New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 27, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
4A New Braunfels Herald-Ze/fungr Thursday, June 27 1985
Reagan's fortunes in Congress beginning to brighten, below
Dave Kraacr, General Manager Hobart Jokmmam, EditorMike Royko'War wimps' talk tough when the heat is off
A funny new phrase has come out of Washinton D.C. It is ‘ war wimps.”
A war wimp is a tough-talking conservative hawk who is in favor of big military buildups, more and bigger nukes, sending American troops hither and yon, and going eyeball to eyeball with anybody who looks at us the wrong way.
But that's not all there is to being a war w imp A war wimp is also somebody who — when a war was actrally being fought while he was a young man found it convenient to be someplace safe.
Til phrase was originated by U S Hep. Andrew Jacobs of Indiana, a Marine veteran of Korea, to show his amused disdain for those who talk a good fight — just as long as somebody else has to fight it And the most complete list of current war wunps has been compiled in the Village Voice newspaper by writer Jack Newfield.
Here are some of the top war wimps according to Newsfields:
Hep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who can really talk tough, especially when he is flailing liberals, most of
whom he considers to have less spine than a night crawler.
But during the Vietnam War — when Gingrich was of prime draft age — he found himself in college.
When he was asked why, since he favored the Vietnam War, he didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to go shoot some commies, he said:
“What difference would I have made? There was a bigger battle in Congress than in Vietnam.”
Oh, I don't know about that. The body count in Congress never amounted to much.
Hep Trent I/jtt of Mississippi, the Republican whip, favors most of the more expensive boom-booms.
During the Vietnam War, when men his age were slogging through the rice paddies, he was slogging through college and law school, while enjoying a student deferment
Richard Perle, assistant Secretary of Defense, is against arms control, and loves those big missiles and
He, too, was draft age during the peak years of the Vietnam War But while those from the ghetto and the
backwoods were doing the fighting. Perle, who comes from a more priviledged enviroment — was getting his master’s at Princeton.
Irater, when there was still time for him to get into the fighting, he chose to go to England and work on his doctoral thesis.
If the Vietnam War had gone on indefinitely, some guys might have stayed in school until they were 75.
There are so many others. William Taft IV, who is deputy secretary of Defense. He studied law at Harvard during the Vietnam War; Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota. who is a big hawk today but says he had asthma when he was draft bait; Pat Buchanan, the White House’s angriest man, who pleaded a bum knee when the draft board came calling.
Of course, there are a few w ho did put on the uniform.
Take Ronald lauder, assistant secretary of Defense, who is big on 'star wars,” missiles and all other Pentagon doodads. During tho Vietnam War, Lauder, an heir to the Estee lauder fortune, served one whole year in the Coast Guard reserve That probably explains why the
Viet Cong never dared to land in California.
Finally, there’s George Will, hawkish columnist, TV commentator, and adviser and speechwriter to President Reagan. During the years when all those American body bags were being filled, young George was at Trinity College, and at Oxford, and at Princeton.
Then when it was safe to come out of the ivy, he became an expert on how to fight those commies.
looking at all these student deferments and minor ailments, I think back to the late Sen. Paul Douglas of Illinois, one of the great liberals of his time.
When World War II broke out, he was a reform-minded Chicago alderman and had a distinguished career as a professor at the University of Chicago.
He was 50 years old, but he enlisted in the Marines. Then he talked his way out of a desk job and into the front lines. He was wounded at Peleliu and again at Okinawa.
The words "the best and tile brightest” would have fit
As for the war wimps, they d have to stretch it out to “the best and the brightest and the safest.”
Reagan riding high after recent wins
WASHINGTON i AP) In the ebb and flow of political fortunes, the tide on Capitol Hill may be swinging back a bit in President Reagan's direction.
Following a string of losses and retreats early this year, Reagan has won victories in fights he cares deeply about: aid to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, funds for production of new chemical weapons and money for the “Star Wars” defense program.
To be sure, there are legislative hurdles still ahead on each of these matters. But Reagan turned around a big loss earlier this year on Contra aid, winning approval in the House two weeks ago for even more money than had been rejected the first tune.
And the House, which rejected any money for new nerve gas weapons in each of the last three years, turned
around last week and voted funds for the binary gas weapons limited and restricted money, yes, but approval nonetheless. Those restrictions may well be dropped m tile conference with Die Senate on the nerve gas money.
In addition, the Senate turned back any and all efforts to cut money for the Star Wars space weapons plans, and the House agreed to major spending for the program.
These victories are a relief for an administration tliat lias seen its proposal for more MX missiles cut again and again, that was forced to retreat repeatedly on its defense spending request, that saw the GOP-led Senate reject its budget and work out a new one and that was forced to veto a farm bill it tried unsuccessfully to stop
On Contra aid and on nerve gas, Reagan pushed hard.
