The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 12, 1976 · Page 95
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version
December 12, 1976

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 95

Publication:
Location:
West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 12, 1976
Page:
Page 95
Cancel
Start Free Trial

Page 95 article text (OCR)

D24 Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, December 12, 1976 William Safire 'Era of Good Feelings' Doesn't Mean Suspension of Criticism needs to know about a foreign policy challenge except me and the secretary of state"? Must any such challenge be kept secret from the National Security Council, the Senate leaders or even the public? But the Carter doctrine went even further: ". . . or sometimes perhaps just me and the head of a foreign government." What kind of secretary of state, or national security adviser, would accept a position in the face of a declaration that the president-to-be might cut him out of a "foreign policy challenge"? The senators sat in obsequious silence. Nobody suggested to the newly-elected leader of the free world that foreign relations ought never to be carried out solely between two men at the top. Even during the most justifiably secret initiative in recent history, when Pakistani Ambassador Agha Hilaly was used as the go-between in the 1971 American approach to China, the president's secret was shared with at least three other men in our government, and carried out a policy that had been clearly stated to the Senate. Of course some secrecy is needed in diplomatic dealings Col. House used to explain that Woodrow Wilson did not really mean "open convenants openly arrived at" - and perhaps normally vigilant editorialists felt Carter was trying to say that, in a somewhat inexperienced way. But that is precisely why he needs instruction from the Senate and constructive criticism in the press. Even treating his word challenge benignly, to mean merely "opportunity," there is no good reason for a president to spring an idea of his own on a foreign head of state without first discussing it with at least one trusted aide who has experience in foreign affairs. (c) New York Times ATLANTA - The Era of Good Feelings, a phrase coined in 1817 by the Columbian Centinel to describe the one-party euphoria of the James Monroe administration, turned out to be a time marked by petty factionalism and stagnation. Not until party partisanship reared its divisive head, under the banner of Andrew Jackson, did a vigorous two-party system get the nation moving again. Today commentators hesitate to intrude upon our post-election Era of Good Feelings, lest they be considered unwilling to give the president-elect a fair chance, and the turned-out Republicans hesitate to criticize lest they be considered soreheads. This suspension of criticism is neither a service to the new administration nor to the country. A couple of examples: Carter told Walter Cronkitek "I asked Secretary Kissinger, 'Has there ever been an instance when the Soviets made a flat statement to you, and you later discovered it was a lie?' And he said no ... to know that has never occurred in Secretary Kissinger's long experience is a very encouraging sign." Evidently the president-elect has been bamboozled. If Carter has accepted the assurances of the departing secretary of state that the Soviets did not flatly lie about the range of the Backfire bomber, about their 1973 pledge to sustain a level of emigration and about the Soviet financing of Cuban troops in Angola - then the president-elect should get a counter-briefing from the people who wrote his own speeches in the campaign. Similarly, when the president-elect met with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Nov. 23, he made a statement that passed almost unobserved amid the general backpatting and assurances of consultation and coordination. "There will be times,!' Carter told the Senate, "when nobody needs to know about a foreign policy challenge except me and the secretary of state, or sometimes perhaps just me and the head of a foreign government." Read that over. The stark statement was surrounded by assurances that his "inclination" was to "seek your advice and counsel," so the bland assertion of absolute presidential authority in foreign affairs went sailing past his hosts. Sen. Frank Church, who had delivered a homily recalling Sen. Vandenberg's desire to be in on the takeoffs as well as the crashes, said nothing. Sens. Bentsen, Gravel and Gary Hart, those critics of Kissinger secrecy, did not react. Republicans Case, Baker, Griffin and Percy raised not an eyebrow. What did Carter mean? Could he think of one case in our history when "nobody Art Buchwald How To Play The Game Of Politics A bath where butterflies flutter, flowers bloom, checks add cheer. Give it this