- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Condit returns fire
Rep. Gary A. Condit lashed out at the major daily newspapers in his congressional district, saying editorials that called for his resignation were "unfair."
Mr. Condit's statement, issued late Sunday, was the first public comment concerning the case of Chandra Levy since he reportedly acknowledged an affair with the missing intern.
The editorial pages of the Modesto Bee and the Fresno Bee, two newspapers in California's Central Valley, demanded Sunday that Mr. Condit resign, not because of any marital indiscretions, but because he had violated the public's trust.
The Modesto Bee editorial, put on the newspaper's front page, called Mr. Condit's conduct during the search for Miss Levy "abhorrent."
"It is terribly unfair and disappointing that the Bee would have come to any decision about me without first allowing the investigation to continue and hearing what I have to say," Mr. Condit said, adding that his "30 years in public service should have earned me that much consideration."
Mr. Condit said the newspapers have run false accusations about him before, only to correct them later, the Associated Press reports.
Both the Modesto Bee and the Fresno Bee are owned by McClatchy newspaper group, and both cover a significant portion of Mr. Condit's district. On Wednesday, Mr. Condit's hometown weekly newspaper, the Ceres Courier, also called for his resignation.
Mr. Condit said the newspapers did not appreciate that he wanted to spend some time with his wife and children "before I sat down for any public interview." Mr. Condit said he hoped his constituents would hold off on making any judgment until they hear what he has to say, which he added he plans "to do very soon."
The statement concluded by saying, "As I always have done, I will rely on and live by the opinion and decision of those who I have been honored and privileged to serve."

Born-again Borks
"It's more than a little startling to see professors who have spent their careers praising judicial activism suddenly sounding like born-again Borks," writes Max Boot, editorial features editor for the Wall Street Journal.
Among those cited by Mr. Boot were American University's James B. Raskin, Georgetown's Neal Katyal, New York University's Anthony Amsterdam, and the University of Chicago's Cass Sunstein.
"The academy applauds Baker v. Carr, the 1962 case that asserted high court jurisdiction over the apportionment of state legislature seats, and Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, the 1963 case that invalidated state poll taxes. But now the champions of these equal-protection rulings have suddenly decided the U.S. Supreme Court has no right to review state voting procedures and in a federal election, no less. What gives?
"Yale's Bruce Ackerman gave away the game when he charged that, since Mr. Bush took power in a 'coup,' the Senate should refuse to confirm any of his Supreme Court nominees. His fellow liberal, Harvard's Larry Tribe, isn't willing to go as far, but he's happy to lend his prestige to the theory that the Senate should reject any judicial nominee whose ideology it dislikes. Sen. Charles Schumer [New York Democrat] has held two hearings to promote these views."

Shot down
"With little fanfare, the Bush administration is undoing or ignoring gun-control measures that were pursued aggressively by the Clinton administration," USA Today reports.
"And to the delight of gun-rights activists, the Democratic opposition in Congress hasn't responded with the expressions of outrage and demands for redress that have met President Bush's actions on such issues as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and environmental protection," reporter Susan Page writes.
"The politics of guns are changing.
"Some Democratic leaders and key strategists are worried that a perception of Democrats as anti-gun is costing the party's candidates dearly among white men, rural residents and Southern voters. More than any other issues, some analysts say, unease about gun control helped defeat presidential candidate Al Gore in several traditionally Democratic Southern and border states — any of which would have been enough to put him in the White House."

Oakar runs for mayor
Former Rep. Mary Rose Oakar, the Ohio Democrat who was brought down by the House Bank scandal in the early '90s, is running for mayor of Cleveland, Roll Call reports.
"I'll be a cheerleader for Cleveland," Miss Oakar said in her announcement speech. "Being your mayor will be a labor of love."
Miss Oakar had 213 overdrafts at the House Bank, and was defeated for re-election in 1992 after 16 years in the House. She later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to two years' probation and fined $32,000.
She won a seat in the Ohio House in 2000. She is the seventh mayoral candidate. A nonpartisan primary will take place on Oct. 6, with the two leading vote-getters moving on to the Nov. 6 general election. Incumbent Mayor Michael White is retiring after four terms.

Cheap polemics
"Tactics in the war against Social Security privatization have apparently shifted," writes Robert A. Levy, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute.
"No longer is it enough to dodge the substantive questions. Opponents of privatization have added smear and derision to their arsenal. Consider, for example, economist Paul Krugman's diatribe against the Cato Institute and the Bush Commission on Social Security Reform ('Nothing for Something,' New York Times, August 8)," Mr. Levy said in a column at nationalreview.com.
"Krugman begins by disparaging the commission's bipartisanship. In fact, the commission is composed of eight Democrats and eight Republicans. The co-chair is Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat, who was the Senate's leading authority on Social Security. By maligning the commission, Krugman merely exposes his own partisanship.
"He also warns that many of the commission's members and staff are associated with the 'ultra-conservative' Cato Institute. That sorry tactic trying to tar Cato with a label that Krugman regards as pejorative is cheap polemics. Krugman knows well that Cato is libertarian, not ultra-conservative. There is a world of difference."

So much for centrism
"Senators Barbara Boxer, Tom Harkin and Ted Kennedy are centrists? By the reasoning of The Washington Post they must be," the Media Research Center's Brent Baker writes at mrc.org.
"In a profile last week of Democratic Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who is running for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, Washington Post reporter Richard Leiby referred to 'his centrism.' But Edwards earns about the same vote ratings as Boxer, Harkin and Kennedy," Mr. Baker said.
"In 2000, he earned an 85 percent rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. That year Boxer [California Democrat] got the same rating and Kennedy [Massachusetts Democrat] earned 90 percent approval. In 1999, Edwards matched Kennedy with a 90 percent rating for the freshman senator's rookie year.
"The American Conservative Union assessed Edwards at 12 percent in 2000 and 8 percent in 1999 for a 10 percent career average. Compare that to a nearly identical career 9 percent for Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, a well-established liberal. On the conservative side, Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana, at 89 percent lifetime, and Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire, at 92 percent over his career, are about as conservative as Edwards is liberal. Can you imagine The Washington Post ever referring to the 'centrism' of Smith or Burns?"

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