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Jewish World Review Jan. 15, 2001 / 20 Teves, 5761

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Ashcroft: A hill to die on


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- I AM NOT PLEASED about this, but I was sure on the money when I wrote that we were on the verge of a four-year war by the Democrats.

Outgoing President Clinton obviously intends his politics of polarization to continue beyond his eight-year stint. Preaching to fawning, disgruntled audiences, he declared "the only way (Republicans) could win the election was to stop the voting in Florida." So much for any pretense to bipartisanship and healing.

But, you ask, who cares what Clinton does -- he'll be out of office in a week? The problem with that is twofold. First, Clinton's not going anywhere; he and his now-powerful wife will remain in Washington, and promise to be major Democratic powerbrokers for the foreseeable future. He's also installed his chief fundraiser, Terry McAuliffe, to head the DNC. Second, even without Clinton's hands-on involvement, the Democratic Party would carry on in his tradition anyway. The party has been thoroughly Clintonized.

This can best be seen in its approach to George Bush's more conservative cabinet designees. Various left-wing interest groups have drawn a line in the sand, and are going to do everything in their power to defeat the nominations of Ashcroft, Chavez and Norton. One down, two to go.

A word about their conquest of Chavez: They tell us they were outraged by her potential violations of the law. Everyone knows they don't care a whit about those laws. This is purely a matter of ideology. Forget lawbreaking. Chavez's sin was being conservative. She had the audacity to oppose the minimum wage and to promote English as the primary language.

Are the leftists moved to compromise with the other two nominees after having vanquished the first? Not in the slightest. She was just an appetizer. Norton will be delectable, too, but they're anxious to get on to the main course: John Ashcroft.

The driving forces behind the "Borkings" are the National Organization for Women, Handgun Control, the National Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, certain gay rights groups and Big Labor.

And they call Ashcroft extreme! On what basis, you ask? His opposition to abortion, special rights for gays, gun control and his support for the death penalty and the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Our culture is so heavily under the spell of political correctness that it is now commonplace for the dominant media culture to characterize these mainstream positions as extreme. Under these criteria our nation was founded by a gaggle of right-wing extremists. How far we've come in the name of enlightenment! Besides, who is calling whom extreme? These leftist groups, collectively, have a vise grip on the Democratic Party, whose officials march in lockstep to their belligerent commands. Hopefully, a few Democratic senators will prove me wrong, but it's not looking good right now.

Arkansas columnist Gene Lyons captures their position pretty succinctly: "Opposing Ashcroft needs no constitutional justification and has nothing to do with 'personal destruction.' It's purely political. The man's dogmatic, intemperate views make him unfit for the job of enforcing laws he clearly doesn't believe in. That's all we really need to know."

There you have it. Ashcroft is a genuine conservative and Christian, therefore an extremist, therefore evil and therefore must be opposed at all costs -- including painting him as a racist.

We should not be surprised that those who supported Janet Reno for almost eight years as she ran interference for Bill Clinton and otherwise politicized the Justice Department, would vigorously oppose Reno's polar opposite. Unlike Reno, and contrary to the popular slander, Ashcroft will enforce existing laws, whether he agrees with them or not. Nothing in his history suggests otherwise. By the way, Ashcroft unequivocally denounces violence at abortion clinics.

Ashcroft's libelers know he's a man of integrity and that he's not a racist, but they'll do everything they can to suggest otherwise and destroy him. But ultimately, this is not about Ashcroft. It's about power. In their view, George Bush has no right to govern, especially not as a conservative.

Conservatives should not be discouraged. Bush knows what he's up against. He knows that he can't placate the left by capitulating. He knows that his authority is on the line and that, politically speaking, the Ashcroft nomination is a hill to die on.



JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

Up

01/10/01: Returning to the supply side
01/08/01: Reasons for optimism
01/03/01: Bush's daunting challenges
12/28/00: Ashcroft: A triumph for the rule of law
12/26/00: A tinge of revenge?
12/20/00: GOP: Breaking the race barrier
12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?

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