Dems fold on Ashcroft

By Alicia Montgomery

Published February 5, 2001 8:00PM (EST)

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After working hard all my life and contributing continually to the Democratic case, I am furious at this latest show of downright cowardly acts by our so-called Democratic Party.

They fell like dominoes to the words and acts of Trent Lott and Tom DeLay, to act as their slaves for the next four years. When it came time for the Democrats' voices to be heard, they folded.

I do believe in two years, come election time, there will be more Democrats leaving. The ones who wouldn't listen to Sen. Kennedy and join the filibuster should be shunned the rest of their terms.

No wonder the stock market is falling and big layoffs are coming, with those bright pea-brain Democrats we have in office. Maybe they are going to start their own churches, and get that $45 billion contribution from the rest of us Democrats in extra tax money. Please give Daschle and Feingold a big allotment of it because they will never make it as president in this voter's opinion.

-- Seybourne Wales

Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization of Women, just can't understand why Feingold voted in favor of confirming Ashcroft. It must come as a surprise to her that a Democrat wouldn't toe NOW's party line. We can only hope that more members of Congress have the guts like Feingold to do the right thing as they see it.

-- David P. Graf

Once again the Republicans show they know how to play the game to win while the Democrats try to show us they know how to play "nice." Somehow in the last month the Republicans have defined bipartisanship as rolling over for Bush. And the Democrats, by and large, have bought it.

Where is the Democrats' sense of responsibility to the people who didn't vote for Bush and his agenda? Don't they understand that we expect them to represent our point of view? That means more than condemning Ashcroft's (or Norton's) record while buying their assurances that somehow they will act different in office once confirmed and then voting for them.

I was really hoping I could stop shouting at my TV set after the Florida debacle so I could get my voice back. But I've gone from being enraged at the Republicans to being furious at the Democrats. I'm now shopping for a new opposition party. Maybe Ralph Nader had a point when he said there was no difference.

-- Rory Murphy

What is not understood "inside the Beltway" is the extent to which happenings there are now instantly transmitted everywhere else. Those who decry the Democrats for not going to war on Ashcroft are too caught up in the inside game to realize that they look like jackasses to the rest of the country.

When the Republicans have a lock-step 51-vote majority (not counting Miller masquerading as a Democrat), the Dems are right to protest, squeal, scream, whatever. But they are also right to vote in favor of the president's nominee. That way, they register their concern for the record, but aren't counted as obstructionist.

Ashcroft will take care of his own and Bush's reputation soon enough. As it is, not only would the Dems lose, but Daschle could take a press hit for not being able to deliver the 30 no votes that he foolishly predicted on national TV.

Make no mistake. The only (legal) opportunity that the majority of America has to stop Bush and his agenda is to vote in a Democratic Congress in two years. All this vitriol wastes energy better spent volunteering at your local Democratic Party headquarters, or writing a check to them.

Focus, focus, focus!

-- Fred Arnold

By Salon Staff

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