“I’ve got President Reagan’s tire tracks down my back,” said Rep. J olm Porter, R-Ill., a longtime opponent of the nerve gas production.
It is easy to make too i^uch of Reagan’s recent victories. It was also easy to make too much of his defeats earlier this year.
Strategists from both parties talked of the rise and fall of the president’s fortunes on the Hill, fluctuations that limy be difficult to tie to any one factor or complex of factors.
But the dance of legislation this year has been different from the
years of Reagan’s first term, even with the past few weeks.
For example, Reagan’s push for higher defense spending stalled on
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leeches, White says
the Hill this year. Following tales of $600 Navy ashtrays and worse, the Republicans in the Senate led the way in whittling down Reagan’s budget request for the Pentagon for fiscal 1986 from nearly 6 percent in real growth all the way down to no real growth.
Of course, the political tides tliat sweep the nation’s capital are neither inevitable nor irreversible.
External events — such as the Beirut hostage crisis — can Ila vc a profound impact on congressional action. And the internal dynamics of the Congress itself can shift and turn for reasons totally within tile walls of the Capitol.
But, for now, President Reagan is enjoying more success with the Congress than he has all year.
In Ins classic work on the writer’s art, The Elements of Style, E.B. White gave us 21 ‘‘suggestions and cautionary hints” for improving our prose. No. 8 was, “Avoid the use of qualifiers.” He wrote:
“Rather, very, little, pretty, -these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. The constant use of the adjective little’ (except to indicate size) is particulary debilitating; we should all try to do a little better, we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is a rather important one and we are pretty sure to violate it now and then.”
At this spring's International Film Festival in Cannes, someone threw a pie at director Jean-Luc Godard. Said Time magazine: ‘‘The culprit was, reportedly, a man outraged by Godard’s previous film, ‘Hail .Mary,’ a somewhat modernization of the nativity story.”
Notice how that pantywaist word “somewhat” washes the starch from that sentence. Godard’s film assuredly is irreverent: It depicts Mary as a cabdriver’s girlfriend and shows her in the nude.
Why, then, “somewhat” irreverent? White’s Rule 8 is sound. There are times when qualifiers have to bt- used, but nine times out of ten you will sharpen a sentence by getting nd of “pretty soon” and “rather warm” and “very attentive.” They rarely add much of anything, and they nearly always detract.
Other matters: President
Reagan’s speeches on tax reform have drawn critisisms from opposite ends of the country. In Winlock, Wash., William H. Wright notes that the president referred to our ” jerry-ngged’ tax code. “I believe that the expression is either ‘jerry-built’ or jury-rigged,’ and that neither is an appropriate description of the code.”
From I .ake Worth, Fla., comes a letter from Ixiuis S. Michael, objecting to the president’s effort to make the preparation of tax returns “more simple.”
“I disagree,” Mr. Michael writes. “Existing tax laws are not simple. Ergo, they cannot be made more simple. It is to be hoped that under tax reform, preparation of returns will become less difficult, tliat the regulations will become less com
plex. but that the laws will become more comprehensible.”
The Associated Press ordinarily provides a first-rate news service, but now and then it stumbles. An AP correspondent in Washington, D.C., writing about a bill to proclaim Mule Appreciation Day, informed us that George Washington "had two American horse females bred with the donkeys provided by King Charles III of Spain.” An AP sportswriter rn Baltimore, writing about Preakness winner Tank’s Prospect, let us know that "Eugene Klein, who owns the colt along with his wife, is the former owner of the San Diego Chargers.”
A "horse female,” it should be explained, is known as a "mare,” and while many colts have filly friends, amazingly few have wives.
An AP feature writer in Los Angeles managed to misspell "doughnut” three times in a single paragraph. (It came out in Mobile, Ala., as donought.”) An AP correspondent in london reported in April that a ship sank in the Red Sea: “Lloyds speculated the suspected mine may have been one of a series sewn last year.” An AP reporter in Columbia, S.C., described a bill to ban smoking in all indoor places of public accommodation except where designated: “The regulations would adhere to restaurants, bars, and the State House Chambers." From Eugene, Ore., came an AP story about a drug bust; three men were arrested when officers "raided a cabin on Tenmile lake accessible only by boat and a motel.”
It was probably only a typographical error in the Aberdeen (Wash.) Daily Word, but it enlivened the lead on an AP account of a woman's abortion six years ago: "She was 18, single, and her abortion was done on a dirty kitchen table by an unkept woman who drank whiskey out of a bottle.”
As E.B White says, we should all try to do a little better.
(James J. Kilpatrick’s book, "The Writer’s Art,” is a finely crafted, witty guide to writing well. Order you! copy of this 260-page, liard-bound edition by sending $14 95 plus $1 for postage and handling to Writer’s Art, 4400 Johnson Drive, Fairway, Kan. 66205. Make checks payable to Universal Press Syndicate.)
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