Sobran's --
The Real News of the Month

January 2001
Volume 8, No. 1

Editor: Joe Sobran
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(pages 1-2)

     So it's really, really George W. Bush after all. He 
will soon take a ritual oath to uphold a document he is 
not bound to swear he has actually read. He needn't 
demonstrate any comprehension of the careful distribution 
of powers or of how this arrangement is designed to 
protect liberty. He must only have the gist of it; 
though, as a philosopher has put it, "To know the gist is 
to know nothing."

*          *          *

     The 2000 presidential campaign was a typical 
American debate: full of fierce arguments about secondary 
matters, while first principles were entirely ignored. 
This sheer dread of thinking isn't an exclusively 
American trait; not at all. But one expects more of a 
country that began with a bold and earnest appeal to 
self-evident truths. How have the heirs of Jefferson, 
Madison, and Hamilton descended to this pathetic level?

*          *          *

     It's a huge relief that Al Gore won't be our 
president, but still -- why should the U.S. Supreme Court 
have had any say in it? How Florida's electoral votes 
should be disposed was properly an internal matter for 
Florida. The Constitution clearly says it's up to the 
state legislature to decide. One liberal columnist called 
the Court's ruling on Florida recounts "a muddled opinion 
that should silence critics of Roe v. Wade." On the 
contrary, the ruling shows exactly what critics of Roe 
have been complaining about: judicial usurpation yielding 
arbitrary results.

*          *          *

     On the night Gore finally conceded, he and Bush both 
spoke grandly of the need for "healing." Well, just who 
was bleeding? We needed a rest from these two guys, 
maybe, but hardly a spell in intensive care. Ennui isn't 
usually life-threatening. Personally, I was able to pull 
through by watching about fifty Hitchcock movies and 
listening to a few hundred Haydn symphonies. I might also 
mention a lovely dinner with a *startlingly* delicious 
bottle of Robert Mondavi pinot noir. And a buddy in 
Cleveland. No, friends, *I* don't need to heal.

*          *          *

     Give Bill Clinton credit for one thing: he hasn't 
*bored* us. I hope he'll be indicted for at least one of 
his crimes in office. Even if he's acquitted on technical 
grounds -- the likely resolution -- a criminal trial 
would be sufficient punishment in itself and an 
appropriate culmination of his years of Public Service. 
Query: In the unlikely event that the former president 
was convicted by a D.C. jury, would his Secret Service 
detail accompany him to prison? And could he receive 
conjugal visits from a U.S. senator?

*          *          *

     Though everyone in the postelection marathon agreed 
that this is a "democracy," the Constitution says nothing 
whatever about the people electing the president. 
Constitutionally, we can all be "disenfranchised." Gore's 
claim to a victory in the popular vote was silly: his 
margin of victory nationally was only slightly larger, 
proportionally speaking, than Bush's margin of victory in 
Florida. And if the popular vote were decisive, it would 
also have merited a thorough recount, especially given 
the Democrats' venerable tradition of vote fraud in their 
big-city strongholds. Without the electoral college, this 
election could have been an even worse fiasco.

*          *          *

     DEMOCRACY n. The most excellent form of government, 
never quite defined, under which nearly all human beings 
are convinced they live.

*          *          *

     Jesse Jackson promised to "take to the streets" if 
George W. Bush won. Not a bad idea. That's where that 
semiliterate fool, that absurdly self-important buffoon, 
belongs. He wants to "delegitimize" Bush -- not a bad 
idea, if only he'd do it for the right reasons. But it 
goes without saying that his idea of a legitimate 
president would be someone even worse than Bush. Jackson 
and other racial demagogues want to turn every dispute 
into a "civil rights issue," identifying civil rights 
exclusively with their own interests. Or rather, with the 
privileges they demand. In any case, the inability of 
Democratic voters to follow simple instructions in the 
voting booth hardly amounts to a massive civil rights 
violation, let alone what Jackson called Bush's "Nazi 

*          *          *

     Bad news travels slowly. Despite the postelection 
morass, punditry has bubbled with the happy theme that 
"the Republic will survive." Actually, it didn't. The 
great Republic was destroyed long ago, and we're living 
in its ruins. I recommend Garet Garrett's classic 
pamphlet THE REVOLUTION WAS, if you can find a copy. 
Garrett saw the truth during the New Deal.

