- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2002

A Roosevelt, a Rockefeller and an Eisenhower appeared on Capitol Hill this week to oppose oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Speaking on behalf of their ancestors were Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt IV, chairman of the League of Conservation Voters; Larry Rockefeller, founder of Americans for Alaska; and Susan Eisenhower, president of the Eisenhower Institute.
"Not only did Teddy Roosevelt establish five national parks and set aside vast pristine areas as nature preserves," noted Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a rare Republican who opposes President Bush's proposal to tap ANWR, "but he also left us a conservation ethic."
Not entirely so, says James Pruitt, professor of history at the University of Maryland University College, who tells Inside the Beltway that some in the ANWR debate, including the Wilderness Society and now Miss Collins, have their role models mixed up.
"They must be confusing T.R. with John Muir," the professor says. "Muir was a strict preservationist who believed that nature had to be preserved in a pristine state untouched by man. Roosevelt on the other hand was a conservationist."
Roosevelt, Mr. Pruitt explains, "worked to find a way of using America's natural resources for the benefit of Americans while, at the same time, working to conserve them for future generations. Roosevelt believed that the two goals were not incompatible, but indeed complementary. Roosevelt declared large tracts of wilderness as nature preserves to protect them from clear cutting, but he also had no problem building dams to harness the rivers of the West to provide irrigation for farmers.
"If we can drill in ANWR without destroying the environment, as I believe we can, T.R. would be the first one calling for it," he says.

Arming Democrats
Could it be that Rep. Nita M. Lowey of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, outspoken leader of gun-control legislation and frequent critic of the National Rifle Association, is hosting a pheasant shoot?
"Please join us for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairmen's Council Pheasant Shoot with the Honorable John D. Dingell at Whistling Hill, Boonsboro, Md., Monday March 11," reads the invitation bearing Mrs. Lowey's name.
"Dogs, guides and 12- and 20-gauge shells will be provided. All participants are expected to provide their own shotguns."
But wait, what about Democratic Party faithful who don't own shotguns?
Not to worry, says Mrs. Lowey, the DCCC's Nicole Mizirl is making arrangements to arm the gunless Democrats. Just be sure to "please bring your $2,000 registration fee to the event or have it sent to the DCCC no later than March 8th."
Is this legal?
"It is imperative that you obtain a hunting license," says the DCCC chairman, "purchased at any sporting-goods store, including Dick's Sporting Goods or Wal-Mart."
What should Democrats wear on pheasant shoots?
"You should plan on wearing jeans or tough trousers," Mrs. Lowey recommends.

Dems with guns
Contrary to popular belief, not all liberals view the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, as outdated not even the dean of House Democrats, every liberal's liberal, Rep. John D. Dingell.
"Like Martin Luther, who said he didn't think the devil ought to have all the good music, I say that criminals ought not to have all the guns," the senior Michigan Democrat once observed.
In fact, when a Republican of all people Rep. Henry J. Hyde of Illinois tried in 1999 to impose a 72-hour criminal background check at gun shows, it was Mr. Dingell who cried fowl, er, foul.
The Democrat not only argued that 24 hours was sufficient time to sniff out a criminal, he enlisted other leading Democrats Robert E. "Bud" Cramer of Alabama, Charles W. Stenholm of Texas, Chris John of Louisiana, James L. Oberstar of Minnesota and John Tanner of Tennessee to sign a letter stating that the three-day waiting period proposed by the Republican violated law-abiding citizens' "Second Amendment Rights."
It so happened that toward the end of President Clinton's second term, Mr. Dingell had almost single-handedly killed whatever chances Mr. Clinton and his own Democratic Party had at passing broader gun control. That came as no surprise to Mr. Clinton.
After all, it was a bitterly cold morning in 1993, shortly after arriving in Washington from Arkansas, that two Democrats handed Mr. Clinton a hunting license, earplugs and a semiautomatic shotgun and took him duck hunting on Maryland's Slaughter Creek. One was Rep. Bill Brewster of Oklahoma, who after leaving Congress became a National Rifle Association board member. The other was Mr. Dingell.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide