- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 2, 2004

American terrorists

More on yesterday’s item about the Democratic National Committee (DNC) adding 3 million U.S. teachers to the State Department’s list of foreign terrorists that includes al Qaeda and Hamas — doing so after Education Secretary Rod Paige described the National Education Association (NEA) as a “terrorist organization.”

“How nice to see by the DNC publication of terrorist groups that the rhetorically restrained liberals no longer refer to the Hezbollah, Taliban or Fedayeen wings of the Republican Party,” conservative pundit Christopher Horner writes to Inside the Beltway.

“Has President Bush succeeded in changing the tone in Washington?” he asks.

That’s doubtful, given the newly updated DNC list lumping the NEA in with al Qaeda and Hamas. As for other terrorist groups, National Journal Managing Editor Jay Nordlinger noted that it was back in the early 1980s that liberals first learned the word “Hezbollah.”

“They then started referring to Republican conservatives as Hezbollah,” he wrote. “Sam Donaldson, on [ABC’s David] Brinkley show, rejoiced in speaking of the ‘Hezbollah wing of the Republican Party.’”

This column recalls when former CNN and NBC correspondent Charles Jaco went a step further, writing about “the rabid Hezbollah wing of the Republican Party.”

By 2001, “liberals learned the world ‘Taliban,’” Mr. Nordlinger continued. “They immediately started referring to the ‘Republican Talibans,’ or the ‘Taliban Republicans,’ or the ‘Talibanic wing of the Republican Party.’

“Funny, but it was the ‘Taliban Republicans’ — George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld — who destroyed the real Taliban.’”

Foreign terrorists

As for dealing with genuine al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, it’s been a year ago this week that President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security.

In observing the anniversary, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Christopher Cox doesn’t mind stating for the record: “Unequivocally, America is safer today from the threat of a terrorist attack than we were just one year ago.”

The California Republican went so far as to say that America’s terrorist enemies “have failed in their mission to destroy our economy and our way of life.”

Iraqi style

While leading Democrats continue criticizing the U.S.-led peacekeeping efforts in Iraq, White House spokesman Scott McClellan calls attention to the recently agreed-to transitional law, or interim constitution, to be signed today by the Iraqi Governing Council.

“It represents a significant step forward toward a free and democratic Iraq,” he noted.

To which an unidentified White House reporter inquired of President Bush’s spokesman: “What kind of government is that — is it Afghanistan style, or Europe style, or American style, or Asia?”

Mr. McClellan replied that it is up to the Iraqi people to decide the future of their government.

Fishing with Cheney

One thing that has become apparent within the Bush White House is that not everybody agrees with everybody all of the time.

Heck, even President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have their differences. Take the hot-button issue of same-sex “marriage.”

Yesterday, on CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” Mr. Cheney was reminded of his previously stated position that such untraditional marriages should be regulated by the states rather than “federal policy.”

“So you still believe that?” Mr. Blitzer asked.

“The president’s made a decision, partly because of what’s happened in Massachusetts and San Francisco, that the administration will support a constitutional amendment. And, uh, that’s his decision to make,” replied Mr. Cheney.

“And you support it?” the host tried again.

“I support the president,” Mr. Cheney reiterated. “I never discuss the advice I provide him with anybody else. That’s always private. He makes the decisions. He sets policy for the administration. And, uh, I support him and the administration.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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