DISSIMULATION can be a useful skill for a politician, but the Bush administration overdoes it -- especially on civil rights. Congress can't make the executive branch talk straight on these issues, but it can and should pass a civil rights bill that will mitigate the effects of the administration's indifference and hypocrisy.
Consider three recent events:
* Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin released a report on the "glass ceiling" that prevents women and minorities from reaching the top executive levels at many corporations. But she refused to characterize that as discrimination and saw no need for new laws or regulations.
* The Department of Justice came down on the side of Operation Rescue's street fighters against women attempting to exercise their constitutionally protected right to abortion. The attorney general insisted that it was taking sides only on the legal issue of federal jurisdiction.