- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2006

Citizen Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan, the peace activist who just announced that she is weighing a run for Senate, plans to protest again outside President Bush’s Texas ranch, Venezuela’s president said yesterday in Caracas with Mrs. Sheehan by his side.

Hugo Chavez, his arm around Mrs. Sheehan’s shoulders, told a group of activists that Mrs. Sheehan had told him that during Holy Week, in April, that “she is going to put up her tent again in front of Mr. Danger’s ranch.”

“She invited me to put up a tent. Maybe I’ll put up my tent also,” Mr. Chavez said, to applause from activists invited to his weekly broadcast on the final day of the leftist World Social Forum, the Associated Press reports.

Mrs. Sheehan, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., said Saturday that she is strongly considering challenging Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein because the lawmaker will not support calls to immediately bring the troops home.

Mrs. Sheehan, 48, said running in the Democratic primary in June would help “bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country.”

Two of a kind

“In Massachusetts, old liberals never die. They just keep tilting at windmills,” Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi writes.

At the last minute, Sen. John Kerry called for a filibuster to stop the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. And Sen. Edward M. Kennedy joined the fight.

“The initial reaction from fellow Democrats was tepid. Tepid it should remain,” the columnist said.

“Alito is conservative. But radical? The Democrats failed to make the case during hearings, which proved only one thing beyond a reasonable doubt: their own boorishness.

“Calling for a filibuster is a late, blatant bow to the left. It seemed more theatrical than realistic. Still, any such bowing from Massachusetts helps the Bush administration. ‘Bring it on,’ chortled the Wall Street Journal after Kerry announced his effort to rally fellow Democrats from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. There, the Journal snidely observed, he was ‘communing with his political base.’

“Calling for a filibuster makes political sense for Kennedy, who is adored by every left-wing constituency in America. He isn’t running for national office; he can afford to stick to strict liberal principle. He wants to go down fighting. For Kennedy, a filibuster call mollifies the left at no political cost. It is also an attempt to make up for the obvious: He used the wrong tone and tactics during the hearings. Going after Alito as a bigot backfired. Forget about Mrs. Alito’s tears. The moment Kennedy was exposed for belonging to a discriminatory college fraternal organization, it was over. He lost the moral high ground.

“Kerry’s enthusiasm for a filibuster is harder to fathom, except as more of the same from a perpetually tone-deaf politician.”

Speaking of privacy

“Because [Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A.] Alito refused to agree to their spur-of-the-moment restrictive description of the constitutional powers of the executive branch, the Democrats implied that he will be a tool of an abusive president, itching to spy on Americans,” George Neumayr writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“Never mind that these self-appointed privacy advocates are usually the first to violate the privacy of others, if doing so means scoring a few petty political points. Pat Leahy, who once shared classified documents with reporters, occasionally has no qualms about violating the privacy of others. It was with privacy violations that he earned his nickname ‘Leaky Leahy,’” Mr. Neumayr said.

“Indeed, the Left will violate the privacy of others on the thinnest and most juvenile of pretexts. As long as the subject of the invasion of privacy is an odious conservative, pretty much anything goes. Can we get some grainy footage of Antonin Scalia slapping a tennis ball around at a resort in Colorado during John Roberts’ swearing in? Sure, let’s go for it. And we’ll build a little smear around it to see if we can do the guy some damage.

“ABC’s clownish report on Scalia’s ‘apparent snub’ of Roberts (as its reporter hedged, even though, by the end of the segment, he seemed to be saying that the grave moral offense wasn’t the timing of the ‘junket,’ but that Scalia went on it at all) is one of innumerable examples of the Left’s willingness to invade the privacy of others for no reason save trivial spite. The conscience of the Left is no more fixed than its ‘living Constitution.’”

Liberal tag team

The New York Times on Friday joined ABC’s “Nightline” in attacking Justice Antonin Scalia for teaching a 10-hour course sponsored by the Federalist Society in September at a Colorado resort.

“Nightline” on Monday labeled the trip a “junket,” emphasizing that Justice Scalia had played tennis and suggested that there was an appearance of impropriety. The New York Times, in an editorial, criticized not only Justice Scalia, but also Justice Clarence Thomas for attending such events. However, the newspaper failed to mention a long list of similar events attended by liberal justices.

Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III said Friday: “Today’s New York Times editorial caps off a week of groundless attacks against a sitting justice of the United States Supreme Court. Facts that fully explain Justice Scalia’s activities have been … publicly released, yet both the New York Times and ABC News continue to ignore the facts in favor of smearing a Supreme Court justice.

“For example, this New York Times editorial claims he ‘skipped the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. because of another ethically dubious trip,’ when there was nothing dubious at all. And Nightline’s Brian Ross reported that Scalia did nothing wrong, but that it was merely the appearance of wrongdoing. An ‘appearance’ is now news?

“These attacks are repulsive, and betray a political bias so ingrained they destroy any semblance of credibility. Both news organizations should recant these baseless charges and publicly apologize to Justice Scalia, who has faithfully served his country on the Supreme Court for almost 20 years,” Mr. Bozell said.

Name game

Jack Abramoff. Jack Abramoff. Jack Abramoff. Once the hunt’s on, some names sound to the scandal born,” Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger writes.

Tongsun Park, Charles Keating, Elizabeth Ray, Fannie Fox, Susan McDougal. Now comes Jack, the central figure in what Beltway Democrats are trying to build into a bonfire that will burn down Republican control of Congress. Every time someone tells Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid that he, too, took money from Jack’s clients, he starts jumping up and down like Rumpelstiltskin yelling, ‘This is a Republican scandal!’ Harry Reid, Harry Reid. One could get used to that,” Mr. Henninger said.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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