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November 01, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-01

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 1, 2004




SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

I almost cried,
man - it was
- Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards,
commenting on Saturday's triple-overtime
win against rival Michigan State.


n". V~





Wrong candidate, wrong country, wrong time


asual observers,
fad liberals and
Democratic stal-
warts often criticize the
president for his oratory
missteps. Four years ago in
Redwood, Calif., George
W. Bush announced that
he would have a "foreign-
handed foreign policy."
More recently, the president proclaimed that "our
priorities is our faith." And who among us has
failed to notice the president's mispronunciation
of "terror" as "terrr"?
Bush detractors would have us believe that
these "Bush-isms" are evidence of the presi-
dent's incompetence. Incompetence to speak
publicly, perhaps. Incompetence to actually
have an even-handed foreign policy, absolutely
not. For all the criticism of the president's ver-
bal clarity, one thing is clear: Everyone knows
what he actually means.
In contrast, Democratic presidential nominee
John Kerry may be as articulate as they come,
but people have a hard time understanding
what he means. Recently, in a story that did not
receive as much press as it probably should have,
Kerry told the Associated Press that although
he generally opposes the death penalty, he is in
favor of capital punishment for terrorists. Yes,
read that sentence again. John Kerry supports
the death penalty for terrorists only.
The distinction between "terror" and "non-
terror" crimes is tenuous, and it is not clear
why Kerry would go on the record advocat-
ing the death penalty for the former and not

the latter. The four most common arguments
against capital punishment - that it violates
the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual
punishment, that it fails to deter crime, that it
is immoral, and that some innocent people are
likely to be put to death - apply to terrorists
and rapists alike.
Of course, when Kerry says he "oppose(s) the
death penalty other than in cases of real inter-
national and domestic terrorism," his response
lacks the verbal and grammatical gaffes that
so often characterize a Bush response. But
again, people like me are having a hard time
figuring out what Kerry actually means. Why
the distinction? Is this clear to anyone?
The most likely, and shameful, answer goes
like this: Kerry sticks his finger in the air to
find out which way the political wind is blow-
ing, and once he and his team of strategists
determine that most Americans think terrorists
should be put to death, an exception to Kerry's
stance against the death penalty is instantly
created. Voila.
Some people call this type of decision mak-
ing poll-driven policy. I call it short-term
thinking, and it raises larger issues about the
type of president Kerry would be. Kerry and
his team of strategists, for example, know that
popular support for the war in Iraq is fading.
So, even though Kerry initially supported the
war effort - when popular opinion was on his
side - when the polls reversed, so did Kerry.
Now, all of the sudden, it's the wrong war at
the wrong place at the wrong time. Voild.
Kerry is also quick to point out the thousand
lives lost in Iraq. But a long-term approach to

the war in Iraq, and more broadly, the war on
terrorism, necessarily requires the immediate
loss of life to prevent a later, more catastrophic
loss of life. That Saddam Hussein didn't have
weapons of mass destruction is irrelevant.
Eventually, he probably would have, and then
where would we be?
Jonah Goldberg, in an Oct. 29 column for
National Review Online, makes a good anal-
ogy: "If you live in a house infested by rats,
you may think it's okay to tolerate them for
a while ... But when one of your children
dies from a bite, you do everything you can
to kill the rats and plug up all the rat holes
to protect your family. You don't care which
specific rat was responsible for the death.
You simply do everything necessary to make
sure nothing like that ever happens again.
Post Sept. 11, Bush faced a world with a lot
of rat holes. The most obvious, urgent, and
'doable' rat hole was Baghdad."
The decision to go to war in Iraq was an
easy one. The decision to stay, in the face of
public opinion to the contrary, is not. We need
a president who will stay the course, approach
problems like terrorism with a long-term view
and who will communicate our commitment
to freedom to the American and global pub-
lic with common sense and clarity. That Bush
may not be as articulate as Kerry is irrelevant.
I'd rather have a president who wavers on his
grammar than a president who wavers in the
face of public opinion.
Lee can be reached
at leedc@umiehedu.



