07 April 2005

Florida GOP politicized Pope's death

As the first item of business today in the Florida Senate, Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) sponsored a resolution honoring the legacy of Pope John Paul II. While the thought was considerate, it is the political rhetoric of the resolution that should offend all Catholics and non-Catholics who equally mourn the loss of this great man.

SR 2736, entitled Pope John Paul II, was a very thoughtfully worded piece, but one section sunk this resolution into the realm of GOP partisanship. At the bottom of page one of the resolution, the author credits Pope John Paul II for his fight against communism, then grants a gratuitous plug for former President Ronald Reagan. This follows along with the typical GOP talking points, which attempt to credit Reagan for everything the discovery of fire to the stars in the sky.

Why didn't the Senate Republicans cite other presidents? How about President Truman, who deserves the most credit of all our presidents since his Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan laid the initial groundwork in our fight against communism? How about Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson who maintained strong opposition to the spread of communism? How about President Kennedy who saved the world through strength during the Cuban Missile Crisis? How about President Nixon who opened the door to China and allowed American capitalism to weaken the hold of communism in that country? And how about President Jimmy Carter, who was the first one to declare that the struggle against communism was a human rights issue? All of these presidents deserve as much, if not more, credit than Reagan, but I'll tell you why they shouldn't have been mentioned. Because in a resolution remembering Pope John Paul II, it would have been inappropriate. Shame on the GOP for dishonoring the Pope for their own political gain.

The idea that the Senate Republicans would use a memorial for the Pope to push their own pro-Reagan propaganda is sad and disgraceful. Considering their despicable behavior regarding the Terri Schiavo case however, we should not be surprised.


Blogger Mike said...

To find that the GOP would not only cross that line, but then go even further as to use it to promote the Reagan legacy is simply disgusting.

Good job James, for also pointing out that the original "Cold Warriors" were Democrats (Truman/Marshall). I enjoyed your inclusion of both Eisenhower and Nixon as a nod to Republican contributions as well.

It should be noted, that only the Democratic Presidents were willing to commit our military to defend the world against communism (Truman/Kennedy/Johson). Jimmy Carter's choice to enact a grain embargo against Russia, and boycott the 1980 Olympics also had a hand in weakening the foundations.

By comparison, Both Eisenhower and Nixon signed treaties ending the Korean War (which was a stalemate) and the Vietnam War (which was clearly a loss). Two Republicans who cut and run, vs. two Democrats who stood and fought says more about Democratic resolve than GOP resolve to end communism.

As for Reagan? Well after our barracks got bombed in Lebanon, he too cut and run and spent the rest of his term sending guns to Nicaragua and invading Grenada...and frankly it took a lot more than saying "Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL" to bring down the Soviet system.

In the end, it was East and West Geman citizens who did that for themselves.

10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sick sick sick! why aren't the democrats doing anything? Of course, dem chair maddox is too busy running for governor to care about the party. what a disappointment he is!

2:52:00 PM  
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