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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, June 27, 2002
6:37 PM

Gutless...Education Secretary Roderick Paige announced a commission to study Title IX at today's hearing, but his happy-talk about the law and the makeup of the commission suggest it's for show. From the press release at the Dept. of Education:

"Some would like to settle this in the courts," Paige said. "But we believe the better approach is to discuss all the questions openly, in a forum where all voices and all viewpoints can be heard.

But all voices cannot be heard equally if they are not on the commission. It includes two members of the Women's Sports Foundation, which filed an amicus brief supporting the Education Dept. and against the College Sports Council's suit to revoke current interpretations of Title IX. It includes female athletes who can be counted on to promote the glories of current practice. But it does not include any coaches whose programs have been cut under the quota rules, nor anyone from the College Sports Council. It includes athletic directors and some academics. Since they're not party to the suit, I expect them to either endorse the status quo or be intimidated by the feminists. As a rule, academics are petrified of feminists.

In other words, if the commission were a Post story, I'd be exposing its bias.

I'd like to be wrong, but that's wishful thinking. The Bush Administration repeatedly loses its nerve. It refuses to take immigration problems seriously to avoid antagonizing migrants and their political sponsors, who probably won't vote for Bush anyway. The result is less security on the border--and yes, there are Muslims, including militant Islamists, in Latin America. It says brave things about the Second Amendment in footnotes but supports a District of Columbia ban on handguns due to "local precedent;" and if that's a controlling principle it renders the Bill of Rights meaningless. It wastes resources by investigating complaints by a white guy about the use of Indian names in a 4-H program that never received criticism from the Indians involved.

Bush seems to be getting much more serious about fighting terrorists in the Middle East, and those who argued a few months ago that he was following a rope-a-dope strategy to sucker the Palestinian Authority and buy time for military action against Iraq are looking pretty good right now. Maybe there's a long-term domestic strategy that escapes me, or maybe they just can't take on everything at once. This Title IX Commission, though, could have been assembled by Bill Clinton.

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