- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pace defends gay ban

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday defended the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on open homosexuality in the military by saying homosexual acts “are immoral.”

“I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts,” Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace said in an interview with editors and reporters of the Chicago Tribune.

He said the military should not tolerate homosexual acts the way it does not tolerate military members who commit adultery with another service member’s spouse, noting that that behavior is also punished under military law.

“I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way,” said Gen. Pace, explaining that his views were based on his personal “upbringing,” in which he was taught that certain types of conduct are immoral.

A smashing ad

Some tech-savvy political junkies are comparing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York to Big Brother in a YouTube ad supporting Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

Titled “Vote Different,” the Internet ad features a Orwellian Jumbotron image of Mrs. Clinton speaking about why she wants to be president.

After the New York Democrat says, “I don’t want people who already agree with me; I want honest, experienced, hardworking, patriotic people who want to be part of a team, the American team,” a familiar image jogs across the screen.

A woman in running shorts, sporting an Obama tank top and an IPod in her ears, hurls a hammer at the screen, creating an explosion.

Then this text rolls down the screen: “On January 14th the Democratic primary will begin. And you’ll see why 2008 won’t be like ‘1984,’ ” and touts the Web site run by Mr. Obama, Illinois Democrat.

Sound familiar?

It’s a “mashup” of Mrs. Clinton’s Web video edited together with Apple’s infamous 1984 Super Bowl commercial introducing the Macintosh computer to the world. The “Vote Different” ad has been viewed more than 150,000 times at YouTube.com.

Mr. Obama’s press shop didn’t respond to our inquiry, but liberal bloggers have said the Obama camp isn’t responsible for the ad.

See yesterday’s post at http://video1.washington times.com/fishwrap/ to view the ad.

Sharpton vs. Obama

The Rev. Al Sharpton, denying any jealousy, yesterday criticized Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

“Why shouldn’t the black community ask questions? Are we now being told, ‘You all just shut up?’ ” Mr. Sharpton said.

“Senator Obama and I agree that the war is wrong, but then I want to know why he went to Connecticut and helped [Senator Joe] Lieberman, the biggest supporter of the war.”

Mr. Sharpton also questioned why Mr. Obama supports “tort reform, which hurts police-brutality victims.”

What set Mr. Sharpton off was a published report that he is trying to hurt Mr. Obama’s campaign because he’s jealous, CBS News reports. Mr. Sharpton says that claim is untrue, charging the story came from the Obama camp to pressure him into an early endorsement.

“I’m not going to be cajoled or intimidated by any candidate” seeking his support, Mr. Sharpton said.

Up for grabs

“The Republican race has me totally flummoxed,” Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call.

“Arizona Sen. John McCain should be the favorite and the front-runner in the race for his party’s nomination. I certainly thought he was, but I’m not sure right now,” Mr. Rothenberg said.

“McCain earned the right to be regarded as the next Republican hopeful in line for his party’s nomination, and in the past 50 years or so that’s been a very good predictor of the nomination. …

“Instead, McCain is having trouble being accepted by conservatives, who see him as neither entirely dependable nor entirely conservative. Even though he is a nationally known political figure who has run for president, McCain trails a liberal former New York City mayor for the GOP nomination in national polls. And he trails him consistently. The margin isn’t all that close in recent surveys.

“Then there is Rudy Giuliani, the man who leads in all Republican polls. Unless all of the political analysis about the Republican Party over the past 20 years has been wrong, Giuliani shouldn’t be able to win the GOP nomination.”

Mr. Rothenberg, after mentioning a number of other Republican hopefuls, added: “If you aren’t confused yet, you aren’t paying attention. This is a race that is not merely up for grabs. It’s unusually unpredictable. The only thing I’m sure of right now is that the Republicans will have a nominee at some point next year.”

Elder Bush faints

Former President GeorgeBush was treated at a California hospital for dehydration and released yesterday after collapsing during a golf outing in Palm Springs.

Jean Becker, Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, told the Associated Press that Mr. Bush fainted while playing golf with friends Sunday in 94-degree heat.

“He’s fine; he really is fine,” Miss Becker said. “He became dehydrated, and he had a fainting spell. He came to right away, but as a precaution they took him to the hospital and then — much to his dismay — as a precaution they held him overnight. The doctors released him first thing” yesterday morning.

Mr. Bush, 82, and former first lady Barbara Bush were in California visiting Lee Annenberg, a family friend and the widow of billionaire publisher and diplomat Walter Annenberg.

‘Moral high ground’

There is one aspect of former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III’s message that the Republican presidential hopeful “raises repeatedly and fervently,” Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator writes at that magazine’s Web site (www.spectator.org).

“When I served in the Army during the Cold War, nobody had any doubt who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. We were the good guys. … We were seen as people who wanted to reach out a helping hand. … We need to recapture the moral high ground. There is a sense right now that it is debatable that we are the ones on the moral high ground, and we need to make sure we are the ones planted there. We have to make sure that people around the world understand that we have their interests at heart,” Mr. Gilmore said.

“There’s something comfortingly 1950s-ish about Gilmore,” Mr. Hillyer writes, “not in the sense of being behind the times, but in the sense of personal style and values.

” ‘I am what I am,’ Gilmore told conservative bloggers. And what he is, is exactly what he appears to be. That’s a virtue. Conservatives looking for a presidential candidate could definitely do worse.”

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

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