*          *          *

     Watch for conservatives-in-denial -- NATIONAL 
REVIEW, Rush Limbaugh, THE WEEKLY STANDARD -- to insist 
that Bush is "really," as they say, "one of us." No 
matter what he actually *does,* he's "one of us," and we 
must support him against those awful Democrats. Only a 
conservative intellectual could be outsmarted by George 

*          *          *

     The maverick leftist Christopher Hitchens has 
written a scathing profile of North Korea for VANITY 
FAIR, exposing both the cruelty and the shabbiness of 
this Communist relic, "a society and state where the 
human personality has been ruthlessly erased, and one 
individual character obscenely exalted" -- referring to 
the cult of Kim Il Sung, the dead dictator whose image is 
still displayed everywhere. The entire population is 
brainwashed and terrorized by "an indescribable degree of 
surveillance and indoctrination," which keeps them 
totally ignorant of the outside world. "North Korea is a 
famine state," Hitchens says bluntly; he saw the starving 
people picking up loose grains of rice and kernels of 
corn. Having sampled a "dog stew" at a restaurant, he 
realized he "hadn't seen a domestic animal, not even the 
merest cat, the whole time I was there." He offers a wry 
tourist tip: "In a Pyongyang restaurant, don't ever ask 
for a doggie bag."

*          *          *

     Readers often say they agree that the Constitution 
has been abandoned, but they complain that I don't offer 
a solution. Well, who said there's a solution? All we can 
do at this point is keep doggedly reminding our fellow 
Americans that it wasn't supposed to be this way, that 
we've never consented to the present system, and that 
this government isn't playing by its own rules. At the 
moment there may be only a few of us who fully grasp 
this, but there are millions who are ready to hear it. As 
Samuel Johnson said of the Whigs of his day: "Though we 
cannot outvote them, we can outargue them."

*          *          *

     Magna est veritas et praevalebit. I believe that. 
Our strength -- and a great strength it is -- is that 
this government bases its claim to legitimacy on the 
Constitution it abuses. We must do everything we can to 
discredit that claim. No, I don't expect to win. But even 
less do I expect to give up.

Exclusive to the electronic version:


(pages 3-4)

     One reason I believe in Christ and the Catholic 
Church is that they continue to be bitterly hated by the 
secular world. Christ himself predicted that the lot of 
his followers would be enmity and persecution, to the end 
of time. Yet because of his unique stature, even in an 
irreligious age, explicit hatred of Christ is still rare; 
the world pretends to honor him, if only as a "great 
moral teacher," but is evasive about just why he is 
"great." It neither worships nor repudiates him.

     The Catholic Church is another matter. She has a 
long history, and her children have committed so many 
sins and crimes that it's easy to make a superficial case 
that these reflect her true nature. So the hostility that 
can't be expressed against Christ can be directed against 
the Church and her earthly leaders. The most effective 
anti-Catholic propaganda always seeks to link the Church 
to what the world sees as the worst historical and 
contemporary evils. Even the moral teachings of Christ 
(as on divorce and sexual morality) may be attacked if 
they are ascribed to the whims of popes and priests.

     It's only natural, then, that the most persistent 
big lie of our time should be that the Church, under the 
leadership of Pius XII, was the silent partner of Adolf 
Hitler, maintaining an indifferent silence as Hitler 
murdered millions of Jews. This myth is vigorously 
promoted in Jewish-controlled publications, but it has 
been repeated by disaffected Catholics as well, notably 
by John Cornwell in his recent book HITLER'S POPE and, in 
a slightly toned-down version, by Garry Wills in PAPAL 

     The "silence" of Pius XII has become an article of 
faith for most liberals and even some conservatives. It 
is treated as an established fact by the NEW YORK TIMES, 
our "paper of record." Yet it is decisively refuted by 
back issues of the TIMES itself.

     The Church is notorious among liberals for opposing 
nearly every modern idea liberals regard as 
"progressive." But on occasion she has also condemned, 
for her own reasons, modern ideas liberals disapprove of. 
One of these was German National Socialism. From her own 
point of view, this was simply one more contemporary 
heresy, to be rejected with the others.

     From the beginning, the Church recognized Hitler's 
racialism and nationalism as inimical to Catholicism -- 
as Hitler himself said they were. Pius XI, the immediate 
predecessor of Pius XII, issued an encyclical in German 
in 1936, MIT BRENNENDER SORGE ("With Burning Sorrow"), 
condemning those doctrines as incompatible with Natural 
Law, the eternal moral law that even God can never change 
because it is inherent in creation itself. The Pope 
insisted that no nation or race had the right to 
subjugate another.

