The Corner


Many thanks to Jack O’Toole, who has pointed out on his blog that I made an error in a recent article for the New Republic. I wrote, “In 2001, Democrats kept hoping that some Bush initiative–his pro-life executive orders, his review of arsenic regulations, his tax cut–would be the early stumble that gays in the military was for Bill Clinton. But Clinton got in trouble in 1993 because his initiatives had not been vetted during the campaign: Bush père hadn’t challenged him on the military gay ban, and Clinton hadn’t talked about raising taxes. In 2000, on the other hand, W.’s policies on abortion, taxes, and the environment were extensively debated.” O’Toole points out, in a post I just ran across, that Clinton had in fact talked about raising taxes on families with incomes above $200,000.

My core thought was that the political ground had not been prepared for Clinton’s 1993 tax proposals. I had in mind the energy tax (which Congress pared down to a gas-tax hike) and the failure to cut middle-class tax rates. But the sentence I wrote was false and, as O’Toole notes, pretty obviously so. My apologies to the New Republic and its readers.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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