Susan Estrich from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 15 Dec 2018 04:39:05 -0800 Susan Estrich from Creators Syndicate ff17c02458656034f438712f7bc72f33 Tudy for 12/14/2018 Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>We lived on the fourth floor during the Watergate Summer. We were Wellesley Washington interns, two Jews who looked like Jews (Karen and me), an Armenian girl who looked Armenian (Suzanne) and Tudy, the black girl. It didn't occur to us to call it the Penthouse. It was a walk-up, and it was 100 degrees every day. We called it the Ghetto.</p> <p>We were witnessing history, and we knew it. In the EOB, where I'd been assigned, my boss and her boss were both renegade Democrats, and we used to sneak around to watch the Sam Ervin's hearings. Back in the ghetto, we would talk endlessly. And eat. Sometimes we drove around in my little car. Karen's boyfriend and my teenage brother were, as I recall, our only male callers. It didn't matter. We had one another.</p> <p>If you happened by, Tudy was the jolliest person you would ever meet &#8212; a smile for everyone, a shoulder, a scarf, a hug, a song, a heart so big you might think it had never known sorrow. Her real name was Marilyn, but when she was a little girl, the story went, the only thing that calmed her was when her father pretended to be an engine, saying, "tut-tut." And so she became Tudy, except for years we called her Tutti, and she was too polite to correct us. Her father had died. She was the oldest of three. We all had money issues, but she had responsibilities we did not begin to understand. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 14, 2018</p> 6e20b96290d8cef84ae73e0b937bafc4 Mourning President Bush for 12/05/2018 Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I spent more than a year working to beat him. I thought his campaign manager was about the most unethical person I'd ever met. I knew that the fish rots from the head. I was not a big fan of George H.W. Bush's.</p> <p>Until I &#8212; and much of America &#8212; came face to face with a president who lacks everything we took for granted in him. <p>Updated: Wed Dec 05, 2018</p> 14008d682c6bbb090df5324f3dac5fc5 You, Too, Redskins for 11/30/2018 Fri, 30 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>How low can you go?</p> <p>I'm not a huge fan of political correctness, but our capital's football team is the Redskins?<p>Updated: Fri Nov 30, 2018</p> 85d91185cd637962f4fc3458939c168c The Year of the Woman -- Under Attack for 11/22/2018 Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"Lock her up" was the rallying cry a year ago, led by the newly elected president.</p> <p>"Lock her up," Democrats are saying now that senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump has committed the same (non-cardinal) prayer, having also used a private email server to maintain some small chance of privacy and security. <p>Updated: Thu Nov 22, 2018</p> 60b39e089f722aad04d5e60b8d432242 The End of the Crime Wars for 11/15/2018 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Maybe it's fitting that only two weeks after running his own version of the 1988 "Willie Horton" ad &#8212; an ad that led a generation of politicians to compete to outdo one another in terms of their "toughness" on crime &#8212; President Trump announced his support for a bipartisan crime-reform bill that few politicians of either party would have gone near in the Horton years. In terms of wedge issues, few issues played as well and for as long as law and order. In 1968, that was Richard Nixon's rallying cry, as he turned the once-solidly Democratic (white) South into the solidly Republican (white) South that has only recently crumbled under the force of demographics.</p> <p>The stubborn correlation between race and crime has led to periodic, and sometimes entirely justified, attacks on crime politics as little more than race politics. Which did not necessarily make the attacks any easier to face, as then-Gov. Michael Dukakis discovered in 1988, when he was successfully tagged because a murderer on furlough committed a vicious rape in Maryland. It was the kind of horrible tragedy that every governor of a major state, including Ronald Reagan, has had to face. But rather than disown the program, which would be the political thing to do, Dukakis refused to condemn it.</p> <p>The supposed "lesson" was that there is no such thing as being too "tough" on crime, while it was nothing short of deadly to be considered too "soft."<p>Updated: Thu Nov 15, 2018</p> f4f4854aa8dee03bb0cfc3526554e1c1 The Age Problem for 11/08/2018 Thu, 08 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>It's against the law to discriminate in employment. As an old lawyer, I firmly subscribe to the canon of young doctors and old lawyers. </p> <p>And old legislators, some of the time. Nicholas Pelosi would the King of the Hill, and no one would be commenting on his clothes. It should be called Obama-Pelosi Care. But Nancy Pelosi's still 78, an old House Speaker who needs some youthful consorts, or whatever it is appropriate to call them. I call them candidates. </p> <p>Ronald Reagan was 76 when he left office. And that was four years after that ride to nowhere up the California highway in the first presidential debate of 1984, where the press finally started raising the "age" issue. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 09, 2018</p> f02561c8370ff9bf5906b1dcdbabefda Of Willie and Luis, and the Politics of Hate for 11/01/2018 Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 1988, Lee Atwater, George Bush's campaign manager, vowed to make "Willie Horton" (real name, William Horton) Michael Dukakis' running mate. And he did, with the help of Larry McCarthy and an ad that featured a terrifying mug shot of a black murderer who had been released from prison on a weekend furlough and gone to Maryland where he raped a white woman.