- The Washington Times - Monday, November 22, 2004

Liberal hubris

Many liberal pundits and newspaper letter writers have been bragging about how brilliant they are while bemoaning the supposed stupidity of those who voted to re-elect President Bush earlier this month.

So it probably should come as no surprise that two college professors wrote to the New York Times to explain why a recent survey found that Republicans were grossly outnumbered in academia: Republicans simply aren’t smart enough to teach at the college level.

“Academics are trained to reason using logic, to question evidence and to consider and evaluate several possible interpretations of events,” Markus Meister, a professor of biology at Harvard, said in one of two letters published yesterday. “All these activities are discouraged and indeed ridiculed by the present Republican leadership.”

The professor added: “Academic Republicans must indeed suffer from cognitive dissonance.”

Mr. Meister’s view was echoed by John McCumber, a professor of Germanic languages at UCLA.

“A successful career in academia, after all, requires a willingness to be critical of yourself and to learn from experience, along with a lack of interest in material incentives,” Mr. McCumber said in his letter. “All these are antithetical to Republicanism as it has recently come to be.”

Friends of Bill

President Clinton’s new $165 million library in Little Rock, Ark., was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen, the New York Sun reports.

The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week, reporter Josh Gerstein said.

Democrats spent much of the presidential campaign this year accusing President Bush of improperly close ties to Saudi Arabia.

The case was made in Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” in a best-selling book by Craig Unger titled “House of Bush, House of Saud,” and by the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

Perhaps as a result, the Saudi donations to the Clinton library are raising some eyebrows. Mr. Unger said he suspects that the Saudi support may have something to do with a possible presidential bid by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.

Unorthodox museum

“Our neediest president has outdone even himself,” New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser writes from Little Rock, Ark.

“Bill Clinton has chosen not to roll into history with his chin up and his pants zipped. He’s staging an eternal hissy fit,” the columnist said.

“On the first day real people not titled president or named Bono were allowed inside, I traveled to this land of delusion for an up-close peek at the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library — the ex-prez’s glass-and-concrete personal acid trip.

“Now I get it. This jumbled tribute to history, Clinton-style, is not a museum in the classic sense. It tells deliberate lies. It tries too hard to be noticed. To be loved. Above all, to get in the last word.

“Which means Bill Clinton spent $165 million of other people’s money for a glitzy homage to Madame Tussaud’s — where he can smooth out the wrinkles, Wite-out the warts, and paint moustaches on those who defied him.”

Indictment unlikely

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay “appears to have dodged a bullet,” David Paul Kuhn reported yesterday at www.CBSNews.com

The Texas Republican is unlikely to be indicted by a state grand jury probing possible campaign- finance violations in Texas, an official involved in the investigation told the reporter.

“No, no, I really don’t think DeLay will be indicted,” the official said. “And to be quite honest, [Mr. DeLay’s] lawyers know that.”

Anticipating a possible indictment by a state grand jury in Travis County, House Republicans last week took steps to protect Mr. DeLay’s position by changing a party rule that would have forced him to step aside as majority leader if indicted on a felony charge.

Angry liberals

“Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift and PBS’s Bill Moyers launched angry attacks over the weekend at President Bush’s wish to elevate Condoleezza Rice to secretary of state,” the Media Research Center reports at www.mediaresearch.org.

“Clift charged on the ‘McLaughlin Group’: ‘Rice didn’t see terrorism coming; she went out and really lied about what she knew.’ Moyers, on Friday night’s ‘Now’ on PBS, denounced how ‘we are to have a new secretary of state who dreadfully misjudged the terrorist threat leading up to 9/11 and then misled America and the world about the case for invading Iraq.’

“Adding Bush’s national security adviser pick, Stephen J. Hadley, to his targets, Moyers lectured: ‘So instead of putting America’s foreign policy in the hands of people who might have restored the country’s credibility in the world, the president has turned it over to two of the people who helped shred it. Both are known first and foremost for loyalty to the official view of reality, no matter the evidence to the contrary.’”

Recount sought

Third-party presidential candidates sued Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell yesterday in a bid to force him to order an immediate hand recount of the Nov. 2 election results.

Ohio counties have until Dec. 1 to complete their official count of the voting. Mr. Blackwell then has until Dec. 6 to declare the results and must give the presidential candidates five days notice before any recount. That would push a recount back to Dec. 11, two days before the Electoral College meets to elect the president formally.

“The time frame will not allow a meaningful recount,” said Blair Bobier, media director for the Green Party candidates David Cobb and Pat Lamarche.

Mr. Bobier, Mr. Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Bednarik announced they were filing the federal lawsuit to force Mr. Blackwell to order a hand recount, the Dayton Daily News reports.

Mr. Cobb said there are reports from around the state of voting-machine errors, long lines and other problems that cast doubt on President Bush’s 136,000-vote winning margin over Democrat John Kerry.

The Ohio Democratic Party yesterday joined the call for a recount on behalf of the Kerry campaign.

Senator’s denial

Sen. Ben Nelson said yesterday he was not under consideration to be secretary of agriculture.

There were reports last week that Bush political strategist Karl Rove had talked with the Nebraska Democrat about accepting the post. Mr. Nelson declined to discuss those reports in a telephone news conference, the Associated Press reports.

He said he was committed to serving out the last two years of his first term in the Senate. “I felt where I am versus where that might take me, the best place is here,” Mr. Nelson said.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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