In the last issue of Catalyst, we mentioned that the Catholic League was challenging the Clinton nomination of James Hormel to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg; Hormel refuses to retract his endorsement of the anti-Catholic group, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. At press time, he was still in the running. It seems that Hormel’s generosity to many causes that congressmen and senators applaud have made it difficult for them to vote against him.
Since writing to every member of the Senate, the most interesting development thus far came from the office of California Senator Dianne Feinstein. She wrote the league citing Hormel’s philanthropy, adding that “the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the nomination of Jim Hormel without objection….” Yet the week before we received a letter from Jesse Helms, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, wherein he said “I share your opposition to Mr. Hormel’s nomination and, as you know, I voted against it….”
Upon receipt of Senator Feinstein’s letter, we called her office and asked for an explanation. We were told that the phrase “without objection” was not meant to suggest unanimous support for Mr. Hormel, but rather to indicate that the nomination “was not held up” in committee. Sounds to us like a classic case of Clintonese, worthy of inclusion in the ever-growing Orwellian book on Doublespeak.