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Words to the Wise

Evaluating Kerry, Dean, and Stepho. The meaning of ''lameduck.'' Her royal Dowdiness. And more.

2.13.03

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TOP GRADE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Pleather of His Company:

Your short piece on Kerry and Dean was superb. You are always a delight to read, but this, in my humble opinion, was some of your sharpest writing in years, on par with the finest work from TAS's halcyon days during the early Clinton administration. It's good to find you at the top of your game.
-- Daniel J. Hogan

Great observation on the Ron Ziegler/George Stephanopoulos media thing. Have you written on why it is that some folks get it and some folks are destined never to get it? (Afterthought --in my review before clicking the send button I realized your entire library is about the dimwits that don't get it.) We, of course, get it.

I have a cousin who worked for little George for a period of time. She said he was a little twit. How is it so many twits make the cut in D.C.?

Keep up the good work and don't let 'em rest.
-- Paul Michael

LAME ARGUMENT
Re: The Washington Prowler's Dissident Quashing Daschle:

I like your articles, but the reference to Zell Miller as a "lameduck" pushes one of my buttons. First, it's two words, not one -- smashing it together like that makes it sound like Newspeak. More importantly, Miller is not a lame duck. He is a sitting senator who has opted not to seek re-election in 2004. A lame duck is a politician who has lost an election but remains, for the time being, in office. For example, George H. W. Bush was a lame duck from Nov. 1992 to Jan. 1993. The liberals began using the term lame duck in its false sense (a politician in office who will not or cannot run again) to undermine Ronald Reagan after he had won the biggest electoral landslide in history back in '84.

Please don't follow their lead.
-- Bob Fitzgibbon
Rome, NY

Why do the Democrats hate minorities so much? They force blacks into a segregated Caucus in Congress and give them no respect or consideration for the top slots on the national ticket. They reject perfectly qualified Hispanics for bogus reasons. Daschle, especially, who has all those home state Indians in his pocket, should know that you can hate minorities so long as you throw them a bone on occasion and, at least in public, show them a little respect.
-- unsigned

DOWD AND OUT
Re: George Neumayr's Let's Go to the Audiotape:

Just when the left was getting some traction that George W. is a war monger bin Laden has to open his big mouth. The man obviously has Clintonmania (can't stand to be out of the spotlight).

Poor Maureen. I envision her late at night with only the dim light of "Nightline" illuminating her face. The reflection reveals a sleep deprived, lipstick smeared [visage] repeating over and over, "Ya try to do these damn terrorists a favor and what do you get...HEARTACHE!"

May she should move to France.
-- Don Smith
Cheer up, George. "Maureen Dowd is off the [A] list this year." (As reported by John McCaslin's "Inside the Beltway" in the February 12 Washington Times.)

The A List
Who's on -- or more importantly, who's fallen off -- the 2003 Washington A List?

"There are some life sentences on the A List -- but there's also the death penalty," Nancy Bagley, editor in chief of Washington Life, tells Inside the Beltway.

Every year, the magazine that celebrates Washington's social scene and power elite publishes an A List, compiled in secret committee. This year, 118 members of the Washington establishment make up the list.

"The usual suspects come off, people leave town," says Miss Bagley. "The Gores [Al and Tipper] are off; they've left town. But also surprising is [New York Times columnist] Maureen Dowd is off the list this year, as is [National Public Radio's] Cokie Roberts....

-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, TX

FAILURE TO SHOW UP
Re: Mary Daly's letter in Reader Mail's The Willingness to Fight and Lawrence Henry's The Youngest Kingmaker:

Mary Daly corrected Lawrence Henry's recent "The Youngest Kingmaker" by noting that John Kerry was technically not unopposed in his last Senate race. It was Michael Cloud, nominee of the Libertarian Party, who ran against Kerry in 2002, winning about a fifth of the vote.

