By the time of the November elections, Republicans are likely to have given the voters four good reasons why they are not an answer to Clinton and the Democrats. Those four good reasons are a crime bill, a health bill, the Law of the Sea Treaty and the World Trade Organization.

The crime bill favors drug dealers and criminalizes innocent gun owners. It puts government on the side of drug lords and against law-abiding gun owners.The overriding result of the health plan is to break the doctor-patient relationship. Once the personal and ethical relationship between doctors and patients is broken, bureaucrats can save the government money by denying expensive treatments for sick people. That is what the Clinton-Mitchell-Gephardt-Democrat-Republican health plan is all about.

The voters don't know that the purpose of the health bill is to save money at their expense and that the purpose of the crime bill is to let drug dealers out of prison and to make it harder to put them there. Republicans are doing just as well keeping this secret as the Democrats.

Republicans pretend that the problem with the crime bill is pork-barrel spending. Newt Gingrich, the House Republican leader who looks and sounds more and more like Bob Michel everyday, rushed over to the White House to help Clinton revive the defeated bill. Clinton agreed to a 3 percent cut in pork, enough to buy off Gingrich.

So we are going to have a $32 billion "crime bill" that frees drug dealers and criminalizes gun owners instead of a $33 billion bill that does the same thing. As George Wallace and Ross Perot say: There's not a dime's worth of difference between Remocrats and Depublicans. Both stand and deliver the same deceptive legislation.

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The Law of the Sea Treaty, which uses our money to set up new international U.N.-style bureaucracies to run our affairs, was torpedoed in the early 1980s. Clinton has revived it.

As bad as the Law of the Sea Treaty is, at least the politicians admit it is a treaty - more than they will admit in the case of the World Trade Organization. The WTO sets up new international tribunals that can rule on the legality of state, local and federal laws as they affect international trade. There is so much opposition to the WTO that if treated as a treaty, it could not muster the two-thirds vote required for Senate ratification.

The function of an opposition party is to expose and hold accountable the machinations of the dominant party. The Republicans are no more than a pretend opposition. As the crime bill shows, only tiny spending differences separate Remocrats from Depublicans.

America deserves better than bipartisan deception.

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