- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2000

Eye opening

Steve Gunderson, the former congressman from Wisconsin, says now that Texas Gov. George W. Bush has met with him and other homosexual Republicans, "never again will a major-party candidate be able to run for president without addressing gay and lesbian issues."

Mr. Gunderson, in a column in the latest issue of Newsweek, added: "Our perspective was clearly eye-opening to him. When one of us talked about his lesbian sister and her partner adopting children, the governor acknowledged his often-stated belief that gays should not adopt. 'Now you're telling me of a very loving, caring relationship,' he said. 'I really appreciate hearing that.' We stressed that a Bush administration could not roll back any of the progress made in recent years."

Stacking arms

Under George W. Bush's leadership, the Republican Party has surrendered the cultural soul of the nation and abandoned the American family, Pat Buchanan, the party's most prominent deserter, said yesterday.

By refusing to rule out abortion advocates as potential running mates, and by meeting with Republican homosexuals, Mr. Buchanan said, the presumed presidential nominee is telling the party not to stand on the principle that family is all-important.

"He's raising the white flag and stacking arms in the cultural war for the soul of this country," Mr. Buchanan said on "Fox News Sunday."

Gingrich's view

Texas Gov. George W. Bush's staff is too inexperienced for a national presidential campaign, says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Speaking to a sold-out audience at the Richmond Forum Saturday night in Virginia, the deposed speaker said "there's too much Austin" in the Bush campaign. The Georgia Republican said Mr. Bush needs to add more experienced advisers if he wants to win the election.

Mr. Gingrich drew a gasp from the audience when he said first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton would easily beat New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for the U.S. Senate seat from New York and then would be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 2004 if Vice President Al Gore loses this fall, the Associated Press reports.

Mark of Cain

Some prominent politicians on yesterday's talk shows expressed ambivalence about the possibility that President Clinton will be indicted after he leaves office.

Rep. Henry Hyde, the Illinois Republican who led the way in impeaching Mr. Clinton, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" he was not ready to say it would be in the best interests of the nation to have Mr. Clinton indicted.

"The impeachment is over. My role as an adversary of the president is over. The president prevailed on a 50-50 vote. What the independent counsel does is within his discretion, prosecutorial discretion. Many senators, including my friend Chuck Schumer, kept saying, 'Let's not find him guilty of impeachment, because the law will take care of it after he leaves office.'

"But I would not presume to tell the independent counsel what he should do," he said. "I think the country's weary of this whole saga, but he also has a duty to enforce the law, to take care that the laws are faithfully observed, so that's his problem and he's welcome to it."

Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, who appeared on the program with Mr. Hyde, said: "Well, you know, again I agree with Henry on just about all of what he said there. The president did some wrong things, obviously terribly wrong. He will have the mark of Cain on his forehead because of them.

"But I do think that the American people have said, 'Let's move on.' We have been through this process in a way that has traumatized the nation. It's time to move on to other things."

Meanwhile, on CNN's "Late Edition," House Majority Leader Dick Armey also was asked if he believes the independent counsel should seek an indictment of Mr. Clinton after he leaves the White House.

"I would just as soon be done with it," the Texas Republican said.

Odd compliments

Searching for something nice to say about his boss, Vice President Al Gore came up with this at a fund-raiser Saturday night:

"Of all the good things I could say about President Bill Clinton … I could tell you about the many, many times when I have seen him especially in the early years nearly buckle under the pressure of this office," Mr. Gore said, "but never do so."

Mr. Gore also recalled "all the criticisms of Bill Clinton that I have heard" and concluded that "the one that rings the most hollow is that he has pushed small ideas, little proposals. They just haven't been paying attention."

It was a pair of strikingly backhanded compliments that caught attention on a star-studded night in Beverly Hills, said Associated Press reporter Terence Hunt.

When it came his turn to speak, Mr. Clinton took a more effusive approach about Mr. Gore. He said the man who hopes to succeed him as president is "the most qualified person in my lifetime to seek this job."

California gold

A night after leaders of California's high-tech industry gave $2.5 million to the Democratic Party, Hollywood's elite donated $2.8 million Saturday.

The checks of $25,000 and more from computer chiefs and entertainers helped underscore Democratic Party Chairman Ed Rendell's contention about "Clinton fatigue," Reuters reports.

"There's no Clinton fatigue never was," said Mr. Rendell, the former Philadelphia mayor, who helped host both events. "People still love the guy. Our big money donors still love the guy."

Strange bedfellows?

"Elian's saga makes the case to end the embargo against Cuba," writes columnist Terrie Albano. "If there wasn't a more powerful argument to normalize relations with Cuba and end the 41-year embargo the horrific odyssey for 6-year-old Elian Gonzales provides one. This whole mess started because of the embargo, really."

Agree? Well, just so you know who you're agreeing with, Terrie Albano is associate editor of the People's Weekly World, official publication of the Communist Party USA.

The party's Young Communist League was distributing the paper yesterday at the protests against the International Monetary Fund. The April 15 issue of the People's Weekly World featured Editor Tim Wheeler's cover story about the anti-IMF demonstrations, headlined: "Shut it down!"

Tears for the taxman

The New York Times, in an editorial yesterday, bemoaned a drop in audits by the Internal Revenue Service, saying Congress has subverted a tax system that "is the envy of other nations."

The newspaper also expressed frustration that "levies on bank accounts and other assets have fallen about 85 percent since 1992 and seizures of property have fallen 98 percent, from 10,000 cases as recently as 1997 to just 161 last year. The amount of money collected through enforcement actions has fallen 13 percent since 1996."

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