Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 10, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
®h* CtflW ^wjmU #!*3#44#
Voting raised more waves than it calmed
Sor*day, November 10, 1974
A call for action, now
The dictionary definition of the word “mandate,” in brief, is: “An authoritative command, an order. A prescript from a superior court or official to an inferior one.”
Inasmuch as all power is inherent in the people rather than those they elect, under our form of government, it follows that the people are superior to their public officials.
The Nixon administration made a futile effort to reverse that order in seeking to carry out its interpretation of “the mandate" voted by the people in 1972.
Mandate” usually means whatever anybody wants to read into it, especially when people show such discrimination in their choice of candidates as manifested in last Tuesday’s election in Iowa.
With the exception of the Third district, they voted solidly for Democrats to represent them in congress. They also voted Democrats into control of the legislature. Hut they returned Governor Ray to office for an unprecedented fourth term, along with the entire bloc of Republican incumbents, to man the executive branch for four years.
This trend was followed to some degree in their selection of county officials too. In the state as a whole, incumbents generally were returned to courthouse offices, where Republicans are in the majority, but Democrats often were voted into control of county boards of supervisors that had been controlled by Republicans.
What this all adds up to is a call for action on several fronts and a
feeling on the people’s part that there s a greater prospect for honest progress when officialdom is divided between the parties than when it is in complete charge of either.
Nationally, with Democrats in more firm control of congress than they have been even in the last few years, it means the people want action, NOW, to whip inflation and to solve economic problems connected with it Seemingly they are opposed to President Ford’s 5 percent surtax proposal, yet remain content to have a Republican President in the White House for veto purposes just in case the Democrats get carried away because of their numbers.
Election of a surprising number of new members to congress carries a meaning too — directed largely toward senior members: The people want action, now, on congressional reforms. They are not about to put up much longer with antiquated procedures, including the outmoded seniority system, that hobbles congress and prevents it from moving in on problems that cry out for solutions.
Election of a Democratic-con-trolled legislature in Iowa indicates a call for action on some fronts where Republican-controlled legislatures have been slow, or even reluctant, to move. As in the case of reapportionment , where Republicans moved too slowly, the people want action, particularly in the area of tax reform, and they will expect it from the new legislature.
But just to make sure the Democrats don’t get out of line, the people stuck with a Republican executive branc h to keep an eye on things.
It may be an odd system of checks and balances the people have settled on. Hut it may be an effective one too. If it proves out otherwise, the people will know in time to do something about it in 197fi.
Several years ago, commercial TV carried a few of the famed Friars’ club “roast” testimonials for beloved show business personalities. Despite the insult-laced format, the programs are remembered for their genuine warmth. One can believe that Milton Herle, Henny Youngman. Bob Hope and dozens of other oldtimers indeed hold one another in high regard.
No such affection marks the tawdry spinoff from those several successful shows, “Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roasts”, delivered at a six-a-year pace by NHC. .lack Benny good-naturedly noted the phoniness several roasts back when who should appear on the dais to honor Benny but Olympic swimming champ Mark Spitz. Up
until showtime at least, the 80-year-old comedian didn t know Spitz from Flipper the porpoise.
But acquaintanceship apparently matters not in the roasts emceed by singer Martin (whose variety show expired because of poor ratings). The object seems to be cramming a record number of insults into an hour. To that end, “Celebrity Roasts’’ depends heavily upon the likes of Don Rickies, Howard Cosell and Foster Brooks (whose specialty is pretending he’s drunk).
What NBC producers seem to forget, however, is that insult used in surfeit can erode program ratings just as it tends to diminish the human spirit.
In surfeit, disorder?
