The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 25, 1991 · Page 12
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October 25, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 12

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Friday, October 25, 1991
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A-12Comment THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Friday, October 25, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER WILLIAM J. KEATING Chairman and Publisher GEORGE R. BLAKE Editor, Vice President THOMAS E. DUNNING Managing Editor THOMAS S. GEPHARDT Associate Editor DARRYLW. EVERETT Vice President, Advertising WILLIAM R. JOHNSTON Vice President, Circulation MARK S, MIKOLAJCZYK Vice President, Production JAMES A. SCHWARTZ Vice President, Finance GERALD T. SILVERS Vice President, Marketing Services A Gannett Newspaper Congress Lawmakers invite restrictions by pursuing special privileges congressional luncheons, haircuts, medical treatment, parking, car washes and other perquisites. Once their salaries reached $125,000 an adequate level of compensation members of Con "HA! 7H0lHi5ASr What to do about David Duke The term-limitation initiative seems to be sweeping the nation, and members of Congress who oppose the idea of restricting senators and representatives to, say, 12 years of service need to mount a counterattack if they hope to retain their ability to run indefinitely for re-election. The strongest signal they could send an increasingly outraged nation is ending the practice of exempting themselves from the rules and regulations they impose upon their constituents, whose well-being they are pre sumed to be serving. atf"-: I i-iiimi llj Dan V I UniinliBHiilM Patrick J. Buchanan Rostenkowski i A mjOt' mm mothers who keep having children. He favors tougher penalties for crime and an end to "unjust affirmative action," i.e. all reverse discrimination, whether quotas or racial set-asides. He calls for freedom of choice for parents in sending children to public schools, and a track system inside schools where the brightest are advanced fastest. He opposes gun control, wants the United States to halt illegal immigration, and would slash foreign aid. The national press calls these positions "code words" for racism, but in the hard times in Louisiana, Duke's message comes across as middle-class, meritocratic, populist and nationalist. A Mississippi asylum "This reminds me of 1928 in Germany," wailed Lance Hill, head of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism. "I might seek political asylum in Mississippi." Well, Lance, try to calm down. The White House has made Mr. Bush's position clear. Duke "is not the Republican nominee," said chief of staff John Sununu. "He is an individual that has chosen to call himself a Republican. He was not supported by the party. He is not supported by the national party." Nevertheless, both the GOP establishment and conservatives should study how and why white voters, who delivered Louisiana to Reagan and Bush three times, moved in such numbers to David Duke and devise a strategic plan to win them back. What to do? President Bush might take a hard look at illegal immigration, tell the U.S. Border Patrol to hire some of those vets being mustered out after Desert Stonfl, veto the Democrats' "quota bill," and issue an executive order rooting out any and all reverse discrimination in the U.S. government, , beginning with the FBI. If that sets off every poodle in liberalism's kennels, good. Consider that Congress has exem pted itself from such sweeping legislation as the Social Security Act of 1933, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, the Minimum Wage Act of 1938, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Title 9 of the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Privacy Act of 1974, the Age Discrimination Act Amendments of 1975, the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988. Americans who may have questioned the purposes and effects of such enactments would probably find them more palatable if they could believe that men and women in Congress who passed them also live with their consequences. But the fact is that they do not. What is right for the nation is somehow not right for Congress. There is no sorrier commentary on the extent to which Congress has insulated itself from the American people, their problems, their frustrations and their aspirations. Most of today's strong feelings about Congress stem from such excesses as the check-bouncing in the congressional bank, the subsidizing of After last Saturday's returns from Baton Rouge rolled in, the White House made a strategic decision: total withdrawal from Louisiana first smart decision in 30 months of dealing with David Duke. Not since the Duke of Wellington sent a British army to New Orleans to teach Andy Jackson and his rabble a lesson in land warfare have imperial troops taken a worse pounding. David Duke has much to thank the White House for. In early '89, Lee Atwa-ter committed the prestige of George Bush and Ronald Reagan to a race for one of 105 seats in Louisiana's lower house. White House intervention was a magnet to journalists from four continents, giving Duke a global microphone that would make him the most famous state legislator in America. Exploiting his notoriety a year later, Duke then clobbered the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, even taking 60 of the white vote away from sitting