- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2002

Parsky vs. Simon

Gerald Parsky, described in yesterday's New York Times as President Bush's "closest adviser in California," lashed out at Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon on Wednesday, suggesting that Mr. Simon is an "extreme conservative" who probably cannot be elected.

Reporter Richard L. Berke reports that Mr. Parsky "said he was hoping, but not convinced, that Mr. Simon would run enough of a broadly based campaign" against Democratic incumbent Gray Davis.

"A lot will depend on how the campaign is run," Mr. Parsky said. "If you are an extreme conservative, you cannot win in California."

Mr. Simon will win, he added, only "if he is prepared to adopt the formula I describe" to broaden the party.

Lieberman vs. Daschle

Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, while ostensibly defending Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, yesterday, moved to separate himself from Mr. Daschle's recent questioning of the war effort.

After accusing Republicans of "partisan hyperventilation" in response to Mr. Daschle's charge that the Bush administration had no exit strategy in the war on terror and that limits needed to be placed on interventions overseas, Mr. Lieberman, in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, proceeded to side with President Bush.

Mr. Lieberman said he disagreed "with those of my colleagues, including some [fellow] Democrats, who are already pressing for a plan for withdrawal from Afghanistan. We need a victory strategy, not an exit strategy."

He added: "There should also be no doubt that we will pursue terrorists wherever they may seek refuge.

"In this case, I disagree with some of my fellow Democrats who complain about what they view as expanding war goals. If we are serious about eradicating this many-headed monster, we must be ready to root out al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the mountains of Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Georgia, in the Philippines and wherever else they may seek refuge."

Mr. Lieberman did not stop there. He applauded Mr. Bush's apparent decision to do whatever it takes to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Leftie's nightmare

"The anti-war Left is back, and I don't blame them," Stanley Kurtz writes at the National Review Web site (www.nationalreview.com).

"The attacks on the president and his conduct of the war on terrorism are groundless and foolish, of course. But the surprisingly frank objections to the war being raised by Democratic senators and leftist intellectuals alike stem from a profound and entirely justified sense of foreboding about the open-ended nature of this conflict," said Mr. Kurtz, a fellow at the Hudson Institute.

"The problem for the Left is that September 11 really may have changed everything that a near-constant state of mobilization against terror may permanently cripple the politics of multiculturalism at home and anti-globalization abroad.

"That is why Sen. Daschle and a rising chorus of pundits and intellectuals on the Left keep pressing the president to come up with an "exit strategy." It's not simply that they're puffing up a bogus problem to gain a lever of criticism against the president. No, the Left understands that this really is a different, and potentially permanent, sort of war. So for sake of their own political survival, they are desperate to define the conditions that might somehow bring this conflict to an end."

No vote-pooling

Minor political parties, such as the Marxist and Reform parties, cannot pool their presidential votes to qualify for federal campaign money, election regulators say.

The Associated Press reported that the Federal Election Commission denied a request by Lenora Fulani of New York, a self-described Marxist, and James Mangia of Los Angeles, who headed the Reform Party faction that challenged presidential nominee Pat Buchanan in 2000.

Both are considering runs for the presidency in 2004 and told the FEC their decisions would be based in part on whether two parties could combine their vote to get the 5 percent needed to gain federal money for campaigns and conventions. The parties would have split the money in 2008, according to their share of the 2004 vote.

"I think it would have been a tremendous and significant boost for the third-party movement and independent candidates," Mr. Mangia said.

The commission rejected the request Wednesday by a 5-0 vote.

Sister act

A primary victory for Democrat Linda Sanchez has her and Rep. Loretta Sanchez poised to become the first sisters to serve together in Congress.

Linda Sanchez is a virtual certainty in November to win her seat, which was drawn to elect a Democrat, the Associated Press reports. Rep. Sanchez is also favored to win re-election in her Orange County district.

"We've had a lot of brother acts in Congress. It's probably safe to say now we have a sister act," said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College.

In November, she will face Republican businessman Tim Escobar in the heavily Democratic district. Rep. Sanchez will take on Jeff Chavez, a Republican businessman.

Triumph for term limits

"Lost in reports of Gary Condit's political defeat and Bill Simon's upset victory in Tuesday's California election, the really good news was the survival of term limits," the Wall Street Journal says.

"A proposition to gut the state's 12-year-old term limit law, advertised merely as 'reform,' went down to defeat 58 percent to 42 percent, despite support from the trial lawyers, teachers unions, tobacco and insurance interests and other political insiders," the newspaper said in an editorial.

"These lobbies miss the good old days in Sacramento, when it was easier to influence incumbents. Term limits will remain eight years for state senators and six years for the assembly, and the state legislature will remain more responsive to voters."

Lack of standards?

"In a letter to the New York Times [Wednesday] ('Save a Beacon Of Quality TV'), Dan Rather wrote that Ted Koppel has the 'highest standards for himself and his craft.' Could Rather have been referring to the June 20, 1991, special hour-long Nightline?" the Media Research Center's Liz Swasey writes in a "Media Bias Alert."

"That show promoted the notion of an 'October Surprise' Reagan-Bush campaign ploy, based on the dubious allegations of two Iranian arms dealers, Cyrus and Jamshid Hashemi. 'Nightline' helped keep this bogus story alive and spurred a congressional investigation. Yet when the congressional investigation cleared the Reagan-Bush campaign of any wrongdoing on January 13, 1993, 'Nightline' said not one word does that represent the 'highest standards'?"

Shot across the bow

Sen. Jesse Helms, whose opposition has doomed past diplomatic nominations, has raised pointed questions about Douglas Paal, the front-runner to become de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan, according to a letter obtained yesterday by Reuters news agency.

In the March 4 letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, the North Carolina Republican voiced "deep concern" about Mr. Paal's stances on Taiwan-related issues.

Among other things, Mr. Helms cited Mr. Paal's "errant judgments" on arms sales to Taiwan, which China regards as a rogue province.

Mr. Paal, said by U.S. officials to be President Bush's choice for director of the American Institute in Taiwan, which handles unofficial U.S. ties with the island, is on record as having suggested a partial arms moratorium as recently as 1998.

"We should have a pause in new weapon-platform sales to Taiwan," he was quoted as saying in a March 1998 issue of Defense News.

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