Pierce, Greg, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
SAY IT AIN'T SO
During a radio interview yesterday, President Clinton professed to be shocked - shocked! - at the big money and partisanship in politics.
"I've never seen this kind of money," said Mr. Clinton, who spent most of the year attending Democratic fund-raisers. However, in this case he was referring to the Republicans, who have outspent the Democrats.
The president who pioneered the idea of "the permanent campaign" added: "The level of intense, angry partisanship that the Republicans have injected in Washington is really not good for America." GOOD QUESTION
The Rev. Steve Campbell of Laurinburg, N.C., read our item yesterday about two groups that worked to prevent the Christian Coalition from distributing its voter guides at churches Sunday. Churches could lose their tax-exempt status, the groups warned.
Mr. Campbell wondered if the "Interfaith Alliance and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State are busy calling the IRS to investigate the Baltimore Church that hosted the `Democratic get out the vote' fund-raiser during their morning worship service [Sunday]?"
"Presidential politics is behind a ferocious fight for the obscure but vastly powerful job of lieutenant governor of Texas," the Wall Street Journal notes.
"It pays only $7,200 a year, but the two candidates will spend $20 million on the race. Gov. George W. Bush of Texas is fervently campaigning so that Republican Rick Perry will win. That would give him free rein to seek the GOP presidential nomination and show he has coattails," the newspaper observed in an editorial yesterday.
"Should Mr. Perry lose to Democrat John Sharp, it could be a stumbling block to Mr. Bush's presidential ambitions given the unusually broad powers the lieutenant governor of Texas has. The latest polls show the race tied."
DAY OF RECKONING
James C. Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, is steaming over the GOP surrender on the budget, but he says social conservatives must wait for another day to punish the Republicans.
In a letter to "friends," which he says was sent at personal expense and represents his own views only, Mr. Dobson said Republicans "have reneged again!"
"In essence, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott betrayed our values in the closing hours of the term by caving in to the White House on most matters of concern to the family," including tax relief.
"Why, then, given this outrageous performance, have I not called for Republican voters to `throw the rascals out'? Because we're now faced with an impeachment process that must not be handed to the Democrats. They would cover up the president's alleged perjury, suborning of perjury and obstruction of justice. Given that prospect, there is nothing to do but `stay the course' for now. Nevertheless, a day of reckoning is coming! At some point along the way, we're going to need to identify and select better leaders."
If Republicans retain their majorities in the House and Senate, "I would recommend that you begin calling for a new speaker of the House and a new majority leader in the Senate," Mr. Dobson said.
Lamar Alexander, an all-but-certain candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, finished up a 73-stop, 21-state campaign yesterday to help fellow Republican politicians.
Mr. Alexander, a former secretary of education, called it the "We the Parents" campaign. His final appearances were for Larry McKibben, the GOP candidate in the 3rd Congressional District of Iowa, and a get-out-the-vote rally with Sen. Charles S. Grassely, Gov. Terry Branstad, GOP gubernatorial nominee Jim Ross Lightfoot and Rep. Jim Leach.
Three scholars of Soviet spying in the McCarthy era wonder why the New York Times is so irate over the idea of separating Sen. …