Glut scares Demos
By Roscoe Drummond
WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders are worried about the new congress Senior Democrats in the house and senate uneasily expect:
1. An unruly and undisciplined Democratic congress
2. The many freshman congressmen to demand an overhaul of the seniority system.
3 Great difficulty in developing anything approaching a Democratic legislative program on inflation and the economy. Reason Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans offered the voters any program They ran on complaints
Why did so many Democrats win? Obviously, rising inflation and rising unemployment and Watergate hurt the Republicans But Republicans hurt themselves, many defaulted
Expecting defeat, the Republican party could not find attractive new candidates to run for office A total of 53 Democ rats were unopposed for house seats
Will it be a congress of big spenders? Not necessarily
Many elected Democratic congressmen won their reputations as liberal spenders but won their seats by promising not to be liberal spenders
Congressional Quarterly reports that ‘‘Democratic senate candidates insisted they were not big spenders,” and would vote to ‘‘keep costs down.”
What will happen on Rockefeller"’ The Democratically controlled senate judiciary committee indicates it will not permit a vote until the new congress convenes on Jan. 3
This means that the Democratic leadership is keeping the United States from having a vice-president for at least 13# days That seems reckless in the extreme.
If the vote is against Rockefeller, the senators will be applying to a vice president — who has no decision-making authority and rarely votes — requirements of financial disclosure thev refuse to apply to themselves Thev have far greater potential conflicts of interest tha.i the vice-president.
Lo* Angelo* Time* Syndicate
Weaker presidency poses big dangers
By Rowland Evans
and Robert Novak
WASHINGTON — With his economic and national security programs stymied by a hostile congress even before Tuesday’s Democratic landslide, President Ford’s ability to lead is now critically worsened by the huge influx of new liberals to the house
The election produced a top-heavy Democratic house in which ambitious, younger liberals are already pressing new claims for power, centered on a dominant house Democratic caucus eclipsing standing committee chairmen. The chief claimant: liberal Rep Philip Burton of California, a crafty 10-year veteran who will challenge moderate Rep B. F. Sisk of California to become chairman of the caucus, which he wants to convert into the prime Democratic command post.
With an extra 46 new Democrats, mostly liberals. Burton may well succeed, That would undercut the meager influence of House Speaker Carl Albert, a moderate, and slash away at the waning power of Rep Wilbur Mills of Arkansas. chairman of the house ways and means committee.
This wholly different house (coupled with a senate long under liberal domination) confronts a President whose impact on the voters was shown Tuesday to be abysmally low and whose standing within his own party now has dropped radically.
With conservative Republicans tagging Mr. Ford as their scapegoat, he is ill-prepared for the harsh new reality on Capitol Hill.
So sweeping was the liberal victory that late election night at AFL-CIO national headquarters in downtown Washington, one labor strategist remarked privately that from George Meanv on down, the moguls of organized labor (whose money and organization were essential for the Democratic triumph) were uneasy. They fear the new 94th congress is “too far left,” particularly on foreign policy.
A few blocks away that night at the Democratic national committee, top party strategists privately admitted the new Democratic majority has no program in being to compete with Mr. Ford’s unacceptable economic proposals. Democratic national chairman Robert Strauss and Speaker Albert agreed it was imperative to propose specifics
Thus, the voters last week may have concocted a noxious brew of legislative deadlock, without hope for compromise between a weak. nonelected President and a congress longer on thirst for combat than a carefully prepared program. Nowhere is this danger more evident than to the President’s national security policy.
This year, for the first time since World war II, a President has been unable to get a foreign aid bill through even the present congress Mr. Ford s military budget was deeply slashed. His fight to prevent cutting off aid to Turkey was stymied.
But top administration strategists believe this string of foreign policy setbacks may be dwarfed by a runaway Democratic congress using Pentagon and foreign aid spending as a natural resource to finance anti-recession programs and tax cuts.
Behind this prospect in Washington is a frightening world backdrop: gradual deterioration of the Western alii-
People s forum
Improving V-P picks
To the Editor
Since the accession of Jerry Ford to the presidency, I have noticed many TV and newspaper references to him and to anyone he appoints to the vice-presidency as unelected officials
The idea that a vice-president is elected because his name appears on a ballot is sheer nonsense. His name is there because he was selected as a running mate by the presidential candidate, with the chief qualification, being his appeal to a certain bloc or voters A voter wishing to vote for that presidential candidate has no choice but to accept the vice-president ia I candidate He cannot express a preference for someone else. Thus, in effect, a successful presidential candidate has appointed the vice-president who will serve under him.
