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July 28, 1981 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-28

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Page 6- Tuesday, July 28, 1981 The Michigan Daily

New reign of
By CHRISTOPHER POTTER Washington and els
"Humanity is in the highest of the Right-born
degree irrational, so that there is no wise-are surging f
derespeirtiofnl reis pushing their asso
prospect of influencing it by with such an obstr
reasonable arguments. "-Sigmund give even conser
Freud. James J. Kirkpatri
"Sixty minutes of thinking of any case of the "blue wil
kind is bound to lead to confusion KItiAca AB
and un/appns -JmsT political shipo of st
S ppiness. "-James Thur- noveau soulmates,
ber. seem to fancy total
Surely the silly season is now upon admirable prospect.
the American body politic-a season It's been said thai
fraught with condemnation, pn- what someone sa
tification, and ritual baying at the tant, but rath4
moon. So far it had been grimly people are will
amusing, yet its entertainment value This was profanely
could turn ugly at the drop of a thy era, when profe
metaphor. could fire off the mo
The brief reign of the Reagan ad- of accusations and s
ministration has lately given rise to the deadly seriousnes
strangest sounds emanating from Americans. The
The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 49-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Casey deserves
a fair hearing
14 T LOOKS TO ME like they're trying to
Ilynch him in public," were the words
Sunday from Sen. Henry Jackson, regarding
William Casey of the Central Intelligence
Agency. After a week of random accusations
and indiscriminate speculation, these words
proved most timely.
Last week, Senators Barry Goldwater, Ted
Stevens, and William Roth proposed that
Casey consider resigning, because of alleged
shady practices he was aware of 13 years ago
in his Multiponics agribusiness firm.
Consider resigning? He hasn't even had a
hearing yet! There is little, if any, hard
evidence to warrant such a proposal, much
less a resignation. The appeals by these
senators, rather than improving the situation,
has only smeared Casey's reputation.
Let's hear his side of the story, which he has
expressed his willingness to provide. Let's
hear it thoroughly, though expeditiously. If he
is clean, he should be left alone. If he isn't, he
should be tossed out. But let's be fair in the

the silly season, Part I

ewhere. The loonies
again and other-
rom the woodwork,
rted pet crusades
eperous zeal as to
vative journalist
ck a self-confessed
HORS rocking the
ate; his eccentric,
of the New Right
J immersion as an
t in politics it's not
ys that's impor-
er how many
ling to listen.
true in the McCar-
ssional Red-baiters
st pixillated volleys
till be heeded with
s by millions of
same kind of

phenomenon seems to be breaking out
in 1981-how else to explain the recent
multiplication of gross spectacles not
only observed but reported with gravity
and respect?
Item: In Phoenix, a former Arizona
legislator holds a press conference.
Flanked by a mob of supporters and
with flash bulbs popping on all sides,
she soberly, somberly discloses the
dark side of current Supreme Court
nominee Sandra O'Connor: that as an
Arizona state senator in 1972, O'Connor-
supported ratification of the Equal
Rights Amendment!
Oh, scarlet woman! Oh, the shame of
it all! No matter that the 1972
Republican Party platform plus the en-
tire GOP establishment from Richard
Nixon on down also supported ERA;
O'Connor's wayward philosophical past
has, her accuser asserts, revealed her
certifiably unfit to sit on the highest

2 10
the ivOlis
93NlHl J"INO 3H
s t
and do not necessarily
reflet the attitsues or
beliefs of the Daily.

court of the land. "We have been
betrayed!" the women cries, shaking
an angry fist at that closet liberal,
Ronald Reagan.
CAN ANYONE TAKE this drool
seriously? You bet. Never has a High
Court nominee endured suchhan overtly
political grilling-not just by ex-
Arizona legislators but by current
Washington power brokers.
For the better part of a month, we've
witnessed the dim spectacle of Judge
O'Connor making humiliating, hands-
on-knees pilgrimages to the office of
Jesse Helms and other ultra-
conservative senators-assuring them
that yes, she's anti-abortion and no, she
doesn't much care for ERA anymore.
While Capitol Hill Republicans remain
supportive at best, embattled
Democratic liberals have taken to the
podiums and airwaves to lavish praise
upon and fealty to this profoundly con-
servative jurist. Just what is going on
here? Have we unwittingly passed
through some arcane looking glass into
political backwardsland?
Item: ERA giantkiller Phyllis
Schlafly appears before a Senate com-
mittee hearing on the dilemma of
sexual harassment on the job. Refuting
the avalanche of documented testimony
by previous witnesses, Phyllis pinpoin-
ts the real problem: Many women
"have abandoned the commandments
against adulty and fornication."
Moreover, "men hardly ever ask
sexual favors from women from whom
the certain answer is no." Though it's
the fair sex's curse that a woman
"speaks with a universal body
language most men instinctively un-
derstand," the happy fact remains that
"virtuous women are seldom ac-
Can such a gothic-novel refutation of
on-the-job facts of life be eminating
from the mouth of this brainy woman who,
almost single-handedly, stopped the
Equal Rights Amendment dead in its
tracks? Can a public personage spout
sheer inanity yet remain venerated,
even worshipped by millions as a living
symbol of sanity and common sense?
Absolutely. ERA lies dormant, as do
congressional proposals to combat
sexual abuse in the workforce; what's
more, Phyllis is strongly considering
running for governor of Illinois next
Item: A conservative Ohio
congressman sponsors a bill
specifically prohibiting the Library of
Congress from reproducing Playboy in
braille; the Library's chief of staff
rushes to assure the congressman that
while the Library does reprint
Playboy's articles in braille,'it never
reprints the pictures. The stand-up
hilarity of his reply takes a surreally
ominous cast once one discovers the
librarian's response was delivered with
the utmost, humorless gravity.
And if we're actually losing the
ability to laugh at ourselves, we may be
in for a vicious decade ahead. More
examples tomorrow.
Christopher Potter, the Daily's spring term
editorial director, will continue his two-part
series tomorrow.





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