- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 15, 2003

Noble: The Beltway boys and girls and men and women, for staring fear in the face and staying anyway.
They know about the heightened terror alert. They've seen the rocket launchers. They've heard the fighter patrols overhead. They've run to Home Depot and Costco, so they've got plenty of duct tape and bottled water. And they've told their relatives where to find them in case of the emergency.
Here, inside the Beltway, they're staying. They're whispering, and they're dining; they're not running, and they're not whining. They're going about daily lives discussing legislative minutiae; complaining about the "idiots" running whatever agency or congressional committee that is on our radar screen that day; arguing over who will win the 2008 presidential matchup between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.
They're staying through this alert.
The nation's capital isn't known for it's civic spirit. It's too much a transitional city. Tourists seem to outnumber natives, and most of the people who come here plan on staying for only a short time. Those who don't fly "home" at every opportunity still retain loyalties to wherever they've come from.
Yet, their common turmoil seems to be serving as a sort of social cement, bonding them even closer to the city of marbled monuments that suddenly seems so fragile. After all, they've been though a lot the past couple of years. They're still here despite the snipers, despite the anthrax attacks, despite September 11.
So they're staying though this state of heightened fear, too. Maybe it's because their lives are here. Perhaps it's because they're too stubborn to leave. But they're staying. And they're proud that they reside and work around the Beltway.
For facing their fears and for going about their lives anyway, they are the Nobles of the week.
Knaves: Sen. Mary Landrieu, for actions that say "traitor" in any language.

It's a pity that the Hispanic voters of Louisiana didn't take out a 90-day insurance policy on broken promises for their pre-holiday votes for Mary Landrieu. They might be looking to recall her anyway given how quickly she changed her mind on federal appeals court nominee Miguel Estrada.
Scarcely two months ago, Mrs. Landrieu was solidly behind Mr. Estrada. So much so that, in the heat of a tight runoff for her Senate seat, she bought two weeks worth of radio ads in New Orleans that affirmed her support for Mr. Estrada in Spanish. As translated by the Republican National Committee, the ad read in part, "Mary Landrieu has worked close to the Hispanic community. Immediately following the destruction of Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua and Honduras, Mary Landrieu was the first representative of the U.S. to visit Honduras and involve herself with the relief effort … Mary Landrieu also supported the candidacy of the Honduran Miguel Estrada for the Federal Court of Appeals."
Now, just a couple of months into her six-year term, Mrs. Landrieu claims that she's not really sure she can support Mr. Estrada's nomination. Moreover, she says that she had been neutral all along that the voters who bought into her rhetoric misunderstood her somehow.
Thanks to her stark betrayal, we understand her perfectly. Actions speak far louder than words, and rarely require a translator.
Gracias, Mrs. Landrieu traidor.

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