Politics & Policy

Don’t Let Chavez Stand Down

Bush should reject the withdrawal.

President-elect George W. Bush should reject Labor Secretary designate Linda Chavez’s withdrawal of her name from consideration.

Chavez appeared in Washington, D.C. today to step aside. Unlike any similar press conference in memory, Chavez took the occasion to introduce a number of people she helped to land firmly on American soil, including immigrants from Latin America and Vietnam.

Chavez also mentioned a man who had written her recently to thank her for helping get his fiance readmitted from Mexico after she left to visit relatives there and inadvertently nullified her U.S. citizenship application. The gentleman had contacted liberal Democrats Rep. David Bonior and Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan. Neither lifted a finger, Chavez says. Only after writing President Reagan and receiving Chavez’s assistance did the Justice Department yield and allow the man’s fiance to return to America.

The same liberals who preach tolerance and diversity while trashing an intelligent and talented humanitarian like Linda Chavez will not be satisfied seeing her knocked out of contention. Her removal only will fuel their appetites. Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft and Interior Secretary designate Gail Norton will have clearer shots at defeat if Bush permits Chavez to step out of the way. Bush’s tax cut is now more vulnerable, as are future Supreme Court appointees.

In recognition of the beneficiaries of Linda Chavez’s truly compassionate conservatism, Bush should inject a strong dose of drama into this tale and step before the news cameras in Austin right away. He should say that he hears Chavez’s words but does not accept them. He should tell the world that the new tone he wants in Washington will commence with a principled stand on behalf of a woman with brains and heart who the Left are free to oppose at their own peril.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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