4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 28, 20041
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420 MAYSAPID STREET
ANN ARFoR, MI 48109
EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor
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COLIN DALY T M <'A
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
-Florida Governor Jed Bush, speaking
from an emergency response center in Indian
River County, Fla., as reported yesterday by
the Associated Press.
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JASON Z. PESICK ONE SMARL VOICE
uring the Repub-
to "The Daily Show with
Jon Stewart" noted the
irony in the Republican
Party having its national
convention in such a lib-
eral, cosmopolitan city.
Stewart even asked the
party's chairman, Ed
Gillespie, why the Republicans were holding
their convention in New York, seeing as the
value systems in Manhattan and in middle
America have a tendency to diverge on par-
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay
even toyed with the idea of renting a cruise
boat for the delegates and other attendees
to stay on and be entertained on during the
convention. The purpose of this plan was
to ensure these Republicans would not have
to live in New York and risk some sort of
osmotic transfer of the city's inherent moral
backwardness. Eventually, the ship idea was
But now that so many unwitting Repub-
licans were going to be exposed to the
vices of the nation's largest city, acceptable
forms of entertainment needed to be found.
The New York Times's cultural columnist,
Frank Rich, wrote a column detailing how
the party was selecting musicals for its del-
egates. None of the chosen musicals have
an openly gay character. And that require-
ment can be quite limiting on Broadway.
The delegates couldn't see "The Producers"
or "Hairspray," despite their wild popular-
ity. Rich quips that at least they didn't try to
avoid Jews on Broadway.
But enough fun. Republicans from across
the country were coming to New York, and
the party probably felt a need to pre-empt the
inevitable culture shock as much as possible.
The Republicans held their convention in New
York this year for one reason: to capitalize on
the positive effects Sept. 11 had on the presi-
dent's relationship with the American people
as much as possible. Otherwise, it would have
been somewhere else, somewhere the presi-
dent has a chance of winning in November.
The Republican Party's politics are the pol-
itics of division. They've tried to become the
party of middle America by pointing out and
ridiculing the differences between middle
America and much of the Democratic base.
This means attacking cities (it's no acci-
dent the president criticizes Washington and
spends so much time in the Texas boondocks),
intellectuals, gays;*Yankees, atheists, liberals,
Hollywoodjournalists, lawyers and when the
situation becomes desperate, minorities.
Before attacking The New York Times in
his convention speech earlier this month,
President Bush assailed Hollywood. Taking
on John Kerry at the same time, Bush said,
"If you say the heart and soul of America
is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are
not the candidate of conservative values."
Nevermind that Hollywood tracks and
preserves for the future American culture,
making the town uniquely American, but
Bush is charged with representing the peo-
ple of Hollywood, not singling them out for
condemnation in front of the entire country.
However, southern California is not going
to vote for Bush, so for him, this strategy is
addition through division.
Bush continued, "If you voted against the
bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which
President Clinton signed, you are not the
candidate of conservative values." Gays
are becoming in 2004 what blacks were in
1964 - the new darlings of the Republican
Party. Republicans sure appreciate their
existence, even if it doesn't seem like it
Before passing a budget, the Senate took
up an amendment to the Constitution that
would ban gay marriage. Bush supported
the amendment, even going so far as to
mention it in his State of the Union address.
It's not important business, but someone
calculated it would work, and that's good
enough for this party with no shame, with
no qualms about encouraging Americans
to hate other Americans - encouraging us
to hate ourselves.
The House recently passed a bill that
would prevent federal courts from hear-
ing cases questioning whether the phrase
"under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is
unconstitutional. This summer, the Senate
Judiciary Committee also passed a consti-
tutional amendment that would ban burn-
ing the American flag. These issues are
not pressing; three wars, a record budget
deficit and the health of the economy are
pressing issues. But cultural issues bring
the nation's acrimonious cultural debate
to the surface right before an election.
The Republican Party has not been the
party of Lincoln for decades, maybe lon-
ger. During the Civil War, Lincoln empha-
sized what the people of the two halves of
the country had in common. He wanted to
appeal to "the better angels in our nature"
because he understood that "A house divid-
ed against itself cannot stand." He believed
in a unitary America, not two Americas.
And he made sure that that belief, that
desire for unity, remained a reality.
There is more to America than apple pie
and barbeques. If you don't like the people
who live on America's coasts, the intelligen-
cia, Hollywood, the people who live in big
cities, the minorities,;the gays, the Yankees,
the lawyers, the Jews, the feminists, the lib-
erals, the atheists, the civil libertarians, the
Arabs, The New York Times and Broadway,
then even a diet of all ribs and baked beans
won't make you like America.