U.S. Sen. Bennett Johnston. Roemer beaten Saturday, Duke polished off Gov. Buddy Roemer, a GOP convert baptized at a White House ceremony by the president himself. Now, Duke has a shot at governor. Even if he loses, he can keep his campaign machinery oiled by running in the Southern primaries, against George Bush. Indeed, there is a long-shot possibility Duke could wind up as a third-party candidate in November, 1992. Thirty months ago, this writer gave the White; House advice it chose to ignore in dealing with the former wizard of the KKK: "The way to do battle with David Duke is not to go ballistic, because Duke, as a teen-ager, paraded around in a Nazi costume to protest William Kunstler during Vietnam, or to shout to the heavens that Duke had the same phone number last year as the Ku Klux Klan. Everybody in Metairie knew that. The way to deal with Mr. Duke is the way the GOP dealt with the far more formidable challenge of George Wallace. Take a hard look at Duke's portfolio of winning issues; and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles. "David Duke did not beat John Treen gress should have acknowledged their responsibility to share the same expenses, responsibilities and accountability of every other citizen of the United States. The ultimate issue is who runs the United States the people or the elitist few who interpret their election to office as a blank check to run it for their own benefit? Is it any wonder that term limitation is gaining ground? Sadly, it is generally the senior members of Congress who abuse the privileges and have the inner relationships with the various agencies of government that allow them to steer certain benefits to their constituents, regardless of merit. Longtime House member Dan Rostenkowski, D-I1L, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax laws for the rest of us, when asked about bouncing checks, said: "None of your business. None of your damn business." Cincinnati's Rep. Charlie Luken is pursuing a question of Environmental Protection Agency trips emanating from an official's word to his colleagues to take all the trips included in their budgets. The alternative would have been trying to save money, as other businesses and individuals do during this recessionary period. The rule in Washington is that those who don't spend what their budgets allow this year will be ineligible for sizable budget increases next year. Whether term limitation becomes a fact or not, no members of Congress can ignore the extent to which Americans are getting fed up. The men and women of Congress are the only ones who can stem the tide of fury. enlist local personnel and local resources to solve local problems. Participants will learn of Cincinnati's tradition of corporate participation in efforts to meet societal needs education, health, human relations, ethics, arts, religion and the special problems of the elderly. As an institution created to serve the educational and career aspirations of mid-career adults, the Union Institute is ideally equipped to provide a forum from which many new, worthwhile ideas may spring. All Cincinnatians can take a measure of satisfaction from the honor earmarked for Dwight H. Hibbard, chairman and chief executive officer of Cincinnati Bell Inc., at the Hyatt Regency Sunday evening. Mr. Hibbard will receive the Distinguished Community Service Award that will be presented at the ninth annual Hebrew Union College Associates' Tribute Dinner. The presentation to Mr. Hibbard will mark an overdue recognition of his years of work in behalf of a wide variety of community causes. He exemplifies a commitment to civic responsibility that is one of the notable characteristics of Cincinnati's business community. Sunday's dinner recognizes Hebrew Union's national importance as a recorder of the past and a servant of the future. Memos Cincinnatians are pioneers in fighting domestic violence because he is an ex-wizard of the KKK; he beat him in spite of it; he beat him because he was tougher on taxes, and made an issue of urban crime, the primary source of which is the urban underclass; he beat Treen because he lit into set-asides and 'affirmative action' in hiring, scholarships and promotions on the basis of race, i.e. reverse discrimination . against white folks who happen to make up 99 of his electorate. "What Mr. Duke did, after he turned in his robes and signed up with the GOP, was run over and seize terrain vacated by the GOP. David Duke walked into a political vacuum left when Republicans, in the Reagan years, were intimidated by moderates and progressives into shucking off winning social issues so we might be able to pass moral muster with Ben Hooks and Coretta King." From the president's standpoint, Duke is still no threat. Even if he won a big vote in a GOP primary or two in the spring, he is not going to block Mr. Bush's renomination. However, a Duke run in the 1992 general election could siphon off a million votes, and cost the Bush-Quayle ticket a couple of Southern states. The long-term threat Duke presents is to the GOP right wing, and the party's presidential coalition in '96. For Duke's message, despite his tons of personal baggage, has won over not only Reagan Democrats but Reagan Republicans in a state that went for Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. If his resume is Duke's handicap, what is his appeal? In his 15-point platform, he zeros in on issues that should be a wake-up call for all our Big Government Conservatives. . Duke