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In Capital's Rhetoric Wars, 'Sorry' Is a Temporary Pause

Trading Places

Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.) accused Democrats of
Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.) accused Democrats of "demonizing" Christians. (By Daniel R. Patmore -- Associated Press)

The good news for President Bush: A poll last week found massive enthusiasm for him and his policies.

The bad news: The poll was of Israelis.

A poll of Israeli and American Jews done this spring for Yeshiva University finds that Israelis are far more supportive of Bush than Jews here are. Conversely, American Jews are more enthusiastic about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon than Israelis are. Four out of five Israeli Jews had a favorable view of Bush, compared with only 35 percent of American Jews. A majority of Israelis believed the Iraq war made them safer, while only 28 percent of American Jews think the United States is more secure because of the war. Four out of five Israelis supported Bush's policy toward Israel, compared with two-thirds of American Jews.

Sharon, meanwhile, drew a favorable rating from 74 percent of American Jews but 65 percent of Israelis. And his plan for withdrawing from Gaza was supported by two-thirds of Jews in the United States but 54 percent in Israel. Both groups were optimistic about peace with the Palestinians, but both prefer a U.S. policy that emphasizes a peace process rather than the promotion of democracy in the Arab world.

Pick your proverb: A prophet is not without honor save in his own country? Or, familiarity breeds contempt?

Closing the Santorum Loophole

The Republican-controlled state House of Representatives in Pennsylvania took the paddle last week to its home-state junior senator. Santorum, of the aforementioned Hitler controversy, had received tens of thousands of dollars from Penn Hills School District, outside Pittsburgh, for tuition for his children to attend online charter schools called cyberschools. One problem: Although the Santorums own a house in Penn Hills, they live most of the time in Northern Virginia, where their children are home-schooled. In a bill inspired by the Santorum case, the House voted 175 to 24 to restrict eligibility for such payments to people who actually reside in the state. The measure now goes to the state Senate.

Executive Parsing

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

-- President Bill Clinton in 1998, explaining why, all evidence to the contrary, he was correct when he said "there is no relationship" with Monica Lewinsky.

"If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a, you know, a violent period."

-- Vice President Cheney on CNN last week, explaining why, all evidence to the contrary, he was correct to say the Iraq insurgency is "in the last throes."

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