Pesick can be reached at
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
MSA's promotion of
Michael Moore is
TO THE DAILY:
I am very upset to hear that Michael
Moore has been invited to give a presenta-
tion on our campus, and I am disappointed.
in the Michigan Student Assembly for per-
mitting him to do so "MSA Offers to Pay
for Moore Visit", (09115/04). I understand
that MSA wishes to provide students with a
chance to sample ideas from a wide politi-
cal spectrum, but Moore is an exception.
Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 (fea-
turing a mastery of cut-and-paste scenes
distorted to Moore's wishes), is not only
extremely offensive to fair-minded people,
but it also has become a propaganda film
used by enemies of the United States. Once
released internationally, Fidel Castro aired
the movie daily on Cuban National Televi-
sion, and Al-Jazeera broadcasted the film
to terrorist operatives of al-Qaida and Hez-
bollah. These terrorist organizations used
the film to garner support for their cause
and recruit more militants to fight against
our troops in Iraq.
Moore propagates his ideas based on lies
and distortions, while his movie has put our
brave troops in Iraq in greater danger than
they would be otherwise. It is irresponsible
for MSA and members of the Peace and
Justice Commission to encourage Moore by
providing a medium by which he can com-
municate with large audiences.
His ideas are dangerous. Moore's appear-
ance on our campus will tarnish our
University's reputation in the eye of the
This is not an issue of being liberal or
conservative, Republican or Democrat.
This is an issue of honesty versus dishon-
esty, honor versus dishonor, and patriotism
versus anti-Americanism. MSA is doing a
employees at Borders bookstores. Lee
implies that this alleged misconduct has
something to do with the Borders union.
Leat's set the record straight.
The online Borders union forum to which
Lee refers can be found at www.bordersunion.
org. While the name is certainly confusing,
it is not the official web site of the soon-to-
be two-year-old union at the Liberty Street
Borders store. Rather it is an activist-run
web site, now owned by the UFCW Local
789 in Minneapolis, designed to give Bor-
ders employees around the country a forum
to express their dissent against management
and to share ideas for organizing themselves.
Anyone, including Lee, can make a post on
the web site by simply creating an account.
As such, it should be clear that it does not
represent the official viewpoint of UFCW
789, and certainly not of the hardworking
employees of Border's flagship store on Lib-
erty Street (which, incidentally, is represent-
ed by UFCW Local 876).
Lee's column attempts to make a larger
point about the polarization of the American
electorate, but that it does so via unfounded
(and apparently unchecked) allegations is
unfortunate. Don't allow his thinly veiled
attempt to discredit these union workers to
mislead you; go talk to the workers at Store
The letter writer is a professor of political
science at Ohio State University.
Supreme Court authority
on pledge matter limited
TO THE DAILY:
I write to address the factual inaccuracies
in your editorial Pledge politics (09/27/04).
Whether or not Congress is pandering to a spe-
cific group, which the editorial implies, is a dif-
ferent debate all together.
stated in the Constitution, which the editors are
clearly and wrongfully presenting that it is.
Secondly, I would encourage the editors to
review Article III. The Constitution estab-
lishes the Supreme Court and the judicial
branch; however, the powers of the Supreme
Court and lower courts are derived from "the
Congress [which] may from time to time
ordain and establish" the judicial power.
If the Constitution grants Congress the
power to "from time to time ordain and
establish" judicial power, certainly that
must include Congress's power to ordain
and establish statutes that curb, judicial
power and rein in activist judges and judi-
cial activism. When the judicial branch
oversteps its powers and exhibits judicial
activism, it is the Congress's constitutional
duty and obligation to check the powers it
has ordained and established to the Supreme
Court and lower courts.
Certainly everyone should be concerned and
skeptical of an elite, black-robed, nine-mem-
ber oligarchy determining the ultimate policy
of a nation of 280 million. Does the Supreme
Court have the final say and unchecked power?
Should we allow an elite appointed court,
instead of elected representatives, decide
another battle in America's ongoing culture
The Michigan Daily welcomes
letters from all of its readers. Letters from
University students, faculty, staff and
administrators will be given priority over
others. Letters should include the writer's
name, college and school year or other Uni-
versity affiliation. The Daily will not print
any letter containing statements that can-
not be verified.
Letters should be kept to approxi-