Category Archives: Political Commentary

Chris Dodd Thoughts

Glenn has pointed out (rightly or wrongly, I don’t know–I don’t get around the blogosphere as much as he apparently does) that so-called “right-wing” blogs were much harder on Trent Lott than the lefty blogs are being now on Dodd in his own “Trent Lott” moment.

There are at least four things going on here, I think, though I should start by clarifying terminology, because a lot of the so-called right-wing blogs (including, among many others, this one, Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan) aren’t really right wing, except in the very narrow definition of “not opposed to the war.”

Now, if someone were to use such a restrictive definition, and put our round pegs in such an otherwise square hole, then part of being “right wing” is intrinsically liking Republicans, and being at least somewhat racist. Thus, it might have appeared surprising to people who confuse such things that these “right-wing” bloggers were attacking the leader of the Republicans in the Senate for simply saying things that we all agree with in our hearts anyway.

Of course, the reality is that few of us are truly “right-wing,” and many of the sites that were did in fact defend Lott, not because they are racist or knee-jerk Republicans, but because they saw a double standard being applied (as the current Dodd situation amply demonstrates). Two examples that come to mind are Sean Hannity and Fred Barnes (who is even this week using the Dodd case as an example of why Lott was treated unfairly).

So, anyway, this notion that “right-wing” blogs took down Lott is mistaken–he was taken down by libertarian blogs that were offended by such statements coming from anyone, particularly someone in a national leadership position.

But the second thing was that many, including me, never liked Lott to begin with, for many reasons having nothing to do with dumb racist remarks. Many Republicans considered him a disaster, always rolling over for Tom Daschle (most notably during impeachment), and were happy to use this as an excuse to rouse up the Democrats to make getting rid of him a quick and bi-partisan effort. I’m not aware of any similar unhappiness with Chris Dodd among Democrats.

The third, of course, is that there’s a perception that the Republicans have a history of racism to live down, so a Democrat can get away with things that a Republican cannot, as has been demonstrated by the object of the controversy, Senator Byrd, for decades. This is, of course, nonsense, since Republicans remain the party of Lincoln, and the Democrats have much more recent history in such matters (their dirty little secret remains the fact that much of the sixties civil rights legislation would never have passed without significant Republican support–too many southern Democrats opposed it). But the myth carries on, and the donkies feel that by pandering to the black community they inoculate themselves against charges of racism, and unfortunately, given the mindset of the media, they’re probably right. Because of this unfair perception, there is a need for Republicans to bend over backwards to censure any hint of true racism, and Lott certainly appeared to be guilty of that.

The fourth is a simple matter of integrity. Democrats tend to defend their own much more viciously than Republicans, almost always placing party over principle. The most notable example of this is to compare the difference between how Republicans treated their criminal president, sending senior party leaders down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House to tell Richard Nixon it was time to go, while Democrats rallied around the corrupt Bill Clinton almost to a man and woman. Or compare Clinton’s treatment to Bob Packwood’s.

So don’t hold your breath waiting for any denunciations of Chris Dodd from the port side of the blogosphere in any manner resembling the fire that Lott received from either the true or so-called right.

Self Aggrandizing?

There’s been speculation about this for the past few months, but if this story is true, Senator Kerry’s war record and medals may be a little… less potent a weapon…in the campaign than many Democrats had hoped.

If they’re smart, though, they won’t release this stuff too soon. Better to hold it until after the convention.

Not Sauce For The Gander

Instapundit points out an article in which a police union says that police officers and their families should be above the law, at least when it comes to traffic infractions, including speeding.

While this is outrageous in itself, it would seemingly put the lie to the notion that the purpose of such laws is for public safety, since it’s no “safer” for a police officer’s wife to speed than it is for anyone else. It’s a tacit admission that it’s all about revenue generation, and just as government workers shouldn’t necessarily have to pay taxes (since they’re paid from taxes), they shouldn’t be subject to this revenue de-vice either. Remember this the next time you hear a lecture from a cop about how dangerous it is to exceed the speed limit.


Mark Steyn doesn’t believe John Effing Kerry:

”Oh sure. I follow and I’m interested,” says John Kerry. ”I’m fascinated by rap and by hip-hop. I think there’s a lot of poetry in it. There’s a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you’d better listen to it pretty carefully, ’cause it’s important . . . I’m still listening because I know that it’s a reflection of the street and it’s a reflection of life.”

Really? You’re ”fascinated” by rap and ”listening” to hip-hop? You’re America’s first flip-flopper hip-hopper?…

…If only that MTV guy had said to Kerry, ”Yeah, right. Name a song.” Think Kerry could’ve? Reckon if you bust into his pad and riffled through his and Teresa’s CD collection you’d find a single rap album? Of course, you wouldn’t find any in George and Laura’s CD collection either. The difference is that President Bush doesn’t feel the need to pretend…

… This isn’t entirely a matter of trivialities. The fads and fashions of the world aren’t confined to the Billboard Hot 100. All over the planet, men in late middle age are pretending to like stuff just ’cause it’s what the likes of Maureen Dowd tell them people want to hear. John Kerry pretends to like gangsta rap. Russia pretends it supports the Kyoto Accord. The European Union pretends Yasser Arafat is committed to peace with Israel. The Security Council pretends its resolutions mean something. Kofi Annan pretends the Oil-for-Fraud program is a humanitarian aid effort for the Iraqi people. The International Atomic Energy Authority pretends the mullahs in Tehran are good-faith negotiators on the matter of Iranian nukes.

It’s easy to pander to fashion — whether on pop music, the environment, the Middle East ”peace process” or sentimental transnationalism. But on MTV, Kerry wasn’t done yet. After coming out for hip-hop, he managed to blame the Bush administration’s ”behavior” for making terrorists become terrorists. I guess that terrorism’s just a ”reflection of the street,” too. Doubtless there’s ”a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it.” The MTV crowd loved the line, and no doubt Jacques Chirac and the Arab League will as well. Welcome to John Kerry’s hip-hop foreign policy: Ask the multilateral gang what’s hip, and hop to it.