Alexander's Column

George W. Bush: Uniter, Untier

Mark Alexander · Jan. 26, 2001

President Bush sent both his tax and education reform proposals over to Congress, where the tax measure has already found a Democrat sponsor. Based on his accomplishments this first week in office, we now suspect that Mr. Bush’s dyslexia caused him to claim he was a “uniter” when he meant to say, “untier.” His first official act as president was to untie many of Bill Clinton 11th-hour executive orders and other Sociocrat regulatory shenanigans. He is going to untie some of the IRS’s claims on our income. He is going to untie some of the Left’s claims on the government schools dumbing-down American children.

On his agenda Mr. Bush said, “I wish I could say it was my charming personality or the ability to string a couple sentences together. The truth of the matter is I’m sitting here because I took firm positions on important issues and didn’t back off. And I’m not backing off…. Quite the contrary.”

On restoring honor and integrity to the White House Mr. Bush admonished his staff: “I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct. This means checking, and if need be, double-checking, that the rules have been obeyed. This means never compromising those rules. As we go about our work, there is no excuse for arrogance and never a reason for disrespect toward others. You will be the face and voice of the White House staff. You will be my representative. I expect each of you, as an official of this administration, to be an example of humility and decency and fairness. …[W]e are here for a reason…to make progress, not just to mark time. … I want it said at the end of our service that promises made were promises kept.”

(Speaking of PRESIDENT Bush, The Federalist previously reported that the Palm Beach Post had recounted Miami-Dade County’s ballots and found, in fact, that Mr. Bush GAINED a few votes. Now comes word from the Naples Daily News that after examining their region’s ballots under the “permissive standards” demanded by team Goron, Mr. Bush would have picked up an additional 226 votes.)

While Mr. Bush’s legislative agenda was progressing on Capitol Hill, he also got Senate approval for 12 of his Cabinet nominees and appointees. But the “religious profiling” and ridicule of John Ashcroft continued as Teddy Kennedy et al. extended his pillory for another week. Headlining the Leftist’s complaints were Mr. Ashcroft’s 1997 remarks that Americans should end “judicial tyranny” by “asking ourselves why modern judicial activism exists in the first place. Could it be that we have been lax in demanding that judges place our constitutional rights before their policy objectives? Could it be we have failed to reject judges who are willing to place their private preferences above the people’s will?”

On the subject of justice, we are reminded of this comment from young Teddy in 1974: “Do we operate under a system of equal justice where there is one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?”

Did somebody mention Chappaquiddick?

Some conservatives have criticized Mr. Ashcroft for not defending himself and exercising his considerable intellect to cut down Kennedy and his cronies, but, as a wise man once advised, “You shouldn’t swap spit with a jackass.” And Kennedy is the biggest of Demo mascots.

Of course, there are some openings in the Demos’ front line. Sen. Russ Feingold said, “A Democratic president ought to be able to appoint to the Cabinet principled people of strong progressive or even liberal ideology. And therefore a Republican president ought to be able to appoint people of strong conservative ideology.”

And apparently someone spiked Chester Lott’s tea with Viagra. He finally rose to the defense of Mr. Ashcroft, saying, “If there is a cesspool anywhere in this city it is the Justice Department. And I’d like for John to try and clean it up and enforce the laws that really do need to be enforced. … I was disturbed and shocked a little bit by the tone in the Judiciary Committee. I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked. That extreme left is there, has been there and I guess will be there.” Chester was “disturbed and shocked.”

In other news, William “Slick” Clinton cut a deal with federal prosecutors to prevent his indictment for perjury. You may recall that in Clinton’s efforts to defend himself from one of his sexual offendees, Ms. Paula Jones, he lied about “sexual relations” with another female subordinate, testimony which would have corroborated Ms. Jones’s sexual harassment accusations.

In his plea bargain, Clinton said, “I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish this goal and am certain my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false.” In other words, he lied and got caught. As a result, he surrendered his law license for five years and agreed to pay a $25,000 fine.

Of Clinton’s admission, Former Independent Counsel Ken Starr observed, “It obviously would have been far better, less expensive, less divisive, if his acknowledgement [that he lied under oath] would have come…much earlier, say, in January of 1998. But better late than never….”

Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh added, “Much about the Clinton presidency was obscured by his seemingly effortless maneuvering around the notion that there are fixed and immutable principles of right and wrong that should govern public and private conduct. The ex-president’s farewell performance was entirely in character in this respect. History will not overlook it.”

The Washington Times concluded, “At this late date it’s more than a little tempting to heed what are probably the most significant words of the Clinton years: It’s time to move on.” That was seconded by the Wall Street Journal: “The reaction to Independent Counsel Robert Ray’s plea bargain with Bill Clinton seems to be a collective sigh of relief that we can now put the Clinton era behind us.” However, the Journal added, “The only problem is that [Clinton] has no such intention.”

Indeed, listening to the last of his 500 farewell speeches, one is left with confirmation of what we have known all along – Clinton is going to serve as president in absentia. In his final remarks from Andrews AFB prior to departing on Air Force One for his “home state” of New York, Clinton said, “I left the White House, but I’m still here. We’re not going anywhere.” For the record, the Washington residence he will share with his estranged wife, Sen. HILLARY!, is only a few blocks from the White House.

Clinton’s former chief of staff Leon Panetta clarified his old boss’s comments about being “still here”: “It’s not that he’ll speak out on every issue that George Bush is dealing with, but I think on the big issues, whether it’s foreign affairs or the economy, that are really important to Bill Clinton, he is going to let the American people know what he thinks.”

What a relief!

Of course, Clinton’s final words from Andrews were: “As for me, I’ll leave the presidency…more confident than ever that America’s best days lie ahead.” On this point, we agree.

(By the way, the Air Force informs The Federalist that upon arrival in New York, Air Force One had been stripped of many presidential appointments, including porcelain china, silverware, salt and pepper shakers, towels and linens – all bearing the presidential seal.)

And a final note about the endless farewells…. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, brother of Gore’s campaign chair, William Daley, criticized Clinton’s departure fanfare, saying, “In the past, they shook hands, the [former] president went to a helicopter, and that was it. This was different. He had a rally at the airport, a rally in New York and a rally at his home. That’s his style. He wanted two or three more parties. You have to respect the office. That was President Bush’s day. It wasn’t Clinton’s day or Al Gore’s day.”

In other oversexed adolescent cockroach news, 48 hours after announcing that he was “taking some time off to revive my spirit and reconnect with my family,” Jesse Jackson returned to public life, saying, “The ground is no place for a champion. … I’ll develop a rhythm that allows me to focus on family and…the [social justice] battlefield.” He is invoking the “Murphy Brown” defense.

We are shocked, SHOCKED, to report that the media talking heads have not treated Jackson’s indiscretion with the same “journalistic objectivity” afforded equally dubious religious provocateurs Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker.

Of Jackson’s “rhythm,” Holman Jenkins writes, “Jesse Jackson’s sin may have lacked the sheer cruddiness of Bill Clinton’s. He may have owned up to it manfully. But the reverend’s greatest innovation will probably turn out to have been his pioneering use of drive-by penance. Having dropped out of public life on Thursday, he began dropping back in on Saturday. … The public knows him as a civil rights agitator, preacher and presidential candidate. But the history books may remember him as the impresario of a great bazaar, offering Corporate America racial protection in exchange for financial opportunities for the black entrepreneurs and professionals who make up his personal network.”

And speaking of cockroaches, Al Gore is looking for a new line of work that will not impede his Gore2004 election campaign. He has accepted an offer to teach a journalism class at Columbia University. The course is reportedly entitled, “How My Media Failed Me.” Actually, the course’s real name is humorous enough: “Covering National Affairs in the Information Age.” Wasn’t “covering national affairs” Clinton’s forte? This from the guy who “invented the Internet” and went months in the heat of his presidential campaign last year without giving a single press conference.

Gore should teach a second course entitled, “How to Trash the Incoming Veep’s Offices.”

When Vice President Cheney’s staff showed up to occupy their offices in the White House, they found the place vandalized by the former tenants and left in shambles. Phone lines were cut, and those that did work greeted callers with obscene voice mail messages. Desks and file cabinets were upturned in heaps in the middle of staff meeting rooms, and trash was strewn over the floors. Printers were spiked with pornography. The letter “W” was removed from most keyboards and reattached upside down with superglue. Estimated cost of damages: $250,000.

But….they are gone!

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