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Frank Rich: Think I’m wrong? That I don’t have it all figured out? Then you’re a racist

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Pretty shocking that the threatening emails to and shooting-up of Eric Cantor’s office wasn’t mentioned in Frank Rich’s list of awful things people have done in response to this health-care bill. The NYT‘s editorial board is extremely demanding of those submitting guest op-eds, but apparently their own columnists get free reign over what they’ll mention — and conveniently leave out. Yeah, that inconsequential fact that the single most violent and threatening act perpetrated after the bill’s passage was against a Republican? Not even a passing mention was required of Rich. But this is kids’ stuff compared to my — to his — larger point.

Here’s the thing. A major columnist (probably better put: party hack) has boiled down opposition to this bill as nothing more/less than racism/bigotry, which you’ve seen some on the left do lately, sure, but which is going to get a lot worse as the media and Democrat politicians talk about this over the next year. This is the narrative they’ve been building since long before they passed the bill. And that makes it gut-check time for conservatives. Soon enough, all people will have to ask us, in order to determine whether or not we’re white supremacists, is whether we opposed Obamacare. How disgusting.

I can’t help but think this won’t work out for Dems in the long run, though. David Paul Kuhn wrote recently about how Obama’s biggest loss, demographically, since the election is white men. They’re tired of being vilified, held responsible for problems faced by people they’ve never met — and, keep in mind, these are liberal, or at least not conservative, white men who actually voted once for Obama and thus aren’t subject to charges of racism, according to the left’s definition of it (a racist, according to the left, is anyone who opposes any policy offered by the president, specifically, and policies offered by Democrats, generally).

At some point, even white folks on the left will likely soon wake up and decide, finally, that they’re tired of being held responsible for every ill that befalls minorities and being told that their opposition to a bad policy fix must mean they’re big fans of Nascar and a good country lynching. The problem is, regardless of whether whites flee en masse from the Democratic Party, Rich’s final point — about the shift of America’s demographics — might mean it won’t much matter, since very soon whites will be outnumbered by a coalition of minorities who’ve been told by the party they support that everything that’s wrong with society is the white man’s fault.

It’ll be interesting to see how, if it can be done at all, Dems will try to spin themselves out of their racism narrative once whites are eventually, technically, the minorities in this country.

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Kucinich is in: because he’ll get single-payer soon enough anyway

March 17, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s hard to imagine that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) — the most liberal member of the House, at least on the issue of health care — was persuaded to vote for the health-care bill by anything more or less than the fundamental economic and systemic reality it represents: a vote for it is to flick the domino, to set off a chain of events that will ultimately lead to the single-payer vision Kucinich clings to.

He told the Wall Street Journal that the president’s visit “underscored the urgency of this vote,” and that the president committed “to continue to work with me on the broad concerns that I have.”

It’s hard to imagine that the president didn’t convey to Mr. Kucinich that we’ll get there. “Look, Dennis,” he may have said, “let me be clear. This is just a big step toward the goal you and I both share. But failure to pass this bill leaves us where we are today — with nothing, with a broken health-care system. Let me be clear again. Wouldn’t you rather vote for a bill that slowly but surely eats at the private health-care system so that a move toward universal, government-run care, by default, becomes our only remaining option? I would. Vote with me. Thanks for letting me be clear.”

Matter of fact, Kucinich told the Journal, this bill is “a defining moment for whether or not we’ll have any opportunity to move off square one on health care.” This is square one? Wait, what? I thought this was fundamental reform? I thought this was the reform we’ve been waiting for? That we don’t have time for small fixes? If it’s square one, then what’s square two? Great question. Almost inevitably: the shift of all 305 million Americans — who soon, if this bill passes, won’t be able to afford private insurance — into a Medicaid-for-all program.

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I’m probably making a mountain of this molehill, but the article says Kucinich consulted the president, Pelosi, his wife, and close friends, before deciding ultimately to vote for this bill. Good politicians — or at least, politicians who have to worry about their jobs — at least pretend they consulted or listened to their constituents. This list of confidantes sounds more like that of a retiring NBA player or a repentant Tiger Woods — people whose careers are their own — and not that of an elected official who has to answer to the people he didn’t even think to mention when justifying his decision. Like I said, probably a minor quibble, but there it is.

Fox News sells out by accepting Obama interview

March 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Politico‘s Mike Allen reports:

President Obama sits down at the White House this afternoon with Bret Baier, anchor of Fox News’ ‘Special Report’ and former chief White House correspondent. A White House official: ‘Many of the falsehoods and myths about health reform gained traction with Glenn Beck and others on FOX, so the President is returning to the scene of the crime to make the final sale. As we have said, we will work with Fox where it serves our communications interests, and this does.’ The interview is sure to have a huge echo effect because of past White House criticism of Fox, and is a creative way to break through the health care white noise. Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer offered the interview to Baier on Monday.

I, and probably many others, might have respected Fox more if it had said something to this effect: “No, thanks, Mr. Pfeiffer. Until the president or Mr. Gibbs releases a statement saying the Administration was wrong to discredit Fox News as a news organization, dismissing us as a mere propaganda firm, we’ll respectfully decline. You say our station ‘serves [your] communications interests,’ does it? Well, as long as we’re just a propaganda propagator of the right wing in your eyes, we’ll act like it: till we get our apology, your propaganda isn’t welcome here.”

It would have made for great news, ratings, and added a bit of heft to the Fox organization if it had had the stones to stand up to the Propagandist in Chief.

Rasmussen Reports [Only Part of the Unfolding Obama Story]

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Polling on the president, Democrats, congressional Democratic leaders, and this health-care plan all seems to show that Democrats are in bad, awful, terrible shape. What I like most about this Rasmussen Reports article is how pathetically the pollster strains to find “one bright spot in the numbers” for President Obama:

One bright spot in the numbers for the President is that 51% of voters still say former President George W. Bush is more to blame for the nation’s economic woes. Just 41% point the finger of blame at the current President.

Really. Bright spot? What if I told this fella — and I shouldn’t have to; he studies trends for a living and should know — that 75% of those polled in July of last year blamed Bush? And what if I told him that by July of this year that number had come down to 56%? Far from a bright spot, it appears to be cause for great concern to Obama: President Bush is gaining on him in favor and improving his image as people look back on his presidency in their rear-view, even if today the snapshot of a trend shows a bare majority still blaming ol’ Dubya.

Oh, and one more thing: yes, “just” 41% blame Obama, the Rasmussen analyst (or reporter, or intern) says. But in July, only 29% did. So it’s not just that Bush is losing the blame; it’s that Obama, and not someone else — not Congress, not the Fed, not Leader Reid, not Speaker Pelosi — happens also to be earning it quite effectively.