When you cozy up to despots, they get the impression you're a pushover. "The United States has lodged a 'strong protest' with the Vietnamese government over the attack on a U.S. diplomat by police in central Vietnam, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday. Christian Marchant, a political officer with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, was roughed up outside a residence where outspoken Catholic priest Nguyen Van Ly is being held under house arrest, Radio Free Asia reported." It seems we are neither loved nor respected these days.
When you hire a banker as chief of staff, you make it hard to sound like a populist. Ben Smith's smart take: "[Bill] Daley's appointment brings to the fore the Obama critique Charlie Gasparino laid out in his tough book this fall: That the Obama White House (like, perhaps, most of its predecessors) represents Big Business and Big Government 'in an unholy alliance against the American taxpayer.' This thesis -- that Obama allied himself with Wall Street and against the middle class -- has a wider appeal than the 'socialist' name-calling, and is likely what you'll be hearing from the Republican nominee come summer 2012." And there is even a term for it: crony capitalism.
When you want to make a splash in the GOP pre-2012 positioning, it is good to have a visible project. Newt Gingrich's American Solution is gathering signatures and urging voters to call congressmen and senators on the ObamaCare repeal vote. And notice the focus on vulnerable senators: "There are 33 Senators up for re-election in 2012, and every one of them should have to tell his or her constituents what he or she plans to do to help repeal ObamaCare."
When you bad mouth the Constitution, you give voters the idea that all you're interested in is unbridled power. Perhaps it is a quintessential Kinseyian gaffe by liberals (who inadvertently revealed the truth about their own beliefs). Peter Wehner writes that the left "is constantly, even relentlessly, looking for ways to increase the powers of the federal government (witness the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010). In order to achieve this, the Constitution needs to be ignored or, better yet, re-invented as a Living Constitution, constantly evolving, morphing from age to age, interpreted in light of the 'evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.'" But as a matter of politics, it is, to be blunt, dumb. Americans actually do revere their Constitution.
When you embarrass your employer, imperil its funding and unfairly discharge an employee, you really should get fired. "One executive at NPR has stepped down and another got her bonus cut over the dismissal of news analyst Juan Williams. NPR chief executive Vivian Schiller has been docked her 2010 bonus because of her role in Williams's firing, which set off a firestorm of controversy and fueled GOP cries to defund the news outlet. The outlet also announced that Ellen Weiss, who fired Williams, has resigned. Weiss was the senior vice president for news."
When you are looking for an ungracious, profane and unappreciative pol who's apparently indifferent to the opportunity of a lifetime to serve the American people, search no further than Rahm Emanuel. "Emanuel had told [ Peter] Rouse that the grueling chief of staff position has one benefit -- a stately office. 'It has a great fireplace, and a great deck, but everything in between sucks.'"
When you cut right through it, isn't there a dream team ticket waiting for the GOP? Bill Kristol muses, "Wouldn't it be easier just to agree now on a Ryan-Rubio ticket, and save everyone an awful lot of time, effort, and money over the next year and a half?"
| January 7, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories: Morning Bits
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