     This, like most papal statements, was put in very 
general and impersonal terms, rhetorically above the 
current fray, but there was no doubt that Pius XI meant 
it to refer and apply to the German regime at that 
moment. The encyclical amounted to a declaration of war 
on Hitlerism. From then on, the Vatican and the Third 
Reich were open enemies. The German state began a 
crackdown on the Church.

     Even before the war, hostilities between the Reich 
and the Church flared publicly. In a famous statement, 
Pius XI condemned anti-Semitism because "spiritually, we 
are all Semites." Again, the allusion to Hitlerism was 
obvious to everyone.

     When Eugenio Pacelli became Pius XII in March 1939, 
he continued the anti-Nazi policy of Pius XI. In 1940 
Albert Einstein praised the Church for her courageous 
opposition to Hitler when others were silent: "Only the 
Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's 
campaign for suppressing the truth."

     There was nothing secret about this. The TIMES 
reported the long duel between Hitler and the Church in 
abundant detail, before, during, and even after World War 
II. Yet this has been almost totally forgotten -- even by 
the TIMES itself.

     Now the record has been corrected by Msgr. Stephen 
M. DiGiovanni in a monograph titled PIUS XII AND THE 
JEWS: THE WAR YEARS. In telling the story, Monsignor 
DiGiovanni draws almost entirely on reports published in 
the TIMES.

     One of Pius XII's first acts as Pope was to issue an 
encyclical reiterating that the state must respect the 
divine law, without prejudice to any race -- an utterance 
universally understood as a rebuke to Hitler. In 1940, 
over the protests of Hitler's ally Benito Mussolini, the 
Vatican appointed two Jewish scholars to its academy of 
science and another to its library. Louis Finkelstein, a 
leading Jewish theologian, praised Pius for these 
measures in the TIMES, which also joined in praising the 
Pope in several editorials. Further TIMES editorials in 
those years hailed the Pope's Christmas messages 
denouncing racial persecution, calling him "a lonely 
voice crying out in the silence of a continent."

     So, far from being peculiarly silent, Pius was, 
according to the TIMES, uniquely outspoken, in contrast 
to the rest of Europe. The later myth would create the 
opposite impression; but at the time, Pius was hailed as 
the sole *exception* to "the silence of a continent."

     In 1942 readers of the TIMES learned that Pius was 
intervening to save Jews in occupied France from being 
deported; soon afterward the paper reported that two 
French cardinals and several bishops made a "spirited 
written protest against racial and religious 
persecution." In 1943 the TIMES related that Pius had 
assured the chief rabbi of Jerusalem that he would "do 
all in his personal power to aid persecuted Jews in 
Europe." Throughout the war Catholic leaders sheltered 
Jewish children in France, which led to what the TIMES 
described as "an open rift between the Vichy government 
and priests." (After the war, the TIMES ran a story 
about Pius's removal of several French bishops who had 
cooperated with the German and Vichy governments.)

     When Catholic bishops in Germany denounced the 
persecution of Jews and Poles in 1943, the TIMES covered 
the statement ("Reich Churches Resist Nazi Rule," said 
its headline), as well as the Nazi press's retaliatory 
charge that the Church was fomenting unrest. A month 
later the TIMES reported that the Reich had put three 
bishops under house arrest and seized convents, 
hospitals, and other Church properties. Soon afterward 
the paper informed its readers of the arrests of 
thousands of priests and nuns, many of whom died in 
concentration camps. In an ironic anticipation of later 
propaganda, the Nazi press frequently accused Pius of a 
culpable failure to speak out against Communism, calling 
him a virtual ally of Stalin.

     In December 1943 the TIMES covered the Vatican's 
protest against the internment of Italy's Jews. In early 
1944 it reported that Rome's Fascist police forced entry 
into a basilica, arresting not only Jews taking sanctuary 
there but priests who were sheltering them as well; it 
also reported Pius's protests.

