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Jewish World Review July 10, 2002 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5762

Diana West

Diana West
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Rosie takes a shine to Republicans | Rosie O'Donnell recently told an audience she's feeling the heat for fighting to legalize homosexual adoption in Florida. She referred to a medical association's decision to uninvite her to speak at its convention. "They were afraid of protesters," O'Donnell told her audience. "I'm not used to being considered controversial."

Surely, she jests. The comic and erstwhile talk-show diva has hardly built a tidy show-biz empire on the retiring-violet routine. Even as O'Donnell has joined a campaign to push family law and cultural boundaries to include Florida among the 47 states that have legalized homosexual adoption, it's also true that her political outlook is no longer completely locked on magnetic Left. And that, in the end, may bring her even more controversy.

O'Donnell made headlines recently for "coming out" as a lesbian, but more noteworthy were the revelations she made this spring on "The O'Reilly Factor." There, she described the impact Sept. 11 has had on her thinking. "I would say that I have had a blind allegiance to Democrats in the past," she said, explaining her pre-Sept 11 agenda as being "if you were a Democrat you were probably right, and if you were a Republican you were probably wrong." Elaborating, she added: "If you would have told me on September 9 that I would have been at the World Series filming George Bush throwing out the first pitch with my 6-year-old son, crying, I never would have believed you, but I was."

The shift she describes may be more emotional than ideological, but it remains unique on the Hollywood Left of the Streisands and the Spielbergs, which is where the chat-show celebrity has traditionally made a political home. Take her new regard for Rudy Giuliani. Like most New York Democrats, as she put is, she considered him a fascist. "And that's a very strong word," she adds. "After the 11th, ... I have found a tremendous solace and strength in him and his leadership, and I have looked to him as a child would a father, and it astounded me." It's not surprising to hear her sum up her politics this way: "Every time you've heard me speak about anything politically, it's as a mother."

Mothers, of course, are a moral force to reckon with. Describing the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal as having offended her "terrifically," O'Donnell said it also "profoundly changed my die-hard Democratic stance." Her attitudes toward Hillary Clinton remain more, as they say, conflicted. She agreed with Bill O'Reilly's assessment that Mrs. Clinton's "ambition and her lust for power overrode her dignity"; denied the host's declaration that the New York senator is "not a truthful person"; and pleaded ignorance to a rundown of the record (abridged) against Mrs. Clinton's claim on veracity. Still, her indignation over Bill Clinton's behavior burns. Last month, she even incorporated the former president into her first stand-up gig since shutting down the talk show.

"This is how weird the guy is," the New York Daily News reports O'Donnell telling a resort crowd in Connecticut where Mr. Clinton had been honored by the Mohegan tribe. "He's here last night, and his security guy comes over and says, `Bill Clinton would like to speak with you.' I said, `I'm real busy.' Because I don't want to speak with him. If I [did], I'd say, `You really p---ed me off. Because you said to my face, `I did not have sex with that woman.' She's 22 years old. You put the scarlet letter on her soul for the rest of her life. And you want to make nice?"

It's blunt, it's extremely crude, but the passion is refreshing. "I know that if you're a Democrat," she continued, "you're not supposed to say bad things about Democrats -- like in the Catholic Church? Well, telling the truth is better." She's right.

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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


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06/25/02: Blame the murderer, and the messenger
06/21/02: Up front and personal with Atta
06/18/02: Terrorism at the United Nations
06/11/02: Who's policing the INS?
06/07/02: Spa Gitmo
06/04/02: Can rock gods save the queen?
05/31/02: Hillary's war
05/29/02: Have you forgotten we're at war?
05/24/02: An antiquated luxury of the past
05/21/02: From terrorists to tourists
05/19/02: Hate U.
05/07/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
05/03/02: Pioneering television
05/01/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
04/29/02: It's the misconduct, stupid
04/24/02: Medal of diss-honor
04/17/02: Holy sanctuary or terrorist shield?
04/12/02: Egyptian clerics solicit martyrs for murder
04/09/02: Defining terrorism down
04/05/02: The Wilder life
04/02/02: Acting, equality and the Academy
03/31/02: Speeding to conclusions
03/25/02: Hard to remove blood (libel) stains
03/21/02: The tale of Nixon's tapes --- again
03/19/02: The Big Lie lives on
03/15/02: The tunnel vision of '9/11'
03/13/02: The American Auschwitz?
03/08/02: Hating the indoctrination of hate
03/05/02: Clinton and Enron: Old friends
03/01/02: Pickering doesn't polarize, the process does
02/26/02: Destiny's prefabricated child
02/22/02: The White House heist
02/20/02: Making the grade
02/11/02: Studying student visas
02/06/02: Understanding arrogance
02/04/02: The professor's war
01/29/02: Disconnected dialogue
01/23/02: Anti-Indiscrimination
01/18/02: How much is enough?
01/15/02: Oh brothers, where art thou?
01/10/02: Air on the side of caution
01/04/02: Blacks seeing red at Harvard
01/02/02: Clinton's campaign continues
12/26/01: A tale of two exhibitions
12/24/01: Taliban Idyll
12/19/01: Right is right
12/17/01: Hillary strikes out
12/13/01: Lost files, lost presidency
12/10/01: Revolutionaries never grow up
12/05/01: Immigration reform talk is not just for 'haters' anymore
12/03/01: A new symbol of justice
11/30/01: Beyond morality
11/26/01: Can't keep a good man down
11/20/01: Tough talk at the United Nations
11/19/01: Hollywood's other battle
11/14/01: What's the matter with Sara Jane?
11/09/01: A beef with bin Laden's Beef Noodles
11/07/01: Facing up to the FBI's past mistakes
11/02/01: A school that teaches patriots to shutup
10/30/01: The gap between Islam and peace
10/26/01: The ties that bind (and gag)
10/24/01: This war is more than Afghanistan
10/22/01: The fatuous fatwa
10/19/01: Left out
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09/21/01: Prejudice or prudence?
09/14/01: When our dead will finally rest in hallowed ground
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08/24/01: The transformation from Green Mountain State to Green Activist State is all but complete
08/17/01: Enlightenment at Yale
08/10/01: From oppressors to victims, a metamorphosis
08/03/01: Opening the dormitory door: College romance in the New Century
08/01/01: How-To Hackdom: The dubious art of writing books about writing books
07/20/01: Hemming about Hemmings
07/13/01: Justice has not been served in the Loiuma police brutality case
06/22/01: When PC parades are too 'mainstream'
06/22/01: When "viewpoint discrimination" in our schools was not nearly so gnarly a notion
06/15/01: Lieberman flaunts mantle of perpetual aggrievement
06/07/01: Is graciousness the culprit?
06/01/01: The bright side of the Jeffords defection
05/29/01: Campus liberals should be more careful
05/18/01: 'Honest Bill' Clinton and other Ratheresian Logic
05/11/01: Dodging balls, Bugs, and 'brilliance'
05/04/01: Foot in mouth disease and little lost Tories
04/20/01:The last classic Clinton cover-up
04/20/01: D-Day, Schmee-Day
04/06/01: For heaven's sake, a little decency!
03/30/01: The sweet sound of slamming doors and clucking feminists
03/23/01: America's magazines and the 'ick-factor'
03/09/01: Felony neglect
03/02/01: Who's sorry now?
02/23/01: 'Ecumenical niceness' and other latter-day American gifts to the world
02/16/01: Elton and Eminem: Royal dirge-icist meets violent fantasist
02/12/01: If only ...

© 2001, Diana West