Inside Pol­i­tics

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - Com­piled by Greg Pierce

Bye-bye, baby

“Sim­ply put, lib­er­als have a big baby prob­lem: They’re not hav­ing enough of them, they haven’t for a long time, and their pool of po­ten­tial new vot­ers is suf­fer­ing as a re­sult,” Arthur C. Brooks writes in the Wall Street Jour­nal.

“Ac­cord­ing to the 2004 Gen­eral So­cial Sur­vey, if you picked 100 un­re­lated po­lit­i­cally lib­eral adults at ran­dom, you would find that they had, be­tween them, 147 chil­dren. If you picked 100 con­ser­va­tives, you would find 208 kids. That’s a ‘fer­til­ity gap’ of 41 per­cent. Given that about 80 per­cent of peo­ple with an iden­ti­fi­able party pref­er­ence grow up to vote the same way as their par­ents, this gap trans­lates into lots more lit­tle Repub­li­cans than lit­tle Democrats to vote in fu­ture elec­tions.

“Over the past 30 years, this gap has not been be­low 20 per­cent — ex­plain­ing, to a large ex­tent, the cur­rent in­ef­fec­tive­ness of lib­eral youth-voter cam­paigns to­day,” said Mr. Brooks, a pro­fes­sor at Syra­cuse Univer­sity’s Maxwell School of Pub­lic Af­fairs and au­thor of the forth­com­ing “Who Re­ally Cares: The Sur­pris­ing Truth About Com­pas­sion­ate Con­ser­vatism.”

“Alarm­ingly for the Democrats, the gap is widen­ing at a bit more than half a per­cent­age point per year, mean­ing that to­day’s prob­lem is noth­ing com­pared to what the fu­ture will most likely hold. Con­sider fu­ture pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in a swing state (like Ohio), and as­sume that the cur­rent pat­terns in fer­til­ity con­tinue. A state that was split 50-50 be­tween left and right in 2004 will tilt right by 2012, 54 per­cent to 46 per­cent. By 2020, it will be cer­ti­fi­ably right-wing, 59 per­cent to 41 per­cent. A state that is cur­rently 55-45 in fa­vor of lib­er­als (like Cal­i­for­nia) will be 54-46 in fa­vor of con­ser­va­tives by 2020 — and all for no other rea­son than ba­bies.”

By the cal­en­dar

The No. 2 State De­part­ment of­fi­cial met with Wash­ing­ton Post re­porter Bob Wood­ward in midJune 2003, the same time the re­porter has tes­ti­fied that an ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial talked to him about CIA em­ployee Va­lerie Plame.

Of­fi­cial State De­part­ment cal­en­dars, pro­vided to the As­so­ci­ated Press un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act, show then­Deputy Sec­re­tary of State Richard Ar­mitage held a one­hour meet­ing marked “private ap­point­ment” with Mr. Wood­ward on June 13, 2003.

Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Pa­trick Fitzger­ald has in­ves­ti­gated whether Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials in­ten­tion­ally re­vealed Mrs. Plame’s iden­tity as a one-time CIA covert oper­a­tive to pun­ish her hus­band, for­mer Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion am­bas­sador Joseph C. Wil­son IV, who, af­ter a gov­ern­ment-spon­sored trip to Niger, sought to un­der­mine the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion’s con­tention that Sad­dam Hus­sein’s Iraq had sought ura­nium yel­low­cake there.

An at­tor­ney for the Wil­sons said Aug. 22 that, based on the cal­en­dar, she was con­sid­er­ing adding Ar­mitage to a civil law­suit ac­cus­ing Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney and two White House aides of con­spir­ing to re­veal Mrs. Plame’s iden­tity.

McCain’s crit­i­cism

Repub­li­can Sen. John McCain, a staunch de­fender of the Iraq war, faulted the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion on Aug. 22 for lead­ing Amer­i­cans to be­lieve the con­flict would be “some kind of day at the beach.”

The po­ten­tial 2008 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, who a day ear­lier had re­jected calls for with­draw­ing U.S. forces, said the ad­min­is­tra­tion had failed tomake clear the chal­lenges fac­ing the mil­i­tary.

“I think one of the big­gest mis­takes we made was un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the size of the task and the sac­ri­fices that would be re­quired,” Mr. McCain said. “Stuff hap­pens, mis­sion ac­com­plished, last throes, a few dead-en­ders. I’m just more familiar with those state­ments than any­one else be­cause it grieves me so much that we had not told the Amer­i­can peo­ple how tough and dif­fi­cult this task would be.”

Those phrases are closely as­so­ci­ated with top mem­bers of the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing the pres­i­dent, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

Mr. McCain was cam­paign­ing in Ohio for Repub­li­can Sen. Mike DeWine, who faces a tough fight in his re-elec­tion bid against Demo­cratic chal­lenger Rep. Sher­rod Brown.

Pataki vs. Hil­lary

“New York Gov. Ge­orge Pataki stopped by the Mon­i­tor last week,” re­porter Eric Moskowitz writes in the Con­cord (N.H.) Mon­i­tor.

“Given an op­por­tu­nity to share his ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing with Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton — and dis­abuse us of the no­tion that NewYork’s ju­nior sen­a­tor is a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure — Pataki in­stead is­sued a re­buke of Clin­ton,” the re­porter said.

