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Mrs. Meese's Revealing Attitudes

June 09, 1985

Mrs. Ursula Meese complains bitterly about the Senate confirmation hearings that raised ethical questions about her husband's fitness for the office of attorney general ("Ursula Meese: The Scars of a Senate Confirmation" by Betty Cuniberti, May 27).

Mrs. Meese does not make a good witness. Her statements raised additional doubts in my mind about this controversial appointment.

Edwin Meese has never expressed much concern for the constitutional rights to privacy of his political opponents. But as soon as his own financial irregularities are subject to scrutiny, what wringing of hands!

She dismisses such peccadilloes as being "15 months in arrears on the mortgage payments on both their houses" and giving government jobs to "friends who helped them financially."

The arrogance of power! Does Mrs. Meese have any idea what happens to ordinary taxpayers whose mortgage payments fall as much as 90 days behind?

Mrs. Meese gets so carried away with self-pity that she unwittingly reveals the dangerous pre-determinist attitude of "us vs. them, the elect and the damned." Speaking of her husband's campaign to land the high office of attorney general, she says, "We had to keep on with it. We're good, decent people. If we backed out, they won another one."

Note the bland assumptions here: that there are us and them, that we are good and they are evil, that for this perennial public bureaucrat to gracefully release his grasp on a coveted political plum would be "another" victory for "them."

To this wife of a career Republican politician, "them" (the enemy) obviously includes we long-suffering taxpayers, we Americans who look for vision and compassion in our officials, and all Democrats, of course.


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