Skip to comments.Kennedy Warns Democrats Not to Be Republican Clones
Posted on 01/13/2005 8:40:48 AM PST by KidGlock
Kennedy Warns Democrats Not to Be Republican Clones
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: January 13, 2005
ASHINGTON, Jan. 12 - Senator Edward M. Kennedy warned Democrats on Wednesday not to become "Republican clones" in response to the party's setbacks in November, declaring that President Bush's victory was narrow and did not provide him with the mandate the White House has claimed.
In a defiant speech ushering in what is shaping up as a contentious legislative year, Mr. Kennedy accused the White House of using scare tactics to try to push through changes in Social Security, and pledged to fight them.
"The biggest threat to Social Security today is not the retirement of the baby boomers - it's George Bush and the Republican Party," he said.
"Never before until now has any president, Republican or Democrat, attacked the basic guarantee of Social Security," Mr. Kennedy said in a speech at the National Press Club here. "Never before until now has any president, Republican or Democrat, proposed a cut in Social Security benefits. Yet President Bush is talking not just about a cut, but an incredible 33 percent cut. We must oppose it."
His remarks underscored some of the Democratic resistance Mr. Bush is facing as he tries to push through what is shaping up to be an extraordinarily ambitious legislative agenda. Mr. Kennedy, the face of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, urged his colleagues not to accommodate the election-year defeats by moving to the center.
"In the face of their tactics, we cannot move our party or our nation forward under pale colors and timid voices," Mr. Kennedy said. "We cannot become Republican clones. If we do, we will lose again, and deserve to lose. As I have said on other occasions, the last thing this country needs is two Republican parties."
The senator offered what he called a progressive agenda for a Democratic Party seeking a message, and at times, his remarks sounded like an early speech by someone working out the themes for a race for president.
And the proposals he discussed were in keeping with his wing of the party. He called for expanding Medicare to provide health care coverage for all Americans, raising the minimum wage and expanding tuition assistance for students, particularly those who major in mathematics and science.
But the speech was more striking for the extent to which it sought to push back Mr. Bush's claim for a mandate and its warning to Democrats not to respond disproportionately to Republican victories.
Mr. Kennedy said he was particularly concerned with "the contentious and difficult issue of abortion," an apparent reference to Democrats who have said that their party needs to reduce its emphasis on the issue in future elections.
"In this land that cherishes individual rights and liberties," he said, "a woman has the constitutional right to make her own reproductive decisions, and I support that right wholeheartedly."
He added: "But there is a way America can find common ground on this issue. Surely, we can all agree that abortion should be rare, and that we should do all we can to help women avoid the need to face that decision."
Mr. Kennedy recalled delivering a postelection speech after the 1994 elections, when Republicans captured control of both houses of Congress for the first time in nearly 50 years. He said this latest presidential election "was nothing like that."
He called it a reprise of 2000, saying: "This time, a switch of less than 60,000 votes in Ohio would have brought victory. Unlike 2000, it would have been a victory against an incumbent president, and in a time of war."
Maybe this means old Teddy and gang are changing their tune on 'cloning'.
Only thing is instead of two Republican parties we have two democrat parties.
The Pubbies need to grow some balls.
Yeah Ted, run Osama next time! that's the ticket!
Ted, Ted, Ted. You lost. And you, sir, are a loser.
Did you know that the great Senator Edward Kennedy never registered to vote until he ran for his older brother's senate seat in MA way back in, what, 1961? What a guy.
The only authority this man has left is how much food he can consume at any given meal.
He is, at last, a pitiful figure, and so goes the Democratic Party. A party that used to love its country and was prepared to defend it.
His liver will catch up with him someday. But then, he can coast off of his name until then, and probably buy a new liver if needed.
Yeah because if wthe Democrats start moving to the right they might end up winning an election or two, and THEN where would we be?!
Better a Republican clone than a 'rat clown.
You drunken gawdam demonrat souse, hope you succumb to your filthy vices soooooooooooooooon
"...declaring that President Bush's victory was narrow and did not provide him with the mandate the White House has claimed...."
Ted wouldn't know narrow if it slapped him in the face.
Bush did not have a mandate, my a**!
And how many more states would Bush have carried with a strategic switch of 60,000 votes in other states?
Reminds me of a Leslie White saying: "If frogs could grow fur, the world could be made safe dfor Chinchilla."
Or: "If a frog had side-pockets it would carry a .45!"
Ah, but if a Republican said that Republicans shouldn't be Democrat clones it would be a big scandal. Those partisan, rigid, snide, uncivil, non-consensus building Republicans....need to sell out everything they believe in and value, take on the Democrat platform, and then and only then will they ever have a prayer at winning an election. The people after all are with the Democrats. That's why the Republican's control the House, the Senate, and the WH.
Would that be Osama Obama?!
(Apologies to Britt Hume and Special Report.)
Holy sinking oldsmobiles Teddy are you ever sober?
Teddy's right. All the Democrats need to do is move even more to the left. If they do that, we Republicans will never, ever win another election.(wink, wink)
[sigh] Just when Teddy seems to have sunk to the lowest of the lows...he comes along and COMPLETELY REDEEMS himself. He in essence is encouraging the Dems to continue to be losers, continuing to lose touch with Americans. Good fer us.
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