Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 6, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette November 6, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa '.rn . * Editorial Page 4 f %    '    V Wednesday, November 6, ? 974 Cabinet revamping due rn Because he logged nearly a month campaigning for Republican candidates, President F’ord has been accused of placing party politics above the country’s awesome economic problems. The criticism has some merit. Unemployment’s surge to the ominous 6-percent level last week dramatized the Chief Executive’s misreading of priorities. Consequences of the President’s seemingly fruitless barnstorming needn’t be recounted. Recent comments by the syndicated columnists on this page Should suffice. But one puzzling and seldom noted oversight by Mr. Ford begs examination: Why, in his nearly 9(1 days in the White House, has the President not begun to revamp the Nixon cabinet? As even the most casual observer of government knows, the former President’s cabinet appointees were — for the most part — lackluster men not considered likely to quarrel with the assignment of power to old-time Nixon campaigners (notably Mitchell, Haldeman and Erhlichman). With few exceptions, latter-day department heads were scarcely more high-powered than the initial crew '(dubbed “12 gray-haired guys named George’’). It seems possible that the genuinely compassionate Mr. Ford has declined thus far to replace cabinet members lest they be considered part of the Watergate conspiracy. Or maybe the President has been too busy to contemplate cabinet changes. Or perhaps the delay owes to the administration’s inability to line up able new appointees. Since Watergate is believed to have discouraged some worthy Republicans from seeking office, it follows that potential appointees to high office similarly are disenchanted. Whatever the President’s reason for retaining the old cabinet through the election, the effects of the status quo obviously have hurt. This reality was not lost on reporters who interviewed national party committee chairmen on NBC-TY’s “Meet the Press’’ last Sunday. Is retention of the old cabinet to give the Ford White House the look of a “third Nixon’’ administration? “No,” insisted GOP (’hairman Mary Louise Smith of Des Moines, “Mr. Ford s administration will have the Ford stamp on it." No doubt the cabinet restructuring will begin soon — probably with the resignation of Agriculture Secretary But/. But by failing to move before the ejection, Mr. Ford seems to have missed a sizable political opportunity. More importantly, the delay postpones a vital move in the restoration of faith in government. This is not to stain present cabinet members with the tarnish of an administration which in fact slighted them and denigrated their roles. The suggestion is that the need for installing a credible White House cabinet was one of the most compelling needs greeting the new President three months ago. Tabling the task this long was a mistake. TV    up cr notch No sooner had commercial TV’ networks launched their new series this fall than critics loosed their customary volley of shafts. As usual, a common complaint is that the most survival-prone shows are those that pander to Cro-Magnon tastes. ; But a glance at the top-rated shows suggests that this year at least the stock criticism is inappropriate. “Chico and the Man’’, “Little House on the Prairie’’, “Maude”, “M A S H”, “The Waltons”, “Rhoda” — some are tart and some are sweet, but these offerings and all others on Ihe honor roil have one attribute in common: good writing . That means thought-provoking plots, well delineated characters, relevant dialog and generally authentic situations. The authen-Bad case in U.N. ticity factor’s importance can not be overstated. Consider, for example. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show ”, whose principals inhabit a fictional TY station in Minneapolis. Anyone associated with a local TY operation will tell you the characters are only slightly exaggerated This relevance to actual human experience gives “M-T-M”. “Bob New hart”, “All in the Family” and a dozen others a durability producers could only dream of in the years of “The Flying Nun” and “My Mother the (’ar”. Commercial TY still has its clunkers, and some good new shows have been axed without a fair trial (notably “The Texas Wheelers”). But in terms of overall production values, the fall 74 TY lineup is a surprise winner. Hypocrisy thrives By Don Oakley The double standard is aloe and well )n the United Nations Not that there ha" ever been much doubt al>out it. but seldom has it been mort* glaringly apparent than in the debate over the question of expelling the Republic of South Africa because of its racial policies Even the conciliatory sjjeech by South Africa’s ambassador, R F Botha, in which he pledged his country to “do everything in our power to move away from discrimination based on race or color” — an astounding reversal of South Africa’s policy of apartheid — had little effect on black African delegates press* -tag for a show-down vote on expulsion. .blocked in the end only by the Security Council vetoes of the three western powers * In the meantime, these same delegates •continue to ignore far worse violations of human rights in many of their own countries that make South Africa at its worst look positively benevolent. For example, a recent report to the I N. by tile International Commission of Jurists described the situation in Uganda as a “reign of terror ” It is estimated that more than 9(1.