- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 28, 2000

Nobles: Judith Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, the authors of "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce" and Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, the authors of "The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially."

These recently-published books demonstrate that marriage is far healthier, and divorce far more harmful, than conventional wisdom or feminist theory would ever suggest.

After studying 131 children of divorce over a period of almost 30 years, the authors of "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce" found that the children of divorce may experience its trauma long after a couple separates, thanks to "sleeper effects" which appear as children begin to face issues of romance and marriage. According to the authors, the children tend to be more self-defeating, expecting their current relationship to collapse like that of their parents.

In fact, marriage, even a bad one, can be remarkably healthy, according to Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher. Miss Gallagher, from the Institute for American Values and Miss Waite, "one of the most brilliant sociologists of her generation," according to her colleague from the University of Chicago, Andrew Greenly, found that married people live longer and healthier lives, both physically and mentally, than their single counterparts. The authors also found that partners tend to be equally happy and satisfied with marriage, and that (again contrary to feminist myth), marriage benefits women in many ways.

Knave: President Bill Clinton, for political pettiness of almost unprecedented proportion in privately signing the Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness Act.

The act permits states to provide Medicare coverage for breast and cervical cancer treatment to low-income uninsured women, an issue which "transcends political boundaries," according to Mr. Clinton.

Yet it would appear that nothing can transcend Mr. Clinton's political boundaries, since it happens that Rep. Rick Lazio was a co-sponsor of the bill and led the fight for its passage in the House. A public signing ceremony would have undoubtedly placed Mr. Lazio in a favorable spotlight for numerous swing voters in New York.

So instead, Mr. Clinton signed the bill under conditions far more akin to the Rose Law Firm than the Rose Garden. MSNBC's senior political analyst, Lawrence O'Donnell, told "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, "It's an extraordinary bill for the president not to have a public signing on," to which Mr. Matthews added, "There's something even more political than a bill signing ceremony. That's not holding a bill signing ceremony."

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