Drafting Condi

Article excerpt

Byline: Greg Pierce, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Drafting Condi

Americans for Rice, a group that's trying to drum up support for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to run for president in 2008, has put together a 60-second television ad that it hopes to air by the end of the month.

"While driving from Fargo, North Dakota, to Nashville in my Mini Cooper plastered with 'Condoleezza Rice for President' bumper stickers, numerous cars honked at me and the drivers either waved or gave a thumbs up," writes Crystal Dueker, the organization's national co-chairman.

"It set the tone for our successful fund-raising booth at the National Federation of Republican Women. Over 1,500 women from across the United States gathered to discuss politics, leadership and a vision for the future of our nation," she said.

About 190 women donated an average of $15 each toward the funds to put the ad on television. In the meantime, it can be viewed at www.americansforrice.com.

Religious test

"They should be ashamed. We should be ashamed. We have not progressed much in 45 years it seems, and we appear to be traveling in the wrong direction," Manuel Miranda writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

"Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test from being imposed on nominees to public office. The clause was motivated by the experience of Catholics in the Maryland colony and Baptists in Virginia who had been the targets of Great Britain's two Test Acts. These infamous laws of intolerance sought to prevent anyone who did not belong to the Church of England from holding public office. The Test Acts did not say that Catholics could not hold office; the bigotry was more subtle. Officials questioned would-be public servants to determine whether they believed in particular tenets of the Catholic faith," Mr. Miranda said.

"While questioning John Roberts on Tuesday, Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter asked: 'Would you say that your views are the same as those expressed by John Kennedy when he was a candidate, and he spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in September of 1960: "I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me." '

"Hours later, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California made it worse: 'In 1960, there was much debate about President John F. Kennedy's faith and what role Catholicism would play in his administration. At that time, he pledged to address the issues of conscience out of a focus on the national interests, not out of adherence to the dictates of one's religion. ... My question is: Do you?'

"How insulting. How offensive. How invidiously ignorant to question someone like Judge Roberts with such apparent presumption and disdain for the religion he practices. The JFK question is not just the camel's nose of religious intolerance; it is the whole smelly camel."

Dean screams

The Democratic National Committee yesterday stepped up its attacks on Judge John G. Roberts Jr., with DNC Chairman Howard Dean saying that the Supreme Court nominee was "the wrong man at the wrong time for our country."

Mr. Dean used similar phasing during his ill-fated 2004 presidential campaign when he condemned the U.S. war in Iraq, calling it "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"The skills John Roberts displays are like those of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove or House Republican Leader Tom DeLay. …