Saturday, July 6, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Moscow mission: 'masterful performance' Editorial Page Saturday, July 6. 1974 Franking privilege limit IT ISN'T OFTEN that a can- didate for public office comes out for doing away with some of the very privileges he ur she would enjoy if elected to the office being sought. In fact, however, several have been doing that this year. A number of candidates for congress, in particular, have come out strongly for congres- sional reforms recommended in the Boiling committee report. The Democratic house majority has tried to bury that report, refusing only last week to clear it for debate on the house floor. This action by the Democrats, incidentally, was over the protest of the Second district's Democra- tic congressman, John Culver who, along with only six other members of his party, voted with Republicans to open the way to debate the report. Here in Iowa's Second district both candidates for the seat Culver is leaving to run for U.S. senator, (State Senators Tom Riley, Cedar Rapids Republican, and Michael Blouin, Dubuque Democrat) favor the Boiling com- mittee report. If passed, it would cut the winner of their race out of a few privileges he otherwise could enjoy. Riley has gone so far as to tell campaign audiences that congress should adopt a stricter limit on the use of the franking privilege. He would deny incumbents free postage for mass mailings for at least six months prior to every general election. The present limit is 28 days before both a primary and a general election. Riley makes a good point. It al- ways has seemed unfair that an incumbent congressman, regardless of party, should have the advantage of free postage on any mass mailing basis during a campaign period. The average challenger is at enough of a financial disadvantage with hav- ing the taxpayers pay the postage for some of his incumbent op- ponent's campaign-re la ted mailings. A mass mailing, under present congressional regulations, is one of 500 copies or more of material that is similar in nature. This, in itself, indicates the restrictions are loosely written. What, for in- stance, is to keep one bent on cir- cumventing the rule from mailing 400 copies on successive days until his or her constituency is saturat- ed" Any incumbent who has compiled a good record in congress, a record that pleases the constituency, already has a decid- ed advantage against almost any challenger. He can win in a majority of cases without expect- ing the public to pick up his cam- paign postage bill. U.S. juniors win JUST IN CASE anyone missed it, the United States junior track team walloped Russian juniors in a meet at Austin, Texas, the other day and so did America's young women. In fact our girls' team ran off and left the Russians far behind while U.S. males had a little tougher time when a dropped ba- ton cost them one relay race where they held a big lead. But that infuriated them so much they came back to win two or three more relays that the Russians had been favored in. To make a long story short, these kids did something our grownups haven't been able to do either men or women in track competition with Soviet teams: They beat 'em. Who says American youth is going to the dogs? changes course ALL THINGS considered, Chairman Rodino has done a good job in handling the house judiciary committee, which is conducting the seemingly never- ending impeachment study. There are exceptions, of course. One was his original decision denying the request of the President's lawyer, James St. Clair, to bring six witnesses before the committee to testify. Fortunately, Rodino reversed himself and now will recommend that all six be given time before the committee. That's as it should be. Although the fine points of legality involved in Rodino's original decision remain obscure, clearly from the public's point of view it makes no Separation too far sense for Rodino to complain that President Nixon isn't passing along all the tape evidence and then to deny the committee the chance to hear witnesses who, conceivably, may testify to evidence that is pertinent. It is always difficult for the public to understand why any at- tempt should be made to not hear testimony of those who may know something that would soive the case at hand. Chairman Rodino deserves commendation for reconsidering his earlier decision. To have insisted on it possibly would have created another knowledge gap in the Watergate case. There are more than enough of those already. History overlooked By Jim Fiebig IT ALL started when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) dis- covered tu its horror lliat kindergarten children in a Santa Rosa, Calif., school districl were singing this little ditty before settling down to milk and cookies: "Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you, God, for everything." Well, the ACLi: had this thing against the word "God" being spuken in school. So they challenged it Another View And the anger and disgust of many Santa Rosa parents, the judge who handled the case ruled the verse in violation of the separation of church and state provision in the Constitution. Not being a judge or lawyer. I find un- common sense unburdened by too much legal knowledge. All 1 can do is put two and two together when trying tu under- stand the intent uf the fine folks who framed our Constitution. And it seems to me that when they sought lo keep separate "church and they didn't intend to separate "God and state." Or to separate Gud from schoolchildren. Indeed, if they had intended that, why did they allow and even encourage the adoration of God in the schools of the day? If anyone knew what the Constitution was meant to say and do. it was certainly the very men who put it together and approved it. Vet, almost '.'00 years later, we find ourselves saddled with judges who in- terpret Ihe Constitution without a back- ward glance at history. God must laugh a lol al us humans just to keep from crying. By James Reston PRESIDENT NIXON is a great ad- mirer of Woodrow Wilson, and when he goes abroad he tends to speak in Ihe heroic idiom of the most eloquent American President of this century. This was evident in Nixon's telev ision address