Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Nov. 20, 2000/ 22 Mar-Cheshvan, 5761

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

The devil -- or is it really
Nurse Ratchet? -- in Mr. Gore --
FORGET THE EMPEROR. The devil is buck naked, and no innocents remain to call his b(l)uff.

So it is in the wake of Al Gore's latest incarnation as The Statesman-Reconciler and the American public as the steadfastly dupe-able parade-gazers. With nothing to lose, Gore is suddenly the high-road man, the reasonable chap, the conciliatory captain so needed at America's helm, while his opponent is made to seem the stubborn antagonist.

One is hard-pressed to find fault with Gore's public-relations strategy -- it's working -- but his naked ambition remains stunning. A cunning champion of double-speak, he's the political twin of Nurse Ratchet from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, speaking through smiles in dulcet tones while tidily eviscerating his opponent.

The man may be brilliant, after all, but he's not the benevolent leader he pretends to be, nor is he honest. If you had hooked Al "Ratchet" Gore to a lie-detector test during Wednesday's white-flag spiel, he would have failed. Unless, like his boss, he has learned to believe his own syntactical inventions.

For it is insincere (dishonest?) to proffer solutions one knows in advance won't be accepted. Gore is being insincere, for instance, when he says he's willing to endorse a manual count of all ballots in Florida's 67 counties, if that's what George Bush wants.

His invitation is the equivalent of a dinner invitation extended to people certain to decline. Of course Bush isn't going to accept Gore's proposal, which is only an invitation to lose. Furthermore, the manual counting of ballots is fraught with potential problems the Gore camp seems unwilling to acknowledge.

The opportunity for intentional fraud -- or human error by the least-partisan guesser -- can't be exaggerated. It isn't the voter who counts, after all; it's who counts the vote, as George W. Bush knows and the always-witty Joseph Stalin once said.

Next, Gore says, let's meet and raise the level of discourse. A lovely gesture from a decent man, except Gore's minions are the dirtiest, scorched-earth fighters on the field. One's natural response is: You go first. Which, of course, Gore has done in a strategic coup that implicitly underscores Bush's unwillingness to cooperate. Rhetorically, it's the old trap: "So when did you stop beating your wife?"

As evidence of dirty dealing, one need look no further than the Democrats' ad hominem attacks on Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Dream-Team lawyer Alan Dershowitz called her a "crook." (I'll try not to get distracted by the Gore campaign's apparent need to construct a dream team that can only foster recollection of another dubious victory.) Other Gore spokes-czars referred to Harris as a "Soviet commissar" and a "political hack."

For what?

The woman is an elected official trying to enforce state rules according to the presumed discretion accorded her by the people's vote -- the same people Gore loves to trust. So she's a Republican; so she was a delegate to the Republican convention; so she was a Bush campaigner. So what?

We don't assume that all those Democrats counting ballots down there in Palm Beach County can't be relied upon simply because they're Democrats.

Or do we?

Americans of a certain age grew up knowing that it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. Recent events make the first part seem hopelessly na´ve -- clearly it matters who wins a presidential race -- but the second part seems more true than ever. Notwithstanding his latest performance, the aptly named vice president plays dirtiest even when he's being nicest.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


