Monday, October 17, 2005

''Former Congressman faults Democratic Party''

"Jim Weaver, former Oregon U.S. Congressman and University alumnus, blasted the Democratic Party, which he described as being in bed with large corporations and allowing mass importation of goods produced by “10-cent Chinese” in a speech on campus Friday.

Weaver said the biggest economic issue facing the country is the competition U.S. producers face with the importation of goods from Asia. He also criticized former President Clinton for involving the country in the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said benefits large corporations.

“What’s going to happen to our middle and working class if they have to compete with 10-cent Chinese?” he said. “The Democratic Party has got to stop being a party of cowardice and corporations.”

Weaver, 78, has represented Oregon’s 4th District, which includes Eugene, for six terms.

Weaver spoke to an audience of eight people in 128 Chiles, wearing a muted green button-up shirt and jeans. He decried the war in Iraq, the Vietnam War and the Korean War, although he explained he enlisted after his 17th birthday and served on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific during World War II.

America was defending itself in World War II, he said. America is the aggressor in the Iraq war, he said.

“It’s the oil we’re after (in Iraq),” he said. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts. Don’t let anybody fool you.”

Weaver said he voted for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., during the 2004 presidential election because he thought Kerry’s tremendous Vietnam War record was beyond attack from the Republican Party. He was wrong, he said.

“I, who hate the Republicans, misjudged them on how vicious they can be,” he said.

He supported former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for his strong anti-war stance during the election, but said that “the press, the media and both political parties — they murdered Howard Dean in that election. And that made me so darn mad.”

Weaver also said he expects Republicans to be voted out of office in large numbers in the next election. On the other hand, he wouldn’t put it past them to stage a terrorist attack and declare martial law before the next election, he said.

The speech was organized by the Pacifica Forum, a group dedicated to discussion of war and military issues."-from the Oregon Daily Herald.

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