I WAS A DEMOCRATIC AT A REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER
Well, we "infiltrated" the Kay Bailey Hutchison fundraiser luncheon today and got more than I bargained for. Our company table was positioned, and I was seated, so that when Kay Bailey took her seat at the adjacent table she was almost directly side-by-side (just enough room for a waiter to squeeze between us) with me. And BONUS: to my other side, in a similar position, was Barbara Bush. I didn't even know she was coming! The five Republicans at our table thought it was mighty peculiar that the three Democrats were closest to their superstars. There was a good deal of joshing at our table before Kay and Barb arrived that various senior executives had made our Repubs pledge to "control D-----" (me) and "make sure she doesn't embarrass us."
Okay, now for the actual remarks. I'm not going to waste much time commenting on BB's because she principally told funny stories about George 41 and hardly even mentioned George 43. Her only comment on Kay's Democratic opponent, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, was to say that the "worst thing she's been able to say about Kay is to call her an 'aging prom queen.'" (Completely feminine and irrelevant comment: Kay looked fabulous for her age, very pretty, 1000% better than she looks on TV -- I wish I looked so good!)
But now to Kay. Where to start? She said Iraq was the most important fight for our freedom in our history. Well, I nearly screamed right there. How is fighting in Iraq going to protect our freedom in the U.S.? Oh, is the implication that Muslim fundamentalists/terrorists are going to conquer the U.S. and deprive our populace of our constitutional rights? She spent some time belaboring the Republican meme, "We're facing an enemy unlike any we've ever faced." The enemy, you see, doesn't care if they send their children to die for their cause, they don't care if they kill innocent people to advance their aims. (The Democrats among us later asked of each other, "Do these people not hear what they're saying? Are we not sending our own children to do the same? Are we not killing innocent people in Iraq to advance some vague PNAC agenda?") Of course, Hitler was nothing compared to Al Qaeda. They killed 3,000 on 9/11 and haven't had a huge hit since then. Hitler, that pretender, only killed six million. What a wimp.
Then she hit us with the real motherlode (it's not a pun). This conflict can't compare, she said, to either World Wars, the Korean conflict, or Vietnam. It's comparable to the Cold War, which, as she noted, "took 40 years to win." Kay said we need the same resolve and patience with this war. Omigod. Is she suggesting that we should invest 40 years in Bush's Iraq adventure????
The final blow (after many) was her tribute to Barbara Bush. Since this was billed as a "Dallas Women for Kay Bailey Hutchison" event, she had to bring into her remarks some reference to the advancement of women under Bush 43. She said directly to Barbara Bush, that Dubya (plus Laura, she said) has made more progress for women than anyone in U.S. history. She referenced Afghanistan and Iraq. Which provided more fodder for our Dem discussions later. Does she expect that her audience is not aware that Afghanistan is perilously close back to their former rule by Taliban leaders who condemn women to the bourka, the veil, and that Iraq, which under Saddam Hussein allowed women a Western-style freedom, is close to a rule-by-Shia that will relegate them to a similar existence?
But hey! I've forgotten to record KBH's paean to our booming economy, with its low unemployment rate (sure, since Wal-Mart has put many of its employees on part-time duty, so they can hire more and deliver less, and Bush's administration has expanded the federal payrolls far beyond the Al Gore-as VP-mandated government downscale) and record-high stock market. Kay said early in her speech that tax cuts generate revenue, and said that the Democrats (that's us, guys) have only two ideas: raise taxes and increase deficits. Has anyone not challenged Kay to explain how the past six years of Republican control of the Congress and the White House has reduced taxes on only the uber-wealthy and reduced the budget SURPLUS achieved under the Clinton (read: Democratic) administration to an incredible deficit? And she didn't even address the trade deficit!
As we were driving back to the office (not more than a mile from the event), we passed a multitude of under-construction uptown Dallas high-rise condo projects. I've asked before, where are the people who are going to buy these multiple million-dollar condos coming from? As we went through the corridor, the Dems in the car commented, "There're your 'tax cuts' at work."