- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2005

McCain’s answer

Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’ “Face the Nation,” asked Sen. John McCain yesterday if he thinks President Bush’s Social Security private accounts plan is dead.

Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican who finished second to Mr. Bush in the party’s presidential contest five years ago, replied: “Well, I think, first of all, to underestimate the tenacity of this president and his ability to get something done is a mistake that a lot of people have made. In fact, you might even say that I made that mistake myself in the year 2000.”

Dodd’s charge

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, yesterday charged that President Bush’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations tried to intimidate intelligence analysts whose views differed from his own.

Citing “very credible” information to be presented this week at a Senate hearing on John R. Bolton’s nomination, Mr. Dodd said Mr. Bolton attempted to have two intelligence analysts dismissed from their jobs because their analyses on Cuba contradicted his own position.

“If in fact he tried to have people dismissed because he did not like the analysis, then I don’t think he’s qualified to serve,” Mr. Dodd said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to begin hearings on Mr. Bolton today.

Defending Bolton

“Full disclosure (OK, partial disclosure — let’s not get carried away with media ethics breast-beating): John Bolton has been an occasional contributor to this magazine,” William Kristol writes in an editorial in the Weekly Standard.

“He served in the late 1990s as a director of the Project for the New American Century, which I chair. And he is a friend,” Mr. Kristol said.

“More than all that, though, he is an exceptional choice to serve as our next U.N. ambassador. He should be confirmed quickly and easily by the Senate. He has, after all, been confirmed for high government positions four times before. He has served in those posts with distinction during three administrations, untainted by a hint of scandal or a murmur of corner-cutting. He has been an exemplary public servant.

“He also, as it happens, supports President Bush‘spolicies, and as undersecretary of state worked hard to advance them in the first term. So the Democratic Party, led by George Soros and the New York Times, thinks he shouldn’t be permitted to continue to serve President Bush.

“Despite Soros’ millions and the Times’ resources, the assault on Bolton has been pathetic. What does it amount to? He’s a longtime U.N. skeptic — appropriate, one would think, given the U.N.’s ‘Zionism is Racism’ history during the Cold War, and its ineffectiveness (to be kind) in Rwanda in the ‘90s and in Sudan in this decade. But he’s worse than a skeptic, the critics say: He has been disrespectful of the august body in which he will represent us. Why, he once joked, ‘The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.’ Well, truer words were never spoken.”

Ginsberg’s polemics

“[U.S. Supreme Court Justice] Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave a speech defending the Supreme Court’s use of foreign law in interpreting the U.S. Constitution,” National Review notes in an editorial.

“‘The notion that it is improper to look beyond the borders of the United States in grappling with hard questions has a certain kinship to the view that the U.S. Constitution is a document essentially frozen in time as of the date of its ratification,’ she said. And she’s right: Both of the notions are caricatures of conservative propositions that are rooted in a concern for self-government,” the magazine said.

“The discretion of judges to amend the Constitution through creative interpretation has to be limited so that Americans can remain governed by the Constitution they ratified. So judges interpreting a constitutional provision ought to be looking at what Americans thought they were doing when they ratified it — not what Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Germany thinks about social issues in 2005.

“Ginsburg notes, but does not answer, the objection that justices will invoke foreign law only when it suits their purposes. She delivers non sequiturs, arguing that the Founders’ ‘decent respect [for] the opinions of mankind’ proves her case. She even associates caution about foreign law with the Dred Scott decision — a polemical move that ought to have been beneath her. But perhaps it is necessary for a judge to sidestep difficult questions when trying to rationalize judicial rule.”

Stopping Hillary

Saying Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for the White House, New York’s Republican chairman has kicked off a national “Stop Hillary Now” fundraising effort to thwart her 2006 Senate re-election bid.

“Stopping Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most important thing you and I can do as Republicans in the next two years,” says the fundraising appeal sent out by Stephen Minarik. “You could say it’s our duty as Republicans.”

Mr. Minarik’s fundraising letter, dated Friday, promises a Republican “truth squad” that will “monitor Hillary’s appearances and expose her lies.”

While Mr. Minarik has sent out similar missives to New York Republicans, Friday’s appeal — a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press — is his first to the potentially more lucrative national anti-Clinton audience.

A foe for Byrd

Hiram Lewis IV, an Army National Guard captain, Iraq War veteran, lawyer and 2004 state attorney general candidate, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from the base of the Robert C. Byrd statue inside the West Virginia state Capitol rotunda Saturday.

Mr. Lewis said Mr. Byrd has served his state well over the years, bringing in a lot of money from Washington. However, Mr. Byrd “has lost touch with the average West Virginian,” he said.

“From his recent appearance at a MoveOn.org rally in Washington and his service as a co-chairman for John Kerry’s campaign in West Virginia, Sen. Byrd has allied himself with the liberal left wing of the Democratic Party. West Virginians are generally moderate to conservative. Byrd was hired to represent West Virginia, not liberal special-interest groups in Washington, D.C.”

Library fun

“In Hot Springs, Ark., for a wedding earlier this month, top Republicans detoured to Little Rock to check out the new Clinton presidential library,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“Republican Party boss Ken Mehlman and pal Sara Taylor, White House political director, said they were impressed with the facility. ‘I love presidential libraries and was happy to have the opportunity to visit the newest one,’ said Taylor.

“Others weren’t as diplomatic. Three who were thorns in the president’s side over the years, Whitewater snoops Barbara Comstock, Mark Corallo and David Bossie enjoyed it so much that they had their picture taken in front of the library and plan to use it for a gag Christmas card.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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