- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 20, 2003

The price of battle

Ironic, I suppose, that the day after “anti-war” protestors filled the fountains of Trafalgar Square in London with red dye to protest President Bush’s policies in Iraq, that real blood should flow in Istanbul. No one knows for sure who executed this latest mass murder, but it accomplished two obvious goals. It was a message to Turkey that its blend of secular politics and Muslim religion is unacceptable to the theocrats of al Qaeda or Iran. And it was a message to Britain that alliance with the United States carries — and will continue to carry — a cost in lives. Recently in Turkey, the violence against Jews completed the circle of hatred. Somehow, I suspect, a certain sobriety will now dawn on a London where a small minority recently got drunk on the hysteria of anti-Westernism. Reality bites. And the enemy, as the president said in London last week, is “in plain sight.”

Quote of the week

“I’m not saying that this bill won’t generate some energy. It will certainly fuel the coffers of big oil and gas corporations. It will propel the wealthy special interests. And it will boost the deficit into the stratosphere. Indeed, this legislation can be fairly called the Leave no Lobbyist Behind Act of 2003. There are also four proposals known as ‘green bonds’ for construction of commercial buildings that will cost taxpayers $227 million to finance approximately $2 billion in private bonds. One of my favorite green bond proposals is a $150 million riverfront area in Shreveport, La. This river walk has about 50 stores, a movie theater and a bowling alley. One of the new tenants in this Louisiana Riverwalk is a Hooters restaurant. Yes, my friends. Here we have an energy bill subsidizing both hooters and polluters.” — Sen. John McCain, on the monstrosity otherwise known as the Energy Bill. How any principled, small-government, free-market Republican could vote for this vast waste of public money is beyond me. But, I’m beginning to fear that the GOP has less and less to do with small government or fiscal sobriety. Thank God for Mr. McCain. Mr. Bush should veto this bill, until it is de-porked. He won’t, of course. He has yet to veto a single big-spending bill. Which is partly why, under his watch, the government has grown so quickly and the debt has mushroomed.

Arrest the officials

Here’s a novel approach to stopping a state deciding to extend marriage rights to all its citizens: Arrest the officials that grant the licenses. In an essay in the online version of the Weekly Standard this week, writer Dennis Teti argued that passing a federal constitutional amendment to ban all benefits to gay couples in America was “hopeless.” He’s right, of course. Not only would such a move split the conservative coalition — pitting fundamentalist Christians against libertarians, moderates and those who don’t want to see the Constitution politicized — it would unite liberals and almost certainly fail to pass. If you cannot pass an amendment on flag-burning that has almost unanimous public support, how can you pass an amendment that splits the country in two? So, what does Mr. Teti propose? A federal law that would enable federal cops to arrest any state officials granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Here’s his point:

“Instead of directly forbidding same-sex partners to marry, a federal marriage privilege protection measure would make it a criminal offense for state or local officials acting ‘under color of law’ to issue a marriage license to persons of the same sex. Constitutional authority to pass this measure comes from the Fourteenth Amendment, buttressed by the Republican Guarantee clause (S. 4 of Art. IV) and the Necessary and Proper clause (par. 18, S. 8 of Art. I).”

Is he kidding? I fear not. There is, of course, another conservative option: Leave Massachusetts alone to figure out how it wants to run its own affairs. Use the genius of federalism to see if this reform in marriage works out in one state before it is tried elsewhere. It’s called states’ rights. Remember them?

Anti-Semitism watch

“The fiction which is interdependency has a prolocutor in the congregation of Moloch. His name is George Soros. No other single person represents the symbol and the substance of Globalism more than this Hungarian-born descendant of Shylock. He is the embodiment of the Merchant from Venice.” — James Hall, whose piece first appeared on the conservative GOPUSA Web site. It’s important to realize that old far-right anti-Semitism has not been replaced by the new far-left variety. Just supplemented.

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