- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 2, 2000

Carville's maxim

Faced with defections to Ralph Nader, the Gore campaign and its allies keep talking about "energizing the base" of the Democratic Party.
That led Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Dick Polman yesterday to quote Democratic activist James Carville: "[W]henever I hear a campaign talk about a need to energize the base, that's a campaign that's going down the toilet. It's a pretty good indication that … they're getting shelled back into their own bunker."
Mr. Carville made the remark in his first book, referring to the election of 1992 when President Bush was struggling to lock up his base as many Republicans defected to Ross Perot.

A fateful decision

"Whenever a business is faced with a financial crisis, one strategy is to sell some of its assets to raise the necessary funds. Something similar has happened to the nation's premier civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People," writes Robert L. Woodson Jr., founder and president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.
"The NAACP, faced with bankruptcy just a few years ago, has recovered to the point where it can afford to spend $9 million on what are loosely called 'issue' ads. These ads have nothing to do with improving the black community. Instead, they turn out to be attack ads against Republican candidates," Mr. Woodson said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
"In one of the ads, the camera pans in on a truck that is dragging a chain behind it. A voice is heard a woman, the daughter of James Byrd, a black man slain by four whites in Texas. She says, 'When Governor Bush refused to support hate-crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.'
"Is this Willie Horton in reverse? The NAACP has made a fateful decision to sell the only asset it has: the moral capital built up over years by the sacrifices of Martin Luther King Jr. and others who gave their lives in the struggle for civil rights. Dr. King and the NAACP once called all America to a higher purpose that was beyond partisan politics. But the NAACP under the leadership of former Rep. Kweisi Mfume has all but abandoned any pretense of being the champion of social justice for black America and has instead turned into an appendage of the left wing of the Democratic Party."

Lack of diversity

Apparently, being an openly homosexual champion of same-sex "marriage" just isn't good enough.
Former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan says that he is "persona non grata" at the homosexual magazine the Advocate and has had a commissioned article revoked for some scathing criticism of the magazine's recent interview with President Clinton.
"Judy Wieder, editor of the Advocate … only last week commissioned a piece from me about the future of AIDS therapy," Mr. Sullivan reported Monday on www.andrewsullivan.com. "After my comments in this space about [interviewer] Chris Bull's tongue-bath of Bill Clinton's shoes in a recent Advocate interview, she e-mailed me to officially disinvite me."
Mr. Sullivan called the e-mail unsurprising.
"The gay press in general has about the same openness and diversity of views [as] Pravda, circa 1974," he said.
His thought crime came last week, when Mr. Sullivan posted on his Web site a blistering critique of the magazine's Clinton interview, saying: "If anyone needs proof that the gay press is still not ready for prime-time, this interview is Exhibit A."

'Doonesbury' yanked

At least two newspapers pulled an installment of Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" because a character accuses George W. Bush of cocaine abuse.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the San Antonio Express-News yanked yesterday's strip, in which renegade presidential candidate Duke upset by polls that show him receiving 0 percent of the vote is told that voters have concerns about his lifestyle.

He responds: "My lifestyle? What about Dubya's? He's got a history of alcohol abuse and cocaine!"

Mr. Bush, responding to questions in the primary season, said he had not used any illegal drug in the past 25 years, but he would not elaborate. No evidence of cocaine use has ever surfaced.

In an editorial, the Express-News said Mr. Trudeau "stepped way over the lines of truth and fairness … straight into serious, unsubstantiated charges."

The Minnesota paper also said it would not publish today's strip, which says Mr. Bush has never on the record denied using cocaine.

Mr. Trudeau does not speak on his strips' content, which is so heavily larded with Mr. Trudeau's liberal politics that some papers run it in their opinion pages.

"We certainly believe every journalist is entitled to their opinion. However we do believe this is a little over the line," Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett said.

Southern comfort

The Republicans might get good luck from another source: the Washington Redskins. The Redskins lost their final home game before the election Monday night to the Tennessee Titans.

Since 1940, every time the Redskins lose their last home game before the presidential election, the incumbent party loses the White House.

"It sounds like Tennessee is going to help put us over the top in more ways than one," Bush spokesman Scott McClellan told reporter Dave Boyer of The Washington Times, referring to Mr. Bush's lead in Vice President Al Gore's home state.

Chappaqua Halloween

Secret Service agents armed with M&Ms; and Snickers fended off Spiderella, Ice Wolf, the Headless Horseman and other young extortionists who besieged the Chappaqua, N.Y., home of President and Hillary Rodham Clintons on Tuesday with cries of "Trick or treat, Hillary!"
One agent became suspicious of a 16-year-old in a cow suit, but otherwise Halloween started off smoothly on Old House Lane in Chappaqua, the Associated Press reports.
Neither the first lady nor the president was home when costumed candy-seekers began arriving in late afternoon; both were away campaigning. Instead, Secret Service agents at the gate handled the customary duties.
"That's from the first family, not from us," one of the agents said as he offered candy to Maggie Goldberg, Danielle Cohen and Sika Gasinu, all 10 and from Ardsley.
Maggie's father, Mark Goldberg, said his daughter "has been looking forward to this since the Clintons moved in" in January.
The agents turned away the two first trick-or-treaters: Will Adams, 16, in a black-and-white cow suit, and Joey Rubin, 17, in devil horns, who said they had driven 30 minutes from Yorktown to knock on the first family's door. The agent who turned them away later said he thought the teens were too old to be trick-or-treating.

The old college try

As talk swirls of the possibility that a presidential candidate could win Tuesday's popular vote but lose in the Electoral College, Rep. Ray LaHood, Illinois Republican, is reviving his longtime effort to abolish what he calls an outdated way of choosing Oval Office occupants.
"The old days of having an elite group of people decide the race is passe," Mr. LaHood said yesterday as he welcomed Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, to his cause.
Mr. LaHood and Mr. Durbin acknowledge there is little support for their proposed constitutional amendment to require direct elections more than 700 measures have been introduced in the country's history to reform or abolish the Electoral College, with the most successful achieving House passage in 1969.
Mr. LaHood, who was a member of the Electoral College in 1988, first developed his dislike for the system more than 30 years ago as a junior high school social studies teacher, trying to explain the process to a baffled class.
He has introduced his bill in each of the last two congressional sessions but has had little luck advancing it, the Associated Press reports.

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