Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review March 5, 2001/ 10 Adar 5761

Wesley Pruden

Wes Pruden
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
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
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

How can a real gent
tell the lady no? -- GEORGE W. can't even get a square meal without bumping a nose or two out of joint.

"Why," asks a troubled reader, a denizen of Washington's Green Book (and one of several who called similarly troubled), "would George W. take his wife to dinner at Katharine Graham's, of all places, for their very first night out in Washington society? She surrounded him with all the tired, old out-of-work liberal Democratic hacks who think he's a jerk. You notice that she didn't invite any of his friends. Doesn't he know what those people really think of him?"

Well, yes, he probably does, but all the little Bushes are taught good manners and good breeding stays with a man. How can a gent tell a lady no? Besides, Mrs. Graham is famous for cooking up the best collards, ham hocks and cornbread on R Street. She often greets her guests with the evidence on her apron. So we shouldn't begrudge the man a break from government-issue cuisine. Besides, women are curious about such things, and Laura might not get another chance to see the inside of the Graham mansion.

Another reader sends along a license-plate holder, no doubt meant to cover up the sophomoric propaganda on the District of Columbia tags, emblazoned with the legend: "Bush Administrations: Our Daley Bread Since 1989." (Sounds fuzzy to me, too.) He appends a plaintive note: "Use it before W. goes 'kinder, gentler' on us."

Some of George W.'s real friends, the ones who stuck with him through the Florida recounts when others were practicing to be gracious losers, notice these little things, and it makes them nervous. Some of them notice bigger things, too.

Colin Powell, a good man new to the diplomatic deceptions of the Middle East, where deceit, double-dealing and duplicity were invented, returns from his first trip as secretary of state to announce that the tough talk about Saddam Hussein was just tough talk. His boss bombed Iraq, sending Saddam an unmistakable message, and just before he left for Cairo and points east the general had an unequivocal message for Baghdad about how it would be absolutely, positively necessary to resume the inspections for evidence of nuclear arms-making before there could be any talk of lifting the sanctions: "Let the inspectors in . . . " he said. "Until [Saddam] does that, I think we have to be firm. We have to be vigilant and I will be carrying this message to my friends in the region."

Well, maybe not that firm, or that vigilant. Once he heard the Arab bluster, which is enough to rattle any sane man, the secretary of state agreed that maybe the sanctions could be eased a little. But yesterday the Arabs were telling him to stick it in his ear, and Saddam says he won't allow the inspectors back under any circumstances.

Christie Whitman, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, sends George W. a rewrite of what he thinks about global-warming hype. "He has been very clear that the science is good on global warming," Mrs. Whitman told interviewer Robert Novak on CNN. Mr. Novak told her, nicely, that she was wrong and reminded her that George W. spent a good part of last year mocking Al Gore's faith in shaky science. Does George W. know what he thinks, or does Christie Whitman know what he thinks?

Some of George W.'s friends think they see a pattern. John Ashcroft goes to Capitol Hill to tell the Congressional Black Caucus that they know better than he does what he ought to think of racial profiling. Mr. Ashcroft, sounding as if he had found a memorandum of talking points left behind by Janet Reno, says he had talked to his boss about racial profiling and if Congress doesn't do what the Congressional Black Caucus tells it to do, why, he'll do it himself.

"This is as big a problem as you can get," he says, sounding like a thoroughly housebroken attorney general. Some of us, black and white, thought the nation's security or finding a cure for cancer or AIDS could be a bigger problem than dismantling an abusive roadblock on the highway.

You can't blame conservatives for noticing little things. They've learned that Republicans tend to leap under beds and jump into closets at the first rumble of distant Democratic thunder, and it's true that the graveyards of Washington are full of preppies who imagined they could hustle The Washington Post. And it's true that George W. is a Yalie, where arugula and little fish sticks are regarded as red-blooded fare.

