- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 19, 2002

Daschle's answer
Sen. Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader, suggested yesterday that the only way Republicans can prove they are not racists is by voting like Democrats.
The South Dakota senator said Republicans have to prove themselves to Democrats, as well as the country, and one measure would be "who they nominate" presumably a reference to judges, although Mr. Daschle did not elaborate.
In an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics," Mr. Daschle was asked whether the controversy enveloping Senate Republican leader Trent Lott strengthens his party's hand.
"I think it does," Mr. Daschle replied.
"I think because the Republicans have to prove, not only to us, of course, but to the American people that they are as sensitive to this question of racism, this question of civil rights, this question of equal opportunity, as they say they are.
"But whether or not they truly are depends on who they nominate, what actions they take, how they vote. What their real, true course of action will be legislatively is in large measure reflected by that, not by their words."
"I don't know what's in Trent Lott's heart, although he's already talked far too much about it for my taste," writes Abigail Thernstrom, a Republican appointee on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
"But two things are clear. A lot of Americans, including most black Americans, will never believe his contrition. And Mr. Lott, by playing the supplicant while clinging to his post as Senate majority leader, has conceded Republican leadership on race-related issues to the Democrats and the traditional Civil Rights community," Mrs. Thernstrom said in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
"In his interview Monday on Black Entertainment Television, Mr. Lott called the controversy a 'wake-up call,' talked of a bipartisan 'task force of reconciliation,' came out for 'across the board' affirmative action and savaged his own lawmaking decisions with the bizarre claim that 'my actions, I think, don't reflect my voting record.' Read between the lines: He will now take his cues from the Democrats and their allies like the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
"Thus the original tragedy remarks that certainly sounded racist at Strom Thurmond's birthday bash is compounded by his new posture as groveler-in-chief of the Republican Party. At a time when fighting racial inequality requires a willingness to challenge the mainstream civil rights establishment, Mr. Lott's party will no longer be able to stand tall.
"On BET, Mr. Lott was defensive about receiving an F on the latest NAACP congressional report card, saying that 'I have been changing.' Yet this report grades politicians on such partisan, non-civil rights matters as their votes on extending unemployment benefits to aviation workers and increasing global AIDS financing. Not surprisingly, every Senate Republican received an F even moderates like Lincoln Chafee and Olympia Snowe. Mr. Lott can aim for a better mark, but he won't get one, not as a Republican."
Double standard
"Today America supports a racialist value system for minorities, while demanding a democratic expansion of the white imagination," Shelby Steele writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus can embrace 'blackness' and demand government preferences exclusively for their race. Remove the double standard and Trent Lott looks perfectly innocent by comparison," said Mr. Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of "A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America."
"But in the end, a man cannot be redeemed by a moral equivalence. That those who ask Sen. Lott to imagine beyond his race do not do so themselves is no consolation. The senator is probably a more moral man and thus a better conservative today than he was two weeks ago, but moral calculus is more forgiving than political calculus. He is now so politically compromised that in his Black Entertainment Television interview he declared 'across the board' support for affirmative action, vowed to rethink his support for Judge Charles Pickering, and agreed to a 'civil rights tour' with Rep. John Lewis.
"A vacuum of white guilt as wide as the Grand Canyon has opened in him, and he will never again see civil rights, welfare, judgeships or education with a clear eye. He will now live in a territory of irony where his redemption will be purchased through support for racialist social reforms that make a virtue of the same segregationist spirit that has now brought him low."
Hoosier candidates
"Former U.S. Rep. Dave McIntosh, Indiana Republican, says he will make another try for the governorship of his home state of Indiana," United Press International reports in its Capital Comment column.
"He lost badly in 2000 to incumbent Gov. Frank O'Bannon, who is term limited and cannot seek re-election. McIntosh may be in for a fight if he wants to be the nominee, as Mitch Daniels, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is also reportedly considering the race," the wire service said.
"Daniels is a former Hoosier State political operative with close ties to GOP Sen. Richard Lugar and would be a formidable opponent to McIntosh. Daniels has served in senior positions in and out of government, including time in the top management tier at pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.
"Democrats are circling the wagons, looking for a candidate on their somewhat weak bench. U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, from the 9th Congressional District, had been expected to make the race but his surprisingly slim victory in the November 2002 election may keep him out. Over the weekend, a trial balloon suggesting Sen. Evan Bayh would run for governor went up and is, as of now, just hanging there. Bayh served two terms as governor and, many analysts believe, chased GOP U.S. Sen. Dan Coats into retirement.
"If Bayh goes for governor rather than run for re-election in 2004, then the GOP is likely to win back his seat in the Senate with McIntosh, who might switch races to avoid a primary with Daniels, former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith or U.S. Rep. Mike Pence."
Watts' advice
Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., who as the only black Republican in Congress has strongly defended Sen. Trent Lott, seemed to suggest yesterday that it might be in the best interests of both Mr. Lott and the Republican Party if the Mississippian stepped aside as Senate majority leader.
"I hope that Senator Lott will consider, and I say this as a friend, I say this as someone who has children, who has a family, who has grandchildren the political arena is a very poisoned arena. It is an arena that likes to attack and divide and I hope that Senator Lott will weigh that," Mr. Watts told CNN.
"And I can tell you that if it was me, I would not put my family nor my grandchildren nor my party through that."
Liberal reward
The liberal Web site Tom Paine (www.TomPaine.com) is offering a $10,000 reward "for information leading to the identification" of what it calls "the Eli Lilly bandit."
In November, a provision buried in legislation establishing the Department of Homeland Security made the drug company Eli Lilly immune from lawsuits claiming that its vaccine caused autism in some children.
"Who inserted the provision? Reporters tried and failed to find out," the Internet journal noted in an ad yesterday in the New York Times.
"Lilly's lobbyists (laughably) claim ignorance. No one on Capitol Hill is proud enough of his handiwork to claim it.
"Democracy requires accountability, so TomPaine.com is offering a $10,000 reward to the first person who proves the identity of the Eli Lilly Bandit the member of Congress responsible for inserting the company's special provision."
Details are available at the Web site.

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