Senate Democrats are trying to pull another fast one: this time, inserting hate crime legislation to give special consideration to homosexuals inside a defense spending bill.
Instead of introducing the legislation giving sexual orientation "hate crimes" protection as a separate bill, Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) opted to introduce the "Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act" as one of hundreds of amendments to the Defense Reauthorization bill requested by President Bush.
Why try to pass hate crime legislation this way? To avoid a veto of this Big Brother-type legislation, or make President Bush look bad for stalling defense spending--either of which pleases Democrats.
Sens. Kennedy and Smith's strategy, Staver said, forces the President into a terrible dilemma: President Bush must either approve "hate crimes" legislation or veto the entire spending bill thus leaving US troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan without new support and dwindling resources. Since the President has no line-item veto, approval of the defense bill is an all or nothing deal.
"This is an underhanded ploy by liberals in the Senate to try to force Bush to sign dangerous hate crimes legislation into law," said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America (CWA). "I would suspect that [Bush] would send this back to the Senate and say 'quit playing games with the lives of our troops' and have them send a clean bill to his desk to get these troops taken care of."
A crime is a crime, regardless of the perpetrator's motivations. Assault on a black person, a white person, a homosexual person...whoever, has the same degree of criminality regardless of who was assaulted and regardless of the motivation.
Attempts like this to legislate thoughts and emotions based on politically correct notions reeks of what George Orwell warned of in his book 1984.
As badly as defense spending authorization is needed (one of the few constitutionally authorized budget items in our government), the money will keep rolling some way or another. Hopefully Bush will smack the ball back at them with the admonition voiced above: quit playing games with national defense.