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Jewish World Review Jan. 22, 2001 / 27 Teves, 5761

James Lileks

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Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap! -- EMINEM raps about busting gay men's heads; he gets Grammies. Ashcroft admits that his religious beliefs don't sanction homosexuality, and he's a hatemonger. Obviously, Bush appointees have to learn to rap - that's the only way to shut up the left. John! It's not too late! Here's your lyrics:

"If Falwell's a movie than I am the sequel / I'll give you a replay of seperate-but-equal / I be casting out cynics / blowin' up clinics / letting Microsoft go so they can crush Linux / I be looking away when a gun law is broken / I'll be happy when everyone's children are smokin' / They say G-d is love but my G-d ain't been fooled / Gays go to hell. Unless they be home-schooled."

And so forth. If delivered over an appropriately infantile beat, these sentiments could insulate Ashcroft from any objections. Of course, he doesn't believe any of these things. His enemies know he doesn't believe them. But some of Ashcroft's Senate colleagues were perfectly willing to shiv him in the spine and wiggle the knife. Barbara Boxer in her best worried-mom voice, Democrat of California, suggested that if Ashcroft's confirmation would signal the end of Western Civilization: "There are solid reasons to expect that the people of this country will not be protected and served as they exercise their civil rights, human rights, their right to choose, their right to be free of gun violence and their right to a clean environment."

Let a Democrat talk long enough, and they'll append a new right to the Constitution with every breath. A right to be free of gun violence? That's a new one. Literally. Attention criminals: when a cop shoots you because you've just rammed his squad car, try out the Boxer Amendment as your new defense. A right to a clean environment? I don't pick up my socks. Who do I sue?

You extract one nugget from Boxer's twaddle: "There are solid reasons to expect to expect people will be not be protected as they exercise their human rights." Life in China = America under Ashcroft. To think she served side-by-side with this fellow and didn't take him out when she had the chance. It's got to haunt her. They never search Senators, after all; she could have brought a Derringer into the Senate. Sic Semper Tyrannis! Bang. And the Republic would be saved.

But no: now we must all live under the specter of inadequately enforced hate-crime laws. Why, murderers will just be tried for murder. Surely Lincoln's statue has his head in his hands by now.

Meanwhile, Andrew Young criticized the appointment as well - but in the new Healing, Bipartisan Mode: "I know John Ashcroft," he said. "He really is a nice guy. He just isn't supposed to be attorney general at a time like this." Oh, yes, There's a day when liberals would just love Ashcroft to be attorney general. That would be the day when Clinton should be prosecuted for lying under oath. Question: if Ashcroft believes such despicable things, why does Andrew Young like him? "Goering? Capital fellow. We disagree on the Jewish question, but I like him." Please.

Martin Luther King III weighed in as well, worrying that Bush would "set civil rights back thirty years." Ah yes. . . the chaos of 1971, when women and blacks were barred from voting or holding jobs . . . plutocrats rode around the nation in armored Winnebagos, shooting immigrants for sport . . . Nixon had the floors of the White House strewn with bones so he could hear the crunch of his enemies underfoot as he trod the halls . . . when gays were rounded up and sent to work camps - oh, sorry, that's Cuba, 2001.

You get the point: we're constantly in danger of toppling back into the horrible past. Nevermind the dark atrocities of 1971 - the slightest puff of a Republican President's breath can blow the entire culture back to 1854. This nation is incontrovertibly racist and sexist, and only liberalism can save us . . . What's that, a Hispanic woman has been nominated to a post in a Republican administration? DESTROY HER!

Sen. Boxer has also been repeating the mantra du jour: Ashcroft is not "a healer." The nation is so cleaved by partisan divisions, it seems, that the Attorney General is now expected to roam around Washington healing, mending, giving backrubs to the opposition party, anointing their feet with oil, etc. You'd think we just concluded the Civil War.

Actually, it's just beginning. Next: The Battle of Galenorton.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


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11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2000, James Lileks