But he's a graduate as well of public schools in Midland, Texas, where ham, ram, lamb, bull, beef and bear are routine grub. George W.'s nervous friends should chill out. Let him enjoy a plate or two of Katharine Graham's collards, adjusted to Georgetown taste. He's only been the president for a month. We shouldn't get our feelings hurt. Not yet.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


02/28/01: Who won that war? Best not to look
02/26/01: Bonnie & Clod, gifts who keep on giving
02/21/01: It's Hot Springs week in downtown Harlem
02/13/01: Some of our riots seem to be missing
02/07/01: When a hate crime is something to love
02/07/01: Lifting a few spoons, cutting a few taxes
02/02/01: A few small surprises and a large lesson
01/31/01: Serving fried crow in the press mess
01/26/01: The gathering storm over Jesse Jackson
01/23/01: A graceless getaway, a graceful beginning
01/19/01: Once more to wave the bloody shirt
01/16/01: Bring on the lions, the clowns are ready
01/12/01: The dastardly plot to restore slavery
01/10/01: Mr. Lott's generosity to the Dems
01/05/01: Looking to the past for a bad example
01/03/01: A modest proposal for Arkansas folk
12/19/00: The reflexive sneer at George W. Bush
12/15/00: Taking inspiration from John Birch
12/12/00: It's time to raise high Florida's standards
12/08/00: A President Bush, and about time, too
12/05/00: Here come the judge --- and he's got a hook
11/28/00: Cry no tears for Al, lawyers are the losers
11/21/00: The useful loathing of America's sons
11/17/00: When this is all over, we spray for lawyers
11/14/00: Something murky in the twilight zone

11/10/00: Something sinister in Palm Beach

11/07/00: Low days in the life of the ruptured duck

11/06/00: A little race baiting in the final hours

11/01/00: Creator gets a hard time on the hustings

10/27/00: The sorcerer rides to rescue his apprentice

10/25/00: The founding father with a story to tell

10/23/00: A lonely passion for religious rights

10/16/00: Spending blood on the folly of fools

10/11/00: A big night for the embellisher-in-chief

10/06/00: AlGore's black problem

10/04/00: In headlong pursuit of the bigot vote

10/02/00: A modest proposal for Rick Lazio

09/27/00: When folks at home give up on a scamp

09/25/00: Gore plot exposed! The secret minutes

09/18/00: Playing politics with the blood supply

09/14/00: Al sets out to find his 'tolerance level'

09/12/00: When it's time for a thumb in the eye

09/07/00: Making a daughter a campaign asset

09/04/00: A footnote to the lie: How he beats the rap

08/30/00: Unbearable lightness of a cyberjournal

08/21/00: Clinton chickens on AlGore's roost

08/16/00: The long goodbye to California's cash

08/09/00: Innocence by proxy is a risky scheme

08/07/00: After insulin shock, an authentic rouser

08/02/00: When it gets hard not to get a little giddy

07/31/00: George W.'s legions of summer soldiers

07/26/00: He's set a surprise --- or a trap for himself

07/24/00: How do you serve a turkey in August?

07/19/00: Would Hillary sling a lie about a slur?

07/17/00: Process, not peace, at a Velveeta summit

07/12/00: The Texas two-step, a nudge and a wink

07/10/00: The Great Mentioner and his busy season

07/05/00: No Mexican standoff in these results

07/03/00: Denting a few egos in the U.S. Senate

06/28/00: Bureaucracy amok! Punctuation in peril!

06/26/00: The water torture of American resolve

06/21/00: The happy hangman is a busy hangman

06/19/00: Dick Gephardt finds a Dixie dreamboat

06/14/00: Taking a byte out of innovation

06/12/00: 'Go away, little boy, you're bothering us'

06/07/00: When a little envy is painful to watch

06/05/00: Fire and thunder, bubble and squeak

05/31/00: South of the border, politics is pepper

05/26/00: Running out of luck with home folks

05/24/00: The heart says no, but the head says yes

05/22/00: A fine opportunity to set an example

05/17/00: The Sunday school for Republicans

05/15/00: Hillary's surrogate for telling tall tales

05/10/00: Listening to the voice of an authentic man

05/08/00: First a lot of bluster, then the retreat

05/02/00: Good news for Rudy, bad news for Hillary

04/28/00: The long goodbye to Elian's boyhood

04/25/00: Spooked by Castro, Bubba blinks

04/14/00: One flag down and two memorials to go

04/11/00: Consistency finds a jewel in Janet Reno

04/07/00: Here's the good word (and it's in English)

04/04/00: When bureaucrats mock the courts

03/28/00: How Hollywood sets the virtual table

03/24/00: Dissing a president can ruin a whole day

03/20/00: When shame begets the painful insult

03/14/00: The risky business of making an apology

03/10/00: The pouters bugging a weary John McCain

03/07/00: When all good things (sob) come to an end

© 2000 Wes Pruden