- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2007

Listen up, Congress

Whenever you hear words like “fair” and “fairness” coming out of the mouths of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, you know your wallet or one of your constitutionally guaranteed freedoms is up for give-and-take negotiations: You give, they take. This latest Democratic move to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine is an underhanded attempt to silence the opposition (“Bid to hush Rush,” Inside Politics, June 28).

With advancement in communications technology, the Fairness Doctrine is an anachronism. It makes me wonder why the hard sell to put it back in place. The liberals don’t lack for opportunities across the spectrum of American media outlets. They dominate the print media, the mainstream broadcast news, most of the cable news stations and the taxpayer-funded National Public Radio. How many conservative stations are supported by taxpayers?

Clearly, the Democrats’ real goal is to reduce the influence of the conservative voices on the AM band. The conservative radio talk shows have been so effective in providing fair debate to the left’s ideas that Mrs. Feinstein has blamed them for the defeat of the immigration bill. Does she believe all the rest of the comfortably liberal media is insufficient to loudly provide alternate views to those of a few radio shows? The immigration bill failed because the liberals and their media lap dogs didn’t have a leg to stand on, and thanks to conservative radio shows, the American public found that out. Without conservative radio to balance the rest of the media universe, the American public will remain vulnerable to half-truths and flat-out-harmful liberal ideas.

The Democrats’ sudden interest in fairness begs the obvious question: Will the slew of liberal television stations and the editorial page of the New York Times be required to give equal time to opposing viewpoints? Hardly. The problem is that the left’s 1960s nihilistic social and political ideology has been and will continue to be rejected summarily by a majority of the American people, who, having suffered decades from the fruit of their policies, demand common sense and rightness in governance. Because the left’s ideas cannot compete, the left wing of the Democratic Party is seeking to use the power of Congress to shut down the competition. If the so-called Fairness Doctrine comes back to life, what is to stop the left from regulating the Internet?

Thank goodness Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, is on his toes. On June 29, he introduced, along with 100 sponsors, the Broadcaster Freedom Act, a bill that would prevent the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. Mr. Pence’s legislation is critical to ensuring fair and balanced debate of controversial issues. To squelch conservative talk radio is to set up the country for extremely bad and even dangerous governance, and it is un-American to boot.

LISA MOUNT

Williamsburg

Dereliction of duty

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is dead wrong, and what’s more, he knows it (“Chertoff rebukes Congress over bill,” Page 1, Monday). His position, which must have been approved by the White House, is but another example of coercion by blackmail holding border security hostage to the abomination he insists is “immigration reform.”

The two basic functions of the federal government are defense of the currency and defense of the border. In both instances, the federal government has failed miserably. Congress approved funds to build a fence, but it tried to skirt the $4.4 billion price tag by clouding the fact that this money was to come not from our taxes, but from fines paid by illegal aliens. However, the whole concept is a red herring because many of these illegal aliens don’t care about citizenship; all they care about is the de facto legalization of their status and access to social-safety-net programs via the absurd and failed Z-Visa program. It’s simply dereliction of duty, especially during a time of war with terrorism, to skirt the issue, pass it off to the illegal aliens, complain about the Senate, lie to the American people and abdicate the sworn responsibility of the president.

The two-time defeat of the immigration bill, which should have prompted Mr. Chertoff and President Bush to stand up and be counted, instead has caused them to dig in their heels and insult their most loyal supporters, whom they have lost forever.

J.H. COHEN

New York City

Citizen watch

Montgomery County residents need to give thanks to Police Chief Tom Manger for standing up against illegal immigration and lawlessness (“The county and immigration enforcement,” Editorial, Tuesday). Chief Manger has stood by his decision to enforce the law and not, as demanded, have his officers ignore federal immigration warrants.

Chief Manger further threatened to resign if ordered by county officials to ignore enforcement of those warrants. In a surprise move, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, the county’s top advocate and financial supporter of CASA and day laborer centers, backed Chief Manger’s position on illegal aliens.

I’m saving my half a cheer, however, as Chief Manger is in the process of updating his 1998 police manual, including the section on federal immigration warrants. It’s important for all law-abiding citizens to monitor Mr. Leggett and Chief Manger to ensure that federal immigration warrants continue to be enforced. In fact, with the fantasy of federal amnesty for illegal aliens now a dead issue, the county police need to upgrade and enhance their procedures regarding federal immigration warrants. This enhancement would include undergoing specific federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) training to enable county officers to question, detain and arrest illegal aliens as well as assist ICE in the deportation process.

My questions for Mr. Leggett and Chief Manger: Why are you having closed-door meetings with pro-illegal-alien elected officials such as Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez and illegal-alien advocacy groups such as CASA and the American Civil Liberties Union? Why should these groups have special access and input to the county’s policy on federal immigration warrants?

Why aren’t Mr. Leggett and Chief Manger having closed-door meetings with pro-legal-immigration citizens groups such as Help Save Maryland, Citizens Above Party, the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Maryland Minuteman Civil Defense Corps? As the Senate just found out, American citizens are no longer going to take a back seat when it comes to illegal immigration issues.

BRAD BOTWIN

Director

Help Save Maryland.com

Rockville

Bush’s ‘shameful act’

What President Bush has done in commuting I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s sentence will be regarded as one of the most shameful acts a sitting U.S. president has ever committed (“Bush commutes Libby’s prison sentence,” Page 1,Tuesday).

Let’s review facts: Libby was charged by a special prosecutor a Republican, by the way of perjury and obstruction of justice. He received a fair trial and was convicted by a jury. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, a conservative appointed by Mr. Bush, sentenced Libby to 30 months in federal prison. Now, for the first time in history, a sitting president has commuted the prison sentence of a high-ranking White House official convicted of a federal crime.

Excuse me, but wasn’t there a time when Republicans were all about the so-called rule of law? Remember President Clinton’s impeachment for lying about sex? Republicans wouldn’t shut up about it.

This was supposed to be the administration that was going to restore accountability to the White House. Well, where is it?

MARTIN DESSURES

Chicago