I11/16/00:n the end, the winner may be loser
11/13/00: Eliminate popular vote -- at least in Palm Beach County
11/07/00: Lesser of 2 evils? It's more like the lesser of 2 lies
11/02/00: Latest Jones' saga exposes a big irony
10/31/00: Hate-crime legislation and anti-Bush ad are flawed
10/26/00: Taking it to the streets
10/23/00: Headlines blur fiasco of family
10/13/00: Forget polls: Bush passes turtle test
10/06/00: Feminism: A cup that's half full?
10/04/00: Election-year reality check: Abortion is here to stay
09/29/00: For Gore and Hollywood, the mirror has two faces
09/26/00: Oprahfication of presidential political: It's all about feelings
09/19/00: It's not subliminal: Hypocrisy of moral outrage is obvious
09/15/00: So wear, oh wear, are we headed?
09/11/00: Do Steinem's wedding bells sound feminist death knells?
09/08/00: Grounded in her fears about flying
08/31/00: Dudettes that don't
08/29/00: AlGore wants to be his own man -- does he know who that is?
08/21/00: Dems manufacture emotions at convention
08/17/00: Hollywood divine? AlGore is miscast
08/08/00:Outreach: Good strategy and long-run policy
08/04/00: A sharp look back at the Vietnam War
08/01/00: Bush's choice of grown-up Cheney is a stroke of genius
07/24/00: Fired up and grossed out over stupid Canadians
07/20/00: Lack of judgment --- our critical flaw
07/18/00: 'Progress' for women often a step back
07/11/00: School essay watchdogs cannibalize our children
07/06/00: Youths fear marriage --- blame boomers
06/28/00: Eminem might just have a point
06/21/00: Bridging the day-care divide
06/15/00: N.Y. baby case ends up with multiracial scrambled eggs
05/31/00: The war only time wins
05/25/00: The opposite of sex
05/18/00: World War II gave us our true heroes
05/11/00: Boy Crazy! stacks deck against guys
05/09/00: Finding out where the boys are
05/05/00: A born Ms. Leader -- Barbie for prez
04/25/00: From here to paternity
04/14/00: Boys should be boys, not viewed as criminals in training
04/11/00: Oh, for a standard of what is socially, morally acceptable
04/06/00: Womyn's Contempt for Commitment --- and the bastards it creates
04/04/00: Sue-happy American society is out of control
03/30/00: Duct-taped baby serves as warning
03/28/00: Stay-home parents know that their kids need them
03/24/00: No 'Great Expectations' when schools shun the classics
03/21/00: It's common sense to restrict Internet usage in libraries
03/17/00: You want to be just a mom? For shame!
03/14/00: Colonoscopy: Important, but bad TV
03/10/00: I made a mistake about trigger-locks
03/08/00: After this school shooting, no easy target for our contempt
03/03/00: Car crash helps bridge our divide
02/28/00: Nasty politics? Americans like it down, dirty
02/14/00: College testing via Lego-building -- yeah, right
02/02/00: Bubba should spare us phony love theatrics
01/26/00: What sets off Those Who Speak for Women
01/13/00: Fools in love: Premarital counseling could help school kids
01/11/00: Who funds these studies!?
12/29/99: Grandparents' rights impinge on family autonomy
12/13/99: When did fathers become fair game?
12/09/99: Don't be stupid about at-risk kids
12/07/99: Pokemon is no substitute for a father
12/02/99: Blaming the victim --- men
11/30/99: Baby-killer's story has less-than-Precious ending
11/23/99: Pendulum swings back toward discipline, responsibility
11/18/99: Put the babies first in this mighty mess
11/11/99: Skip the applause for this baby news
11/09/99: Gore could benefit from a secret in Wolf's clothing
11/03/99: Who needs 'birds and bees' when we have MTV?
11/01/99: Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say
10/26/99: Children's needs must take priority in divorce system
10/19/99: The deadbeat dad is less a scoundrel than an object of pity
10/15/99: Bullying boys ... and girls
10/12/99: Divorced dads ready to wage a revolution
10/04/99: A father's best gift? His presence
09/30/99: Sorry, guys, Faludi is no friend of yours
09/28/99: Science's new findings: Scary future for families
09/23/99: The great blurring of need and want
09/21/99:Focus on more than baby's first 3 years
09/16/99: Commentary from kids sheds no light on day-care debate
09/14/99: Fathers' group seeks to right inequities
09/09/99: Son now has a license to grow up
09/07/99: A slap in the face of domestic violence
09/01/99: No, ma'am: Legislation on manners misses the mark
08/26/99: For better boys, try a little tenderness
08/24/99:The ABC's of campaign questions
08/19/99: Male 'sluts'
08/11/99: Language doesn't excuse bad behavior
08/09/99: When justice delayed is still justice
08/03/99: Unemployment? Not in this profession
07/30/99: It's not about race -- it's about crack babies
07/22/99: Tragedy tells us what's important
07/19/99: Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals
07/15/99:'Happy marriage' belongs in the Dictionary of Oxymorons next to 'deliciously low-fat.'
07/11/99: 'Brother Man': An American demagogue in Paris
07/08/99: Only parents can fix broken families
07/06/99: America is home, sweet home
07/01/99: Tales out of Yuppiedom
06/28/99: Men aren't the only abusers
06/23/99: Is the entire country guzzling LSD punch?
06/20/99: The voice remains -- as always -- there beside me 06/16/99:Stating the obvious, a new growth industry
06/14/99: Calling for a cease-fire in the gender war
06/10/99: We owe children an apology

©1999, Tribune Media Services