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Jewish World Review July 30, 1999 /17 Av 5759

Don Feder

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Econophone

Taking Dan Quayle at his book value

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- ONE CANDIDATE IS the son of a former president --- the other, the father's vice president. Their campaigns could not be more dissimilar. One flies below the radar; the other flies his colors his openly.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush promises to tell us what he really thinks about the pressing issues of the day . . . in his first State of the Union address.

Bush is pro-life - don't ask him to elaborate - but opposes a "litmus test'' for judicial nominees. (Another GOP presidential contender, Steve Forbes, says, "Litmus test is Washington-speak for principle.'')

At first, Bush tried to ignore NATO's war on Yugoslavia. When pressed, he said he thought we were doing "the right thing'' - but he'll get back to us after he consults his consultants and checks the focus groups.

The front-runner's issues aversion makes Dan Quayle's new book, Worth Fighting For,''" all the more significant. Quayle has produced a candid, thoughtful work that makes his presidential candidacy an open book.

The former vice president starts with a basic premise - the next election will be about values. ("We must reclaim the values of faith in God, integrity, responsibility, courage, thrift and industry.'') In other words, we must embrace those virtues Bill Clinton does not exemplify.

In assessing Supreme Court nominees, Quayle says he'd ask the obvious question: Where do you stand on Roe vs. Wade? A jurist who doesn't understand that Roe is "an exercise of raw judicial power'' won't share his judicial philosophy (does Bush have one?), Quayle comments.

On foreign policy, the book is equally astute. Clinton and Gore "have not pursued a foreign policy in any meaningful sense. . . . Foreign policy has pursued them.'' Their initiatives are animated by "petulance toward some and posturing toward others.''

Quayle correctly rejects the labels "isolationist'' and "interventionist'' as outmoded and unhelpful. Instead, he believes U.S. foreign policy should be guided by certain principles: defense of the American homeland, protecting the Americas, "engagement abroad to protect vital U.S. interests,'' American credibility (which should never be confused "with the credibility of NATO or the United Nations'') and support for democracy and human rights.

The last is not to say that Quayle favors humanitarian interventions. Instead, "we can provide material aid and, if need be, military supplies to groups fighting against brutal oppression - in Sudan, for example.'' At the same time, the former vice president indicts a foreign-policy elite that believes the only way America can show leadership is by military deployments.

In this regard, Haiti was an "adventure'' far removed from security concerns. In Kosovo, "we stumbled badly by making ourselves a party to a civil war.''

A chapter is devoted to China, Clinton's premier foreign-policy fumble. Though he doesn't perceive China as the enemy, "neither is it a `strategic partner,' '' a term implying "common values and similar goals.''

Rather, the People's Republic is ruled by confident and committed nationalists, and not a few communists, who are "assertive and aggressive in the wake of some profound changes around the world.''

Quayle notes that by every measure, conditions in China and our relationship with Beijing have worsened during the Clinton years - human rights abuses, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, aggressive moves toward Taiwan and espionage.

Clinton's response has been to kowtow as furiously as a second concubine before an irate mandarin - decoupling trade and human rights, playing the regime's patsy with his speech in Tiananmen Square last year, and becoming the first American president to parrot Beijing's "three noes'' regarding Taiwan.

As Quayle observes, a bad domestic agenda is much easier to fix than a dangerous foreign policy. The former's effects are temporary; the latter usually leads to the loss of American lives.

Even where he's wrong, the vice president manages to get it mostly right. His outlook on immigration is overly optimistic. (He's thinking of the immigration of the 1890s, not the 1990s.) Still, Quayle stresses the need to control our borders and calls on us to rededicate ourselves to the process of Americanization.

Read "Worth Fighting For''and you'll know exactly where Dan Quayle stands. One eagerly awaits Gov. Bush's campaign manifesto. No, not the one he scribbled on a matchbook cover between sessions with his handlers.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder can be reached by clicking here.


Up

7/27/99:Strange love in Kubrick's last film
7/21/99: Apology craze hits the Crusades
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5/24/99: Gay 'marriage' -- don't pass go
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4/29/99: Why Kosovo? Oh, just because
4/27/99: The president's pro-parent claptrap
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4/19/99: NATO would have favored the confederacy
4/14/99: Before we march into Kosovo
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4/09/99: Bauer and Forbes --- Main Street vs. Wall Street
4/05/99: Bubba and Maddy lit Kosovo's fire
3/29/99: At Passover, Egypt is a state of mind
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3/17/99: Hollywood's party line in 1999
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2/12/99: Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow
2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
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1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
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12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
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8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
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6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
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5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
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5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy


©1999, Creators Syndicate