</p> <p>Horton was a story in Massachusetts long before Atwater (who apologized before his death) turned him into a household name. And the ugly history of rape and racism was one we knew painfully well. We in the Dukakis camp were not caught by surprise. But Dukakis was a good man who refused to play race politics even when it was being played against him. Wouldn't do it. The irony was that his family had known first-hand the pain of violent crime. He had scruples.<p>Updated: Mon Nov 05, 2018</p> b931dbc159484fcf48befed73a11af63 The Post-Kavanaugh Snooze for 10/25/2018 Thu, 25 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Were you angry?</p> <p>Could you hardly believe those men?<p>Updated: Thu Oct 25, 2018</p> 5f2d670c6da764cda4b9753ae67752e8 No One's Perfect for 10/18/2018 Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As someone who has been trying to get a woman on the ticket since 1984, <span class="column--highlighted-text">I'm glad that the Democratic Party has so many women stars, starting with Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But in watching them both in action last week, I was pretty terrified, not for myself but for the Democratic Party.</span></p> <p>The two most visible women in the Party know their stuff. Ask them anything about health care or consumer protection or the environment and you'll hear more details than you wanted. But neither of them seems able to just admit a mistake and move on.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 18, 2018</p> df317c678899173213fdec1a44d3a059 Survivor for 10/11/2018 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I walked out of an alley more than 40 years ago, determined to fight. </p> <p>My mother told me not to tell anyone because no decent man would have me.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 11, 2018</p> 960d70c2043f874c1685053a944c85ed No Corroboration? for 10/05/2018 Fri, 05 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It was 40 years ago that Judge J. Skelly Wright wrote a decision for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit &#8212; Judge Kavanagh's Court &#8212; overruling the corroboration requirement in sexual assault cases. "This one's for you," he said, after reading the only bench memo I ever wrote for him. Three judges joined the opinion, but all nine on the court signed on. It's my heart, and his compassion, you'll find in that opinion. I had been raped three years earlier, and by the time we were done, every judge on the court knew it. And respected that.</p> <p>The gist of my argument to the judges 40 years ago was very simple: I was raped; I told the truth; but nobody saw it. No one ever does. People don't commit sexual assault in front of others who are sober enough and/or independent enough to get involved. If the man had been caught, a jury should have had the chance to hear me.</p> <p>The corroboration rule was one of the common law's answers to the male rape fantasy &#8212; the fantasy that he will be wrongly accused and unable to defend himself, because rape is a charge "easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, though never so innocent." That was the English Lord Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale. In the 17th century. One hundred years later, a much-cited Yale Law Journal article argued that women enjoy the struggle (the pseudo-Freudian view), and the Columbia Law Review was defending the corroboration requirement, saying, "Since stories of rape are frequently lies or fantasies, it is reasonable to provide that such a story, in itself, should not be enough to convict a man of a crime." That is what we set out to change by getting rid of a requirement that was applied only to the victims of rape.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 05, 2018</p> 74887eea901d2d36607adabc3e56d927 Don't Blame Dianne Feinstein for 10/04/2018 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Kellyanne Conway made number what? I have since lost count. But everywhere you look, on television, in the papers, in celebrity gossip sheets and on media websites, familiar faces &#8212; and less familiar ones at the market and in protests &#8212; have emerged as survivors of sexual assault.</p> <p>If you're surprised, you shouldn't be.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 04, 2018</p> 0455a10c1c01fa9d11d907fdde2fd578 Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire for 09/28/2018 Fri, 28 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Trump was proud of his nominee, understandably so. His opening statement, reminiscent of Clarence Thomas' claim that his confirmation hearing was "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks," could have been written or delivered by the president. But Justice Thomas was confirmed 27 years ago, when we survivors were still trying to convince people that no meant no. And this time, there is no racial issue to make an all-white Senate uncomfortable. Judge Kavanaugh was reduced to the usual Trumpian name-calling, attacking rather than explaining, turning himself into the innocent victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy.</p> <p>The problem is that his flat denials and depictions of himself as a choir boy who did not abuse alcohol changed the issue from what happened when he was in high school whether it mattered (a battle during which he could have made things murky enough to give Republicans cover) to a much simpler question: Did Dr. Christine Blasey Ford make the whole thing up?<p>Updated: Wed Oct 03, 2018</p> b39af2147def295cbaadd8f65a638eeb Deny, Deny, Deny for 09/25/2018 Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's not Brett Kavanaugh's fault that the anonymous complaint against him was not properly handled when it came to the Senate Judiciary Committee's attention in July.