Adam and Daily unfair in
their coverage of Greeks
In four years at the University I have read
plenty of issues of The Michigan Daily, and
slowly I became somewhat accustomed to
its unique treatment of the Greek communi-
ty. At the head of the Daily's "coverage" is
Daniel Adams. Adams recently painted the
Greek system in one broad stroke, claiming,
"They ... told me that the Greek system was
more than just date rape and hazing scan-
dals. And boy, are you guys proving them
wrong." (Thanks but no thanks, 10/25/04).
What little journalistic integrity he had
left disappeared with that line. Yes, there
has been a series of negative incidents in
the past two years that have hurt the Greek
community. Throughout that time there
also have been a series of positive events
in which the Greek community has partici-
pated. Unfortunately, the Daily's coverage
of Greek life all too frequently consists of
front-page, large headlines about some-
thing negative, and a page-eight, four-para-
graph quip about something positive (if
even at all). It may seem to many people
that all that occurs in the Greek community
is hazing. But that's also because that's all
the Daily ever seems eager to report. Take

a deck of cards and show someone five
clubs and spades and he'll began to wonder
if there really are any hearts. And that is
exactly what the Daily has systematically
done throughout my four years.
And its not as if hazing, drinking and
fighting doesn't occur all over this campus.
Other clubs are guilty of mistakes as well,
yet for whatever reason, Adams does not
find the time to jump on them. If Adams
really were concerned with the issues, rath-
er than attacking the Greek system in itself,
than where is his sarcastic wit about other
clubs hazing? Where are his articles about
students going to the hospital at house par-
ties? Or the fights that all too often break
out everywhere? To pretend that these
issues are isolated to the Greek community
is too naive.
Furthermore, Adams's claims concerning
the Greek community's continuing attempts
to correct itself are also misinformed. He
points to the University's proposed changes
to prevent hazing, which were dropped ear-
lier this term. However, he fails to mention
that the Greek community opposed Univer-
sity-imposed changes and suggested to Harp-
er that Greeks work with the University to
eliminate hazing. He also ignores to inform
the reader that there was no evidence to sup-
port the University's claim that delayed Rush
would curb hazing, which was the linchpin of

the University's attempt to eradicate hazing.
Still, it's not to say that the Interfraternity
Council and Panhellenic Association aren't
working toward change, and the recent events
can only serve as a reminder that more needs
to be done. Still, change cannot happen over-
night. To leap into an informed overhaul of
the Greek system would be catastrophic for
the University as well as the Greek system.
But change needs to occur from without, as
well. The reputation of the Greek system
has been tarnished by unfair and subjective
coverage of the Greek community, and the
Daily can't hide from its role. Last year after
a similar opinion article was written, I wrote
the Daily and encouraged them to come to
charity event my house was having for home-
less shelter, where both houses participating
bought presents for the kids and had it over
for pizza before Santa passed out the gifts.
Sadly, nobody from the Daily ever contact-
ed me or anyone in my house in response to
my letter. It might only be one example, but
it's a telling one of the Daily's negligence to
report both sides of the issue. It's time for
the Greek community to change, but it's also
time for the Daily to change. With your job
also comes responsibility, not the haughtiness
that the Daily all too often resorts to.
Nick Kowalczyk
LSA senior



From a douchebag apologist

If we ourselves haven't visited it, almost
all of us have heard of it. John-kerry-is-a-
way.com (hyphens added) seems to reflect
the outrage and a deep-seeded resentment
among liberals across the country. The del-
uge of emotion flooding this presidential
race has caused John Kerry's candidacy to
represent the shortcomings of our current
political two-party system in which we con-
tinually have to choose between the lesser
of two evils. An entire liberal electorate is
casting its vote for Kerry simply because he
is not George Bush. Kerry supporters don't
really support Kerry and extol his virtues
simply by highlighting the failings of Bush.

per." I defy anyone to find a major politician
who has played the game for any extended
period of time who has a voting record that
could be deemed "consistent." Compromise
is the grease of the legislative process and
simply a reality of politics, especially on the
national level.
What's worse is that liberals have taken
this simplified flip-flopper perception to heart
and have begun to see Kerry as a particularly
soft invertebrate of ideals. Yet when asked for
specific criticism, all that many liberals can
offer are groping thoughts that Kerry should
have taken a stronger stance against an unjust
war and a more charismatic lead in defying
the Bush regime. I believe in psychology;
this is called displacement. We seem to be
so angry with Bush that we are angry with
Ke,.,.,,We des;,.;n Krv, ,an vneof idenni--

I'm only suggesting that we are holding
Kerry to a level of scrutiny that we did not
hold Bill Clinton or even Al Gore to. We
see every crack in Kerry's persona and every
pandering to popular media. The truth is
that Kerry hasn't been the victim of Bush's
failings, but the fickleness of the liberal
constituency instead. Our high hopes for
Kerry have put him in a campaigning catch-
22. For instance, every liberal saying Kerry
is too negative is countered by one saying
he isn't negative enough. We can't decide
what we want because in the wake of Sept.
11, Kerry, like the rest of the democratic
machine at large, was forced to contain his
political agenda. Democrats lost their iden-
tity and were met with almost a stigma of
shame. Liberal voters too fell into a pit of
noli1ai limh oadnow, ish Kerr.rul


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