- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2005

Zounds, the liberals have found another of their “smoking guns.” That is what they are calling a job application submitted 20 years ago by a young lawyer seeking promotion in the Reagan administration. His name is Samuel A. Alito Jr. and as close observers of national politics will note he is President Bush’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court.

In this chilling job application, Judge Alito declares: “I am and always have been a conservative.” He outlines his shocking disagreements with the judicial activism of the Warren court and he scruples over such matters as affirmative action.

Judge Alito was, at the time, an assistant to the solicitor general, applying for an opening in the office of Attorney General Edwin Meese III. Yes, that Ed Meese. The one who worked for Ronald Reagan, the country’s first cowboy president, who brought the country to the brink of nuclear warfare with the U.S.S.R., back when there was a U.S.S.R.

President Mikhail Gorbachev calmed things down and saved us all. Then America rejoined the world’s civilized countries under another of America’s great playboy presidents — this one even more of a playboy than John F. Kennedy — our 42nd president, Bill Clinton, who never lied to the American people or, for that matter, his staff. President Clinton kept us out of war and recognized one cannot attack a foreign dictator simply because the West’s intelligence agencies say he has weapons of mass destruction. What if he does not? What if his thwarting of U.N. resolutions and his taunts are just empty macho boasts? The Clinton policy was to wait and see what the French do.

But back to this “smoking gun” — in it, Judge Alito claims membership in the mysterious Federalist Society, identified today by Democratic leaders as another “far right” group. Judge Alito avers he was a member also of a group at Princeton University that in the early 1970s opposed coeducation, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, which published a magazine, Prospect. The magazine published many articles that Democratic leaders now recognize as “far right.” What is more, Judge Alito, in his 1985 application, claimed he recently submitted articles to National Review and the American Spectator, two more “far right” organizations, the latter the magazine caught organizing a coup d’etat against our last playboy president, the one with the unlit cigar. The cigar has come to be recognized as Mr. Clinton’s own Churchillian trademark, albeit less malodorous and injurious.

The other day journalists from mainstream media began calling our offices at the American Spectator asking us what Judge Alito wrote about in his articles. Our publisher, the far-right Al Regnery, fielded the calls. I wish they had called me. I would have told them about the young lawyer’s beautifully worded essay demonstrating the Earth is flat. I would have mentioned his short piece on the need to drop the big one on Hanoi and Berkeley, Calif. I wonder if the journalists would have recognized I was pulling their legs.

The “far-right” that the liberals now inveigh against has been politically ascendant since 1980. Sixteen years before that, when it captured the Republican Party, one might have sympathized with the liberals’ characterization, though it was an exaggeration even then. To keep grinding this ax for 40 years demonstrates precisely how intellectually jejune the liberals and the Democrats are. They have become museum pieces and will soon be mortuary pieces if they do not come up with something positive to say.

Now they advocate cutting and running from Iraq, just as the Iraqis move into a position to defend themselves and elect a constitutional government. They say the invasion of Iraq was all a “big mistake.” Those are the words of our last playboy president, uttered at the American University of Dubai the other day. America under this cowboy president was reckless in invading Iraq and attempting to spread democracy there.

Well, allow me to quote an earlier president speaking to a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947: “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure.” That was Harry Truman enunciating what came to be called the Truman Doctrine. He was summoning Congress to the defense of Greece and Turkey. The critics urged restraint, saying Greece was corrupt and Turkey undemocratic. Truman proceeded despite them and both countries have done rather well thanks to Americans who thought they could spread democracy.

May I suggest President Bush dust off the Truman Doctrine? That might make the smug Democrats squirm.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator, a contributing editor to the New York Sun, and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. His latest book is “Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.”

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