“Pataki, who is ex­plor­ing a Repub­li­can bid for the pres­i­dency, made no men­tion of work­ing with Clin­ton, the per­ceived Demo­cratic front-run­ner for the 2008 nom­i­na­tion. In­stead, he said she rep­re­sents what’s wrong with pol­i­tics to­day, call­ing her the em­bod­i­ment of par­ti­san fin­ger-point­ing over bi­par­ti­san co­op­er­a­tion.

“ ‘Sen­a­tor Clin­ton is one of the most po­lar­iz­ing per­son­al­i­ties in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, and I think it’s with some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion,’ said Pataki, who called for politi­cians to seek com­mon ground.

“Pataki said Clin­ton crit­i­cizes with­out of­fer­ing so­lu­tions. ‘I fear that Sen­a­tor Clin­ton has fo­cused more on the neg­a­tive and on at­tack­ing, as op­posed to com­ing up with any pos­i­tive so­lu­tions. In fact, as I sit here, I can’t think of some­thing where she’s said, “Let’s do this to­gether. Let’s set this as a pos­i­tive agenda.” It’s been more from the out­side, crit­i­ciz­ing,’ he said. ‘And I just think there’s too much of that in Wash­ing­ton. There’s too much of that in pol­i­tics.’ ”

Can’t wait

Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani says Repub­li­can vot­ers want Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton to be the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee in 2008 “so they can vote against her,” the New York Post re­ports.

“Hil­lary prob­a­bly has the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the best­fundraiser for the Repub­li­can Party,” the for­mer New York mayor and pos­si­ble Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date said Aug. 21 while cam­paign­ing in Saratoga, N.Y., for Repub­li­can Rep. John E. Sweeney.

“It’s true that she cre­ates a lot of pas­sion on both sides,” he said. “Democrats seem to sup­port her as their main can­di­date for pres­i­dent — she’s way ahead of any­body else — and it seems like Repub­li­cans are just wait­ing for her to be the can­di­date so they can vote against her.”

Hagel’s crit­i­cism

Repub­li­cans have lost their way when it comes to many core Repub­li­can Party prin­ci­ples and may be in jeop­ardy head­ing into the fall elec­tions, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Ne­braska Repub­li­can, said on “Fox News Sun­day” on Aug. 20.

Mr. Hagel, a pos­si­ble pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2008, said the party to­day is very dif­fer­ent party from the one when he first voted Repub­li­can.

“First time I voted was in 1968 on top of a tank in the Mekong Delta,” said Mr. Hagel, a Viet­nam vet­eran. “I voted a straight Repub­li­can ticket. The rea­son I did is be­cause I be­lieve in the Repub­li­can phi­los­o­phy of gov­er­nance. It’s not what it used to be. I don’t think it’s the same to­day.”

Mr. Hagel asked: “Where is the fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity of the party I joined in ‘68? Where is the in­ter­na­tional en­gage­ment of the party I joined — fair, free trade, in­di­vid­ual re­spon­si­bil­ity, not build­ing a big­ger gov­ern­ment, but build­ing a smaller gov­ern­ment?”

His frus­tra­tion does not lead him to think Democrats of­fer a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports. But Mr. Hagel wants to see the party re­turn to its ba­sic be­liefs.

“I think we’ve lost our way,” Mr. Hagel said. “And I think the Repub­li­cans are go­ing to be in some jeop­ardy for that and will be held ac­count­able.”

Am­bush­ing Rove

Chant­ing “Try Rove for trea­son,” Cindy Shee­han and more than 50 other war pro­test­ers am­bushed a re­cep­tion be­fore Pres­i­dent Bush’s ad­viser Karl Rove spoke at a fund-raiser at a ho­tel in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 19.

One wo­man was ar­rested dur­ing a scuf­fle with po­lice af­ter Mrs. Shee­han and the anti-war demon­stra­tors rushed to­ward the closed doors and kept chant­ing loudly af­ter the guests went into the din­ner.

Mr. Rove was speak­ing at an As­so­ci­ated Repub­li­cans of Texas din­ner, where ticket prices started at $200 per per­son and raised an es­ti­mated $250,000. He was not in the Re­nais­sance Austin Ho­tel lobby dur­ing the re­cep­tion, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

“I want him ar­rested. He planned the war that killed my son,” Mrs. Shee­han, re­fer­ring to Mr. Rove, told the of­fi­cers guard­ing the door. Mrs. Shee­han’s old­est son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Po­lice then or­dered the group to leave, but some pro­test­ers had paid for rooms for the night. Those pro­test­ers went up­stairs, in­clud­ing Mrs. Shee­han.

One pro­tester was able to slip inside the ball­room dur­ing the din­ner, but was es­corted out af­ter shout­ing about men and women dy­ing, the Austin Amer­i­canS­tates­man re­ported Aug. 20.

“Pat, did you get her check be­fore she left?” Mr. Rove quipped to the group’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Pat Rob­bins, as the crowd of 300 laughed, the news­pa­per re­ported.

“I don’t ques­tion the pa­tri­o­tism of our crit­ics. Many are hard­work­ing pub­lic ser­vants who are do­ing the best they can. Some of them are peo­ple look­ing for a free meal,” Mr. Rove said, draw­ing more laughs.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Go­ing af­ter Rove. Anti-war ac­tivist Cindy Shee­han

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Wood­ward’s source? For­mer Deputy Sec­re­tary of State Richard Ar­mitage

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