</p> <p>The committee reportedly dismissed it as too old and anonymous.</p> <p>That is not the advice I would give to any corporate client in 2018. How long does it take to follow up? Not every complaint deserves review, but this one obviously lined up in terms of dates, places and the like. It was credible enough for Rep. Anna Eshoo to forward it to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. But it appears no one followed up until the hearings had concluded, the nomination appeared sowed up and word of the complaint started to leak, forcing the woman to come forward.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 25, 2018</p> e39f929bbb3053e2d80df19c0e70fd4b Here We Go Again for 09/18/2018 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have been to this movie before. I know how it ends, and it doesn't end well &#8212; not for anyone, by the way.</p> <p>This much we know: A woman writes a letter in July. It's about something that happened in high school. Pick your words. An assault? An attempted assault? A drunken grope? It was more than 30 years ago.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 18, 2018</p> 7817bafe3bb2161a653938c4d5c4ed51 The Other Donald Trump for 09/13/2018 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Imagine, just for a minute, that after the 2016 election, the other Donald Trump had gotten elected.</p> <p>You know, the one who hung out with establishment types, invited Bill and Hill to his wedding, liked Democrats, knew how to bring a group together. That guy.</p> <p>And for season one, just imagine that his target was not red-state conservatives and Hillary Clinton's "deplorables"; it was not less-educated and whiter voters; it was not any of these people because he already had them. Even if he had killed former FBI Director James Comey. To get better ratings, you need the people you don't have.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 13, 2018</p> c6575022c06ffb8092c544f18d16c92d Broken Windows for 09/08/2018 Sat, 08 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 1982, James Q. Wilson and his Harvard colleague George Kelling offered a simple idea that had a profound effect on policing: <span class="column--highlighted-text">"If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken." </span>And that is not simply a blight for the neighbors but a clear message that the neighborhood is dangerous, which in turn makes it more dangerous. </p> <p>When police maintain order and civility, there is less crime. People aren't afraid to walk to the corner, which makes the street safer. Hoodlums look around and see trouble, not opportunity.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 08, 2018</p> d51caaf330a2e38416d293647f41e2f4 Justice Kavanaugh for 09/07/2018 Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>He will be confirmed, barring some totally unexpected development. He has been vetted by the investigators. He has been vetted by the media. The Republicans have the votes. The Democrats' best argument is against the invocation of executive privilege; the documents should have been disclosed, but getting the country to rally around a process issue looks like more politics. And Judge Kavanaugh knows how to play politics better than you may think.</p> <p>Getting through these hearings is what Judge Kavanaugh literally taught other appointees to do. Everything you hear has been scripted. Getting to the top of the president's short list is another matter.</p> <p>One of the most interesting parts of the show being played out in these hearings was Sen. Blumenthal, the very smart former attorney general of Connecticut, quizzing Judge Kavanaugh on how he went from not even being on Trump's list of potential nominees during the campaign to being his first choice for his second slot.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 07, 2018</p> aa909c4e079e18c289f5b261d047646b The Not-So-Super Delegates for 08/30/2018 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I was a junior "rules junkie," as we called ourselves, when I coined the term "superdelegates" in 1982. Then-Sen. Ted Kennedy was running against Walter Mondale then. Not then, of course, but in the Hunt Commission, or the Rules Commission, the lines were clearly drawn. The Mondale people were pushing to make party leaders and elected officials automatic, uncommitted delegates for the next convention. They called them "PLEOs." I called them "superdelegates" in the Washington Post and "white boys" in the single hotel room that fit all the feminists.</p> <p>It was the perfect argument, the Kennedy side agreed, and besides, I believed in it. We had barely achieved a rule that delegates would be equally divided between men and women, and now we were making them second-class delegates? We all got it: There was a lot of animosity in those days toward "caucuses" like ours, and everyone was suddenly reliving the 1972 convention, which organized labor deserted. Like Super Tuesday (a colossal early failure for the moderators, who ended up handing Jesse Jackson a platform), the PLEOs were supposed to help the more moderate candidate in a system that unquestionably favors the more liberal. </p> <p>And then disaster struck. Literally.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 30, 2018</p> 50831589550b5706badd950c7083803d The Death of a Hero for 08/27/2018 Mon, 27 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The president's former campaign chairman stands convicted of eight felony counts.</p> <p>The president's formal personal lawyer is pleading guilty and cooperating.</p> <p>No one is above the law but the president. And with his help, all his friends are, too. What does that sound like? Not the rule of law. <p>Updated: Mon Aug 27, 2018</p>