Jewish World Review Oct. 22, 1999/12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
LAST WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13, will be remembered in U.S. Senate history as
the day Majority Leader Trent Lott grew a backbone. In refusing to cave
in to Bill Clinton and Minority Leader Tom Daschle for a deal that would
postpone the vote on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Lott finally
mustered the courage to face down a president whose only concern is
politics and his own personal legacy. Clinton, in an hysterical press
conference the day after the treaty was defeated, a long session that
The New York Times foolishly called a “forceful and focused
performance,” resorted once again to calling the opposition “partisan”
and browbeaten by hardline Republicans.
Neither is true.
As for Gore’s fealty to Clinton, he told The Washington Post last Friday that he’s not sure if he’ll solicit the President’s further help in his campaign. He said that it’s a “very personal quest... For me to be successful, I have to have a personal connection and line of communication with the American people.” Whatever that means.
There are isolationists in the GOP, just as there are in the Democratic Party (research the vote on President Bush’s Gulf War and you’d be surprised to find out how many rabid hawks were doves back then). This is all politics and let’s not pretend it’s anything else. Clinton said at his press conference: “[The Senate majority] is saying America does not need to lead either by effort or by example. They are saying we don’t need our friends or allies. They are betting our children’s future on the reckless proposition that we can go it alone, that at the height of our power and prosperity, we should bury our heads in the sand behind a wall.”
And just what exactly would passage of the CTBT mean? Do you think for one moment that rogue states will abide by it? A madman dictator, like Saddam Hussein today, one we haven’t heard of tomorrow, will be dissuaded from taking any course he likes by a piece of paper? “Uh-oh, I’d be violating the treaty if I develop nuclear warheads. Better scratch that plan.”
As George Will wrote in Newsweek’s Oct. 25 issue: “Clinton said that every year of delay in ratifying the treaty increases the probability that nuclear weapons will spread to regions with intense national rivalries and to ‘rogue leaders and perhaps even to terrorists.’ Think about that. The most high-stakes decisions of nations, and the most dangerous desires of the likes of Saddam Hussein, can be controlled by a U.S. decision never again to test nuclear weapons? Such delusional thinking carries national hubris to new heights.”
Much has already been written about New York Times political hack R.W. Apple’s astonishing lead sentence in his Oct. 14 article about the Senate vote, but it’s so indicative of how the paper that long ago was respected has gone wrong that I’ll repeat it one more time. “The Senate’s decisive rejection tonight of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was the most explicit American repudiation of a major international agreement in 80 years, and it further weakened the already shaky standing of the United States as a global moral leader.”
He then compares the CTBT to the Versailles Treaty, as if that legislation and the ailing president touting it, Woodrow Wilson, are in the same league as today’s soiled bill and the man allegedly behind it, Clinton. Wilson, at least, was passionate in his beliefs and died soon afterward; Clinton did virtually nothing to bargain with Trent Lott in the last several weeks. He was too busy playing golf. But when an opportunity arises to whip up the American people, to get on the podium and give a speech filled with lies and sanctimonious slogans, he’s like a junkie with a spike in his vein.
Meanwhile, other Times headlines: On Oct. 14, “Senate Kills Test Ban Treaty in Crushing Loss for Clinton”; Oct. 15, “The Senate’s Harmful Vote,” “Clinton Says ‘New Isolationism’ Imperils U.S. Security” and “Senate Vote: Partisanship Arrives in Foreign Affairs.” Hmm, didn’t know that matters of international significance were never “partisan.” As the Times’ home delivery tv advertisement says, the one with a grandmother holding the paper: The New York Times: every day a chance to learn something new.
“But the voters are another matter. Mr. Gore is not connecting with the people. And time is running out... The danger for Mr. Gore is that if he does not find a way to begin connecting with voters, Mr. Bradley may change the whole dynamic of the race before Southern primaries come into play.”
Herbert ought to be mad about that misrepresentation of his column. But maybe the benefits of being one of Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s lackeys have rewards that go beyond honest