Christmas. (c) Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON - We are in a lame duck situation in Washington and it affects every part of government life. The pace is slower, there is a reluctance to make decisions and there is a tendency on the part of civil service employes to keep their distance from Ford appointees on the off-chance that the new Carter appointees might feel they were Ford people all along. The name of the game in Washington is survival. And this is how many civil service employes are playing it. "The secretary wants to see you right away." "What secretary?" "The secretary of the treasury. He says it's urgent." "Okay, where's his office?" "You know damn well where his office is. You've been up thet . every day for four years apple polishing him." "That's a lie and you know it, Tur-tleman. If anyone has been apple polishing the secretary it's been you. I doubt if I've met with the secretary more than three times since he's been here. I hardly know what he looks like." "Well, he asked for you by name." "How did he get my name?" "I told it to him. He asked me who was in charge of balance of payments to North Africa, and I gave him the information.1' "You could have said you didn't know, Turtleman. Now you've got me in a real fix. I'll be seen going in and out of the secretary's office and in an hour it will be all over the building." "So what? It will show that the secretary trusts you." "I don't want anyone to know the secretary trusts me. How do you think the Carter people will feel if they find out that Ford's secretary of the treasury trusted me? You're out for my job, Turtleman." "I am not out for your job. But how would it look if I told the secretary I didn't know the name of the person who was in charge of our balance of payments to North Africa? The Carter people would hear about it and think I was a real dum-dum." "Why do you think the secretary wants to see me?" "My own feeling is that he would like to see anybody. Every time he asks to see a civil service employe he's been told the person is out to lunch. Frankly, I think he's kind of lonely." "Why don't the Carter transition people want to see me?" "They do, but there's so many people waiting in their office that they can't get around to seeing everybody. Why don't you find an excuse to call them?" "That's a good idea. What excuse should I use?" "Why don't you tell them the secretary wants to see you and ask them what you should do about whatever he wants to see you about?" "That's a splendid idea. I'll call them now. "Carter transition? Listen, I just got a call from secretary What's-His-Name - you know, Ford's appointee? He wants to see me and I thought you should know about it. No, I don't know what he wants to talk to me about, but I assure you whatever it is I'll tell him what he can do about it. My name is Car-stairs C-a-r-s-t-a-i-r-s - almost like in Carter, and I have an aunt who lives in Atlanta. I wanted you to know where I'd be just in case you were looking for me." Ten minutes later: "Mr. Secretary, you sent for me?" "Yes, Carstairs, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed working with you." "Oh, my God, you're not going to . put it in writing, are you?" "I thought it would look good in your record book." "Please, Mr. Secretary. Not in my record book." "Okay, if that's the way you want it. Oh, there's one more thing, Car-stairs. Have you got time for a game of gin rummy?" Meadow butterflies or flora! f'"Z . T ?Mf; bouquets. Silk screened on f 4 sffuf A R Q ' durable styrene. ( W s M $ IhD Tumbler and soap dish, 1.80 ! ' ! S I Tissue holder, 4.70 YrxV ST W V Brush holder (brush included), $10 i fr Boutique tissue holder, 4.50 4:C J ' I Wastebasket, $6 l6'50 Carol City and , " 5 SN Butterfly pattern. , ' i J . J21 VA till ? ' 9 immmmf!f tT$S:sS::i 1 Scalloped styrene accessories. jfa. .x.me rr... Jt. ff vl H v---i-v-w Tumbler or soap dish, $1 mmyt fmmwmmwfiPa-' j (( )) f 'SSssT''-) Tissue holder, 3.35 1 1 Nri' S"K 4 Brusn holder (brush included), 8.50 Contemporary styrene A . - Boutique tissue holder, 2.90 shapes with golden trim. , ' 'V j ( K. Wastebasket. 3.75 Set includes waste V Hamper, 13.75 basket, tissue holder, m i tumbler, and soap dish. $16 set. 1 . j yX ... . Ji" J j I I - j Simplicity in styrene.- wastebasket, tissue q o )) holder, tumbler, and I'M f lWA Creative wire v v , soap dish. $11 set. MMB sculptures to A . ," hold bath and n 0 guest towels. V- g V Pastel colors. $12. ' --jp-... . - - -- f-? fcT (( I butterfly, $18 ea. J(. j) All stores open on Sunday 1 1 to 7 p.m. (except Biscayne Plaza and Carol City 12 to 5 p.m.) JCPenney The Christmas Place: Shop your nearest JCPenney . . . from Miami to West Palm Beach. The "Ups and Downs" Complete Stock Reports. Read the POST. Subscribe today. Call Circulation Nowl 659-1450

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page