WHEN FIVE SHIA members of the Iraqi Governing Council dramatically (if temporarily) refused to sign the provisional Iraqi constitution last week, a senior American official dutifully told The Washington Post they walkout was no big deal. After all, the objections raised by the five council members had nothing to do with the laboriously negotiated provisions for individual rights enshrined in the provisional constitution, technically known as the Transitional Administrative Law.
AT JANUARY’S SUMMIT of the Americas in Mexico, a gathering of nearly every nation in North and South America, President Bush took his push for democratization to the United States’ backyard. "At past summits, we resolved that democracy is the only legitimate form of government in this hemisphere and that the peoples of the Americas have an obligation to promote it and defend it, " Bush said.
THE FIRST VOLLEY of the 2004 general election came last Saturday, March 6, four days after John Kerry became the de facto Democratic nominee by driving John Edwards from the race. For three years, the Democrats had responded to President Bush's regular Saturday radio address with a rotating cast of mid-wattage pols. At the height of Bush's popularity, nothing better emphasized the stature gap between the wartime president and his hapless opposition than listening to, say, Debbie Stabenow carp about prescription drugs after a Bush address celebrating the overthrow of the Taliban.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge by the Boy Scouts of America to Connecticut's removal of the organization from a state-employee workplace charity drive. The Court's decision attracted little public notice, earning just a single paragraph in The New York Times and five in The Washington Post. But the Court's refusal to hear the case was more significant than the lack of media attention might suggest. Back in 2000, the Boy Scouts won a major victory when the High Court, in Boy Scouts of America v.
On February 11, just days after a supposedly penitent Abdul Qadeer Khan confessed on Pakistani television, President Bush appeared at the National Defense University to describe how the father of Pakistan's atom bomb had for years run a global network that sold nuclear weapons technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Bush praised Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for "assur[ing] us that his country will never again be a source of proliferation," even though it was not clear Musharraf could promise any such thing, and lauded the U.S. intelligence community for its "hard work and ...
The snickering began as soon as the shock from the 1994 election wore off. The Republicans had won back the Senate, and Alfonse D'Amato would become chairman of the Senate committee looking into Whitewater. Al D'Amato? The name was synonymous with sleaze. Would anyone take an ethics investigation under his direction seriously? Probably not--or at least not without the help D'Amato has received from a New Jersey prosecutor with an ethical record that is the reverse image of his own.
In announcing yesterday morning that he would back a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, President Bush resorted--as he has often done in the past--to a favorite tactic of social conservatives: attacking the straw man of judicial activism rather than focusing on the merits of the issue at hand. Opponents of gay marriage have sought to frame the debate over their proposed constitutional amendment as a matter of shielding voters and their elected representatives--that is, state politicians and local officials--from the whims of allegedly activist judges.
LAST YEAR, CONSERVATIVES responded to Lawrence v. Texas—in which the Supreme Court struck down all 13 state anti-sodomy statutes and overruled Bowers v. Hardwick, the infamous 1986 case that denied “a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy”—with dire warnings that the decision would open the floodgates to radical social changes, including the advent of gay marriage.