(WHI Ugandans have peen murdered or executed in the three years since General Idi Amin overthrew the government of President Obote and instituted a terrorist dictatorship The Don Oakley killing has struck virtually every trilw* in the country, including Amin s own tribe. Yet not since the 1972 session when Britain protested the persecution and expulsion of HO.IMW Ugandan Asians, has a voice been raised in the I N to condemn Amin or the arming of his regime bv the Sov let Union. Libya. Egypt and Algeria. The commission s report has been placed in the I N s file arn!-forget -box The silence of the Western nations in this matter is not surprising. They have nothing to gain by sticking their necks out to protest the oppression of black Africans by black Africans. What is incomprehensible is the self-righteous blindness of the black Africans themselves But then, much of what passes for statesmanship in the United Nations is beyond comprehension Newsooper Enter Of tie AiiOC lotion One man who did foresee this conflict was Sen. John Pasture, (D R I ), who proposed before Ford became vicepresident that the 25th be amended to provide for a special election for the offices of President and vice-president if People’s forumChlorosive To the Editor rho recent downtown display of new cars. with motors hidden by a maze of anti-air |H»llution and other equipment, reminded us of another kind of imllution coming with winter Corrosive chloride to melt the ice and snow. attack the concrete, arid convert those new cars into rust heaps before their time So we have them undercoated and then try to complete the job with a brush. But w hinds throw the street corrosion with slush and mud into cracks and around parts into areas you cannot reach There the sticky dope resists hosing out. and corrodes the bare metal. When the paint on your new automobile blisters in a few years and you can push a needle through the section of the fender which bas become porous and later drops out, you surmise the chemical has gotten in its work The question that persists is whether its use on the street is expedient enough to compensate for the damage. <’. NI Belt? Til Day street NURunaway prices To the Editor: Recently I found that two identical egg noodles — side bv side on the same shelf were priced 1H cents apart — one at 37 cents, the other at 53 cents Obviously, this was an oversight on tin* part of the person with the price increase stamp. These persons carrying price-in-crease markers are unilaterally free to up prices outrageously and needlessly several times a year By comparison, union-labor wage rates are fixed rigidly, absolutely and immovably for a full year at a time The wholesale grocer is James Reston So maybe the 25th should stand as i> tor a while. It takes time to amend the Constitution, and that s not a bad idea either. quite probably the culprit forcing the retail grocer to follow suit. This unrestricted common practice by food purveyors is probably the foremost single cause of our constantly accelerating inflationary spiral. It appears obvious that the news media, in blaming union-labor for out-of-control inflation, are barking up the wrong tree. Union wages can’t p<»ssibly stay put for more than a year at a time while food and other prices rise several times during the same period When, if ever, will the congress wake up and put forth more effort in stopping the runaway price-horse, instead of the wage-cart? Milton Smith OelweinSod town hills To the Editor; We have been malled The Gazette s recent story, “Little Remains of Sod Town”, by Duane Crock We are proud of our people who settled in the Sod Town Hills some 125 years ago. Why? Because the hills had l»eautiful timber for their homes: fuel for their winter heat and to cook their food Wild game roamed the hills and wild turkey nested in the timber Yes. they also had foxes wolves and coyotes LETTERS The Gazette s editorial page welcomes' readers opinions, sub/ect to these guidelinest l*ngfH lima 400 *ord* One letter per writer every 30 day* All may be condensed and edited without changing meaning None published anonymously Writer'* telephone number (not printed) should follow nome, addrest and readable handwritten signature to help outhentrcate Content* deal more with issue* md events than per sonatinas No poetry. hew Yors Time* Ser to guard against. But the Wapsipinicon river provided fish as well as a place for picnics, boating and swimming with all the gtntd neighbors. We do not know why it was called the Sod Town Hills, but have you ever sat in the hills and seen a double rainbow? Or walked through the fall leaves and gathered hickory nuts and walnuts, or seen the setting sun that the Master painted just for you? Or waked up early in the morning and gathered wild blackberries or raspberries in those hills and watched the sun rise9 It’s all there. Early in the spring just after a warm rain. my how the mushrooms pop up to greet you. Our people saw all this and more They tilled fertile soil to grow grain and food for the families they were raising. Have you ever gone into a eave and s«*en bins of potatoes, sweet and white, beans, peas, corn and tomatoes in the jars9 Or cabbage like you’d never put your lips to. with the hearts as hard as a rock and delightful to eat as an apple, which they had there wrapped in last year’s Sears catalog pages? lf you’d like to see one of the true Sod Town houses, it stood at the Boy Scout camp in Waubeek and was used as a nature cabin, I have not been there since our son has grown up: it may be gone by now It was the Dahlar’s home from Sod Town Hills; I have a picture to prove it log for log, along with the family that lived there Now they have all moves) on due to death and changing times. Eighty acres wouldn’t keep a growing family and they moved to where the work was I’m so sorry you saw the Sod Town Hills as see rundown. The people may have i>een poor, but they were honest and God-fearing people, good neighbors and lasting friends with a word of honor you could stake* your life on W ilium and Doris Mote Mesa Art? Now the voters have spoken. It is true that they have not spoken with a very clear voice, and the reason is that neither the Democratic nor the Republican congressional candidates offered the* voters anything definite to vote for as far as inflation, energy and the economy are concerned But they did give the Democratic party the voting power in congress to prove its capacity to lead and thereby to do what so many of the Democratic congressmen have l>een chastising Mr. Ford for failing to do. Why doesn t congress vote the administrations urgent energy bills — or propose something better? The Arab oil squeeze — and it s more like a vise — is wrecking the economies of the Western world. Why not put oil imports under government license and limit domestic consumption to whatever extent is needed to free ourselves from this menace? But if the Democrats want to Im* ready to win the presidency in 197H, they need to show. through the power they have been given in congress, that they can govern. Los Anomies Time SyndicateNo earth-shaking changes expected By Tom Wicker NEW’ YORK — Despite what happened on election day, the Republicans will continue to hold the strongest political force in American life — the presidency and the executive branch of the federal government. Ihe talk of a “veto-proof” congress was phony. Even had the Democrat* won enough Republican seats to have a two-thirds majority in the house, that many Democrats from every section of the country couldn't stand together on anything more controversial than i resolution rn support of Mother’s day — and not even that lf welfare mothers were included As for issues like the economy and energy Democrats have been in solid control of congress right along; if they knew what to do about such matters, and hail the political will and unity to do it, they could have taken the lead long ago. The most that probably ought to (ie expected from the Democratic congressional sweep is that enough youngish, ambitious new tnemliers will scorn — at least briefly — the old get-along ami goading philosophy to make structural and procedural reform possible iii the bouse Ne* York Times Ser vice ‘Oh, er, yes . . . would you please go round to the back door? V-P method worked O.K. Succession system: let it run By James Reston WASHINGTON - In his news conference here the other day. President Ford suggested that the congress might be wise to consider revising the 25th Amendment to the Constitution under which he became the 3Xth President of the United States He was not suggesting that President Nixon had nominated and the congress had confirmed the wrong man, but he noted that the 25th did not foresee the present situation — that both a President and a vice-president might serve without ever hav ing been elected bv the people — and he was concerned particularly after the long congressional delay in confirming Nelson Rockefeller as vice-president. Accordingly, Ford proposed specifically that congress consider a revision of the 25th. so that the congress would have to either approve or reject a vice-presidential nominee within a definite but limited period of time. This is a serious question that has received increasing attention since the resignation of President Nixon But while the 25th Amendment has some obvious shortcomings and even dangers, all other alternatives proposed so far also have their defects. A strong case, therefore, can be made for a little judicious leaving-alone. The present discussion about amending the 25th is not directed af President Ford or intended as criticism of former President Nixon for appointing him to the vice-presidency and thus choosing his own successor. Rather, the main objection is to the principle here; that the 25th Amendment violates the clear stipulation of Article II. Section I of the Constitution. which states that the President and vice-president of the United States shall •'tie elected.” an appointed vice-president becomes President under the 25th with more than a year to go in the President’s term of office. ‘ As tragic events of the past have proved," Pasture said in the senate on Nov. 15. 