Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Bob Herbert is convinced minorities are the victims of a disproportionate number of police stops. But wait – they commit a disproportionate number of crimes, as his own statistics show. (As of mid-2008, there were 4,777 black men imprisoned in America for every 100,000 black men in the population. By comparison, there were only 727 white male inmates per 100,000 white men.) Unless one is to believe there is an undetected crime wave of white criminals (or wrongfully convicted blacks), it seems there isn’t anything terribly awry here. Herbert nevertheless demands that minorities should ”roar out their anger at such treatment, lift up their voices and demand change.” As we saw with Professor Gates and Obama, the race victim mongers don’t need any evidence of discrimination to keep their story line alive.

Covering a focus group, Slate‘s John Dickerson pleads with Obama to slow down: “There were lots of concerns expressed on everything from the growth of spending to the Wall Street bailouts. But speed was the big issue. ‘People just need to breathe,’ said [pollster Peter] Hart. ‘It’s like trying to shove a meal down in a minute. These people are saying, ‘Slow down, Mr. President.’ This echoed something I’d heard earlier in the day from House Minority Leader John Boehner. Talking about the Blue Dog Democrats, who were slowing the pace of health care legislation in the House, Boehner said: ‘It’s not surprising these members would have to stand up and say ‘stop.’ That’s what most Americans are saying.’” To the dismay of Rahm Emanuel (“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”), Americans seem not to want a leftist revolution.

Former HSS secretary Michael Leavitt on why ObamaCare has stalled: “Simply stated: Partisan overreach. The Democrats produced a bill that is simply over the top on federal government control and that includes more new taxes than our economy can stand. It is just too much Washington.” As he notes, the Obama crowd missed the lesson of HillaryCare. The moral wasn’t to let Congress write the bill; it was not to freak out the American people.

Nearing the anniversary of the invasion of Georgia, Russia is once again making threats. Didn’t they hit the reset button? Oh, that was only us.

Matthew Continetti: “One can’t help noticing that the more Obama talks about his health plan, the less the public supports it. Why? Partly because voters have connected the dots between the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Obamacare. They have seen the meager results and huge deficits that the stimulus produced, and can’t come up with a good reason to embark on yet another government shopping spree. For the public, the stimulus was bad economic medicine. Now Obama wants it to try another, unapproved experimental drug.”

Cash for Clunkers” has raised the ire of John McCain and some Senate Democrats. Say what you will; the car dealerships in my area were jammed on Saturday.

Democrats think about jamming health care through on 51 votes in the Senate: “With bipartisan health care negotiations teetering, Democrats are talking reluctantly — and very, very quietly — about exploiting a procedural loophole they planted in this year’s budget to skirt Republican filibusters against a health care overhaul. The Democrats are talking reluctantly because using the tactic, which is officially known as reconciliation, would present a variety of serious procedural and substantive obstacles that could result in a piece-meal health bill. And they are whispering because the mere mention of reconciliation touches partisan nerves and could be viewed as a threat by the three Republicans still engaged in the sensitive health talks, causing them to collapse.” So don’t tell anyone.