from Moscow. mind (he obstructions, the treacheries am! blinkered diversions uf world politics. The goal is everything. Peace in our lime and our children's time. All we need, Nixon seemed to say, is patience and goodwill through ticket and a sensible slow timetable lo everlasting concord. This was a reasonable, even an inevi- table theme for the President's television message from the Soviet capital. Fur he was speaking to both the American and Soviet peoples and to the world, lie could not tell them that he and had agreed on the control of nuclear weapons or the future of Europe or the Middle East or the freedom of Soviet ur world trade, so he fell hack on generali- ties and ideals and arranged to keep the dialog going. It was really his only course, and he carried il off very well. Summit meetings between leaders of great nations in the past have often been more disappointing and even disastrous. Public opinion used to assume that when the great men got together they had to settle something or everything would be worse than before they met. But people arc more reasonable ur cynical now. They expect less and they get it, and are not surprised. Still, there is a problem, for in his approach to the Soviets, Nixon was far more generous than he is lo his op- ponents at home. He lectured the Rus- sians on the responsibility of power, (in removing the causes of conflict, on the dangers of fear, on respecl for (he rights of all men, Ihe weak as well as the strong. There would always be differences, he said, different values and standards, but whatever the different strands, the fabric had to be held together. Power had to serve principle. If he were king, what? Nobody who has watched Nixun over tlu- years could argue with this theme ur even doubt that in that broadcast from Moscow he was anything but sincere in his yearnings for peace or his message to the Soviet and American peoples. Given his problem in the Kremlin, he spoke in the evangelical spirit and on the planetary scale of Woodrow Wilson, but back home, he acts on the tactical level of John Mitchell or Pat Buchanan. This has always been the puzzle about the President. He lives in the world of roles and not of realities. He deals with the public relations of his mission to Moscow, with the objectives of peace, which everybody from Isaiah to Karl Marx have agreed upon. But not with the means to his noble ends. As a result, after his long, hard nego- tiations over the control of nuclear weapons, trade, Europe, the Middle East, and human rights, we don't really knuw where we are. Nixon has told us everything but the facts uf his negotiations, but in fairness to him, he lias at least kept the conver- sation going. He has not made the compromises, or so it seems, Henry Kis- singer wanted, or made the concessions to the Soviet that the Pentagon and Senator Jackson of Washington feared. In short, he seems to have come out about as he planned. He has not upset the conservatives in the congress who hold the balance, of power on impeachment. And at the same time, he has not broken with the Soviets by following the tough line proposed by Jackson and some of the members of Ihe joint chiefs of staff. In this sense, Nixon, as usual, has proved to he a shrewd politician, and has probably picked up some votes in congress against impeachment and con- viction. In Moscow, he concentrated on tilings that might bring the Russians and the Americans together trade, culture, and their common experiments in space and minimized their differences. He did the same thing in his TV address back home: Look to the common goal of peace, lie said. Keep the search for compromise going. Brezhnev is com- ing to the U. S. next year to lak to me and discuss these things all over again, so let's be patient and work together On the whole, it was a masterful per- formance under very difficult circum- stances. Nixon is a tangle of complica- tions, self-contradictions and noble yearnings, but he is also fighting very shrewdly for his political life, and despite his disappointments in Moscow, he seems to have come off fairly well. Now York Times Service G. Ford: Not your ideal interviewee By William F. Buckley, jr. ERALD FORD is one of those vJ strange, strange men about whom it can be said with some conviction that he appears to have nothing lo hide. Lei's put it this way, to dispose of Ihe cynics: Sure, he probably would like lo be President. But so would Prince Charles like to be king, which doesn't mean thai he would slip a little ratsbane into his mother's soup, the way some of his ancestors did. It is not reasonable to suppose thai when Dwight Eisenhower was slruck down in Denver in 1955, it should have failed to cross the mind of Richard Nixon lhat if Ihe angels and the saints desired to summon the compliant spiril of their servant, Dwight David, there and Ihen, he Richard, accepting destiny, would take up the duties of the President with fortitude. By the same token, Gerald Ford, if something were to happen to Richard Nixon, would unquestionably undertake to do his duty with resignation, and a little furtive exhilaration. But meanwhile, he is acting as du- tifully as the Prince of Wales, who when he sings "Long Live the does so w'ith that facial commitment that would defy the most inquisitive lens ever in- vented. The question is is he overdoing it? That is to say. does the pull of Ford's attachment to the individual cause of Richard Nixon blind him to some of the political problems with which he and Nixon are inextricably attached? this question, put to the vice- president last week. Suppose (I said) People's Forum Wasteful To the Editor. It seems an utterly unnecessary risk for the United Slates to build, or help build, nuclear power plants in F.gypt and Israel, as planned. With the world's largest reserves of oil and natural gas, the Middle East is the one area on earth that has no need what- ever for nuclear power. To send our uranium over there would truly be a case of "carrying coals to Newcastle." as the laying goes There is so much natural gas ill Kuwail that they destroy il by burning it day and night in the desert, just to get rid of il. which is a crime against all mankind. Why not build one or more power