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Hate Bill Shoot-Out Looms

By Rev Ted Pike
13 August 2007

Last week, President Bush warned the Senate against passing Kennedy's hate crimes amendment as part of the military appropriations bill. He said he would send both back to the Senate, demanding the hate bill be removed.
Bush's threat is reminiscent of Wyatt Earp's impending gunfight with the McLaurys and Clantons at the O.K. Corral in 1881.
The question then was, "Who runs Tombstone, Arizona?" - the laws of the city or outlaws? The question now is, "Who leads America?" - the power hungry "hate bill gang," advocating legislation that will end free speech, or a President who is taking a stand in defense of the First Amendment rights of the people?
This is intense drama that deeply concerns our freedom. High noon will come after September 4 when the Senate returns and the military reauthorization bill, delayed over five weeks during the summer recess, is again brought before the Senate. A vote on the hate bill amendment will come soon because passage of the military bill is top priority. We will no longer be able to keep our troops waiting, especially in Iraq, for necessary supplies and armaments.
On the other hand, if there is enough protest, Kennedy and co-sponsor Gordon Smith could lose their nerve and withdraw the hate bill amendment. If the hate bill becomes widely viewed as a primary obstacle to speedy provision of support for our troops (an accusation the President is already making), Kennedy and Smith may opt to attach their bill to a less emotionally charged piece of legislation. Or they may attempt to pass it as a stand-alone bill, as did the House earlier this year.
Their decision will be determined by the level of concern generated by the American people before September 4. A year ago in very similar circumstances, Kennedy insisted his hate bill be passed as a rider to the Children’s Safety Act. Children were in danger, but Kennedy would not allow vital child-protecting legislation to move forward without his hate bill attached.
In April 2006, after Kennedy had blocked the children's bill for six months, I suddenly went on high alert, tipped off by an unguarded remark by Kennedy revealing hate bill strategy on Larry King Live. Primarily through talk radio, I generated thousands of calls against the bill to the Senate. Finally, Bill O'Reilly attacked Kennedy repeatedly on Fox News TV, and over 12,000 outraged calls forced Kennedy to capitulate. The hate bill was dead in the 109th Congress. Moral outrage against Kennedy's insensitivity to human need - protection of America's children - killed the bill. (See, Hate Bill Holds America Hostage)
A similar opportunity exists today. Our soldiers are in danger. Continued delay in passing the arms bill, because the President won't sign it with the hate bill attached, could provoke public outrage. This would make the hate bill amendment a political liability, causing significant numbers of Senate Democrats and Republicans to vote against it.

August: Time for Action!

There's little doubt that Democrats have enough votes to pass the hate bill amendment. So it's up to us, following the lead of Pres. Bush, to heighten criticism, not just of this legislation but of its two arch proponents in the Senate, Kennedy and Smith. The evils of the hate bill are frightening enough. But if Kennedy and Smith can be accurately portrayed, especially on talk shows and the internet, as lacking compassion for the needs of our troops, humanitarian objections to the hate bill amendment could again play a huge part in achieving victory.
Up to this point, the progress of the hate bill has been beset by an unexpected level of opposition. Such has come primarily from listeners to alternative talk radio and the religious/conservative right. Popular protest has caused hate bill promoters to change bills, delay action, and alter stratagems. These delays provide a vital opportunity for hate bill opponents to educate and energize the public. Heightened opposition, especially during the next three weeks, will increase the possibility of more strategic errors and delays for this Orwellian legislation.
If the hate bill is passed this fall, the President's promised confrontation with it will generate unparalleled interest in the subject of hate crimes legislation. Bush has vetoed only a handful of bills in the last 6-1/2 years. A veto of the hate bill would invite enormous curiosity as to his reasons for such action.
For the past 5 years, discussion of the pros and cons of hate crime legislation has been virtually banned from the national TV and print media. The media wants the hate bill passed without controversy, through the back door, without the knowledge or permission of the American people. Yet despite such manipulation, alternative conservative and religious media and leadership are generating a popular underground rebellion against the hate bill that cannot be suppressed.
The bones of the lawless opponents of Wyatt Earp now rest on Boot Hill. Let's bury the hate bill on Capitol Hill - before it buries us.



Senators should know Americans will be angry with them if they vote for the Kennedy/Smith hate crimes amendment. Call the Senators from your district. Also call the 27 Senators most likely to be persuaded to vote against the hate bill. Their names and state office phone/fax information are posted here at Tell them: "Please don't vote for the Kennedy/Smith hate bill amendment S.A. 2067." Tell them it is shameful that Kennedy and Smith would require hate bill passage more important than the needs of our troops.
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watch dog organization.
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