- The Washington Times - Monday, April 5, 2004

Time to stand

Ambassador Alan Keyes, who was impressive in his challenge to George W. Bush for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, will be on Capitol Hill this evening as Black America’s Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) celebrates its 10th anniversary.

We happened to be tuning in last week when Mr. Keyes, co-founder and board chairman of BAMPAC — the largest minority political action committee in the country — was asked by syndicated radio host Sean Hannity how he felt about President Bush’s performance in the White House.

“I am a conservative,” Mr. Keyes replied. “I’m part of that group of conservatives in the party who is not altogether happy with George W. Bush. I see lots of reasons to find fault with steps that he has taken in various areas. But I’ll tell you one thing: I think it’s time that everybody in this country understand that when we are faced with a threat to our very survival, we put aside other things.

“Even if, let us say for a minute that Iraq was a mistake, as some people are trying to argue,” he continued, “I’d rather have a president who errs on the side of defending this country, and going after our enemies, than somebody like [Democratic presidential contender] John Kerry, who wants to sit on his butt and does nothing while Americans die. And I think that’s the key issue here.”

That reminds this columnist of Edmund Burke’s admonition: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Laura’s role

First lady Laura Bush has received a stack of letters from a group of kindergarten students, whose teacher posed the question: “What do you think Mrs. Bush does all day?”

Shelby replied: “She helps the president with his paperwork and then helps him clean his office. She takes care of him when he’s sick and puts cold cloths on his head.”

Megan said: “She feeds the dogs and she plants the daffodils and she does the president’s speeches when he isn’t feeling well.”

While Todd noted: “She wears pretty suits and she has to shovel the snow and feed the birds.”

Imperial pair?

So much for Richard M. Nixon’s covert conduct in the Oval Office.

“George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have created the most secretive presidency in my lifetime,” writes former Nixon White House Counsel John W. Dean in his new book, to be published today, “Worse Than Watergate.”

“Because of Watergate, no president has been so foolhardy as to openly initiate a program like Nixon’s to screw those with whom he or his top aides are unhappy and to blatantly help friends — that is, until the Bush II administration,” Mr. Dean writes.

The former Watergate figure cites the president’s efforts to shield actions of his executive branch; the White House “outing” of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV’s wife, a covert CIA agent; what he considers the assault on the environment; and one of the most “appalling” examples — protecting the beef industry by withholding relevant information on mad cow disease, discovered in the United States on Dec. 24, 2003.

“Not only does this secrecy far exceed anything at the Nixon White House, but much of the Bush-Cheney secrecy deals with activities similar to Nixon’s,” warns Mr. Dean, who says the clock has been turned back to “pre-Watergate years — a time of unaccountable and imperial presidency.”

Lee’s standards

“I read your piece on Georgetown with great sadness,” writes John C. Potocki, referring to visiting Nigerian Catholic Cardinal Franci Arinze being chastised by some university students and faculty for taking church positions during his commencement address.

“All three of my siblings attended Georgetown on academic scholarships,” Mr. Potocki notes. “Being both the eldest and the slowest, I had to settle for a ‘pay your own’ at [Marylands] Loyola, which [is] also a Jesuit school.

“My eldest daughter attended Loyola and the liberalism and anti-Christian ethics there sickened me. The next in line, my son, was not allowed to apply to either due to the lax academic and moral standards. He attended Washington & Lee University [in Lexington, Va.] prior to medical school.

“It is my opinion that W&L; was and is ‘more Christian’ when comparing the morals and standards to those of Georgetown and Loyola. Then again, W&L; still abides by the standards put in place by Robert E. Lee after the Civil War. And they say the South had and has no ethics.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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