Stronger Than a Presidential Veto
Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, it’s that of Howard Wolpe, who for 14 years represented a Michigan district near Grand Rapids in the House. He was the prime mover behind the 1986 law that imposed sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid regime, an effort that involved passing it; having President Reagan veto it (he opposed sanctions); drafting and passing a watered-down version; having Reagan veto that; and corralling a two-thirds super-majority to overturn the second veto. In 1984’s election, his Republican opponent campaigned against him in part by appealing to ministers to “send another Christian to Congress.” At least in his case, the South African majority must have been pleased that that appeal to ethnic solidarity failed.