Why is President Bush continuing policies that were initiated by President Clinton? The voters elected Bush to change obnoxious Clinton policies, and the voters don't understand why Bush is keeping the following seven in force.
1. One example is the Clinton administration's abolition of the U.S. Army's Risk Rule, which had exempted women in support units from areas that involve "inherent risk of capture." That policy change, ordered by the Clinton feminists, is the reason why a single mother of two young children was killed in the Iraq war and another single mother of a 2-year-old was taken prisoner.
When asked if this policy might be changed, Bush said, "That's going to be up to the generals." When Ari Fleischer fielded the follow-up questions, he accused the reporter of "dealing with a hypothetical."
But Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa and Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson are not hypotheticals. They, and Johnson's 2-year-old child and Piestewa's 3- and 4-year-old children, are victims of a Clinton policy that Bush could change with a stroke of his pen. But, according to Fleischer, this hasn't risen "to a higher policy level."
What's a higher policy level than defending mothers of infants against being killed or captured by the "axis of evil"? Keeping faith with a shameful Clinton policy? Fear of the frightful feminists who applaud our government's giving Lynch, Piestewa and Johnson their career opportunities on the battlefield, and who assert that mothers are fully deployable a few months after giving birth?
2. Why doesn't Bush terminate other Clinton rules that impose the feminist agenda on the military, such as coed basic training? The Army Training Command admitted that coed basic training, which is gender-normed to reduce female injuries, is "not efficient" and of no military value.
That gave Bush a great chance to liberate the Army from Clinton's foolish policy. Without presidential leadership, the generals are certainly not going to act on their own.
3. Nor, without a presidential decision, will the generals overturn Clinton's convoluted "don't ask, don't tell" enforcement regulations, which a U.S. Court of Appeals found to be inconsistent with the 1993 law banning homosexuals from the military.
4. Feminists in the Department of Education during the Clinton years engaged in aggressive enforcement of Title IX, using bureaucratically invented words and rules that were not authorized by the statute. They used Title IX to punish men by forcing colleges to abolish 171 wrestling teams and hundreds of men's teams in gymnastics, swimming, golf and even football.
Bush appointed a commission to study the distortions of Title IX, but he foolishly gave some of the commission seats to feminists.
They used the media to grandstand for their side of the controversy. Secretary of Education Rod Paige then announced he would not implement changes that were not unanimously recommended, so Clinton's anti-male policies about college athletics will continue under Bush.
5. The Clinton administration persuaded Congress to ban semi-automatic assault rifles in 1994. The ban will sunset next year. Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to continue the ban and, to the shock of the National Rifle Association, Bush announced that he supports the Democrats' bill.
Bush seems to have forgotten that his steadfast support of Second Amendment rights was the main reason he carried the Democratic states of Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia in November 2000. If he had lost any one of those, Al Gore would be president.
6. Then there is the matter of Clinton sending U.S. troops to Bosnia and its relation to the International Criminal Court Treaty that Clinton's emissaries enthusiastically helped to write and Clinton signed as one of his last official acts. Bush had a wonderful opportunity to withdraw our troops from Bosnia when the International Criminal Court impudently asserted jurisdiction over Americans even though Bush had "unsigned" the ICC treaty.
For a brief few days, Bush stood tall for the protection of American service personnel by threatening to pull our troops out of Bosnia unless the United Nations promised us immunity from the ICC.
But then he wobbled, accepting a lame compromise that left the United States with the almost impossible task of trying to negotiate separate immunity agreements with the 139 ICC countries.
This while at the same time keeping our troops on duty in Bosnia as a fig leaf to cover the ethnic hostility that is still as bitter and dangerous as ever.
7. Another Clinton policy, Executive Order 13166, requires all government agencies and all entities receiving federal funds, such as doctors and hospitals, to provide their services in any foreign language demanded by a client. The perfect opportunity to rescind this costly unfunded mandate was served up when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that no one has a right to demand government services in languages other than English.
But Bush chose to continue Clinton's pandering to non-English speaking minorities. Regrettably, Bush breathed new life into Clinton's executive order with all its follies and costs.
We're still hoping for a repudiation of these Clinton policies.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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