Saturday, June 9, 2007

Walberg: Another conservative bites the dust

Tim Walberg is a liberal.

It is with heavy heart that I write these words about our congressman because I never thought I would.

When the good reverend rode into the Capitol on his Harley-Davidson Road King, he vowed to stop the pervasive problems of gays getting hitched every five seconds, guns being ripped from the hands of law-abiding toddlers and abortions being performed at the rate that McDonald's sells Big Macs.

That's why he had to oust that big lib Joe Schwarz, who was masquerading as a Republican, but as all true patriots know, secretly carries the title of general secretary of the Communist Party USA.

But alas, it seems the Washington ethos has corrupted the man who seemed incorruptible, the Rev. Walberg.

And what's worse, he and his supporters are trumpeting his tarnished values on his Web site, press releases and blogs.

Consider Walberg's:

• Newfound quest to clean up pollution in the Great Lakes. Lest we forget Rush Limbaugh's take on environmentalists as watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.

• Honoring of a British abolitionist for Black History Month. Next thing you know, he'll back down from his noble comments comparing wartorn Baghdad to the crime in black-dominated cities like Detroit.

• Support of Liberian refugees coming to America. Did his backing from the virulently anti-immigrant Minutemen last year mean nothing?

• Attacks on George W. Bush's pride and joy, No Child Left Behind. You're either with our president or against him, Tim.

• Vote to dismantle the domestic spying program. There's dancing in the Arab Street, for the terrorists have won.

What happened to the important issues of his campaign? Walberg knew creating jobs in a depressed Michigan economy wasn't where it was at. In debates last fall, he said Congress shouldn't give Michigan a hand. And he paid no heed to his struggling constituents, scoffing at the idea of upping the minimum wage.

"Fifty dollars an hour? A hundred dollars? Why stop there?" Walberg sputtered in righteous indignation. Back then, he knew the idea of compassionate conservatism was bunk.

He knew that guns, gays and abortion are the fundamental issues of our time and talked of little else on the stump. So where is this kinder, gentler Tim coming from? Is this the little boy who dreamed of being a forest ranger while frolicking in the wooded acres of Chicago's south side, as he recently told a beltway reporter?

Sir, I know you grew up in the '60s. But it's time to put that hippie persona to rest. We elected you to round up immigrants in a rickety pickup and ship 'em back. We sent you to Washington to pass a whopping 23 percent sales tax on consumers in your "fair tax" plan. We voted for you to kill the Department of Education because, as you said, a nation of 300 million people does not need a federal system.

Perhaps it's time for a true Republican to stand up against this turncoat in next year's primary, finally reclaiming the 7th District for family values. I know it breaks Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment — "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican" — but Walberg already hurled that imperative out the window in 2006 with his ad assassination of Schwarz.

No, I won't be launching I'll leave that to the multi-millionaire cabal known as Club for Growth, which poured almost $1 million into Walberg's last campaign, even as it was being investigated by the feds for doing so. A principled conservative lobby, I know its officials will rat out a Red when they see one — just like they did with Schwarz.

I had hoped Walberg's aide who still hosts a local, right-wing radio show would have been horrified by the betrayal and outed him by now, but perhaps Chris Simmons' sweet federal paycheck is prompting him to keep his silence.

Why has thou forsaken us, Rep. Walberg?

A cynic would say you're terrified of the next election since the Democrats have taken back Congress, topped the polls and vocally targeted your seat.

A cynic would note you still preach traditional social issues to evangelical churches and conservative groups, but you turn on the limp-wristed, lefty charm when appealing to the more than 50 percent who didn't vote for you last year.

But I have faith in you, reverend. I know that though you've lost your way in the cesspool that is our Capitol, you'll return to the warm embrace of the conservative clan before the 2008 election.
You're going to need buckets of cash to survive this skirmish, after all. And they're the only ones who are going to fill your collection plate.

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