20 YEARS AGO
"Fiscal conservatives should have by now been jolted from their 30-year fantasy that if only Republicans controlled Congress, government would become smaller, less consequential, and less intrusive. Those (including me) who once upon time believed this fairy tale should have known better. As in the early 1980s, we have once again collided with the central reality that despite the appealing rhetoric, the GOP is not a small-government party. The Democratic cardinals on Capitol Hill have simply handed over the reins of power to a cast of Republican cardinals."
"Tendentious terminology has always been a problem in the abortion debate. People who support restrictions, for example, call themselves 'pro-life,' implying that their opponents are 'pro-death.' Now a federal jury in Chicago has resolved this semantic difficulty. The correct term for antiabortion activists, it turns out, is racketeers--or, if you prefer, extortionists."
"Mouths Sued Shut"
"You can't judge a book by its cover, but can you judge a man by the books he gives to his, er, inamoratas? That's a question raised by accounts that one of the gifts President Clinton gave to former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was a copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. As Newsweek reported, Clinton had 'also happened to give Hillary [a copy] when they were courting.'"
30 YEARS AGO
"Public housing officials in Chicago turn homeless squatters out of abandoned public housing units in the dead of winter. Bureaucrats from San Francisco to Boston prowl the streets looking to uncover residents' illegal conversions of single-family homes to multi-person living spaces. A local television news team uncovers the city of Los Angeles as the biggest slumlord in town, owner of hundreds of housing units that do not meet minimal standards of decency required of capitalist landlords. But all liberal eyes are on Washington, D.C. From there, all blessings flow. Oh, Congress, we beseech you, let our prayers be answered. Let us have 'a comprehensive housing bill for the 1990s.'"
"After six years of bitter debate in Congress and another year in which amnesty dominated the headlines, the new immigration law is a fact of daily life. The purest Daughter of the American Revolution can no longer get a job without presenting the right papers. But the United States is...