Hello Ollie?

Is Oliver North headed for Congress? Plus: The vast media-Euroweenie conspiracy revealed

Published June 13, 2001 5:48PM (EDT)

Big buzz

The Washington Times reports Virginia Republicans are trying to draw a congressional district for talk show host and former U.S. Senate candidate Oliver North. "The plan calls for Mr. North, the retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who became a national hero for many Americans during the Iran-Contra congressional hearings in the late 1980s, to go up against incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher in a district that Mr. North carried in his 1994 senatorial race," the Times reports.

So is the House ready for the former Iran-Contra figure? Certainly, the Buzzflash Report isn't. The liberal site posts a link to the Times story with the headline "God Save Us From Ollie North as a Congressman."

And surprisingly perhaps, many posters at Lucianne.com seemed cool to the idea. Writes one poster: "As much as I loved it when Olli North told Congress what to do with itself back in the 80's, having him run would be a disaster for the GOP. The Dem's would demolish him. Worse, running Ollie would generate all kinds of spin fodder that the Dem's would use to attack the GOP in 2002.

"To the Clinton and Liberal "Haters" who post here, I strongly suggest you put your Bigotry aside, and be smart. If what Hallow suggests is true, Moderate Americans will be more willing to believe that the Republican Party has come under the control of mean and uncompassionate conservatives. Mid-Term elections are usually tough enough on the party that is not in the White House. Trying to put a criminal (Yes, I said Criminal, even if he was granted immunity) in Congress through questionable redistricting, will certainly backfire. The one seat that Ollie North might obtain in Congress will cost the GOP 10!"

But certainly, there was no consensus in the thread. "Most people see Ollie as an American hero. Go for it!" writes one enthusiastic Lucianne denizen. But that post was met with this reply:

"Most people also saw Clinton as a good president."

Anger management

As President Bush prepares for his showdown with European leaders in Sweden Thursday, the battle lines are being drawn on global warming and the anti-ballistic missile treaty.

"For those of us who are either old enough or interested enough to read history, there is something quite familiar about France and Germany's opposition to George W. Bush's determination to scrap the ABM mutual annihilation treaty in favor of a missile defense system," writes Mary Mostert in the Banner of Liberty. "France in particular has a reputation for preparing to win the last war they lost, rather than live in the present."

Meanwhile, the Free Republic has aimed both barrels at the media for its criticism of Bush during his trip to the continent, complaining about an ABC.com poll about the president's trip. "What bugs me is that these Clymers precede the trip with three days of criticism and then show wacko protests upon his arrival and then ask the stupid question," writes one Freeper. "In any event, I could give a d*mn what most Euroweenies think as long as their leaders are impressed."

That, of course, remains to be seen. The media is obviously watching Bush's every move, jumping in with both feet when Bush mispronounced the name of Spain's prime minister Tuesday. But others in the thread didn't even care about the heads of state.

"I don't care if President Bush makes a good impression with Europe," writes another poster. "I'm proud that he is standing his ground and telling Europe what is best for the United States."

Call it the vast media-Euroweenie conspiracy.

Writes another: "Newt [Gingrich] had a great analysis of this on The Factor yesterday, to the effect that European socialism has caused them to fall further and further behind the United States' growth, productivity and technology adoption curves, and that they are simply 'jealous' and want to drag us down to their level by slamming the U.S. economy with Kyoto, etc."

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By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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