A Reader Is Unimpressed by Paul Gigot`s Farewell Column
August 27, 2001, 05:00 AM
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FROM  [NAME WITHHELD]:

What's remarkable about [Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor-designate Paul] Gigot [in his final "Potomac Watch" column] and much of the rest of the establishment press is that they believe that they can continue to restrict the topics fit for discussion and lie blatantly, the Internet notwithstanding.

Consider his examples:

"[O]pposing immigration-bashing Proposition 187 in California when it was GOP orthodoxy"

The only prevailing GOP orthodoxy of recent years has been an unquenchable thirst for political payoffs and corporate welfare. If some Republicans supported 187, it was because they were aware from polls that it was going to win — big.

"[P]redicting the rise of Newt Gingrich as early as 1988, when everyone said he was dreaming"

His "rise" was the direct result of the House Bank check kiting scandal, which even "Merlin" Gigot does not claim to have foreseen. Once in, the Republicans have held on because the system tilts heavily toward incumbents. Who is Speaker doesn't matter, as is obvious from the nonentity now holding the position. The Republicans will eventually be Dornaned out, perhaps as early as 2002.

"[D]efending scientist David Baltimore against congressional tormenter John Dingell."

The person the establishment press failed to defend was the woman who blew the whistle on Baltimore and consequently lost her position. 

"[A]nticipating that the 2000 election would be a referendum on character and culture, despite the Senate's failure to oust Mr. Clinton."

It's obvious that the 2000 election reverted to traditional religious and racial voting patterns, in the absence of incumbency, a recession, "read my lips", or some other defining event or issue, but that the Republicans fared worse than previously under similar circumstances because the percentage of white Protestants is at an all time low. The Dems certainly would have won the electoral college had they been a bit less arrogant and run Sen. Graham from Florida (or, if his FBI file was too dirty, some other scalawag with a southern accent) for VP. Even though the country clearly has slipped, I doubt that a "legacy" who branded frat pledges with a coat hanger, was stinking drunk at almost all times between the ages of 18 and 40, and who supported the Vietnam War while in a no-show but well paying Air National Guard position would be widely considered to be of good character.

August 27, 2001