Mehlman: Dems need activist judges for 'victories they can't win at ballot box'

Published: Monday November 6, 2006

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In an op-ed column in today's edition of USA Today, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman said that given their electoral impotence, Democrats need the help of activist judges.

"Democrats ... vocally fought - and then voted against - Justices Roberts and Alito. Why? Because they depend on activist judges to hand them the victories they can't win at the ballot box," wrote Mehlman.

Mehlman repeats Republican themes heard often in the closing days of the mid-term election season, touching on the "war on terror" and tax cuts, along with typical cutdowns of the Democratic Party, seen as having the upper hand in the most recent polls.

"Americans will have the opportunity to choose between a party that wants to use every tool to keep us safe, or one that would take those tools away; between a party that wants to let you keep more of your own hard-earned money, or one that believes that money belongs to Washington; between a party that understands judicial restraint, or one that wants activist judges to fight its battles," Mehlman says in the op-ed.

His adversary, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, also wrote an op-ed for USA Today, promising that the Democrats will "enact real ethics reform in Congress" and bring a new direction in the fight against terror and the war in Iraq.

"Democrats are united behind a strategy of phased redeployment and benchmarks that make it clear to the Iraqis that they must take responsibility for the future of their country," Dean writes.

"The Republicans' culture of corruption time and again has put the interests of their party and their cronies ahead of doing what's right for our children, our communities and our families," the DNC chair concludes. "On Tuesday, if you want to change what's going on in Washington, vote for Democrats."

Further excerpts of the Mehlman column follow...


Today, the Republican Party has learned the lessons of Sept. 11, and understands the importance of using every single tool at our disposal to win this war - but some Democrat leaders would take those tools away. Democrats in the House and Senate voted against re-authorization of the USA Patriot Act. The overwhelming majority of House Democrats voted against legislation to make it easier to intercept terrorist communications. Democrats voted against tribunals that will help us get the information we need, and have time and again voted against missile defense.

Even more dangerous is that Democrats truly seem to believe that Iraq is completely separate from the greater war on terror. Al-Qaeda's leaders are not confused about the importance of Iraq to their goal of global jihad. Osama bin Laden's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has said his goal is to use Iraq as a base to launch further attacks, with the goal of creating a new caliphate in the Middle East. On Tuesday, we must ask ourselves: Would surrendering Iraq to the enemy so they can use it as a base from which to launch attacks make us more or less safe?

Voters face another choice Tuesday: Republicans have cut taxes every year since George W. Bush was elected president. Democrats, on the other hand, have said outright that they plan to raise your taxes. If you're a typical American family with two kids earning $30,000 a year, the Democrats would raise your taxes by more than $2,000. They'd raise your gas taxes just as gas prices are finally coming down. Where would it end? Well, the man who would be in charge of tax policy in a Democrat-controlled House came right out and said it: No tax increase will be out of bounds.


Two very different visions for America, and one very strong reason for the American people to help Republicans make history and maintain our majorities in Congress.