President-Elect George W. Bush made a central notion of his election campaign a promise to America that he will unite the country, not divide it as he claimed his Democratic rival attempted to do. His theme was significant in the post-election aftermath when the polls revealed that the country was split so evenly over who was to be our next president....Mr. Bush or Mr. Gore.
However, yeasterday's nomination of John Ashcroft as Attorney General proves that Bush's promise rings hollow. Mr. Ashcroft is Mr. Bush's most conservative appointment and he would be the most outspoken ideological attorney general since President Ronald Reagan's era of social conservatism. Indeed, from the start, Mr. Bush's appointment will create divide with what will be a bruising confirmation in the 50-50 divided Senate.
Mr. Ashcroft, a staunch conservative, is pro death penalty, anti-abortion, who recently lost a bitterly contested senatorial election in Missouri. In fact, Mr. Ashcroft lost to a corpse.
Ashcroft enjoys backing from religious conservatives. Last year, he received an honorary degree from Bob Jones University, the South Carolina evangelical university that preaches hate against Catholics and prohibits interracial dating.
He has been characterized as a polarizing figure prone to self-righteous moralizing. Appearing at conservative gatherings, Mr. Ashcroft frequently spoke about his opposition to abortion and his position against, federal financing for clean needle exchange programs for addicts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In a further act of nonpartisan tolerance he some branded President Clinton's judicial nominees, as "liberal activists".
Mr. Ashcroft is a deeply religious man with strong ties to the Christian Coalition, and conservative evangelical figures like Pat Robertson Mr. Ashcroft is also a strong admirer of extreme right wing Justice Clarence Thomas.
While Mr. Ashcroft received 100% ratings from the Christian Coallition, he received 0% ratings from The National Org. for Woman and the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental action group.
Uniter not a Divider?? I knew Bush would be forced to throw a bone to the extreme right wing, but this....upsetting to say the least.