Just how such a system benefits the country is beyond my comprehension It gave us Spiro Agnew, although I doubt lf he could have been elected if the electorate had enjoyed a free choice.
I think it would be a decided improvement in the system, if an acting vice-president would be nominated by the President-elect, a short time after
anre The international oil cartel’s drastic increase is not only hastening economic disintegration of the Western democracies but threatens the alliance itself
Having led the West for 3(1 years, the U. S. has been losing influence steadily, with Soviet-backed Communist parties making dangerous inroads all over Western Europe (most spectacularly in Portugal) and Frame breaking with Washington over the Middle East.
The danger, then, of the new congress at loggerheads with the President is clear: Growing doubt in Europe of U. S. reliability Enticement to Moscow to test President Ford’s power. Encouragement in Israel, based on its new Democratic supporters in the 94th congress, to play an even harder line against Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s efforts for a Mideast settlement
Indeed, the gulf between a President at low ebb in his own party and a potentially runaway liberal congress poses a challenge for the next two years this country' has not faced since 1931-1932, when Herbert Hoover served out his dismal last two years in conflict with a Democratic house of representatives.
Then, as now, a Republican President could not begin to master the domestic economy. The difference between that gloomy period and the two years ahead is that the United States today is leader of the Western world under constant pressure from a powerful Soviet Union. Deadlock between the congress and President over foreign policy was not even an issue then. Today. it is a potential threat worse even than inflation and recession.
Good news softened some of the bad
By William F. Buckley, jr.
Concerning the recent election, a few observations:
I. Although the trend in America continues left (Brown replaces Reagan in California. Carey replaces Wilson in New York), it isn t a pellmell leftism, of the kind the McGovermtes envisioned
Consider, for instance. Ramsey Clark He was. among those running for
office, the most conspicuous leftist in America As a matter of fact, he would be the most conspicuous leftist in a zoo, if he chose to live there, which by the way is not a bad idea since (a) most zoos are socialized, (b) there are no jails in zoos, and (c) the animals would probably understand Clark’s glossolalia better than the voters
Mr Clark s defeat has to be examined carefully lest the magnitude of it escape the attention of the psephologists. Clark was running on a poor-bov ticket, but he managed, just the same, to be all over the lot, on television, billboards, and advertisements: he even had Frank Sinatra singing for him — not bad for someone who limits any one contribution to HOO per person.
He ran in a state where registration is very heavily Democratic, and against a Republican opponent whose vote was sharply reduced by the candidacy of a third party Conservative. The man who ran for governor was a traditionalist Democrat, and he defeated the Republican incumbent by a landslide (60 percent of the vote).
In these circumstances. Clark ran less than 40 percent, below what McGovern got in New York two years ago By contrast, an utterly unknown Conservative candidate, the striking and intelligent Barbara Heating, got I# percent of the vote, with a mere $75,000 to spend. And, elsewhere. Gary Hart won in Colorado, but he was not recognizable as the Hart who programmed George McGovern to come out for capi-
William F. Buckley, jr.
( I W TV fyi A&>
tulation abroad, and a greening insolvency at home.
Come to think of it, from all reports (ieorge McGovern II. victor in South Dakota, ran a fairly strong anti-McGovern I platform So it is generally true that the hard left hasn’t made much headway in two years.
2. On the other hand, the Republican party would appear to have made no headway at all. Now it is generally suppled that the principal causes of the Republican humiliation were Watergate, the pardon, and inflation It is interesting, under the circumstances, to reflect on the findings of Mr Richard Scammon, the talented political analyst.
Scammon dismayed the whole gang over at the National Broadcasting Company by saying simply that he could have predicted 18 months ago. which is pretty much pre-Watergate, and certainly pre-pardon, that the Republicans would do about as they did on this election day. He meant by this that the graph was pointing in that direction
In other words, that there is public dissatisfaction with the Republican party unrelated to Watergate.
And why not? There is no reason to suppose that if Richard Nixon had occupied himself more on domestic matters than on frustrating the justice department's investigation of the Watergate, he’d have greatly increased his hold on the conservative voting community in America There has been a weightlessness in Republicanism since the death of Robert A Taft, and nobody. with the conspicuous exception of Barry Coldwater and Ronald Reagan, has done much about it.
Eighteen months ago we were coping with inflation by such voodoo as wage and price controls. Eighteen months ago Mr. Nixon was continuing to spend and to spend, and to pile deficit on deficit. He was promoting revenue sharing, which is the greatest fiscal shell game since bird Keynes' discovery that borrowing does not matter because we owe it to ourselves. He was yielding to the supreme court whenever the court decided to rewrite the Constitution so as. eg., to encourage abortion and discourage private schooling.
3. So the slide continues. Fewer Republicans, more Democrats. But also, more independents — and more conservatives. The bridge-building needed is from constitutional theorists to the Republican bourgeoisie, to the bluecollar class. The ingredients are there. George Wallace is pivotal.
What is missing is the top man. What becomes clearer and clearer is that (rerald Ford isn t that man That means just what it says — nothing more. There may not bp such a man; in which case the slide will simply continue.
Wa*S!«Ker''’ Star Syndicate
Maybe we ought to rail it TANN — if anything deserves to be a four-letter word, it does
Detroit Tree Pr»**
the election, with the nomination to become automatically confirmed 90 davs after the convening of the new congress, unless the congress should disapprove the nomination
As I see it, these are Mime of the benefits that would result from such a system;
I The President-elect could make his choice away from the confusion and political pressures of a national convention and without the political necessity of “balancing the ticket.”
2. The congress would have four to five months to make a searching investigation of the nominee, and at the same time it could not engage in political foot-dragging as is now the case with the Rockefeller nomination.
3. It would allow the electorate to express their views through their congressmen, which is something denied them under the present system It would be the nearest thing to a vote possible, without going back to direct election of the vice-president
The only disadvantage readily apparent to me is the problem that would arise if the presidency should become vacant before the confirmation or disapproval of the nomination. However that is a potential problem that we face under the present system, and indeed, any time the vice presidency is vacant.
Roswell S. (’amp 1235 Thirty-eighih street SE
To the Editor
Halloween came and went. and so did the yearly anti-UNICEF and anti-l* N letters, or so I thought But thev keep coming and therefore I would like to clarify a few points.
As to com rn un ism about 12 I N members with communist governments can not possibly dominate and control actions and decisions of the 152-member IN body Every one of our IS. Presidents has, by special declaration i ndorsed UNICEF and its work Are ihev to tie classified as communist conspirators?
In 196) UNICEF was chosen as the recipient of the Nobel prize for jieace Is this action to be condemned as communist-inspired?
When UNK EFs work began in 194H the
war-devastated countries of Eastern Europe were most in need of help Dr. Ravchman from Poland (erie of the 30 governments being members of the I NR EE exec ut up board) as its chairman had it L ti, JU. a ct nor the admin si, j,,.I* r- ; r.■ .ii y to influence decisions Or,l> toe executive director of the lioard had this power, a post always filled by an American
I NIU EF does not give money to governments to use at their discretion.
UNICEF basuto receive a request for help The recipient government has to match every UNICEF dollar (it usually does so 2*2 times). It has to agree to a well planned and closely supervised program of action, providing as much local help as possible, in manpower, equipment and funds. In many cases a short-range CNK EF pilot project has resulted in far-reaching reforms in the recipient country ment as to education, health and industrialization which otherwise could not have been realized in so short a time.
1 NU EE resource* are very limited and based on voluntary contributions from governments and private people Through the help of all the I N s other specialized agencies, eac h dollar silent is stretched many-fold
I od ay we know Millions of children are not only hungry, they are starving to death unless our help can come right now INK EP needs everyone's support more than ever for all of the world’s children
,-ould we not. instead of Sitting down to a sumptuous meal on Thanksgiving, prepare a very simple one, while gratefully enjoying the beauty of the seasonal faille decoration!, and donate the difference in cost of the feast to the Children's Emergency Fund? W»* would all feel the better for such an ai tion
Katherine Kolhnann 1718 B avenue NE