Thursday, May 04, 2006

Polprops: DanforthRight

It's not very often that you'll catch me giving former US Senator John Danforth (R-MO) props. Well, I guess he does deserve some credit (or, if you prefer, blame) for getting me actively involved in politics. But I'll leave that story for after the good stuff. Here's Danforth last week, in a speech to the Log Cabin Republicans:

Wedge issues: that is issues that serve the purpose of driving a wedge between the American people and splitting us farther and farther apart. And you know the wedge issues. ... one that you are very much involved with and an issue that is scheduled to come up for a vote in June in the United States Senate and that is the Federal Marriage Amendment. Now I'm not an historian. Some historian should really look at all of the proposals that have been put forth throughout the history of our country for possible Constitutional amendments. Maybe at some point in time there was one that was sillier than this one, but I don't know of one.

F--k'in-A, Skippy! Hearing a Republican -- any Republican ('cept Ron Paul, of course) -- talk sense is a rare, and therefore noteworthy, pleasure these days.

Hat tip to Ron Gunzberger at Politics1, and here's a transcript of the whole speech, which includes some nice verbiage on Prohibition and such, too.

So, what's my axegrind with Danforth?

When I was a youngster, then-Senator Danforth held a "town hall" at the high school from which I had just graduated in Lebanon, Missouri. This was during the time when Tipper Gore and her "Parents' Music Resource Center" had their knickers in a twist about the content of popular music, and Danforth had been chair of the US Senate Committee which had held hearings so that Tipper could get some whine time on the tube and swap makeup application tips with Dee Snider.

Being 18-ish and all hep and stuff, I wanted to know what the result of those hearings was, or would be (remember, we didn't have the Intarwebs back in those days; hell, we had to walk six miles uphill in the snow to catch the schoolosaurus every morning -- that's the way it was and we liked it, you drooling todders ... but anyway). And, having no shame, I stood up, stylish shaved head and single earring (left) and Iron Maiden t-shirt aflaunt, and popped that question on him.

And. He. Lied. To. Me.

He told me that there was no result from the hearings, that they had just been for "public information and discussion." I found out a few days later that in actuality, there'd been a sweetheart deal offer for the record industry involving warning labels on albums in return for a tax on blank tapes to "compensate the record industry for piracy."

I don't know if the deal ever went through or not, but Danforth had taught me the most important of all civics lessons: Never trust a politician, especially when he looks you in the eye. I took it to heart and I've been on my tear ever since.

I wasn't surprised a few years later when Danforth got tapped to whitewash the Waco massacre.

But last week, he done good.

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