Editorial by John Ziegler

John Ziegler Editorial Rejected By LA Times, Printed By OC Register

11/1/2005

Once again a John Ziegler op-ed piece was rejected by the LA Times, but this time it is was picked up by the Orange Country Register, which printed it in Tuesday's edition. Here is what was submitted to both papers. You can find what was actually published in the OC Register by going to their website at www.ocregister.com

A Bad Week For Conservatives:

The overwhelming media consensus about last week was that it marked the 'darkest days' of the Bush White House. After all, in less time than it takes the mail to cross the country, this administration endured the 2,000 U.S. military death in Iraq, the withdraw of Harriet Miers? Supreme Court nomination, and the long-awaited indictment of the Vice-President's chief of staff. However, as is so often the case, the 'conventional wisdom' is largely wrong.

While there is no doubt that from a perception standpoint the Bush team took a significant public relations hit, considering the increasingly transparent anti-Bush agenda of much of the news media, this is hardly something new and it would seem that the ability of the endless flood of bad news stories to further erode his political support may have reached its end. Though we sadly do live in a world where perception largely is reality, the truth is that conservatives had much to be proud of last week.

First of all, the overwrought and contrived coverage of the artificial 'milestone' of the 2,000 death in Iraq overshadowed the most remarkable achievement in that country since the invasion. While it would have been very easy to miss from the lack of news coverage, the Iraqi Constitution was overwhelmingly ratified in a far more democratic (not to mention speedy) process than the one that resulted in our own far more flawed document being approved.

Also ignored by the indictment-obsessed news media was the release of the final report on the United Nation's 'Oil for Food' scandal. There it was confirmed what conservatives have longed argued; that the crucial decisions by France and Russia to block UN approval of the Iraqi invasion were likely motivated far more by money and corruption rather than any notion that we didn't have the legal or moral authority to take out Saddam.

Ironically, the refusal of France and Russia to go along in Iraq arguably forced the Bush team into overselling the war in general and particularly into the now infamous 'yellow cake in Niger' mistake from which the Libby indictment was born.

As for the reaction to those indictments, it isn't just that, much to the disappointment of most of the news media, Karl Rove was not indicted and the charges against Libby were less significant than feared that should have been considered 'good' news. More importantly, conservatives should be proud when they contrast the way the Bush administration handled their mistakes to the method upon which liberals relied while defending Bill Clinton against remarkably similar charges. While the Clinton protectors relentlessly, viciously, and inappropriately attacked the prosecutor in a premeditated and purely political gambit (one that former Clinton aide Paul Begala fully admitted to during CNN's coverage of the Libby indictment), the Bush people said nary a negative word about their special counsel, despite the fact that the evidence in this case pales in comparison to that against Clinton. While the Clinton sycophants constantly denied the severity of the charges and the significance of lying under oath, the Bushies rightly resisted the temptation to be hypocrites on the foundation of our legal system.

Of course the biggest difference between the two responses to being indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice was one that to my knowledge has not even been pointed out in the mainstream news media. While Bill Clinton selfishly put himself ahead of the good of the country by fighting his indictment to the end, 'Scooter' Libby did the right thing by immediately resigning, even though most legal experts think that the chances of him actually being convicted are somewhere between 'very iffy' and 'remote.'

Finally, conservatives should take their most satisfaction from the withdraw of Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee. Instead of taking the politically easy path of blindly stepping in line with their President, conservatives showed that, unlike their philosophical counterparts, they are at least capable of placing principle over politics. Even the much-maligned religious right (of which I am no fan) accounted itself admirably by not buying the Miers nomination despite the condescending attempts to sell her as an Evangelical Christian.

In undermining the Miers candidacy on the basis of her lack of qualifications (and not her Roe V. Wade tap dance), conservatives showed that they really do care deeply about our country's sacred institutions and they also hold their own to the same standards they demand of liberals. Now, in Samuel Alito, the nominee is far more credentialed as well as being philosophically and ideologically grounded. While they won't get any credit for this actuality or much of anything else that has recently occurred, conservatives should stand tall about the events of last week. Meanwhile, their opponents are currently gloating, but the nation would be better off if they took at least a moment to learn a few lessons from what they have seen from the other side.

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