GOP will reap the cooperation it sowed

My turn

Posted: Thursday, January 25, 2001

Now the Republicans are preaching about the need for bipartisan cooperation. After spending over $50 million in vindictive and self-serving investigations to no avail, and dragging the country through a frivolous and pointless impeachment, they ask for cooperation?

I am curious about Mr. Edwin Johnson's statement (Empire, Jan. 22) that it was "time for a change in America." Due to the policies of the Clinton administration, the American economy has had the greatest peacetime economic expansion in history, and the record deficits of the Reagan-Bush era have been turned into a surplus. Is he advocating a return to recession and debt?

The Clinton administration finally (after long inaction by the previous Bush administration) took decisive action in the Balkans. That action paid off and the net result was the end of a brutal dictatorship. President Clinton demonstrated skill and diplomacy with both Israel and the PLO. What exactly is Mr. Johnson's problem with the Clinton administration? Not enough wars? Too much prosperity? Certainly not indignation over Clinton's character and integrity. Look who the Republicans put forward as their idea of an example!

Now the Republicans are preaching about the need for bipartisan cooperation. After spending over $50 million in vindictive and self-serving investigations to no avail, and dragging the country through a frivolous and pointless impeachment, they ask for cooperation? Where has that cooperation been during the last eight years? I expect that they will reap pretty much what they have been sowing.

After all the lip service to being a president for everybody, Bush nominates an extremist like John Ashcroft. After parading blacks and Chicanos all over the stage at the convention, now that he has his 5-4 victory his true colors begin to show. Standard Republican tactics.

The Bush presidency is under a cloud, and that is where it will remain. I don't think we will be seeing much respect for the office of the presidency, or for America from our international neighbors. Several international officials have already indicated their anxiety about Dubya's apparent lack of knowledge, experience, or even interest in international affairs. This coupled with the banana-republic nature of his selection has made the United States the laughing stock of the world.

Despite all the talk about "character" and "integrity," Mr. Bush treated the electoral process like it was a football game. He ran out the clock rather than give the opponents time to score fairly (and the timekeeper was his own campaign manager). He appealed to a federal court to prevent a recount that would have been mandated in his own state of Texas (he signed the bill into law!) and essentially argued for federal intervention in a matter that Republicans (and up until then, the Supreme Court) had always considered a state's rights issue. Is there any string he wouldn't have pulled or corner he wouldn't have cut to grab that victory? This is not the mark of a person with character or integrity, even aside from the lies he has told about his D.W.I., his alleged cocaine bust, the changing of his Texas driver's license number to hide the trail, etc.

Sorry, but like it or not, we just elected another sleazebag. Or rather, the Supreme Court did.

Unfortunately, this time matters could be worse - he may be incompetent. At least Clinton got there without his daddy's backing and his brother's chicanery. The miracle is in how much he accomplished in the face of the most pervasive and mean-spirited period of partisanship in memory.

When voting rights are violated in a systematic and bigoted manner, it is the responsibility of the U.S. attorney general to investigate and bring the responsible party(s) to justice even if those responsible appear to be the brother and campaign manager of the president-elect. Sadly, we have an attorney general nominee who has made a career out of circumventing court directives on civil rights, held up judicial appointments for years in the U.S. Senate, and skated on the edge of contempt citations while trying to block school desegregation as Missouri attorney general. I guess we will have to wait at least four years for justice. Maybe then we can be proud of the presidency. At least for me, the present is a time to hang my head in shame and sadness, not so much because of whom we elected, or even because of how it happened. But mostly because we as a nation are tolerating it.

Robert W. Miller is an engineer and long-time Juneau resident.



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