keith Ellison.
By his own admission, Ellison has been a recent supporter of a black extremist hate group, the Nation of Islam. That organization's leader, Louis Farrakhan, has suggested that justice for blacks calls for violence against whites.
It is understandable Ellison would adhere to such hatred. After all, he is a Muslim who, as an adherent to the Quran's teachings, believes non-Muslims, just like homosexuals, are not to be tolerated.
Yet, when another DNC chairmanship candidate, Vincent Tolliver, pointed out that Ellison's Islamic faith called homosexuality a crime punishable by death, thus raising the issue of his tolerance towards gays, ironically Tolliver was expelled from the race.
Astonishingly, despite Ellison's negative baggage, he remains the leading contender for the DNC chairmanship position - an election taking place later this month. As one critic points out, the hatred Democrats have for Trump may well blind them to the hypocrisy of electing Ellison.
The Democratic Party leadership had announced after Trump made his Cabinet nominations that it would aggressively target eight of his nominees. But it now looks as if seven of the eight will be approved. So what have the Democrats' obstructionist efforts accomplished, other than to foment anger?
Feeding such anger has led to violent protests against conservatives, such as that witnessed at Berkeley University on Feb. 1. It is difficult to say what is more shocking - administrators there banning security from stopping the violence for fear it would escalate (in total disregard for the safety of victims being injured and property being damaged) or that party representatives declared their personal pride over the protests. (Police inaction to protect victims coupled with masked protestors hiding their identities have now triggered an FBI investigation.)
But such statements of support have become even more ludicrous, as evidenced by a Nevada Democratic Party field organizer who claimed "it is a violent act" to suggest protests should be peaceful! It is logic such as this, perhaps, that explains Ellison's candidacy.
Meanwhile, a Florida Democratic Party representative described the liberal Berkeley rioters beating up on police and conservatives as a "beautiful sight." This representative somehow naively equated what was happening on campus as "protesting against unconstitutional order." In actuality, it was just the opposite - hypocritically, it was protesting against "constitutional" order.
The actions of the Berkeley protesters and their supporters underscores the distinction between 20th and 21st century fascists - "in Germany, the fascists goose-stepped; in America, they jog."
Democratic Party leaders have so politically charged the air as to invite the most reprehensible of acts by activists. In Oregon, as a Christian preacher recently espoused the word of God outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, a profane young woman attacked him, shoving a bloody maxi-pad into his face.
Things have gotten so bad, lawmakers are now personally experiencing a backlash as well. Who would have thought it ever necessary to do so, but legislation is being proposed to protect people from protester violence and to force those responsible for providing security at protests to do their job.
Even Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel has become frustrated with his party's antics. He warns fellow Democrats they need to "take a chill pill," recognizing they won't be reclaiming national power soon and need to realize they are in it for the long haul. Hopefully this realization is accompanied with a recognition of their responsibility to help, not hinder, governance.
During times of great trouble in our history, great leaders have arisen to unify the nation. Sadly, we still need to await their arrival.
A version of this piece also appeared on http://www.wnd.com/
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.