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Jewish World Review March 17, 2000 /10 Adar II, 5760

Michelle Malkin

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Consumer Reports



Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican? -- She's baaaack. Elizabeth Dole has been buffed, polished, and pulled off the Republican trophy shelf by Texas Gov. George W. Bush in a lame attempt to attract liberal women voters. Now, everyone from U.S. News & World Report to Cokie Roberts is talking up Dole's potential as a vice presidential candidate who can help the GOP close its "gender gap."

"A woman, regardless of her actual stand on various issues, is most often perceived by the electorate as pro-choice, softer on social issues, and for campaign finance reform issues," a Bush ally explained to U.S. News this week in an item headlined "Why W. Needs Liddy Dole." Republicans "really can maybe get a score by naming a woman," Roberts noted in assessing Dole's qualifications as a running mate.

Conservative women and men should be disgusted by this token Oprah-fication of the Republican Party. It is the content of Dole's chromosomes, and not her actual stand -- or record -- on issues, that put her on Bush's veep short list. Do we really need another White House administration that treats women as empty political trinkets?

Dole made more than a dozen personal appearances across the country for Bush before Super Tuesday. He proudly called her a "general" in his campaign army. She cooed that Bush was "my kind of conservative." Which begs the question: Just what kind of conservative is Liddy Dole?

This longtime federal bureaucrat is no Maggie Thatcher. Washington, Dole once said, attracted her "like a magnet." The woman nicknamed "Sugar Lips" has been wading inside the Beltway for decades, like a giddy queen bee in a bottomless pot of taxpayer-subsidized honey.

As President Reagan's Secretary of Transportation, Dole wasted no time expanding the scope of government. Author James Bovard documented her Nanny State agenda in a devastating piece for the American Spectator last year. Among Dole's crowning glories:

She approved a mandate forcing car manufacturers to install brake lights in rear windows because consumers apparently couldn't be trusted to judge the benefits for themselves. And she opposed Reagan by supporting the Carter-era air-bag mandate a deadly regulation that has killed more than 100 children and petite women. For their own good, of course.

Carter transportation officials failed to warn the public about research on these dangers; Dole did nothing to break the silence. She did, however, advocate a federal ban on drinking alcohol for adults up to 24-years-old. And she lobbied for 10 percent set-aside contracts for minorities.

As President Bush's Secretary of Labor, her most shameful legacy was her boondoggle boosterism of the federal Job Training Partnership Act. Under Dole's watch, Bovard found, JTPA "was spending thousands of federal tax dollars on expanding an Indiana circus museum and teaching Washington taxi cab drivers to smile."
Maybe that's what
we should be doing!
Funds were also used to pay for junkets to Japan and for a political front group called the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute.

Bovard reports that follow-up studies showed male JTPA enrollees had lower earnings than a control group of non-participants, and that JTPA training had no positive effects whatsoever on the wages or employment of female trainees.

Dole also continued to propagate a racial and gender spoils system at the Labor Department. She declared war on a purported "glass ceiling" for women in the corporate world, setting the stage for vast federal meddling in the private hiring decisions of companies across the country. She also coddled violent union members and, as Reed Larson of the National Right to Work Committee put it in a letter to President Bush, she "did nothing to stop forced-dues politics" forbidden by the Supreme Court's landmark Beck decision.

Dole would reinforce George W. Bush's worst instincts on domestic policy. For all of his campaign bashing of John McCain as a liberal, Bush himself has a record of being soft on affirmative action, soft on wasteful education spending, and soft on Big Government mandates. This vote-getting social engineering, masquerading boldly as "compassionate conservatism," is what appeals most to Bush's left-lurching supporters. "He has a message that women want to hear," Dole warbles.

Speak for yourself, sister. The only women who want to hear that Bush is a Liddy Dole Republican are Hillary Clinton Democrats.

JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate