Focus Point - Daschle In The Dog House

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. A part of me doesn't mind Tom Daschle playing politics. Heck, when I was a politician, I played politics. But he's crossed the line.

Daschle's delay of a pending emergency military budget means canceling or curtailing repairs, maintenance and most importantly, training exercises. He did it until the senate completed work on the unnecessary Patients' Bill of Rights.

And on the cut list? Air combat training and fleet exercises. Training for units scheduled for deployment. Stalling or delaying maintenance at regional depots.

So the vote on the military spending bill was important. Daschle, meanwhile, was just trying to get the Patients' Bill of Rights done before the July fourth break so it would look good on the democrat's resume after taking over as the senate majority leader.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Daschle can't quite find the time to take up president Bush's energy proposals just now either, which means that since congress knocks off for August, the democrats can sit on the legislation until the fall. Ok, that's playing politics.

Messing with military isn't.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, this one's on me.