- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 28, 2000

‘Lowest moment’

“The abiding image of Bill Clinton’s administration is not one of Monica Lewinsky, nor any one of several vignettes from the impeachment, nor even that snapshot from less degraded times of the president perched on a dais between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat. It is, instead, the image of a dread-stricken little boy, mouth in midscream, face turned ashen from an onrush of terror, eyes fixed wide on the barrel of a federal agent’s gun.

“The boy was Elian Gonzalez, and the image can there be an American who does not know it? is from the night when Janet Reno, Mr. Clinton’s attorney general, dispatched an armed posse to seize the boy from the home of his relatives in Miami.

“The Clinton years will be remembered almost as much for Ms. Reno as for the president himself… .

“Ms. Reno was the brains behind the abduction of Elian Gonzalez, resorting to force in order to short-circuit a legal process that was not yielding the results that the administration hoped for. That abduction was, surely, the lowest moment in American civilization in the last decade, a terrifying episode in which our government appeared to take on, however briefly, the tyrannical nature ascribed to it by the most lurid, separatist militias.”

Tunku Varadarajan, writing on “The Anti-Reno,” in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal

Gays for Bush

“[Journalist Stephen Miller’s] latest piece argues that gay groups should be foremost in supporting key elements of George W. Bush’s tax agenda. Since gay men and women are barred from being married, we get clobbered in many different ways by Uncle Sam.

“A husband and wife can inherit each other’s property and gifts without taxation, but gay spouses cannot. An end to the estate tax, on W’s lines, would go a long way to solve that problem. Ditto private Social Security accounts.

“If a gay man dies, his de facto husband gets nothing of his Social Security savings. It all goes back to the feds. But if we had some private Social Security accounts, we could pass them along to our spouses legally, and keep them from the grubby hands of the federal government… .

“Miller might also add a general across-the-board tax cut. One of the ironies of Gore’s tax ‘cuts’ is that they were essentially heterosexual tax benefits designed to favor those with legal spouses and children. W’s simpler tax proposals didn’t ask you if you were gay or straight. They just asked you how much tax you paid. Too much!

“Needless to say, no one should expect the major gay groups to be bothered with the actual interests of real homosexuals. They’re too busy asking for money for the thought police to go around searching for more hate crimes.”

Andrew Sullivan, writing on “The Gay Agenda” Thursday at the Web site www.andrewsullivan.com

Cookie-cutter schools

“One humbling aspect of raising children for me was discovering how much youngsters can differ, even within the same family, and how strong each child’s internal predispositions tend to be… .

“Every child has peculiar capabilities and needs, and an innate direction of his or her own. Effective schooling, like effective parenting, must begin by acknowledging this reality… .

“Schools must take the differing natures of children into account… .

“The great and tragic irony is that while education is one of life’s undertakings least suited to one-size-fits-all production, America’s current system of publicly financed schools is one of the most uniform and monopolized portions of society… .

“Our liberal elites love to criticize cookie-cutter shopping malls, standardized highways, and assembly-line hamburger chains. Yet they haven’t a word to speak against the automaton blunderings of public-education monopolies.”

Karl Zinsmeister, writing on “The Deep Secrets of Good Schools,” in the January/ February issue of the American Enterprise

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