Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- Zounds, the liberals have found another of their "smoking guns." That is what they are calling a job application submitted 20 years ago by a young lawyer seeking promotion in the Reagan Administration. His name is Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and as close observers of national politics will note he is President George W. Bush's latest nominee for the Supreme Court. In this chilling job application Alito declares: "I am and always have been a conservative." He outlines his shocking disagreements with the judicial activism of the Warren court and he scruples over such matters as affirmative action.
 
Alito was, at the time, an assistant to the solicitor general, applying for an opening in the office of Attorney Edwin Meese III. Yes, that Attorney General Meese! The one who worked for Ronald Reagan, the country's first cowboy president, the one who brought the country to the brink of nuclear warfare with the USSR, back when there was a USSR. President Mikhail Gorbachev calmed things down and saved us all. Then America rejoined the civilized countries of the world under another of America's great playboy presidents -- this one even more of a playboy than John F. Kennedy -- our forty-second president, Bill Clinton, who never lied to the American people or, for that matter, to his staff. President Clinton kept us out of war and recognized that one cannot attack a foreign dictator simply because the West's intelligence agencies say he has weapons of mass destruction. What if he does not? What if his thwarting of United Nations resolutions and his tauntings are simply empty macho boasts? Mr. Clinton's policy was to wait and see what the French do.

But back to this "smoking gun" -- in it Alito claims membership in the mysterious Federalist Society, identified today by Democratic leaders as another "far right" group. Alito avers that he was also a member of a group at Princeton University that in the early 1970s opposed coeducation, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, which published a magazine, Prospect. The magazine published a lot of articles that Democratic leaders now recognize as "far right." What is more, Alito, in his 1985 application, claimed that he had recently submitted articles to National Review and The American Spectator, two more "far right" organizations, the latter being the magazine that was caught organizing a coup d'etat against our last playboy president, the one with the unlit cigar. The cigar has come to be recognized as Clinton's own Churchillian trademark, albeit less malodorous and injurious.

The other day journalists from mainstream media began calling our offices at The American Spectator asking us what Alito wrote about in his articles. Our publisher, the far-right Al Regnery, fielded the calls. I wish they had called me. I would have told them about the young lawyer's beautifully worded essay demonstrating that the earth is flat. I would have mentioned his short piece on the need to drop the big one on Hanoi and Berkeley, California. I wonder if the journalists would have recognized that I was pulling their legs.

The "far right" that the liberals now inveigh against has been politically ascendant since 1980. Sixteen years before that, when it captured the Republican Party, one might have sympathized with the liberals' characterization of it, though it was an exaggeration even then. To keep grinding this ax for forty years is to demonstrate precisely how intellectually jejune the liberals and the Democrats are. They have become museum pieces and will soon be mortuary pieces if they do not come up with something positive to say.

Now they advocate cutting and running from Iraq, just as the Iraqis are moving into a position to defend themselves and to elect a constitutional government. They are saying the invasion of Iraq was all a "big mistake." Those are the words of our last playboy president, uttered at the American University of Dubai the other day. America under this cowboy president was reckless in invading Iraq and attempting to spread democracy there.

Well allow me to quote an earlier president speaking to a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947: "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure." That was President Harry Truman enunciating what came to be called the Truman Doctrine. He was summoning Congress to the defense of Greece and Turkey. The critics urged restraint, saying Greece was corrupt and Turkey undemocratic. Truman proceeded despite them and both countries have done rather well thanks to Americans who thought they could spread democracy. May I suggest that President Bush dust off the Truman Doctrine? That might make the smug Democrats squirm.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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