The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 26, 1982, Image 2

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- —opinion Battalion/Page 2 May 26, 1982 E w \ du I ini ; iou ! ‘g ! or | loi I ic i du dn ; tb ni] itl ler ic jn iir :oj rn at ati :h iV< :h aa ev lai >b g a ‘g E 3 1 VO >f ir< Tic Hi .u i io ; VI, Ir ! 3f ! >r ii, A't at en vi: i’< tn P‘ of n e, : h rr n tl V f< b k s; u fl s a Slouch Earle The only reason I keep it is for running stop signs. Getting what, when and how in politics by Arnold Sawislak United Press International WASHINGTON — Almost 50 years ago, Harold Lasswell, a professor, de fined politics as, “Who gets what, when and how.” That definition is instructive in looking at two recent actions by Ronald Reagan, a professional politician. Early in April, the president wrote a letter to an antiabortion organization official restating his “right to life” posi tion and, in effect, giving his blessing to the group and others seeking legislation to outlaw abortion. Early in May, the president invited the Rev. Jerry Falwell and others seeking to restore classroom prayer to the public schools to the White House and specific ally endorsed a constitutional amend ment legalizing the practice. In both of these actions, Reagan was redeeming, in his own way, what the groups involved understood to be ironc lad promises made during the 1980 cam paign. They supported his candidacy; they expected him to make their causes part of his program. Both groups expressed satisfaction, in deed delight, at the president’s action. But in fact, neither group got much more from Reagan than it had before he acted. To explain that, it is necessary to answer the question: How do presidents get things done? Is it by giving their public support to a cause or proposal? The answer is a condi tional yes. A presidential endorsement is helpful, but its effectiveness depends upon what goes with it, especially if the issue is controversial and Congress is in volved. All the talk about the “moral force” of the presidency notwithstanding, it takes more than a letter of encouragement or a Rose Garden ceremony to get a tough proposition safely through the shoals of conflict in Washington. It takes political muscle and there are three principal ways presidents attempt to use it. The first is by reward, the classic quid pro quo. If a key congressional vote is needed, the House can go after it with any number of goodies — appointments, tax breaks, import quotas or deregula tion to benefit local industries or labor, public works projects and promises of campaign aid in funds and personal appearances in the next election. The second is by punishment — the withholding of any of the above, the clos ing of federal installations, the encour agement of opposition in the next cam- paign. ... A third presidential perogative, least effective in this age of the independent voter and officeholder, is loyalty to party and president. It has been a long time since party platforms have meant any thing in Washington or since presidents have had major personal influence on Congress beyond the first six months or so of their first term “honeymoon.” Of all these, the school prayer and anti-abortion movements got little more than an implied indication that the third (the personal influence of the president) would be used to help their causes. There was no promise that school prayer or a ban on abortion would get the benefit of the full court press — rewards and threats — Reagan used to pass his economic program or get approval for sale of AW ACS planes to Saudi Arabia. School prayer, which has the advan tage of very high poll ratings, and abor tion, which is about as controversial as any subject on the public scene, appa rently is to get about as much help from Reagan as Equal Rights Amendment advocates got from the presidents who supported their cause. That was mostly moral support and it didn’t translate into much in the way of votes for ratification. The Battalion USPS 045 360 Member of Texas Press Association Southwest Journalism Conference Editor Diana Sultenfuss City Editor Bernie Fette Sports Editor Frank L. Christlieb News Editors... Tracey Buchanan, Dan Puckett Nancy Weatherley, Diane Yount Staff Writers Cyndy Davis, Susan Dittman, Terry Duran, Colette Hutchings, Hope E. Paasch, Joe Tindel Jr., Rebeca Zimmermann Cartoonist Scott McCullar Photographers David Fisher, Peter Rocha, John Ryan, Editorial Policy The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting news paper operated as a community service to Texas A&M University and Bryan-College Station. Opinions ex pressed in The Battalion are those of the editor or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Texas A&M University administrators or faculty mem bers, or of the Board of Regents. The Battalion also serves as a laboratory newspaper for students in reporting, editing and photography clas ses within the Department of Communications. Questions or qomments concerning any editorial mat ter should be directed to the editor. Letters Policy Letters to the Editor should not exceed 300 words in length, and are subject to being cut if they are longer. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for style and length, but will make every effort to maintain the author’s intent. Each letter must also be signed, show the address' and phone number of the writer. Columns and guest editorials are also welcome, and are not subject to the same length constraints as letters. Address all inquiries and correspondence to: Editor, The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M Uni versity, College Station, TX 77843, or phone (713) 845- 2611. The Battalion is published three times a week — Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday — during Texas A&M’s summer semesters, except for holiday and ex amination periods, when it is published only on Wednes days. Mail subscriptions are $16.75 per semester, $33.25 per school year and $35 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on request. Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald Building, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. United Press International is entitled exclusively to the use for reproduction of all news dispatches credited to it. Rights of reproduction of all other matter herein reserved. Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843. A photographer’s memories by Helen Thomas United Press International WASHINGTON — Andrew J. “Buck” May returned to the White House the other day to photograph his 12th president — Ronald Reagan — and to reminisce a bit about some of Reagan’s predecessors. The 81-year-old former White House photographer brought along a portfolio of mostly black and white photographs that fascinated Reagan, who paused longest to look at the pictures of his favo rite president, Calvin Coolidge. Two of them showed Coolidge start ing out for a walk with fans close on his heels, and Coolidge with flyer Charles Lindbergh in the ’20s. The first president May covered was Woodrow Wilson. He recalls that after Wilson’s stroke, the rumors were hot and heavy that Wilson was incapable of per forming his presidential duties. One day, presidential aide Joseph P. Tumulty told May he wanted him to photograph Wilson at his desk to prove that Wilson was able to carry on. Using an old Grailex, May took the photograph of Wilson sitting at his desk signing a paper, but Mrs. Wilson was holding down the document. The picture was not released until five or six years later. He said that for friendliness and charm, Reagan comes closest to Harry Truman, who was a great friend of news photographers. Truman called them by their first names and sent them a bottle of bourbon when they would have to stand in the rain for hours waiting for him. In fact, it was Truman who helped the White House photographers organize the “One More Club,” referring to their favorite expression: “Just one more, Mr. President.” May realizes the days when presidents bantered along with photographers seem to be gone. There are so many now, and new faces every day, carrying their small cameras into the Oval Office. There is little camaraderie left. Reagan regaled May with stories of Coolidge and May recalled that Coolidge was a “great prankster,” but he was also rigid. When his wife Grace went walking in the woods with a handsome Secret Ser vice agent and showed up 15 minutes late for lunch, Coolidge threw a tirade and had the agent shipped out of Washington. Another agent suffered the same fate when he went fishing with Coolidge at the president’s summer home and it rained. “Do you think the rain will stop,” Coolidge asked his guard. “It always does,” quipped the agent. Like most presidents, Coolidge some times grew tired of cameramen following his every step. “Get those rats away me,” May remembered him sayingit aides. May said he scored a beat when hei a shot of President Herbert Hooveri naval uniform saluting the troops seated aboard ship. Hoover had sti the bridge for three hours and was “Young man,” he told May, “youh you shouldn’t have done that." May has in his possession a picture, taken at the time of thedei tion of the Lincoln Memorial, shot Warren Harding, Todd Lincoln, former Speaker of the House “Hi Joe” Cannon huddled together. Also in his album is a photograpl Harding, dressed in his favorite ni togs, on his favorite mount in frontol Executive Office Building next do# the White House. Reagan, whoselovi riding, has to fly by helicopter intoVi nia to find protected riding trails. As a young photographer, juststait out in his career, May recalls the kinds of Theodore Roosevelt. “Mr. President, I’d like to makei ture of you,” he told Roosevelt. “All right, son,” said Roosevelt, posed for him. As he was leaving the White Hi May said: “I’ve seen a lot of history Those were the happiest days of my Caryl Word demon Molly by ( To hel unday College S :y Arts lummer. The s: |so by tl Ion and tind, wi 'ark in ( ihere oil he sche ling at 7 Jody tor ol tl os Valle Letters: Nuclear weapons a sin Editor: With regard to the increased discus sion of late of nuclear war, we would like to make the following remarks. We believe that nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war are the ultimate expression of man’s sinful nature. The devastating consequences of a nuclear war would be a terrible sin against crea tion, against man and especially against God. The issue is particularly important today because the large number of weapons and the spread of weapons tech nology has made the potential for war very great. Based upon our convictions about God, man and the world, we believe that the only solution which can provide long term protection from a general nuclear war is disarmament, either bilateral or unilateral. We recognize, however, that this is an idealistic solution, unlikely of implementation in the near term. Therefore, as preliminary steps lead ing to the realization of that goal, and as measures that would reduce the danger of a general war, we urge the following: 1. A freeze on the production of new weapons. 2. A reallocation of funds originally meant for weapons production to the de velopment of defensive technology that could render nuclear weapons obsolete and/or to humanitarian causes. 3. Renewed efforts at achieving signifi cant reductions in nuclear weapons already deployed. To our readers we say that whether you agree or disagree with our proposals, we urge you to think about this issue. Nuclear war poses the greatest threat to both our civilization and the world that man has ever faced. A general nuclear war would cause more devastation than any famine or epidemic in the history of the world. As the creators of these tech nological pathogens, the gravest respon sibility and challenge facing man today, indeed the gravest he has ever faced, is to ensure that they do not become his des troyers. Stuart Hobbs John R.C. Robinson Skydiving thanks Editor: The Texas A&M Sport Parachute Club would like to congratulate all those members who have made their first jump with the club. The positive response and acceptance towards the club since its reactivation this past spring semester has been greatly appreciated, and we hope it will continue in the many years to come. Not only have we helped over 60 Texas A&M students the small society “get their feet off the ground," we to; also had members of the staff, Dr.Mik jan, finance professor, and Dr. Tff Anderson, history professor, makeil* f first jump with us. A special thanks is extended toi officers of the club; Jan Walker, p* ident; Steve Haskett, vice presM Richard Zadow, vice president at-M Bruce Cootee, secretary-treasurer; to] Miller, club safety officer; and Harry! licotte, public relations and publj officer. Thanks also to Gary Boyd of J Houston Skydiving Center; to Cl4 Thurman of the Austin Farad j Center; and Cary Morgan of the Maj Parachute Center, for their dedica4 and guidance which truly helped the rebirth of the Texas A&M Sport! I rachute Club a safe and successful ofij sion. Keep on jumping. Blue skies andH landings. Harry Gallic^ by Brickmo( WITH TH& OtlLPieeH ALL MA£|Zl&P AMP <as>M£/au- \ I 8AV& L&FT MPW, x I'M ALL TtPl) HAP T<? 4TA£T WITH - \