     When the Allies captured Rome in June 1944, the 
city's chief rabbi, according to the TIMES, formally 
thanked Pius on behalf of the Jews. The paper also noted, 
after the war, that the World Jewish Congress gave the 
Vatican a $20,000 donation "in recognition of the work of 
the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi 

     Late in the war matters took an ugly turn when the 
Soviet press, seeing the Church as an obstacle to 
Communist postwar expansion, accused Pius of being pro-
Nazi. To its credit, the TIMES vigorously attacked this 
blatant lie in several editorials as "reckless," 
"unjust," and "intemperate," damaging to the Allied 
cause. Its editorials were sincerely indignant at the 
slander of Pius, whom it rightly regarded as a great man.

     What the editors naively failed to realize, of 
course, was that Stalin cared nothing for the Allied 
cause. As soon as Germany was clearly losing the war, he 
began to treat the United States and Britain as enemies. 
Even his friend and benefactor Franklin Roosevelt was 
shocked and hurt by his treachery. But Stalin's behavior 
was dictated by the unsentimental logic of Communism, 
according to which today's ally, having served his 
purpose, becomes tomorrow's enemy. He correctly judged 
that the interest of Soviet Communism required him to 
open a new war on the Church -- a war that began with 
propaganda and soon advanced to savage persecution, 
possibly the worst in the two thousand years of the 
Church's history.

     Can we discern a parallel development in American 
liberalism? For a long time, liberals and Catholics in 
this country got along well. They even made common cause 
on many social issues (the rights of labor and minority 
groups, for example); liberals defended the rights of 
Catholics against nativist and Protestant bigots; in fact 
there seemed no difficulty in being a Catholic and a 
liberal at the same time. Most Catholics were Democrats 
who supported the New Deal, the Allied cause in World War 
II, and the containment of Communism (originally the 
liberal approach to the Soviet threat); Catholic 
Republicans weren't rare, but they were rather 
exceptional. The seeming harmony between liberalism and 
Catholicism was personified in John Kennedy.

     But during the late 1960s liberalism changed, moving 
sharply leftward and adopting the sexual revolution as 
part of its agenda. As it embraced abortion, 
homosexuality, and radical feminism, subverting the 
entire Western ethos of the family, it turned venomously 
against the Catholic Church, the mother and champion of 
that ethos. And liberals, like the Communists before 
them, found that the surest way to discredit the Church 
was to associate her with their devil, Hitler.

     So now the NEW YORK TIMES has adopted the position 
it once denounced the Soviet press for taking. And it has 
done so with a combination of fanaticism and cynicism 
worthy of the old Communist apparat. This is what 
contemporary American liberalism has come to.

The Evolution of the State
(pages 5-6)

     In all the electoral confusion of November, there 
was never the least danger that our chains would be 
struck off. Throughout their quarrel over who would be 
boss for the next four years, both parties firmly agreed 
on the fundamentals. Tax collection and the issuance of 
checks to government dependents -- the normal operations 
of the lawless state -- continued uninterrupted.

     The election "crisis" inspired very little critical 
reflection on the foundations of what Sixties radicals 
used to call the System. Or if there was any such 
reflection, it didn't appear in the media. I didn't see a 
single op-ed piece asking what we were really arguing 

     The most interesting article I read during that 
turbulent month was written before the election. It was a 
profile of Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal 
Reserve Board, by the leftist Christopher Hitchens in 
VANITY FAIR. It didn't quite hit the mark, but it poked 
around in the right general direction.

     Greenspan's job wasn't at stake this year. He is 
widely given credit for the current prosperity of the 
stock market. The occupant of so important a seat of 
power must not be exposed to the whims of electoral 

     Hitchens, who saw even Mother Teresa of Calcutta as 
a corrupt cog of the capitalist system, remarked on the 
obvious irony of the Federal Reserve being headed by a 
disciple of Ayn Rand. Greenspan used to write for Rand's 
atheist-capitalist publication THE OBJECTIVIST 
NEWSLETTER, and he still says she was right. Which would 
seem to imply that he doesn't believe in the legitimacy 
of the Federal Reserve System, or in any other state 
involvement in economic matters.

