- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

D.C. representation had Republican advocates

Jack Kemp’s Sept. 29 Commentary column, “FAIR deal for D.C.,” lends welcome support to the continuing efforts of the Republican Party of the District of Columbia to achieve voting representation for District residents in Congress. However, at least one name should be added to Mr. Kemp’s list of national Republican leaders who have advocated D.C. representation — former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In his memoirs, Mr. Eisenhower specifically cited the successful effort to entitle D.C. residents to vote for president and vice president as a major achievement of his presidency. Mr. Eisenhower and the Republican Party also sought voting rights in Congress for the District during his two-term administration. In eight statements, delivered in State of the Union addresses and special messages, Mr. Eisenhower asked Congress to find the legislative means to give D.C. residents voting representation in Congress. He specifically reminded Congress that the lack of such representation at the seat of government was an “unconscionable” condition not intended by the drafters of the Constitution.

At the time, Republican Sen. Prescott Bush of Connecticut was a central leader in Congress advocating D.C. representation. As a national party official, Mr. Bush, the father and grandfather of presidents, made certain the Republican Party continued its historical advocacy of D.C. voting representation. During the Eisenhower administration, Mr. Bush worked closely with D.C. Republican Party Committee officials and the League of Women Voters to advance representation proposals in Congress.

Mr. Bush, a World War I combat veteran, in testimony before committees of Congress, reminded all Americans of the unfairness of D.C. residents being sent to war, taxed and held subject to all the laws enacted by a legislature, Congress, in which they had no voting members.

Like Mr. Eisenhower, no doubt Mr. Bush was proud of the Republican Party’s persistent, successful leadership in attaining the presidential vote for the District. However, both leaders expressed disappointment that the controlling Democratic majority in Congress at the time stripped representation language from proposals that eventually passed in 1960 giving D.C. residents the vote for president.

D.C. representation in Congress must remain an important part of the legislative program for the Republican Party.

NELSON F. RIMENSNYDER

Member

D.C. Republican Committee

Washington

A ‘little step’ too far

Paul Greenberg (“The next little step,” Commentary, Saturday) tells us that although the federal bill titled the Human Cloning Ban Act of 2005 (SB 1520) supposedly bans cloning, it funds so-called “therapeutic cloning.” He further states, ” ‘Therapeutic’ cloning isn’t therapeutic for the embryo created; it is destroyed at an early stage so its stem cells can be extracted for research purposes.”

Mr. Greenberg goes on to say that although SB 1520 bans implanting a cloned embryo “into a uterus or the functional equivalent of a uterus” and gestating the cloned embryo, it is naive to think that scientists will not take that “next little step.”

He is so right. That next little step is exactly what Maryland legislators, under the guise of funding embryonic stem cell research, are proposing. Their legislation would permit the cloning, implanting and gestating of a cloned human being up to the point of birth so the fetus could be used for experiments; research; and fetal tissue, organs and parts. (This is called “fetal farming.”)

This funding bill, as it stands now, would ban the birth of a cloned individual, but it is just another next little step to permit the birth of a cloned individual.

Proponents of this legislation claim it does not fund fetal farming, but a letter signed by eight prominent scientists and sent to all Maryland senators says it does exactly that.

Maryland legislators are already surreptitiously trying to take Mr. Greenberg’s next little step.

JOHN NAUGHTON

Silver Spring

Issues with Turkey’s EU accession

Helle Dale’s Oct. 5 Op-Ed column, “At the crossroads,” is another example of attempting to invoke the “Christian vs. Muslim” element as it relates to Turkey’s accession into the European Union. Although I’m sure there are many, on both sides, who would like to use this argument, the simple truth is that there are basic fundamental prerequisites for gaining membership into the union. Turkey falls short in many.

Isn’t Turkey occupying Cyprus? Isn’t Turkey refusing to recognize Cyprus, an EU member state? Isn’t Turkey violating its neighbor’s borders in the Aegean? Isn’t Turkey restricting religious freedom of minorities in Turkey? Doesn’t the military establishment heavily influence the Turkish government? Does the Turkish economy meet the EU criteria?

The writer says that “each time the desired goal [of Turkey becoming an EU member] has seemed to be within reach, a new obstacle has sprung up…” Why is this? Frankly, this is the question that needs to be addressed. Some of the reasons are mentioned above.

Regarding U.S. interests, no one is advocating dismissing Turkey. However, you can’t have one set of standards for Turkey and another for U.S. allies in the region. The argument of Turkey’s strategic importance has been diminished greatly since the Cold War, as proved by its actions in the war in Iraq. Even buying into the argument that Turkey is important, the only way U.S. interests would be served would be if Turkey lent itself in this capacity. Its well-documented historical record proves otherwise.

Finally, in the interest of regional stability and dispute resolution, the United States should promote Turkey’s emergence as a fully democratic state able to complete the EU accession process and participate fully in the economic opportunities presented by the regional climate. The process, however, will require fundamental changes in Turkey’s governmental institutions, a significant improvement in its human rights record, religious freedom record, the settlement of the Cyprus problem and its acknowledgment of the borders in the Aegean Sea established by treaties.

When U.S. policy focuses on these issues and Turkey finally complies, then and only then will U.S. interests, Turkey’s interests and European interests be better served.

NICK LARIGAKIS

Executive director

American Hellenic Institute

Washington

Overly cautious FDA

Michael Fumento’s column supporting the revolutionary multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri (“Resurrecting a miracle drug,” Commentary, Oct. 1) provides an excellent example of Food and Drug Administration policies that restrict access to powerful medical treatments.

Although roughly 8,000 patients use Tysabri, which is more effective than other MS drugs and produces milder side effects, the FDA pressured manufacturers to issue a recall after three patients developed a neurological disorder. The FDA failed to investigate the cause of the disorder (an interaction with another immunosuppressant) before insisting that manufacturers pull Tysabri and deny treatment to the 400,000 Americans who have MS.

Mr. Fumento’s suggestion that the FDA label “vital drugs that… may cause serious harm” is certainly a step in the right direction, but we must make sure these important treatments remain on the market so those who need them are not obstructed by misguided regulatory strategies.

DIGVY SINGH

Washington


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