- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2007

A losing ‘victory’

“For Big Labor, [last] week’s ‘card check’ victory marked the ultimate payoff for past Democratic election support. For House Democrats, it marked the end of the honeymoon,” Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel writes.

“Democrats won in November in part by playing down their special-interest patrons — unions, environmentalists, trial lawyers — and by playing up a new commitment to the moderate middle class. The big question was whether the party had the nerve to govern the way it campaigned, and card check was the first test. The answer? AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney isn’t smiling for nothing,” the writer said.

“The card check … is a lesson in how the party’s liberal base forces Democrats to back political losers. The legislation’s only purpose is to give unions an unfair advantage in organizing, namely by eliminating the secret ballot in union elections and instead allowing thugs to openly bully workers into joining up. Americans understand and despise this, with polls showing 90 percent of the public thinks card check is a racket. …

“And all this, meanwhile, for a vote that was largely symbolic. President Bush has vowed that a card check law is dead on arrival. And that assumes the legislation could even make it through a Senate filibuster — which it can’t. As low points go, this was the lowest the new majority has had so far.”

Domenici speaks

Sen. Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico Republican, yesterday acknowledged that he called a federal prosecutor to ask about a criminal investigation several months after calling for the prosecutor’s replacement, but insisted he never pressured nor threatened his state’s U.S. attorney, the Associated Press reports

The prosecutor, David Iglesias, was fired by the Justice Department in December. Mr. Iglesias says he believes he was dismissed for resisting pressure from two members of Congress before last year’s election to rush indictments in a Democratic kickback investigation.

Senate rules generally bar communications between members of Congress and federal prosecutors about ongoing criminal investigations.

Mr. Iglesias, a Republican, has said he would not name the lawmakers unless asked under oath.

A House Judiciary subcommittee last week subpoenaed the prosecutor to appear tomorrow and testify under oath. He also was scheduled to appear before a Senate committee the same day.

Dealing with Rudy

“Next year may see the party of the Sunbelt and Reagan, based in the South and in Protestant churches, nominate its first presidential candidate who is Catholic, urban and ethnic — and socially liberal on a cluster of issues that set him at odds with the party’s base,” Noemie Emery writes in the Weekly Standard.

“As a result, it may also see the end of the social issues litmus test in the Republican Party, done in not by the party’s left wing, which is shrunken and powerless, but by a fairly large cadre of social conservatives convinced that, in a time of national peril, the test is a luxury they cannot afford,” the writer said.

“For the past 30 years of cultural warfare, there has been only one template for an aspiring president of either party with positions that cross those of its organized activists: Displeasure is voiced, reservations are uttered, and soon enough there is a ‘conversion of conscience’ in which the miscreant — Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, George Bush the elder, even the hapless Dennis Kucinich — is brought to heel in a fairly undignified manner, and sees what his party sees as the light.

“The Giuliani campaign seems to be departing from this pattern. And this time, a pro-life party, faced with a pro-choice candidate it finds compelling on other grounds, is doing things differently. It is not carping or caving or seeking a convert. Instead, it is making a deal.”

CPAC pulse

A straw poll of 1,705 CPAC registrants showed a distaste for a Wilsonian foreign policy, instead backing the classic “realist” approach, reports Ralph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times.

According to a Fabrizio-McLauglin survey taken from Thursday to Saturday, an overwhelming 79 percent said “American foreign policy should be based on protecting its own economic and national-security interests.” Only 17 percent thought that it “should be based on spreading democracy around the world.”

Another CPAC straw poll question suggests conservatives have cooled in their ardor for President Bush, instead favoring an earlier conservative icon. When asked all things being equal, would you be mostly likely to support a Republican candidate for president who called himself a Ronald Reagan Republican, 79 percent chose that designation, while only 3 percent said they’d prefer someone calling himself a “George W. Bush Republican.”

Half the respondents said their “most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens.” Less than a third, however, or 30 percent, said it was “to promote traditional values by protecting traditional marriage and the life of the unborn.” Only 18 percent said it is to “secure and guarantee American safety at home and abroad regardless of the cost and size of government.”

CPAC fallout

Ann Coulter’s use of a vulgar epithet for former Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, continued to elicit harsh rebukes yesterday, including one from fellow pundit Michelle Malkin, who attended the 34th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, where Miss Coulter made her Friday speech.

“There are countless conservatives who bring their children to CPAC. It’s a family-friendly event,” Mrs. Malkin wrote at her Web site, www.michellemalkin.com. “We expect CPAC to be a place where conservative role models speak with clarity, passion and integrity. There are enough spewers of mindless filth, vulgarity and hatred on TV, at the movies and in the public schools. We don’t expect our children to be exposed to that garbage at the nation’s pre-eminent conservative gathering. …

“With a single word, Coulter sullied the hard work of hundreds of CPAC participants and exhibitors and tarred the collective reputation of thousands of CPAC attendees. At a reception for college students held by the Young America’s Foundation, I lambasted the substitution of stupid slurs for persuasion … and urged the young people there to conduct themselves at all times with dignity in their ideological battles on and off campus.”

One blogger who refused to join the online chorus denouncing Miss Coulter was Pamela Geller Oshry.

“The right side of the blogosphere has completely distanced themselves from her,” Mrs. Oshry wrote at her Atlas Shrugs blog, www.atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com. “Everyone is shocked, shocked I tell you. Yawn. … The left’s position was made clear by [Massachusetts Sen. John] Kerry’s mentioning ofDick Cheney’s gay daughter during the presidential debate in 2004.”

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

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