- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 25, 2001

Another myth
“In the weeks since Sept. 11, an erroneous assumption has taken hold, both inside this country and abroad, about the foreign policy of the Bush administration. Let’s call it the Myth of Abandoned Unilateralism,” Jim Mann writes in the Los Angeles Times.
“According to this myth, the Bush administration’s foreign policy underwent a radical transformation after the terrorist attacks. Beforehand, or so the myth holds, the U.S. tried to deal with the world as a sole superpower, avoiding international agreements. Since Sept. 11, it reversed course and has chosen a new multilateral approach.
“The reality is otherwise,” said Mr. Mann, a senior writer-in-residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “If you focus on actual policy positions rather than mere style and tone, the Bush administration has changed far less than have the perceptions of it.
“It hasn’t altered its position on the Kyoto treaty or the test-ban treaty or any of the other issues that were the basis of the earlier judgments. It hasn’t changed its views on missile defense. Sure, the Bush administration is asking for help from other countries now. But look carefully and you’ll find that it also is careful to avoid tying itself down or turning decisions over to international or multilateral organizations.”

No compromise
As Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle told President Bush on Tuesday, Democrats will not budge when it comes to acting on judicial nominations.
“Indeed, some key Democratic constituencies are arguing that it is more important now than ever before not to compromise on judges, no matter what temporary spirit of comity might prevail in Congress,” Byron York writes at the National Review Web site (www.nationalreview.com).
“One example of the depth of liberal feeling is contained in a report, ‘President Bush, the Senate and the Federal Judiciary: Unprecedented Situation Calls for Unprecedented Solution,’ issued October 17 by the left-wing advocacy group People for the American Way. The report says that in his ‘response to the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks,’ Bush must decide whether he will ‘provoke intense partisan conflict’ by ‘pushing for votes on predominantly right-wing ideologues’ to the federal judiciary,” Mr. York noted.
“‘Right-wing advocates inside and outside of government are urging President Bush to use the bipartisan support he has been given in the wake of the terrorist attacks to complete the campaign for ideological dominance over the entire federal judiciary,’ the report continues. ‘Given how much is at stake, senators must resist pressure from right-wing administration or Senate leaders to speed confirmation of nominees without serious consideration, and refuse to allow the critically important circuit courts of appeal from becoming dominated by right-wing ideologues.’”

Tilted obituary
“Being a ‘staunch Republican’ contravenes helping ‘raise money for food and clothing for poor children,’ the New York Times contended in one of its daily obituaries for a victim of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center,” Brent Baker of the Media Research Center writes.
“Sadly, the New York Times could not keep the liberal tilt of its staff from infecting its commendable effort, which will take about a year, to run brief obituaries every day until it has done one on every victim,” Mr. Baker said at www.mrc.org.
“Under the heading of ‘Defying Easy Categorization,’ the October 19 Times item began: ‘Edward C. Murphy’s life brimmed with contrasts and deep loyalties. He was a staunch Republican who invested in real estate and race horses. But he also helped nonprofit groups raise money for food and clothing for poor children in his native Clifton, N.J.’
“As James Taranto, author of OpionionJournal.com’s ‘Best of the Web’ column commented: ‘If the Times thinks there’s something unusual about Republicans helping poor children, it should say so on its editorial page, not in a news article and especially not an obituary.’”

Ideological havoc
“Twice last week, I found myself on the telephone, talking to friends about Tony Blair,” Anne Applebaum, a journalist based in London and Warsaw, writes at slate.com.
“One of them was calling from London. She had been made so claustrophobic by the overwhelming opposition to Blair, and to Blair’s conduct of the war on terrorism in the left-wing press, among her left-wing acquaintances that she wanted more perspective. She asked how Blair’s performance in the weeks since Sept. 11 looked to outsiders. Was British policy admired abroad? Was it mocked?
“The other telephone call came from a Washingtonian. He had rung to talk about other things, but he was also irresistibly drawn to the subject of the British prime minister. Blair is marvelous, said my other friend, who is about as conservative as anyone I know. He continued on in that mode for several minutes: We thought he was a phony, we thought he was a pompous version of Clinton, we thought he was a bore and now we think he’s a great statesman.
“These views are worth repeating, because the contrast between them so beautifully reflects some of the ideological havoc that Tony Blair has wrought over the past few weeks. Suddenly, American conservatives love Tony Blair, because they think he’s fighting for their cause: ‘Terrific’ was the word Bill Kristol used, deploying no other adjectives. Suddenly, a large chunk of the British left hates Tony Blair, both because they think he’s fighting for the American conservatives’ cause, and because they think he will lose.”

Forget fund raising
President Bush has delayed his return to Republican fund raising, sending Vice President Richard B. Cheney to speak in his place at a Republican Governors Association (RGA) event tonight in the District.
Mr. Cheney plans to update the governors on domestic security, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
The RGA billed the fund-raiser as “An Evening with President George W. Bush.”
It would have been Mr. Bush’s first fund-raiser since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He last raised money for Republicans in August, attending events for congressional candidates.
Mr. Bush thinks it is more appropriate for the vice president to attend the Thursday night fund-raiser, Mr. Fleischer said.
RGA spokeswoman Kirsten Fedewa said the governors understand the change, the Associated Press reports.
“They will be perfectly happy with the vice president,” she said.

Acting like ninnies
“It didn’t take Canadians long to decide the war on terrorism required Canada to do its favorite thing, strip a pharmaceutical company of its patent rights. And U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer isn’t far behind,” Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. writes.
“Bayer, maker of brand-name Cipro, has been accused of insensitivity in the anthrax crisis, but a German company isn’t in the best position to tell Americans when they are acting like ninnies,” Mr. Jenkins said.
“It’s up to others to figure out how to strike the right note and let Americans know that sufficient quantities of antibiotics are available. But in fact there is never enough of anything if overnight a country goes into panic-stockpiling mode. For the same reason that New York City would be washed out to sea if 7 million people flushed their toilets at the same moment, a national crisis can be sparked if everyone runs out on the same day to stock up on antibiotics.
“Explaining this might be a better task for Tom Ridge than Tommy Thompson, whose job as Health and Human Services secretary is not to tell people to suck it up and learn to live with greater uncertainty. His portfolio doesn’t include reminding Americans that there’s a war going on. Mr. Ridge is the man; in times of war, we let those charged with homeland security tell us the priorities.”

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