     John Galt, the hero of Rand's mammoth novel ATLAS 
SHRUGGED, is a scientific genius and champion of the 
free market who persuades his fellow "men of the mind" to 
go on strike in protest against the tyranny of the state. 
When the economy collapses as a result, the villains -- 
those who run the government -- try to force Galt to 
become dictator, in the belief that he can make things 
work again. Is John Galt (voluntarily) running the Fed 

     What is the best policy for an institution that 
shouldn't exist in the first place? In Rand's view, Galt 
could no more "run the economy" than anyone else, because 
state power is inherently stupid and even a genius can't 
make it "work," any more than an Einstein could make a 
pig lay an egg. Of course the Fed isn't exactly the 
state. It's an entanglement of state and banking. Maybe 
the damage it does can be minimized if it's headed by 
someone who's properly dubious about it. As a champion of 
the gold standard -- the position he took in Rand's 
newsletter -- Greenspan may figure that the next best 
thing is to keep the paper dollar on a short leash, 
curbing inflation and letting the market do the rest.

     How does the Fed work? Having read various articles 
and books on the subject and listened to the lucid 
explanations of several economists of my acquaintance, I 
*still* don't get it. And I am ready to conclude that I 
never will.

     But it smells mighty fishy. The very secrecy of its 
origins -- it was conceived at a furtive meeting of 
leading bankers on Jekyll Island, off the coast of 
Georgia, in 1910 -- speaks for itself. So do its powers. 
It can issue paper money at will, in direct defiance of 
the Constitution, which authorizes Congress alone to 
"coin money [and] regulate the value thereof." Congress 
has no authority to transfer this power to any other 
agency, public or private. Nor has it any power to issue 
paper money: the Constitutional Convention voted 
overwhelmingly against such a power, and since it was 
never granted, it remains denied. To "coin" money does 
not mean to print it. The language of the Constitution is 

     So was the value of a dollar. The United States 
adopted the Spanish dollar rather than the English pound 
as its currency, and a dollar was a specific quantity of 
silver: 371.25 grains (troy). As Edwin Vieira points out 
in his monograph WHAT IS A "DOLLAR"? Congress could no 
more manipulate the value of a dollar than it could 
change the length of a year. It was that objective. The 
idea of fiddling with the value of money horrified the 
generation that made the Constitution, which also 
empowered Congress to "provide for the punishment of 
counterfeiting" -- since, after all, counterfeiting is 
the debasement of money.

     How times have changed. Neither our language nor our 
money has fixed value. Just as the Constitution has 
become a rubber document (or, as they say, a "living 
document"), the dollar has become, in most people's 
minds, a slip of paper with a picture of George 
Washington on it. It might as well bear a picture of Bugs 
Bunny. Since its ties to metal have been severed, its 
value is whatever the Fed may choose to make it. In 
effect, then, the Federal Reserve System authorizes 
private agencies not only to issue currency, but to 
counterfeit it! Though nominally private, the Fed 
achieved an unprecedented centralization of the money 

     The Fed is merely one more illustration of the bad 
faith with which we are ruled. When the Constitution 
can't be amended, or when it can be "interpreted" to mean 
what those in power want it to mean, it can always be 

     To say that the Constitution's meaning "evolves" is 
to attempt a rhetorical concealment of what really 
happens. In the first place, the pleasant organic 
metaphor conceals the plain fact that the Constitution 
itself doesn't do anything. Things are done *to* it. 
*Men* do those things.

     And the "evolution" always goes in the same 
direction, to the great satisfaction of those particular 
men. Every change in the Constitution is a change toward 
a more powerful and monolithic central government, and 
away from everything that used to be understood as 
"federalism." If this "evolution" were an impersonal, 
inexorable natural process, it ought to be a little more 
unpredictable. But it's all too predictable, because the 
process is very personal and not at all natural, if by 
"natural" we mean that it represents the logical 
development of principles inherent in the Constitution.

     This "evolution," furthermore, always seems to occur 
in the same place: a certain building on Capitol Hill, 
Washington, D.C., and not in "nature" as commonly 
understood. In fact it seems distinctly UNnatural that 
the evolving meanings of the Constitution should be so 
exclusively and locally confided to the nine members of 
the U.S. Supreme Court.

     Above all, the "evolution" metaphor implies that the 
changes in the Constitution develop gradually, as new 
species are said to arise from long series of small 
mutations. But this hardly describes the Court's most 
notable rulings, which have been marked by their 
disruptive violence. In Roe v. Wade, for example, the 
Court abruptly imposed on all 50 states a new "right" 
that no previous Court, justice, lower court, 
legislature, or legislative minority had ever suspected 
of lurking in the Constitution. A less "organic" act of 
jurisprudence would be hard to imagine. It was, as Byron 
White said in his bitter dissent, an act of "raw judicial 

     "Raw judicial power" isn't supposed to exist, but it 
does. And that's what has really "evolved," in the sense 
that the Supreme Court, like the other branches of the 
federal government, has gradually advanced from tiny 
usurpations of power to extremely audacious, even 
revolutionary ones. Such acts, overturning old 
understandings, depend on an ill-educated populace with 
little historical memory and a feeble sense of tradition. 
Even those who appreciated the moral monstrosity of Roe 
rarely understood how radically defective it was as 
constitutional law.

