October 26th, 2000
-- The slippery, see-sawing polls have created a volatile and manic environment in Washington. This week we go to the Washington Memo mail bag to get a taste of the whip-sawed emotions around the capital. Our featured letter this week comes from a political junkie who would only identify himself as Mr. X.
Dear Washington Memo,
I read last week's Washington Memo and watched for the possible Gore surge that you said might be coming after the debate.
But on Saturday morning I made my decision. Gore was going to lose and I had to make the best of it.
When the Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, cyberlibertarians breathed a sigh of relief. But keeping government out of the censorship business may not be enough to assure freedom online -- censorship may now be privatized.
The near-comic conclusion of the Wen Ho Lee case splattered more than enough egg to cover the faces of much of Washington. It's a media story, a federal law enforcement story, a civil liberties story, perhaps even a discrimination story. But more than anything else, the Lee case and its awkward denouement are, or should be, a political story.
Speaking to a German radio interviewer last July, Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui sparked a diplomatic fire storm with three seemingly innocuous words: Taiwan, he announced, would henceforth treat contacts with mainland China as "state-to-state" relations.