The Washington Gadfly
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

John Roberts was an aide to Attorney General William French Smith when the Reagan Justice Department tried to re-institute tax breaks for the morally depraved Christian university that barred inter-racial dating . . . Could that get him Borked?

"Goddamn it. I don't have time for this," explains C. Boyden Gray, who repeatedly refused to say whether Bob Jones University should have been granted tax-exempt status.

Has your daughter at Harvard ever dated a black guy?

"She has lots of black friends."

Are they some of her best?

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Possible identification: Evan Gahr, boyfriend of New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson, who most recently broke the story of Ralph Nader's Ich Be Ein Nigger speech.

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In John Roberts' America, women would be forced to eat French fries in back allies, out of sight of DC Metro police?

When news broke that President Bush had selected DC Court of Appeals judge John Roberts for the Supreme Court, People for the American Way quickly depicted him as some sort of right-wing meanie, outside of the precious mainstream, because, among other things, he sided with police in the detention and arrest of a 12-year-old girl for consuming the classic McDonald's side dish while inside a Metro station.

It's well to note that PFAW, which auctions Noam Chomsky books to raise money and refuses to apologize for its religious left conference speaker who-we kid you not-fondly recalled her youthful dream to blow-up the United States embassy in her native Korea and then urged women to deface federal property with their own menstrual blood, should have quite the credibility problem when it depicts political opponents as outside the mainstream.

If insensitivity to the spontaneous consumption of french fries is the best that Ralphie and Norman can muster, the nation's premiere liberal activist group does not seem to have much chance of defeating Roberts' nomination.

But the more potent weapon, which thus far has been overlooked by liberal interest groups and every one of the 3,022 stories which Google News listed about the Bush pick early this morning, is the moral and legality culpability of Roberts for the notorious decision by the Reagan Administration Justice Department to reverse the long-standing denial of tax breaks to Bob Jones University because, at the time, it prohibited inter-racial dating.

Roberts was an aide to Attorney General William French Smith at the time, who was the lead player in the effort by the Reagan Administration to bestow taxpayer largesse on those devout Christian folks devoted to racial purity.

What did Roberts know and when did he know it? Given the major ruckus that the decision created, Roberts would be hard-pressed to plead ignorance and claim he never discussed the matter, as Clarence Thomas asked how he reacted to the Roe v. Wade as a Yale Law School student.

According to one published report, 200 Justice Department employees signed a letter at the time which expressed concern about the decision to grant BJU tax-exempt status.

It's exceedingly doubtful that Roberts was among them, but the answer can be easily determined. It should take as long as it does to seduce Ann Coulter. ( editor Ben Jolkovsky-Binyamin is just his stage name-has told this reporter and others that she visited two gentlemen in one night while out in LA to appear on the now-defunct "Politically Incorrect.")

The opportunities for liberal demagoguery regarding John Roberts and the Bob Jones case are immense and potentially all the more lethal because it's doubtful that the GOP, which regularly succumbs to Democratic bullying on race matters, lacks the moral fiber to make two obvious rebuttals.

1. Far from racist and out of the mainstream, the Reagan Administration's position was not necessarily incongruous with congressional intent for IRS policy. Yeah, yeah, the Supreme Court over-ruled the Roberts' boss, but that wouldn't be the first-time they have disregarded congressional intent.

2. If liberals have no problem denying tax-exempt status to Bob Jones University, how could they strenuously object to efforts to withdraw public support from the Brooklyn Museum? If the latter violates the First Amendment, as many claimed, then doesn't the former with regard to Bob Jones as well?

The Bob Jones imbroglio remains the key mechanism by which disingenuous liberals impute racial bigotry to conservatives in order to advance their particular political agenda regarding the perennial American dilemma.

Just this week, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, an otherwise careful reporter and writer, used the matter to cast GOP politicos as crypto-racists.

Is Ralph Neas next?

Former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, who answers his own phone just like Jill Abramson, although he probably won't after this conversation,, said he didn't know anything about Roberts and couldn't remember anything about the Bob Jones matter. The savvy corporate lawyer, reportedly the point man for the conservative side of the confirmation battle, repeatedly said he didn't understand the Bob Jones controversy when told the details.

C. contended that Roberts "only worked" for the government at the time, implying he was not responsible. (Does full accountability only apply to the Clintons?)

Reminded that Roberts was not stuck in the bowels of the bureaucracy but worked for the Attorney General, Gray then said he didn't understand the matter.

Little steps for little feet-to use yet another Eric Breindel expression.

Let's try a simpler line of questioning.

Do you support tax exempt status for a school that denies inter-racial dating.

"I don't remember what happened"

I just refreshed your memory. You're asking a question I didn't ask.

Does your daughter at Harvard date any black men?

"She has lots of black friends."

What is your position tax exempt status for schools like Bob Jones?

"Goddamn it, I don't have time for this."

The White House is supposedly not worried.

According to a reliable source, let's just pick a random pseudonym for him, how about . . . W. Mark Felt, Roberts handlers "know about this" but plan to rebut criticism by saying he was simply following Reagan administration policy.

Oh, really?

He was just following orders?

Nader's very unpleasant N-gagement
New York Daily News -
Friday, June 17th, 2005

If Ralph Nader doesn't stop dropping the N-bomb, Al Sharpton is going to wash out his mouth with soap.

"Nader is not a racist by any stretch of the imagination," Sharpton told me yesterday. "He has a good track record. But he ought to be sensitive that he does not sanitize that word."

Speaking Wednesday night at a Washington fund-raiser to retire the debt from his 2004 presidential campaign, Nader complained that Democratic Party powerbrokers had kept him off the ballot in such Southern states as Georgia and Virginia - which reminded him of the oppressive Jim Crow laws that denied African-Americans equal rights.

"I felt like a [n-word]," remarked the 70-year-old white multimillionaire graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Washington gadfly Evan Gahr reported Nader's comments on his Web site.

"If Ed Koch had said what Ralph Nader said, we'd be marching," Sharpton noted. "This [scolding] doesn't rise to the level of a march. It rises to the level of a wrist slap."

Yesterday, Nader told me he was using the word in the same spirit as the Black Panthers of the 1960s - "as a word of defiance."

But Sharpton retorted: "He's not a Black Panther."

Democratic operative Harold Ickes - a former civil rights activist who lost a kidney in 1965 after being beaten to a pulp by white racists in Tallulah, La. - was also troubled by Nader's use of the epithet.

"It's not something that I would say," Ickes told me yesterday. "Having grown up in the 1950s and 1960s, I think it's not a word that whites can use.

"It's unfortunate and he may regret it."

   Evan Gahr, a former press critic for the late New York Post editorial page editor Eric Breindel, recently broke the story of a race discrimination lawsuit against the Washington Post. He has written for almost every major conservative publication.