- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2001

Divided by culture

"With Bill Clinton having split for Chappaqua with the Spielberg china, Democrats have a chance to present a new image to the public. Yet by opposing John Ashcroft for attorney general, Senate Democrats seem intent on reminding Middle America why it voted against Al Gore.

"Some of our readers may already have seen the … map of America breaking down the vote in the last election. Mr. Gore won the two left coasts, the latte towns and tonier suburbs, and remnants of the progressive upper Midwest. President Bush won everything else. This map reflects a country divided by culture, with the traditionalist middle rejecting the anything-goes mores of the Clinton years… .

"Democrats went to the unusual lengths of calling in the recently returned U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, James Hormel, to allege that in opposing his nomination to be ambassador Mr. Ashcroft had shown himself to be intolerant… .

"Liberals want to make homosexuality not just a matter of tolerance but essentially a qualification for office: Oppose a gay nominee and you're automatically a bigot."

from "The Hormel Democrats," an editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal

Nanny state

"The first U.S. national day care program was a byproduct of the Second World War, when the Lanham Act of 1941 provided monies for the construction and operation of day care centers for the children of women defense workers… .

"[Feminist scholar Yvonne] Zylan credits advocates of a 'maternalist welfare state' for the eventual adoption of a national day care policy. Maternalist feminists in the first half of the 20th century, writes Zylan, supported welfare-state measures … as a way of subsidizing 'full-time maternal care in the home.' Poverty, they believed, should not 'deprive a child of the full-time care of his or her mother.' …

"But public concern over the sloth of [welfare] recipients gave day care advocates an opening. In 1962, Congress approved day care funding for poor mothers, who were expected to enter the work force and leave their children with others.

"The maternalists … had been replaced in public discourse by 'child-welfare advocates,' whose conviction seemed to be that the child's welfare was best provided by the [government]: They supported [welfare] reform as a means to achieve national day care… . The old maternalists would have been appalled."

from "How Welfare Begat Day Care," in the January issue of the Family in America

Criminal heroes

"Theirs was the most Texan of love stories: the good-hearted woman in love with a two-timing man… .

"By himself, Clyde Barrow would today be a pathetic footnote, another gangster from that remarkable era when desperadoes such as John Dillinger, George 'Machine Gun' Kelly, and Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd captured the public fancy. Alone, Bonnie Parker would be long forgotten. Together, Bonnie and Clyde are an intrinsic part of our mythology… .

"In the 66 years since they were shot to death by a posse on a lonely stretch of road near Gibsland, La., they have become cult figures, able to transcend generations… .

"The best and most popular film [about them] is director Arthur Penn's 1967 screen masterpiece 'Bonnie and Clyde.' It's the story of two likable social misfits, played by a 28-year-old Warren Beatty and a previously unknown actress named Faye Dunaway, whose sexuality, bravado, and just-folks demeanor allow the outlaws to emerge as folk heroes."

Gary Cartright, writing on "The Whole Shootin' Match," in the February issue of Texas Monthly

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