Letter to the Editor: Maneater editorial unfairly attacked Ashcroft

The Maneater's editorial staff was entirely correct in asserting that former Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft should not be denied the U.S. attorney general nomination merely based on the false allegations that he is a racist, and that he will be unable to effectively uphold Roe v. Wade ("Ashcroft hearings a bit fishy," Friday, Jan. 19). However, the remainder of the column was extremely disappointing.

You gave mention to an interview Ashcroft gave to a magazine that holds certain sympathetic views toward the Confederacy. As demonstrated in his confirmation hearings, Ashcroft has made it perfectly clear that he is absolutely opposed to segregation. Thus, do you honestly believe that he shares the same views of that particular publication pertaining to the subject of slavery? Former President Clinton has been spotted in the church pews on occasion" yet, in light of some of his favorite "recreational activities," it has become increasingly clear that he does not share the same expressed views of the church on matters of extramarital relationships. Therefore, why should Ashcroft be labeled a bigot on the basis of an interview he gave to a publication that presses numerous other issues as well?

The Maneater also stated that Ashcroft is a divider, not a uniter. Nothing could be further from the truth. A vast majority of his former colleagues in the Senate, including many Democrats, assert that Ashcroft is extremely open and well-liked. He has served two terms as Missouri attorney general, was governor and was a popular incumbent senator, eventually losing re-election on a sympathy vote.

It is unfair to deem anyone with such an extensive and impressive political record as a divider, especially in a state that typically elects candidates of the opposite party.

You seem to imply that George W. Bush owes the country nothing but moderate Cabinet appointments. A majority of his appointments thus far have been moderate, to varying degrees. It would be extremely difficult for any president to govern effectively if his own Cabinet picks held contrasting views to his own. It is foolish to suggest otherwise. Bush won the election. He is entitled to his own Cabinet picks, despite what the liberal media (including The Maneater) would like to think. Ashcroft is capable. He will serve fairly and effectively. Is it so wrong for a man of principle and morals to hold a public office? He just may be the breath of fresh air that this country so desperately needs.

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