- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Temper, temper

William Powers, chairman of the New York Republican Party, got a sample of Sen. John McCain's famous temper when the two men ran into each other at a fund-raising dinner in New Hampshire last week, the New York Post reports.
"Quit [expletive deleted] with me and let me on the ballot in New York," the Arizona Republican reportedly said, referring to the state party's effort to challenge the Arizona senator's nominating petitions for the presidential primary.
Two witnesses told the Post's Fredric U. Dicker that Mr. McCain added loudly: "What are you trying to do to me?"
Mr. Powers, a former Marine sergeant, replied: "I'm going to [expletive deleted] you, that's what. I'm going to do to you what you're doing to me."
Mr. McCain has filed a federal lawsuit against Mr. Powers and the state party, seeking to overturn New York's election law.
However, Mr. McCain attempted to reduce tensions by saying goodbye to Mr. Powers with the traditional Marine slogan, "Semper Fi," witnesses said.
"But Powers quickly rejected the peace offering, responding in a way that only ex-Marines and naval officers might get with the pointed dig, 'Anchors away,' a naval expression meant to point out that McCain was never a Marine," the Post columnist said.

More fakery

"No, it wasn't as manipulative as Charles Van Doren furrowing his brow in concentration as he faked struggling to answer rigged questions on 'Twenty One.' But watching a tape of Hillary Rodham Clinton acing David Letterman's pop quiz on New York state trivia was galling nonetheless," writes USA Today political columnist Walter Shapiro.
"How unsettling the first lady's smugness was as she confidently raced through questions she had to have expected. The carpetbagging Senate candidate never bowed her head in embarrassment when Letterman asked, 'Do you really know this stuff?' Instead, she chirpily responded, 'I've been traveling around and having a great time.' "

Poll to ponder I

Republicans, who had trailed Democrats in congressional "generic" polls for more than a year, now lead by 5 percentage points, according to a Yankelovich survey done for CNN and Time.
"If the election for Congress in November 2000 were held today, do you think you would vote for the Democratic candidate in your district or for the Republican candidate?" the poll asked.
Fifty-one percent of respondents said they would vote Republican, while 46 percent said they would vote Democratic. Three percent did not know or did not respond. The Jan. 6 survey is reported in the latest issue of National Journal.

Poll to ponder II

A Republican poll shows 25 percent of voters favoring Texas Gov. George W. Bush for president "prefer Democrats on the issues by a significant margin," the Associated Press reports.
That was one of the findings in a survey that showed that Democrats were favored, 44 percent to 31 percent, when potential voters were asked which party cares more about them. The poll was shown recently to Republican representatives trying to maintain their party's 10-seat majority in the House.
The poll was conducted by the Fabrizio McLaughlin firm for an organization set up by Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., Oklahoma Republican.
The findings underscore the challenges ahead for the House Republicans even with Mr. Bush showing strongly in presidential polls. The survey recommended that House Republicans target their election-year efforts at Catholic voters; so-called "soccer moms," or suburban women; and voters making $100,000 and more, as well as independents and centrists.
The findings suggested several ways for House Republicans to gain an advantage, including opening a "new issues front" on such subjects as government waste or retiring the national debt.


David Horowitz, ex-radical author of the book "Hating Whitey," says the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and its leader, Kweisi Mfume, have debased the memory of Martin Luther King and turned his birthday into an orgy of self-promotion.
"To focus attention on a symbol like the Confederate flag, which is how the NAACP and Mfume plan to commemorate King's memory, is to demonstrate how utterly devoid of legitimate causes their 'civil rights movement' has become," Mr. Horowitz said yesterday. "It is as if Jewish groups were to meet at Volkswagen to demand the company take down its symbol in memory of Anne Frank."
Mr. Horowitz added: "Under the misleadership of people like Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume, the moral stature of the civil rights movement has never been at a lower ebb. If Jackson and his allies are not off in Decatur these days demonstrating in behalf of juvenile delinquency, they're busy conducting shakedown operations at companies like ABC.
"Mfume and Jackson could spend their time better and do far more for the civil rights cause by dissociating themselves from symbols and anti-Semitic race-haters like Al Sharpton and focusing on a colorblind society. That, at least, would honor the moral example set by Dr. King."

Separate and divide

House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts Jr. did not take kindly to President Clinton's radio address Saturday, in which Mr. Clinton once again called for hate-crimes legislation.
"As a African-American member of Congress, every time I step on the floor of the House to vote, I know that when I place my vote, my vote is equal. Equal to any other member, despite their race, creed, background or wealth," Mr. Watts said in a prepared statement.
"Neither the color of my skin nor my sexual preference makes my vote any more or less powerful than any other. This may have never become a reality without great men such as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass or the courageous fight from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"At a time when we should be honoring and building on Dr. King's fight to make all men equal, President Clinton wants to focus on race and sexual preference. He wants to separate and divide. Mr. President, it's time to unite," he said.
"If we in Washington force states to abide by so-called 'hate-crimes' legislation, we are telling some people that their lives are more important than others. That some murders and abuses come from hate and some do not. I believe all do. I believe each should be punished as swiftly and effectively as the others."

Reagan's reception

While Vice President Al Gore and others continue to sneer at Ronald Reagan, many professional historians are warming to the former president, Ramesh Ponnuru and John J. Miller write at National Review's Internet site (www.nationalreview.com).
"As Paul Kengor reports in Policy Review, Reagan 'is actually faring quite well among academics in the "learned journals," and in certain major academic books,' " Mr. Ponnuru and Mr. Miller said.
"To be sure, New Deal court historian Arthur M. Schlesinger will always hate the Gipper, and there's still plenty of bias in the textbooks that students read (or are supposed to read). Yet Reagan has received respectful, even positive, treatment in a number of places, such as the academic journal Presidential Studies Quarterly.
"Perhaps even more important, he has won the praise of John Lewis Gaddis, widely regarded as the leading historian of the Cold War. Kengor also quotes favorable assessments by David McCullough and Alonzo Hamby. Kengor concludes: 'Reagan's treatment by academics is far better than many people especially many conservatives might surmise it to be.' "

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