     I often wonder whether the Fed was part of a 
conscious and concerted effort to destroy the old 
Constitution. It was established in 1913, the same year 
the disastrous Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments were 
adopted; all three measures had the same tendency. The 
Sixteenth Amendment authorized Congress to levy income 
taxes, thereby giving it the ability not only to increase 
its revenues to undreamed-of levels, but to give the 
federal government direct access to, and direct power 
over, the private financial affairs of every American. 
Since then we have all become criminal suspects in the 
eyes of the government. The Seventeenth Amendment 
required the popular election of U.S. Senators; this 
amounted to the abolition of the Senate, which until then 
had represented the states and guarded their powers 
against federal usurpation. Since this amendment did away 
with that function, it made the Senate a redundant and 
irrational institution. Instead of representing the 
states equally, as it was meant to do, it now represents 
the people unequally.

     Could three such deadly blows to the old federal 
system have been dealt accidentally? It seems unlikely. 
They were the work of men who saw the Constitution as an 
impediment, as Woodrow Wilson and his disciple Franklin 
Roosevelt did. Though Wilson trampled the Constitution 
during World War I, he didn't do it permanent damage. It 
was Roosevelt who pretty much finished the job. With the 
cunning of the true tyrant, he realized that the way to 
consolidate a monolithic government once and for all was 
by establishing a national welfare state with as many 
dependents as possible. He knew that "my Social Security 
system," as he called it, would be well-nigh irreversible 
-- which is more than can be said for the Constitution, 

     During the twentieth century, the original federal 
system was stood on its head. Those who did it must have 
known what they were doing. But few others have noticed 
that it was done at all.


RAKE'S PROGRESS: Bill Clinton's life may be summed up as 
an odyssey from draft dodger to war criminal. I don't 
blame him for avoiding the draft, which is a form of 
slavery; but, having saved his own skin from war, he 
proved willing to use his power as president to distract 
attention from his impeachment scandals, by bombing 
innocent people abroad. By now Americans barely notice 
when their government bombs a few foreigners here and 
there, but it does matter, morally and practically. And 
of course Clinton did so without the bother of a 
declaration of war, which should have been grounds for 
impeachment in itself. He turned out to be something 
worse than a good-natured rogue. (page 9)

SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION: Bush says he wants to "reach 
out,"  to be president of "all the people," not a 
"captive of the far Right." Get it? He wants to show the 
world that though he's a conservative, don't worry -- 
he's not an unduly *principled* conservative. (page 11)

EMPIRE, the historian Edward Gibbon says of the first 
Roman emperor: "Augustus was sensible that mankind is 
governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation 
that the senate and people would submit to slavery, 
provided they were respectfully assured that they still 
enjoyed their ancient freedom." (page 12)

Exclusive to the electronic version:

OUR LIVING LANGUAGE: "Can Bush Govern?" ask the think-
piece headlines. Of course "govern" doesn't mean what it 
used to mean: enforcing existing laws. It now means 
imposing ambitious *new* laws and programs, increasing the 
centralization of political power, and steadily 
diminishing the freedom of the individual. We must pray 
that any attempt to "govern" in this sense will be 
frustrated. Unfortunately, we face the threat of what is 
pleasantly called "bipartisan cooperation," which Bush is 
all too eager to foster.

HAPPY FOES: When a reputedly conservative politician 
unexpectedly pleases the press, he is said to have 
"surprised friend and foe alike." What this happy formula 
forgets to mention is that the surprise is always a lot 
more agreeable to his foes than to his friends. It means 
he has double-crossed his friends. We can expect to hear 
the phrase often over the next four years. 


* The Democrats' Ethics (November 14, 2000)
* The Silent Revolution (November 21, 2000)
* Why Can't the Americans? (November 30, 2000)
* Accuracy and Other Illusions (December 5, 2000)
* Meet Your Enemy (December 7, 2000)
* Popular Election of Presidents? (December 14, 2000)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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