- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 19, 2006

Not offended

“Now that Zell Miller is out of office, the only office-holding Democrat I like anymore is Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans. I had never heard of him until Hurricane Katrina, but after his ‘gaffe’ this week, he’s my favorite Democrat. I like a politician who casually spouts off insanely politically incorrect remarks in front of large audiences and TV cameras.

“Nagin cheerfully told a crowd gathered for a Martin Luther King Day celebration that New Orleans would soon be ‘Chocolate City’ again. I don’t know who’s supposed to be offended by that. I’m not. Perhaps all the white mayors who know they couldn’t have said it. True, life’s unfair. Oh well.

“When it comes to choice-of-word crimes, I’d prefer detente to mutually assured destruction.”

Ann Coulter, writing on “‘Chocolate City’ sprinkled with nuts,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

‘Dangerous lunatics’

” ‘My deepest feeling about politicians,’ said W.H. Auden, ‘is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth.’

“I agree with the first part about the dangerous lunatics and avoiding them, but I don’t see much reason to humor them or protect them from the truth. …

“In his pay-to-play game, [lobbyist Jack] Abramoff, as it’s alleged, raked in multimillion-dollar fees from his clients, including tens of millions from casino-rich Indian tribes, in order to buy the votes of Washington’s politicians on policy matters and contracts in a way that was designed to generate a highly profitable flow of public dollars into the coffers of the aforementioned clients. …

“Correctly, P.J. O’Rourke, more than a decade ago, called such a government ‘a parliament of whores.’ …

“Theodore Roosevelt had it right a century ago: ‘When they call the roll in the Senate,’ he stated, ‘the senators do not know whether to answer present or not guilty.’ ”

Ralph R. Reiland, writing on “Crooks By Any Other Name,” yesterday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

God of Abraham

“Reflecting on the horrendous human sacrifices of the war and disabled by the loss of his beloved son Willie in 1862, [Abraham Lincoln] transmuted his secular fatalism into a religious fatalism. … Yet Lincoln the president still remained aloof from the churches and detached from the Christian conception of sin and redemption.

“Of God’s formidable presence in history he was convinced. That did not mean he wished to build a personal relationship with that God or even thought he was capable of building one. About Jesus as redeemer Lincoln remained silent, although after his death a few overeager Christian acquaintances claimed he had privately professed his faith in Christ. …

“Never an abolitionist, and forthright in the early years of the war about his willingness to have ended it, if possible, without freeing a single slave, Lincoln now believed that God had effected the emancipation of 4 million African-Americans. …

“For all his long-standing dismissals of the sectarian moral purity of the religious abolitionists, the president’s eventual conclusion that God himself counted as an abolitionist shows how profoundly the religious presuppositions of the anti-slavery movement had seeped into Lincoln’s consciousness.”

Richard Wightman Fox, writing on “Lincoln’s Religious Quest,” Wednesday in Slate at www.slate.com

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