pledges to vote against any new tax increase. He wants to toss the able-bodied off welfare, stop payments to drug users and freeze benefits to welfare t f The very legitimacy of our institutions is imperiled. J J not on their personal lives. Such comments indicate what's dangerous about all this. Harassment, even "a little bit," is illegal. So is perjury. Neither is simply a private matter. And anyone (especially anyone in Thomas' position) who is proved to have done either will have his reputation damaged, all right but it's ludicrous to call this unfair. To put it another way, if the proverbial "smoking gun" were now to appear, proving that Anita Hill has been right all along, Thomas would face disbarment and possible prosecution for perjury. Congress would have little choice but to impeach him. But many Americans don't see it that way at all. To them, the law evidently doesn't really count. Even or especially persons in high places should be allowed to break it. Now, maybe the law isn't well enough known or maybe its rationales aren't fully grasped. Or maybe people just aren't putting two and two together, to see that Law A plus Violation B should equal Consequence C. Either way, we're in trouble. It's not just that people who don't know or care about the law are less likely to follow it. More important, apathy or incomprehen Does America follow its elite? Patrick J. Buchanan is a Washington-based, nationally syndicated columnist. sion like this undermines the whole notion of a society based on values. For law is simply the embodiment of our agreed-upon values. We have agreed, as a society, that people shouldn't lie under oath, that they shouldn't harass or coerce other people and that they shouldn't violate a public trust by engaging in acts directly contrary to the duties they're sworn to carry out. At least, the elites have agreed to all of this. What the Thomas-Hill affair revealed is that elites may be "out in front" of the public even on questions as basic as these. Too far in front And here is the threat in this situation. If elites are out in front of the people just a little, well, that's leadership. But if elites are too far out in front, if significant sectors of the public simply can't grasp what their leaders are doing or why, then the very legitimacy of our institutions is imperiled. The "house divided" that Lincoln said couldn't stand, still in important ways can't even if today the divide is along lines of education and social class rather than geography. As global events keep reminding us, political institutions can't survive in the long run when even large minorities don't believe in the principles on which they're based. Jeff Smith teaches legal writing, among other courses, in the University of California (Los Angeles) Writing Fifteen years have passed since the Cincinnati YWCA, in conjunction with Women Helping Women, conducted Cincinnati's first public hearing on domestic violence. The purpose was to explore and publicize the scope of the physical abuse of women. From that hearing and from similar inquiries across the country has grown a new public consciousness of the extent to which women and children are physically battered. Greater Cincinnati has responded to the challenges through such institutions as the Alice Paul House and the House of Peace, emergency shelters operated by the YWCA for battered women, and the Transitional Living Center for battered women and their children. The YWCA also operates AMEND, a counseling program for male abusers a program that serves 1,700 men every year and is regarded nationally as a model. October has been Domestic Violence Month across the nation. It reflects a spirit that began right here in the Queen City. Cincinnati's Union Institute is conducting an all-day symposium on "Building an Empowered Community , Through Philanthropy" at the Omni Netherland Plaza beginning at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. The issues that will be under the microscope are intimately tied to every community's ability to BY JEFF SMITH The Los Angeles Times One of the overlooked lessons of the Clarence Thomas hearings is the wide and dangerous gap that has been uncovered between popular opinion in America and the assumptions of political and social elites. However strange it may sound in view of the bitterness of the proceedings, there were key points on which all of the elites involved politicians, lawyers, reporters, "experts," even Thomas and Anita Faye Hill themselves did agree. For instance, they agreed that sexual harassment a kind of employment discrimination by the chairman of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be a ground for disqualifying that person from the Supreme Court. Poll results Quite apart from the pluralities who believed that Thomas was probably telling the truth, a Los Angeles Times-Mirror poll revealed that about 16 of women believed Anita Hill but still didn't think Thomas should be kept off the court. The same percentage of blacks thought that Thomas was definitely or probably lying, but still did not oppose his confirmation. The poll results are backed by comments like that of the salesman who told Cable Network News that it didn't matter if the charges were true: Thomas' reputation still had been unfairly damaged. Or the suggestion that another man made to a newspaper reporter that people should be judged on "their ability to do the job," T

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