The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina on August 11, 1987 · Page 4
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The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina · Page 4

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Greenwood, South Carolina
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Tuesday, August 11, 1987
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Commeitary Tuesday August 11, 1937 Greenwood, S.C. 4 huli'x-hnuiutl Witt it be free Hde for Jackson in 1 988? Will Jesse Jackson get free ride again? Will the Democratic Party in 1988 commit ritual political suicide one more time? If the answer is "yes" to the first question, it's "yes" to the second. And if the recent seven-candidate debate in Houston sets a course, the answers will be enough of a yes to make Republicans smile. Moderator William Buckley asked Jackson: "When in Havana in 1984 you toasted Fidel Castro, and ... Che Guevara, specifically you said 'Long live President Fidel Castro.' Using data recently compiled by Amnesty International and Freedom House, Ambassador Vernon Walters has said that there are more political prisoners in Cuba per capita than anywhere else in the world. Did you mean while wishing a long life to Castro, to wish a short life for his prisoners?" Now, that is a loaded question. But it is based on a real event, and on conditions that exist. Predictably, Jackson defended himself. His Cuban visit was productive, he said; Castro released 30 political prisoners. Jackson didn't say why he hailed Che Guevara, the late Cuban communist whose goal was to turn all of Latin America communist. What was unpredictable were the responses from COMMENT Ben Wattenberg Newspaper Enterprise Am. J the six other potential candidates on stage. Three of them (Sen. Joseph Biden and Govs. Michael Dukakis and Bruce Babbitt) used the occasion to denounce American foreign policy. Specifically, they said stop the aid to the Nicaraguan contras. Sen. Paul Simon said he did not like Castro, but we should stop aid to the contras and anyway, the way to deal with Nicaragua was to send Peace Corps volunteers. Sen. Albert Gore and Rep. Richard Gephardt were tougher on Castro, but also said stop aid to the contras. The only one to mention Jesse Jackson was Biden, who thought Jackson's toast was "positive" because Castro gave Jackson a payoff. This is odd. The question concerned outrageous remarks made by Jackson, a not irrelevant politician. Everyone active in Democratic politics knows that the "Jackson problem" helped clobber Democrats in 1984. Jackson, recall, was far out: praising Castro, denouncing America, condemning the Democratic Party for racism, accepting support from a black anti-Semite. Yet in 1984, none of the other candidates publicly attacked him! Why not? Because Jackson is black and to attack Jackson (so it was thought) would appear to be anti-black. And because Jackson wasn't regarded as a serious candidate. But patronizing Jackson proved to be a disaster. Voters, many of them Democratics, saw that Democrats wouldn t criticize an extremist; they fawned over him. On Election Day these voters remembered and voted for Reagan. Now the novelty of a black candidate has worn off. Jackson is a major candidate. He has tried to moderate his positions somewhat although not enough to change his mind about his toast, "Long live Che Guevara," a dead communist revolutionary. Millions of Democrats are waiting to find out if their party has returned to its senses. They want to know if it is still impossible to criticize extreme views such as Jackson's, past or present. (Jackson still calls for a bizarre 25 percent defense cut.) Such Democrats would support a candidate willing to publicly attack Jackson's views. A smart candidate might have answered Buckley's Question this way: "Rev. Jackson's remarks hailing astro were scandalous. Castro is a communist. He has subjugated Cuba. He is a Soviet mercenary. He has abused human rights. Che Guevara was worse. If any other candidate said what Jackson said in 1984, or failed to recant in 1987, he would be savaged. This year Rev. Jackson must be subject to the same rules as the rest of us. I believe, that whatever errors America has made, the big trouble in the world is not of our doing. It is caused by the Soviets, and Castro is a Soviet puppet. If you want a foreign policy based on these ideas, vote for me." But alas, no one said it. Ben Wattenberg, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is author of "The Birth Dearth," published by Pharos Books. Editorials Less paper work Right from the beginning of the Education Improvement Act (EIA), teachers around Greenwood joined others all over South Carolina in a general complaint that too much paper work was required. Some people, it appears, took this as a sim that teachers really didn't want to be held accountable, something the EIA seeks to do. As time went on, though, it became more obvious to everyone that teachers had a legitimate gripe ...... that too much time was taken away from valuable classroom time for paper work. Finally, the powers that be are taking notice and are on the way to improvements ...... at least, it looks that way. Governor Campbell is assembling an informal panel of educators to find ways to reduce the problem and the state Senate has named five members to a 44-member task force that will be charged with doing the same. Campbell, House Speaker Bob Sheheen and Education Superintendent Charlie Williams also are allowed to choose five members of the task force, with other members coming from a variety of education groups and agencies. Maybe with such a concentrated effort, improvements can be made to make the EIA just what it was envisioned to be. It may take some doing, though, to keep the task force from becoming like the committee that