But this doesn't change the overall point Henry and the subject of his article, Ian Bayne, were trying to make. It is simply unacceptable that the Republican Party, being a major political party, was unable to field a candidate to run for the U.S. Senate. Nor is this an isolated incident. The party of the last four Massachusetts governors -- three of them elected -- has been unable to recruit a credible Senate candidate in the last two consecutive Senate elections. Ted Kennedy's 2000 Republican challenger was basically a fringe candidate disavowed by the state party who only won the nomination because nobody else ran. In the general election, he only ran one point ahead of the Libertarian candidate.

A party that doesn't even seriously contest major elections has literally no chance of winning them. The last four gubernatorial elections have showed that Republican themes can win in Massachusetts if articulated by viable candidates. It is a shame that this lesson has been lost on so many of the state's Republicans.
-- W. James Antle III

MORE ON PIUS XII
Re: George Neumayr's Michael Novak at the Stake:

Bravo, Neumayr, although I insist that his characterization of these Catholic officials as "dimwitted" is to vastly overrate them.

Moreover, these so-called Catholics who insist that Pius XII did not do enough to stop Hitler know not whereof they speak -- they are ignoramuses who have bought into rubbish produced by a third rate, left-wing German playwright named Ralph Hochhuth whose 1963 play, "The Deputy," depicted Pius XII as virtually a Nazi collaborator, an uncaring coward who remained silent during the holocaust. The facts are that long before the war -- long before he was Pope, as early as 1928 and continuing throughout the 1930s and World War II -- Pius XII spoke out frequently and forcefully in condemnation of the Nazis and their treatment of Jews.

During the war, the New York Times (the same N.Y. Times that decades later would lament his "terrible inaction and silence in the face of the holocaust") noted that, "The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness," and reported that Catholic Church leaders were "virtually the only Germans still speaking out against the Nazi regime. They were doing so, of course, at the direction of the Holy Father.

Pius XII's Christmas, 1941, message was so condemnatory of the Nazi's atrocities that in a long editorial the New York Times lauded him as "the only ruler left on the continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all...the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism...left no doubt that the Nazis' aims are irreconcilable with his conception of a Christian peace."

His Christmas, 1942, message was so "silent", so "cowardly", that Hitler's press snapped that, "He is virtually accusing the German people of injustice toward the Jews and makes himself the mouthpiece of Jewish war criminals."

When the German army reached Rome, Pius XII instructed his Italian bishops to bring Jews to sanctuary in all convents and monasteries, including Vatican City. While the Nazis were eliminating 80% of Europe's Jews, Pius XII was saving 80% of Italy's Jews. On July 27, 1944, The New York Times reported that, "After Rome was liberated the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israele Anton Zolli, formally expressed the gratitude of Rome's Jews for all of the moral and material aid the Vatican gave them during the Nazi occupation."

The December, 1940, issue of Time magazine, carried a message from Albert Einstein in which the great German scientist told of how when the Nazi will was being imposed on the country the institutions which always had boasted of their devotion to the truth fell silent, first, the universities, and then the news organs. "Only the Catholic Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign...the Church alone had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom."

In his authoritative book, Adolf Hitler, historian John Toland advises, "The Church, under the Pope's guidance, saved the lives of more Jews than all other churches, religious institutions and rescue organizations combined. The British and the Americans, despite lofty pronouncements, had not only avoided taking any meaningful action, but gave sanctuary to few persecuted Jews."

And on and on and on. The newspapers and journals of the times provide ample documentation of Pius XII's courageous behavior before and during World War II. And after the war these Jewish organizations expressed their gratitude to him for saving so many Jewish lives (an estimated 860,000) during the holocaust: the World Jewish Congress; the Anti-Defamation League; the Synagogue Council of America; the Central Conference of American Rabbis; the National Conference of Christians and Jews: the National Council of Jewish Women.

Those who now decry Pius XII's lack of courage simply don't know what they are talking about.
-- John G. Hubbell
Minneapolis, MN

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