plants there, run by natural gas. large enough lu supply the entire electrical needs of the whole Mnl-K.asl? The United Stales could build the plant, sell eleclricily lo all the nations there, and help (im- balance uf Iradc fur the money we send Iliciii for ml. Robert D. Smith Route I, Swistier Insights A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits. Woodrow Wilson that it became clear that the house was going to vole to impeach the President. Would it not then make sense for President Nixon to ask the house Republicans to go along with the majority? His motives would be quite frankly political, but in the best sense. Mr. Nixon is not obliged to do his best to make it hard for Republican congressmen lo be re-elected. If, it hav- ing been made clear by the vote of the judiciary committee and by the private poll-taking, the majority of the house was going to vote to impeach, the President could with considerable dignity insist that the principal point to be transacted by the senate had to do with presidential authority, and that since the house was already determined to send the question mi over to the senate, it may as well (In so unanimously. This would have the effect of permit- Crossed paths To the Editor: Henry J. Geiger must have been a special person to many others. This has been shown to us in recent days (after his death June 221 through expressions by it great many people. Perhaps in this manner my sister. Evelyn Ohostead. and I can best show some of our gratitude. 1 know that we cannot possibly thank '.'veryonc that we should because our father. Henry Geigcr, had so many friends and acquaintances whom we did not know Whenever I walked with him along the streets of Cedar liapids it seemed thai every other person would anil say "Hello lie meant something different In each, depending on how his patli crossed theirs. To Ills pastors at First Lutheran, the Schtti'glcr, and Carl- son, lie thought of himself as just a lamb in the fold from which he tried never lo stray. To Ins fellow parishioners. Martha X.ipsio in Ibis column said last week lli.il lie was an "uncommon" man in their midst To all Ins friends anil relatives hi1 was. al heart, still one of them. He had ting individual Republican congressmen to face their constituencies and satisfy both camps: those in favor of impeach- ment and those opposed. Mr. Ford takes the position that in- dividual' congressmen should make up their own minds on the subject that indeed they are committed to do so by their oaths of office. In fact, it is not that clear. Because if the Richard Nixon case goes over to the senate with the attention focused primarily on his refusal to give up the tapes to the judiciary committee, you will have here something of a clean con- stitutional question as you did in the case of Andrew Johnson. And a congressman is entitled to take the position that he has no transcendent right to consult only his own passions and convictions in settling the issue: that the issue is better settled decisively like the issue of presidential authority over federal appointments which was settled in the Johnson case and subsequently corroborated by the supreme court in the senate chamber. William F. Buckley, jr. so many memories and tales tu tell (if his boyhood and his young manhood and how- he loved to share them with us. I could write a book in fact have already- begun. Tu the members of the lodges to which he belonged he was truly a brother and those particular fellowships meant much to him. To his fellow workers he was a good carpenter. He was proud of his trade. He felt it -a very special privilege to have had Ihe 0. F. Paulson Cn. as his employer for over 30 years. Tu his Legionnaire buddies he was a good sol- dier. He loved his country and gave it not (inly his loyalty but the supreme sacrifice of his only son, Henry George. To the countle who enjoyed and wtiodcanings he modestly proud them to anyone To sister lie cre beauty with his Hut he and our things of heauly and minds for heritage ss numbers of people appreciated seeing his was an artist. He was and pleased In show who asked abniit them and me be was ated many things of talented hands for us. mother rrealed many wilh their loving hearts us which are our true l.ll.i A, Olmslead Route I. Toddvillc Mr. Ford could not sympathize with this line of reasoning, and one suspects that he is unwittingly influenced by the suspicion that even to speak contingently about impeachment by the house might blur in the public mind as advocating impeachment. All of which is very honorable, except that meanwhile 50 of a hundred Republican congressmen might lose their seats on account of it. Mr. Ford is a truly amiable man, of intelligence and loyalty, so that it proved impossible to get him to talk about whether, if he became President, he might find it statesmanlike to grant am- nesty to the Watergate Once again, it is a little like asking Prince Charles to say what he would do if he were king. Which means that all con- versations with Gerald Ford, perforce, tell us something about him, and not very much about public policy in any ad- ministration headed by him. Woshington Star Syndicate Contrite sinners? Give us just men anytime By Don Oakley WE ARE TOLD that there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. If so, the greater the sinner, the greater must be the rejoicing. Heaven must be ringing with the news that Charles Colson has seen the error of his ways and has dedicated his life to Christ. Colson is the highest ranking former aide to President Nixon to he convicted so far in the Watergate scandal. As chief White House "dirty trickster." he once said that he "would walk over my own grandmother" to insure the re-election uf Richard Nixon. The repentance is of course, welcome, and those who know Colson and who helped him arrive at this turning point in his life say that it is quite genuine. Yet this is the earth, not heaven. Down here, there would be more rejoicing if sinners did not attain positions uf influence and importance in the govern- ment in the first place. Far better lo have ninety and nine just persons ia Washington than any number that doelh wrong and l.iler repenteth. Or ninety. Or even nine. I Don Oakley