Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

We have a new frontrunner in the “haven’t got a clue” division of the RNC Chairmanship contest: “A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas — which included a song titled ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ — was clearly intended as a joke.The title of the song about President-elect Barack Obama was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column.’I think most people recognize political satire when they see it,’ Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. ‘I think RNC members understand that.’” Not sure about the RNC members, but I think some conservatives are wondering just how low the GOP’s percentage of the minority vote will go if Republicans keep up this sort of thing.

And the Washington Post remarks: “Another candidate to lead the GOP, South Carolina party chair Katon Dawson, drew headlines this fall by resigning his membership of 12 years in a whites-only country club, weeks before launching his run for the national job. The incidents for both men come as Republicans are reeling from losing the presidency and dozens of House and Senate seats, and as many in the party are trying to improve relations with African Americans, who voted in record numbers for Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates last month.” Hmm. You think it would help if their leadership stopped making racially charged jokes and attending whites-only clubs?

A kernel of news in this interview: Bill Simon may run for California Governor in 2010.

Norm Coleman’s plight might not be quite as dire as the MSM portrayed it, in part because he can still bring, at a later time, his claim that some ballots were double counted. But there’s no doubt that Al Franken has a clearer path to victory.

Mitt Romney’s personal New Year’s resolution? “Stop wearing a suit and tie to bed.” (“Show some self-deprecating sense of humor so people won’t think I’m robotic” might be closer to the truth.)

Bob Herbert tells us all to stop being “stupid” about the economy and declares: “Somehow, over the past few decades, that has become the American way: to pay for things — from wars to Wall Street bonuses to flat-screen TVs to video games — with money that wasn’t there.” So, now we’re going to pay for a trillion dollars in “shovel-ready” projects and  billions more on items like nationalized healthcare with money that isn’t there. But that’s perfectly okay. Got it?

George Will sums up: “Forty years ago, Vietnam was a disaster and the Great Society a disappointment as Johnson limped back to Texas. Today, there is more Johnsonian confidence in government’s competence than at any time since Johnson’s policies shattered such confidence.”

I think this take on Blago-gate is essentially correct: “The governor of Illinois is not going down without a fight. He is now seeking subpoena’s for Emanuel and other members of Obama’s staff with regard to his Impeachment Proceedings. Emanuel and Obama should publicly ask Fitzgerald to make all tapes and transcripts of Obama staff public asap. I suspect they won’t because the tapes may not prove criminal conduct by them, but, I suspect would not hold up in the court of public opinion. Unless they get this behind them, Blago is going to haunt them daily.” By getting into  a back-and-forth with Blago  the Senate seat and his own Congressional seat, Rahm Emanuel showed none of his famed political sophistication. He must have know the feds could be listening, yet he waded into Blago’s ethical goo anyway. Not smart at all.

Amidst all the mumbo-jumbo about government “creating jobs,” Larry Summers promises that the stimulus plan will include “both government spending and tax cuts to raise incomes and promote recovery.” Well, if he’s serious about meanginful tax cuts to spur private sector growth and job creation he’s going to find a lot of Republican support.

Meanwhile, we learn that the President-elect spent two hours talking to FBI agents and the U.S. attorneys. Seems like an awful lot of time for someone who didn’t have any idea “what was happening.”