Harold Ford Jr. Speaks in Tennessee

22 02 2006

I just returned from a lecture / speech at Lee University in Cleveland, TN, by Democrat Congressman Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee. Ford is making a Senate run to replace retiring Majority Leader, Bill Frist.

The lecture was organized by the Lee University Democrats and was intended to be given to a political science classes.

Ford used a recent trip to Iraq, the DPW port deal, 9/11, tax breaks, and the First Amendment to “lecture.”

He has been in support of the war since the beginning. But he feels that Bush overplayed the pre-emptive strike action too early. He feels that we have gone from “you hit us, we’ll hit you back,” to “if you get close to hitting us, we’ll hit you.”

But, if in referring to “getting close,” he is referring to Saddam, then I think we might have a disagreement on when Saddam crossed that line, not whether or not we have new policy in the White House on when we’ll strike. Saddam was well past the line of “close” with his WMD’s. And if not that, then he was certainly harboring, supporting, and selling to terrorists.

He has been caught up in the DPW media tidal wave, which by the way, was news days before the Cheney shooting accident. He commended Sen. Frist for urging President Bush to slow the deal down and scrutinize some more. And he said that if the President veto’s any legislation, that Congress will override the veto. “We already have enough votes for an override,” Ford said. “Bush has succeeded in uniting Democrats and Republicans,” he announced with a smirk.

While I do not like to see Bush take so much heat from both sides, I feel that this issue will be critical to Senators during this election year.

In discussing the Danish cartoons and free speech, Ford said Americans have our own limitations we put on free speech. “For example, with our First Amendment, a strict reading of the Constitution will show that we have a separation of church and state. I voted for the Ten Commandments to stay in government buildings because they are secular – it’s good to teach children not to steal. But this is how we place limits on our own free speech rights.

I wrote about secularizing Christian principles last month. It is very thin ice to tread on and I am not in support of it. If you cannot teach a child, Don’t steal because God says!, then don’t teach him at all…maybe he’ll figure it out later.

And what did he mean by a strict reading? When I strictly read the Constitution, there is NO mention of a separation of church and state. It along with many anti-Christian quotations from the Founders are in letters and are taken out of context.

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