- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2002

Suppressed laughter
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican and incoming majority whip, said yesterday he found it amusing that outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle blames talk radio for threats against him and other liberal politicians.
"After I got through suppressing my laughter at that suggestion, it dawned on me that Daschle's probably never listened to Rush Limbaugh. I mean, there's nothing particularly inflammatory about anything Rush Limbaugh says," Mr. McConnell said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
The Kentucky Republican also said Mr. Daschle's comments marked the first time he has ever heard a "liberal Democrat complain about not having enough support in the media before."
Asked why he thinks the South Dakota Democrat said those things, Mr. McConnell remarked: "He's very exasperated. They expected to gain seats, and they lost seats so it was clearly a setback for them."
He added: "Senator Daschle is obviously looking around for somebody to blame other than himself and his leadership. I think it's somewhat laughable."

High and mighty
"It would be comforting to view the strange press conference held last Wednesday by outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in which he blamed Rush Limbaugh and other talk-show hosts for inciting hatred as an instance of garden-variety sore-loserdom. But the charges Daschle flung indicate something more serious: an anti-democratic arrogance that looks increasingly like a bedrock principle of the Democratic Party," the Weekly Standard says.
"Daschle's disingenuousness and hypocrisy are startling. First, Limbaugh ranks rather low on the calumny scale compared with certain of Daschle's fellow Democrats. We cannot think of a Republican equivalent of Alec Baldwin's urging, at the height of the Lewinsky scandal, that impeachment manager Henry Hyde be stoned to death. Nor can we recall any Republican commercial with nearly the potential to incite hatred as the Democratic ads run in the 2000 campaign cycle warning that black churches would burn if Republicans were elected. And of course Daschle wasn't warning his fellow Democrats against indulging in hate speech. He led into his tirade about conservative talk radio by expressing his hopes that Democrats could learn to imitate it," Christopher Caldwell writes in an editorial expressing the views of the magazine's editors.
Mr. Daschle's remarks "reflected an instinctual defense of the high and mighty (whom Daschle referred to throughout as 'those of us in public life') from oversight by the voting public, who are cast not just as irrelevant but as a menace to public order," the magazine said.

Gore's 'families'
"I hadn't intended to read that Gore book on families," David Frum writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"I expected it to be a sugary celebration of home and hearth, a public-relations exercise aimed at convincing suburban moms and other swing voters that Gore was not in fact an android but a man with a heart as big as all of Tennessee. In other words: something yucky," Mr. Frum said.
"Not so, according to Andrew Hacker, a very smart left-wing sociologist, in the current (Dec. 5) issue of the New York Review of Books. Hacker contends that 'Joined at the Heart' follows in the tradition of 'Earth in the Balance': another Gore production written in a voice of almost terrifying frankness. In 1992, Gore told us that if he ever became president, he would dismantle the American economy in the name of environmental regulation. Ten years later, he is ready to execute similar destruction on the American family. I think I am going to have to read the dratted thing after all."

Armed and rich
"Former president Jimmy Carter told CNN that the United States should disarm, just like we're asking North Korea and Iraq to do," dissident feminist Tammy Bruce observes. "After all, he said, we should set an example and do exactly what we're asking the insane totalitarians of the world to do.
"When I first heard this childish suggestion I grew angry," Ms. Bruce writes on Front Page (www.frontpagemag.com). "This is a man who has grown powerful, rich and successful because of the greatness of this country. And yet, he thinks this country is somehow like a nation which is starving its own people, and another which has gassed thousands of its own citizens to death.
"Carter also complained to CNN: 'There is a sense that the United States has become too arrogant, too dominant, too self-centered, proud of our wealth, believing that we deserve to be the richest and most powerful and influential nation in the world.'
"Reality Check for Jimmy: it's not that we believe we deserve to be the richest and most powerful we are."
Ms. Bruce, former head of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, says: "What part of the last hundred years did Jimmy Carter miss? The existence of the United States of America has been the saving grace of every other nation specifically because we are armed and rich.

No and no
If liberal U.S. Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, decides to run for president in 2004, he can forget about trying to recruit Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, as his running mate.
Mr. McCain, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president in 2000, was asked on ABC's "This Week" if he would "be open to running with John Kerry for vice president" in 2004.
Mr. McCain smiled and chuckled at the question. "No," he said, adding: "No."

Yes and yes
Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN's "Late Edition," asked Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, if he thinks Al Gore will run for president again and whether Mr. Biden himself is considering a bid for the White House.
"Yes and yes," Mr. Biden replied succinctly.
That prompted Mr. Blitzer to ask, "How seriously along the road are you toward making a formal announcement that you want to run?"
Mr. Biden replied: "Oh, I have to learn a lot more about what prospects I'd have before I would do that. I am looking at it. I am a long way away, but I think Al Gore is not and should not be. Al Gore is a significant national figure. I think if he decides to run, he'll be formidable, and I think he should."
Mr. Biden added that "if after the next several months" he concludes he would have a "reasonable shot" at winning the Democratic presidential nomination, "I would not be reluctant to do it. I do not know that I have that reasonable shot."

Name that host
Should Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, decide to run for president, he may want to brush up on the names of Sunday television talk-show hosts.
In the space of just two sentences yesterday, Mr. Biden not once, not twice, but three times messed up the name of Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN's "Late Edition," referring to him as "Wolf Blazer."

Lieberman's pitch
"Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman has been wining and dining the elite of Washington's Democratic strategists in a bid to win them over to his likely presidential campaign," Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.
"Last week he huddled with nearly a dozen campaign brains at the Capitol Hilton. He ended the dinners saying, 'I hope you'll consider joining me.' Wife Hadassah also made a pitch."

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