Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I like the term, coined as far as I know by Richard Cohen in an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post.  He points out the similarities between Palin's ability to drive the debate on health care as a death panel scare to MacCarthy's ability to drive the debate in Washington as a whole as a red scare.

He's right, in that both debates are trumped up, baseless lies, and are beside any kind of actual point.

He's also right in a way he didn't intend.  The red scare was fear mongering and insane, but there was legitimate cause to at least investigate a few people in the State Department and to oust a few sympathizers.  What it became--McCarthyism--was a crazy caricature of responsible security.

I am not comfortable with the current direction of Democratic health care reform.  The problem is that the only real opposition to their proposals is a crazy caricature of responsible debate. 

What to do when the enemies of my enemies are insane?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Possible Lifting?

In searching for the Jesse Jackson quote comparing Michael Vick to Jackie Robinson, I ran across this commentary from Mason Lerner of "The Faster Times".

Looking further I found this piece from James Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Does anyone else think that Causey's piece (10 August) sounds an awful lot like Mason's (9 August)?

They both comment on the NY Times piece on Jackon's comments, as did I, but the pieces seem more than coincidentally similar to my ear.

Jackson on Everything

Jesse Jackson has recently weight in on Michael Vick's potential career in the NFL.  Seriously. 

Whatever credibility Jackson had left is now completely gone in my mind.  What on Earth does he have to add to this?  Well the New York Times reports that he says:

“I want to make it an issue,” Jackson said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I want teams to explain why they have a quarterback who has less skills but is playing or at least is on the taxi squad, and a guy with more skills can’t get into training camp.”
So this is crazy for two reasons. 

  1. Jackson wants teams to explain why they have quarterbacks who aren't as skilled?  In whose opinion?  Jackson's?  He knows who's better than whom? 
  2. He knows that the Bills *must* choose the more skilled backup quarterback?  And why? They have *no* other considerations?  Like maybe is he the kind of guy who kills dogs for fun? 
Where was Jackson when I was laid off?  Why didn't he require Motorola to explain why other, less skilled, project managers were being kept while I was let go?

And this is another quote from the reverend:

"Democracy does not guarantee success. Democracy guarantees an opportunity. It’s not fair to de facto try to lock him out of his right to compete."
What?!  This makes no sense at all.  Democracy is our form of government, not our form of running football leagues.  If he'd said this runs counter to our collective ethic of fairness... well okay.  He'd then have gotten off crazy and elevated himself to just being wrong.

The NY Times also had this to say:

Jackson, born in 1941, has been a civil rights activist for most of his adult life. He said that in some ways, Vick’s attempt to re-enter the N.F.L. was similar to Jackie Robinson’s entering Major League Baseball.
Now unfortunately they don't give us the quote and I've looked and can't find it, which I think is criminally negligent journalism.  Apparently it was confined to saying that Vick and Robinson both had to find courageous owners willing to make a controversial signing.  Could anything be crazier in the context of sports than to compare a criminal attempting to convince NFL teams he can still play to Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier?  Really, I need to see what Jackson said because while I think the NY Times is generally trustworthy, it doesn't seem possible that even Jesse Jackson is this crazy.