1973. “we cannot foretell what lies ahead for this country The appointed \ ice-president may himself succeed to the presidency and then appoint a new vice-president. “Should this set of circumstances evolve (as they did, of course), a constitutional crisis will occur. And what will happen lo us then? For the first time tn the history of this great nation, the President and vice-president will both In* appointed, not elected by the people, and not responsive to any mandate from the citizens. The nation will no longer be democratically governed It is hard to challenge the facts of the senator from Rhode Island, who is now pressing hard for his special-election amendment, but in actual fact, there is no “constitutional crisis” in the nation today. There was a “constitutional crisis” and a paralyzed government during the Nixon impeachment proceedings. but it was relieved precisely before the 25th Amendment worked fairly well. There is a lot of fussing and grumbling in the country now for a variety of economic and political reasons. But consider the situation if the people had endured the impeachment and resignation of President Nixon and then had to plunge into a presidential election campaign In the case of Ford, who has not yet been in office three months, the chances are that, under Pasture's proposed amendment, we would have been having not only congressional and state elections Tuesday but an election for President and vice-president as well. Before the new President could settle into his job, or the congress could adjust to him. both parties would he involved unavoidably in a partisan tussle over who was going to In* on the tickets and which party was going to govern the country. No doubt Pasture’s proposal would Im* more logical and democratic, but as ll L Mencken once remarked, for every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong ' This is especially true when some thunderclap of history suddenly carries away a President either by death or forced resignation It is a time for reflection, calm and unity — three qualities seldom present in presidential elections. Even Ford’s more modest proposal has its drawbacks The delay in voting Nelson Rockefeller in or out may be excessive Also. it risks the succession of Speaker Carl Albert to the presidency, not a particularly joy ful thought. But the alternative is to impose a limit on investigating the nominee's record and qualifications, and the complaint about most vice-presidents lately is that they were not chosen too slowly but ton fast. On the brief record of the 25th Amendment. it has served the nation well under extraordinary and unforseen circumstances. The people did not clumse Ford or Rockefeller. In fact. Ford never thought of being President, and Rockefeller thought about it. without much public support. Still, nobody has suggested that they were inferior to Spiro Agnew or Tom Kagleton. whose nominations for the vice-presidency were no great recommendation for democracy.With gain, can Demos do the job? By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — The large Democratic majority in the newly elected congress presents conflicting prospects. One would help the nation and the Democratic party The other would harm both. Now that the Democrats have the votes in the* house and the* senate to do virtually everything they have been urging President Ford to do, one prospect is that the congress will speedily enact needed measures to deal with inflation, energy and the recession. The other prospect is that the new Democratic majority will be so div ided and diffused that it will continue to talk down every Ford proposal and vote down the sterner measures that Democrats keep saying they want. This is what has been happening ever since Mr. Ford presented hts “economic package’’ some weeks ago; namely , nothing. It is evident that both the White House and the congress have been afraid of the voters. The President has been hesitant to push for the vigorous actions he knows are necessary and congress has refused to put Into law even the mild measures Mr. Ford advocated. Result: nothing — just delay and more delay Sen. Edmund Muskie (I)-Me.) has been quite candid about it. He and Majority Leader Sen. Mike Mansfield of Montana and other influential Democrats have been dismissing the Ford antl-mflation program as totally inadequate. But when I asked him why the Roscoe Drummond Democrats didn t promptly enact what they contend is adequate. Muskie’s reply was; “We can’t do that until public opinion creates a demand for such measures.” Then* you have it: The Democrats accuse the President of not giving leadership before the election but excuse themselves by contending that they must wait until after the election to do anything. ;

  • Carl Albert
  • Don Oakley
  • Doris Mote
  • Duane Crock
  • Edmund Muskie
  • Idi Amin
  • James Reston
  • John Pasture
  • Mary Louise Smith
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • Mike Mansfield
  • Milton Smith
  • Nelson Rockefeller
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Spiro Agnew
  • Tom Kagleton
  • Tom Wicker

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: November 6, 1974

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