was supposed to design the elephant and came up with the camel. Or, looking at it another way too many cooks spoil the broth, they say. And politics! That's always a factor. Oh, well, at least they're trying, and if they can help reduce the paper load they'll make a lot of folks happier. Women and the pope Picketing the pope will be in vogue during the pontiff's September visit to America. Among the picketers will be groups that express disaffection with the Vatican's position on issues that are perceived as having a negative effect on women. While such organized protests certainly will not cause immediate changes on such issues as legalized abortion, ordination of women and equal rights for Catholic women, recent events offer ample evidence that no institution is immune to change. In fact, some of the most change-resistant institutions in this country have undergone a metamorphosis in recent weeks. A woman, Wilma Man-killer, became the first elected head of the Cherokee nation. The first black Miss Mississippi was crowned. And the Selma, Ala., City Council has a black majority of members for the first time in history. No one predicts that the all-male celibate priesthood will be supplanted by Catholic women in the pulpit, but if an American " Indian Mbe can elect a woman as chief and a black can be crowned Miss Mississippi, is the ordination of Catholic women an impossible dream? t I ; 1 lf T. I Borking the Constitution The Index-Journal Kh-aiior M. Miimh Prt'fiilrnl uikI I'lil.li-ln r Judith Mumly Burn W illiam V. (iolliii w-r Pr'il'iil l.riirral l;ma!'r fwretar hililur Kirharil Ja Ivmhi. r v riilroll.'r J. TWI Malrr Harr XarrHI PrtxilM'tMHi UurrvUir l;irk. liii(: Idrr. I,.r 4rM MaiMM-r ' r. .lil lanap ij jlar-n-- Ialliam 4jr-uliliii Manager . ' H tVi...L M.nwlv Trying to prevent Robert Heron Bork's confirmation as Supreme Court associate justice is like standing on top of a garbage dump ringed by cesspools and fumigating the air with perfume spray. The intent is eminently noble. The need is imperative. The tool is miserably ineffective. . Opponents just aren't going to be able to block the confirmation of this prepossessing legal genius, despite his impassioned affinity for an era that Confined blacks to lynching trees, women to pots and pans, abortions to back alleys, gays to non-per-sonhood and atheists to jail. Of course, Bork's ultra-conservatism threatens judicial balance, but presidents have always factored in ideology in their choice of Supreme Court appointments. The difference is that Democratic presidents have been more evenhanded. A dramatic case in point is Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt's promotion to chief justice of conservative Republican Harlan F. Stone, who had been appointed by conservative Republican Calvin Coolidge. Still, as is true of Mussolini's stewardship, which at least made the trains run on time, Bork isn't all bad. His reactionary views on abortion may be reprehensible, but at least they are constitutionally consonant with the Supreme Court's states' rights position on pornography. On freedom of the press, he was part of a 6-5 Court of Appeals majority decision in December 1984 that upheld two syndicated columnists who had written a damaging opinion piece about a university professor. 'In the past few years," wrote Bork, "a remarkable upsurge in libel actions, accom- COMMENT I Chuck My A Stone Newspaper Enterprise Assn. panied by a startling inflation of damage awards, has threatened a self-censorship which can as effectively inhibit debate and Berry's World "Unfortunately, these days, seeing trash doesn't necessarily mean you're near land. " criticism as would overt government regulation." Amen! Such enlightened Holmes-Brandeis sensitivity is a fleeting part of what he rhararterizes as an "intellectual svnl. ution." The question is: evolution toward what? Bork has not entirely abandoned a 91-year-old racially divisive Supreme Court decision: "The objective of the (14th) Amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce, as distinguished from political equality, a commingling of the two races..." (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896). God save the queen! Segregation, forever! If nothing else, we Can hail this' nappy-haired, scholarly jurist for enriching our lexicon of eponymous words (which already includes such examples as Elizabethan, Jef-fersonian, McCarthyism and Quisling). "Stone's Dictionary of Eponymous Neol-- ogisms' lists the following: Bork, n. a reactionary . scholar; a brilliant but repulsive person (He screwed things up. What a bork!) i Borkism, n. an intractably conservative mindset; a movement to turn back the clock of progress; an attempt to reverse judicial precedent. Bork, vt. to set back (Reagan's Supreme Court appointment borks blacks and women.) Unhappily, on the Constitution's 200th anniversary, that document has been forked by Reagan's appointment. Toria v TODAY'S TRIVIA: Wyoming was the first U.S. state to do which of the following? (a) grant women the right to vote (b) secede from the union (c) establish an Indian reservation. TODAY'S BARBS BY PHIL PASTORET Bet on it: Anything you have to stand in line a half -hour for isn't worth going to, buying or doing. The difference between drinking gin straight or in Tom Collinses is that, in the first instance, the shakes come afterward. ' TODAVS TRJWSNSWEK: (a) Wyoming was the first" state to grant women the right to vote; it did son 1869. ROOM TO SPREAD O-U-T!! This spacious 4 bedroom home is perfect for the growing family. Over 2000 sq. ft. of living area, double garage, fenced back yard - a combination that can't be beaten at an affordable price. Call to see this exclusive listing. 606 Colonial Dr. $79,900 Citins Trust Company ' Ramon P. Jone. BtC -223-8221

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