Senate Democrats Should Stick to Voting on Local Issues-Democrats, with Exception of Sen. Cal Kawamoto, Debate War With Iraq, Ignore Problems Proliferating Around Them

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Once again Hawaii’s Democrats proved that perceived political oneupsmanship takes precedence over doing the people’s business. The only drawback for them is just how transparent this effort is. There is absolutely no reason for the Democrats in the Hawaii State Senate to concern themselves with whether or not our president should await United Nations’ approval before protecting the interests of this nation. Especially with all of the problems Hawaii residents are facing locally. But that is exactly what they did yesterday during their floor session. After a 45-minute debate started by Sen. Carol Fukunaga, D-Makiki, 17 Democrats voted to support a Senate resolution that demands President George W. Bush await approval from United Nations before attacking Iraq. The five Senate Republicans, and Sen. Cal Kawamoto, D-Waipahu, a former fighter pilot, spoke in favor of military action in Iraq and supported the president.

None of the Democrats acknowledge dealing with this issue is the president’s job — the job he was elected to do — to protect this nation in whatever manner he deems best, regardless of what the United Nations may say. The job of local legislators, on the other hand, is to deal with local interests, not to arrogantly insert themselves into national issues for possible political gain, the only reason they could possibly be doing so in this case. The nominal reason for why the Senate Democrats say they are expressing opposition to President George W. Bush (which what this in fact was, opposition to the president) is the effect the war would have upon Hawaii’s economy.


But have our legislators so quickly forgotten the effect the 9/11 terrorist attack on Hawaii’s economy? What if such an event, on any scale, were actually repeated in America? What would be the effect upon Hawaii’s economy then? Suppose for a moment that President Bush is right and Saddam Hussein actually does possess weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam does have connections to Al Qaeda terrorist who can assist in delivering one of those weapons to an American city. Which do you suppose would do greater damage to Hawaii’s economy, a war against Iraq or another terrorist attack? What is the price for failing to act in that case? The fallacy of the argument will be revealed when the United Nations finally does give its approval for a war, which it must or it will lose all credibility as an international institution, the one thing it cannot allow to happen.

Will a war that has United Nations’ approval be any less damaging to Hawaii’s economy than one that lacks United Nations’ approval?

This is the fallacy the Democrats fail to understand — the effect will be the same in either case, so why oppose the war now? The answer is clear — because they aren’t opposing war, they are opposing a Republican president for purely political reasons. This goes back to why this abdication of the people’s business that the Democratic Senators indulged in was so offensive and wrong. It was an attempt for political gain at the expense of the people of Hawaii whom they are supposed to represent.

It is political posturing on the people’s dime. It is the exact opposite of what their responsibilities are supposed to be.

Whether they have a resolution opposing the war or not will not benefit Hawaii one way or the other.

Sooner or later there will either be war, or another terrorist attack. The only question is which will be worse for our nation, and for Hawaii. From the president’s point of view there is only one answer to that question.

He is right, of course, and Hawaii’s Democratic Senators are wrong.

”’Don Newman is a free-lance writer living in Waikiki and can be reached via email at:”’