Magazine article Insight on the News

`Political Diversity' Is a Dirty Word for Liberals

Magazine article Insight on the News

`Political Diversity' Is a Dirty Word for Liberals

Article excerpt

The assault on John Ashcroft's nomination to be U.S. attorney general reflects the left's growing intolerance of political diversity. The apostles of inclusion would consign social conservatives to second-class citizenship.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 30 approved the Ashcroft nomination along party lines with the lone exception of Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wisc., who voted with the Republicans. For Republican nominees, the days when confirmation hinged on credentials and character are long gone. Ashcroft is pro-life, opposed to gay rights, in favor of the death penalty, against racial quotas and skeptical about the need for more gun control. In the eyes of his critics, these positions (which happen to be the same as the man who nominated him) automatically disqualify the former Missouri senator.

"The background record of this nominee is not mainstream on the key issues," charged Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif. Thus, his views "make him an enormously divisive and polarizing figure" -- unlike, say, former attorney general Janet Reno, who brought us together over the ashes of Waco and Elian Gonzalez. After a grueling 11 hours of interrogation during his confirmation hearings, Ashcroft was asked to answer more than 350 written questions. Since most of the committee members served with him for six years in the U.S. Senate, you'd think they'd already have an inkling of where he stands.

The left insists that, as attorney general, Ashcroft can't be trusted to enforce federal abortion laws. Will he seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, they anxiously ask? (How? By appointing himself to the U.S. Supreme Court?)

Savor the irony of liberals -- the ones who believe that conscience absolves them from obedience to the laws of the land, a principle they embraced during the sixties -- charging that Ashcroft won't enforce federal law. Conservatives are the ones who say, "Well, we may not like it but, until we can change it, it is the law." Yet we have to swear that we won't ignore statutes and rulings we find objectionable, while the looney left is given a pass.

Contrast the Ashcroft inquisition with the treatment of Bill Clinton's nominees. From her tenure as director of the Arkansas Health Department there was ample evidence that, as U. …

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