HATE BILL SHOOT-OUT LOOMS
By Rev. Ted Pike
13 Aug 07
Last week, President Bush warned the Senate against passing Kennedy's
hate crimes amendment as part of the military appropriations bill.
He said he would send both back to the Senate, demanding the hate
bill be removed.
Bush's threat is reminiscent of Wyatt Earp's impending gunfight
with the McLaurys and Clantons at the O.K. Corral in 1881.
The question then was, "Who runs Tombstone, Arizona?" -
the laws of the city or outlaws? The question now is, "Who leads
America?" - the power hungry "hate bill gang," advocating
legislation that will end free speech, or a President who is taking
a stand in defense of the First Amendment rights of the people?
This is intense drama that deeply concerns our freedom. High noon
will come after September 4 when the Senate returns and the military
reauthorization bill, delayed over five weeks during the summer recess,
is again brought before the Senate. A vote on the hate bill amendment
will come soon because passage of the military bill is top priority.
We will no longer be able to keep our troops waiting, especially
in Iraq, for necessary supplies and armaments.
On the other hand, if there is enough protest, Kennedy and co-sponsor
Gordon Smith could lose their nerve and withdraw the hate bill amendment.
If the hate bill becomes widely viewed as a primary obstacle to speedy
provision of support for our troops (an accusation the President
is already making), Kennedy and Smith may opt to attach their bill
to a less emotionally charged piece of legislation. Or they may attempt
to pass it as a stand-alone bill, as did the House earlier this year.
Their decision will be determined by the level of concern generated
by the American people before September 4. A year ago in very similar
circumstances, Kennedy insisted his hate bill be passed as a rider
to the Children’s Safety Act. Children were in danger, but
Kennedy would not allow vital child-protecting legislation to move
forward without his hate bill attached.
In April 2006, after Kennedy had blocked the children's bill for
six months, I suddenly went on high alert, tipped off by an unguarded
remark by Kennedy revealing hate bill strategy on Larry King Live.
Primarily through talk radio, I generated thousands of calls against
the bill to the Senate. Finally, Bill O'Reilly attacked Kennedy repeatedly
on Fox News TV, and over 12,000 outraged calls forced Kennedy to
capitulate. The hate bill was dead in the 109th Congress. Moral outrage
against Kennedy's insensitivity to human need - protection of America's
children - killed the bill. (See, Hate
Bill Holds America Hostage)
A similar opportunity exists today. Our soldiers are in danger.
Continued delay in passing the arms bill, because the President won't
sign it with the hate bill attached, could provoke public outrage.
This would make the hate bill amendment a political liability, causing
significant numbers of Senate Democrats and Republicans to vote against
August: Time for Action!
There's little doubt that Democrats have enough votes to pass the
hate bill amendment. So it's up to us, following the lead of Pres.
Bush, to heighten criticism, not just of this legislation but of
its two arch proponents in the Senate, Kennedy and Smith. The evils
of the hate bill are frightening enough. But if Kennedy and Smith
can be accurately portrayed, especially on talk shows and the internet,
as lacking compassion for the needs of our troops, humanitarian objections
to the hate bill amendment could again play a huge part in achieving
Up to this point, the progress of the hate bill has been beset
by an unexpected level of opposition. Such has come primarily from
listeners to alternative talk radio and the religious/conservative
right. Popular protest has caused hate bill promoters to change bills,
delay action, and alter stratagems. These delays provide a vital
opportunity for hate bill opponents to educate and energize the public.
Heightened opposition, especially during the next three weeks, will
increase the possibility of more strategic errors and delays for
this Orwellian legislation.
If the hate bill is passed this fall, the President's promised
confrontation with it will generate unparalleled interest in the
subject of hate crimes legislation. Bush has vetoed only a handful
of bills in the last 6-1/2 years. A veto of the hate bill would invite
enormous curiosity as to his reasons for such action.
For the past 5 years, discussion of the pros and cons of hate crime
legislation has been virtually banned from the national TV and print
media. The media wants the hate bill passed without controversy,
through the back door, without the knowledge or permission of the
American people. Yet despite such manipulation, alternative conservative
and religious media and leadership are generating a popular underground
rebellion against the hate bill that cannot be suppressed.
The bones of the lawless opponents of Wyatt Earp now rest on Boot
Hill. Let's bury the hate bill on Capitol Hill - before it buries
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Senators should know Americans will be angry with them if they
vote for the Kennedy/Smith hate crimes amendment. Call the Senators
from your district. Also call the 27 Senators most likely to be persuaded
to vote against the hate bill. Their names and state office phone/fax
information are posted here at truthtellers.org. Tell them: "Please
don't vote for the Kennedy/Smith hate bill amendment S.A. 2067." Tell
them it is shameful that Kennedy and Smith would require hate bill
passage more important than the needs of our troops.
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative
watch dog organization.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this
topic. Call (503) 631-3808.
National Prayer Network, P.O. Box 828, Clackamas,