- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The direction of the Republican Party

Stephen Dinan wrote an article Tuesday that warned of the defection of “hard-line” conservatives from President Bush in the upcoming presidential election (“Rumbling on the hard-line right,” Page 1). This debate has been ongoing for months, and it will be much more of a factor in the coming election than the president and top adviser Karl Rove are willing to admit.

Many conservatives feel abandoned by this administration and the Republican Party as a whole. While many conservatives want to lay substantial blame at the president’s feet, and deservedly so, the current Congress has proved itself very liberal in its spending habits as well.

Mr. Dinan quotes activists on both sides of the conservative debate and seems to draw the conclusion that economic conservatives are a bit unsteady about a second Bush term. But social conservatives are, to a large degree, pleased, in no small part because of the partial-birth-abortion ban.

Mr. Dinan goes on to quote Cato Institute President Edward H. Crane as writing that Mr. Bush is responsible for the “philosophical collapse of the GOP.” Mr. Crane is correct in that assessment, as well. Once upon a time, the party stood for low taxes, a government that was inexpensive and minimally intrusive and peace through strength. Now, Mr. Bush has adopted peace through strength as his primary philosophy, while expanding both the authority and expense of the federal government to record levels. To the president’s credit, he has cut taxes, but the large expenditures will, no doubt, require future tax increases.

The article also quotes Pat Buchanan saying that Mr. Bush would have had primary opposition were it not for the war and adding that war “gives him a measure of immunity from conservativedefections.”Mr. Buchanan goes on to accuse Mr. Bush of going “AWOL on social and cultural issues.”

Mr. Buchanan is correct on both counts. One has to wonder if Mr. Buchanan himself is again thinking of running. Mr. Buchanan is both an economic and social conservative, and he will oppose free trade agreements that the administration has pushed recently.

Short of a Buchanan candidacy, look for third parties such as the Libertarian and Constitution parties to play a substantial role in this debate. Also, look for many hard-line conservatives to stay home.

Run, Pat, run.

SCOTT BOLES

Kingston, Tenn.

The Anglican church and absolutes

I am truly stunned, but not surprised, by what I read in Julia Duin’s article “Anglican bishop shuts down church” (Page 1, yesterday).

This is truly an ominous sign that the church bureaucracy and this bishop no longer perform biblically sanctioned excommunications for immoral behavior. However, they do, at rapid fire, dismiss entire congregations simply for speaking their opinions on biblical matters.

These “worthless shepherds,” as the Bible calls them, have institutionalized and blessed what the Bible considers a sin and are now force-feeding it to their flocks. The Bible says that in the last days of this earth, what is considered evil will be thought of as good, and what is considered good will be thought of as evil.

I guess that lets us know where we are on the biblical timeline.

TERRI ENDICOTT

Burke

Spurrier skinned

In regard to Steve Spurrier’sresignation (“Spurrier steps down as head coach of Redskins,” Page 1, yesterday): Ball Coach’s annual salary: $5 million; owner’s gross profits: $70 million; a phoned-in resignation: priceless.

E. DAVID BARKLEY

Fairfax

Schools, free speech and immigration

As an American of Hispanic descent (eight generations), I am outraged to read that immigrant Hispanics saw fit to attack an American student, Tim Bueler, for exercising his right of freedom of speech (“A dissenting student hounded for his views,” Nation, Tuesday).

When I was in high school in the 1960s, illegal aliens could not stay in this country, so everyone in our American schools was an American citizen or a legal alien, and we all shared American values. It didn’t matter what ethnicity the students were; we were all Americans, and our unity showed.

That these illegal aliens have the nerve to verbally attack an American student on U.S. soil shows me that in the future we probably will see another civil war in the United States. If this happens, it will be because of the bad immigration laws passed by our government representatives and poor enforcement of laws that are worthwhile.

I should add that Tim Bueler’s teachers appear to be equally worthless to allow an innocent student to be threatened. Every one of the taunting students should have been suspended. I hope Tim’s father takes legal action where it is needed. By the way, illegal immigration is against the law.

PRISCILLA ESPINOZA

Nuevo, Calif.

The feminine mystique

In regard to yesterday’s Page One article, “A promotion for female soldiers”: While I remain skeptical of some measures being taken by the Israeli government to secure Israeli borders and provide security, peace and stability within them, I applaud this recent effort to keep its forces combat-ready, while also causing ripple effects in society by including previously excluded groups.

MUDHILLUN MUQARIBU

Ann Arbor, Mich.

Common sense and anthrax shots

In regard to the Dec. 23 article “Military can’t force anthrax vaccines, judge rules” (Nation): It is not the first time American GIs have been used as guinea pigs by the federal government.

Think back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, when GIs were forced to witness nuclear tests in ridiculously close proximity to the radioactive detonations. No wonder these men, although still alive, have succumbed to some of strangest forms of cancer ever diagnosed in human history.

At least now, a federal judge has the common sense to enjoin the government from forcing our GIs to take these anthrax shots against their will. Those who have been punished and dismissed from the military for their refusal to receive these shots should be reinstated to duty with full benefits past and present.

EARL BEAL

Terre Haute, Ind.


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