Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Iraqi Ambassador Smacks Down Code Pink

Pure gold. If only it was presented so well to whack jobs like Code Pink more often.

Kennedy Nepotism

There are few things that disgust me like the reverence many Americans hold for the Kennedy household. I see nothing inherently wrong with claiming JFK was a good President (an average President in my assessment), or that liberals may feel Bobby Kennedy would have been an excellent president if he were not assassinated (an unscientific conjecture, but I am willing to let it slide), but to extend this benevolence to anyone associated with the family’s lineage is the most appalling form of nepotism Democrats readily participate in.

We have yet another Kennedy (this time it’s Caroline) looking to capitalize on her namesake, and she looks posed to take Clinton’s senate seat when she departs to be Obama’s Secretary of State.

The fact that she is even being considered for the position over qualified civil servants should disgust any American, but that doesn’t begin to repulse me. Forget that she has little experience doing anything of significance (let alone legislative experience), and that she has only been heavily involved in a number of duties that revolve around glorifying the family’s name (like standing as President of the JFK library). I can also excuse the reason she was brought into the political center stage: the Obama campaign wanted to incorporate the populace’s romanticism of America’s Camelot into electoral victory for their candidate. A shrewd but wretched political move, but so goes an American election.

What really disturbs me about this whole Caroline Kennedy episode, is the way supposedly smart individuals (and plenty stupid ones), are willing to enthusiastically push the Kennedy family’s narrative. Ruth Marcus wrote for the Washington Post:
What really draws me to the notion of Caroline as senator, though, is the modern-fairy-tale quality of it all. Like many women my age -- I'm a few months younger than she -- Caroline has always been part of my consciousness: The lucky little girl with a pony and an impossibly handsome father. The stoic little girl holding her mother's hand at her father's funeral. The sheltered girl, whisked away from a still-grieving country by a mother trying to shield her from prying eyes.

In this fairy tale, Caroline is our tragic national princess. She is not locked away in a tower but chooses, for the most part, to closet herself there. Her mother dies, too young. Her impossibly handsome brother crashes his plane, killing himself, his wife and his sister-in-law. She is the last survivor of her immediate family; she reveals herself only in the measured doses of a person who has always been, will always be, in the public eye.”
And that my friends, is the most disgusting piece of bullshit I have read in months, which sadly appeared in a leading paper. I happen to like French architecture and art associated with the royal family of France, but I have no plans to support the “legitimist” line of heredity over the democratically elected government, regardless of the ‘fairy tale’ visions that period’s art inspires in me. Ruth Marcus should be utterly ashamed by her willingness to enforce hereditary idealism on the nation.

Thankfully, I am not the only one who thinks so. Richard Bradley states:
In several important ways, she's also considerably less suited for public office than the two senators who currently represent New York, Clinton and Charles Schumer.

Unlike Clinton and Schumer, Kennedy has always seemed more interested in avoiding public issues than engaging them. As an adult, she has tended to work at jobs that didn't require her to work all that hard and didn't require her to mingle with ordinary people.”
Ross Douthat also takes aim at Ruth’s argument:
This sort of politics is entertaining to write about, which is one reason why fantasy sagas and Shakespeare are generally more interesting than Washington novels. But after twenty years with the same two families in the White House - which nearly became twenty-four (or twenty-eight) - for a political columnist to endorse a pointless escalation of dynastic politics because it fulfills the fairy-tale mythos her generation spun around a mediocre, tragically-murdered President and his good-looking family isn't "girly"; it's an embarrassment.”
So for the love, someone tell this woman to go back to her fundraising activates furthering her family’s benefaction, but giving her a seat in government would be a disgrace.

Wise Words from Condoleezza Rice

"The removal of a tyrant is a pretty big thing. Look, so a reporter threw a shoe, which, by the way, is a kind of sign of the freedom that people feel in Iraq, but somehow what was missed was the extraordinary moment for the President of the United States to go to Iraq, of all places, and to be received by a democratically elected Prime Minister, a democratically elected Presidency Council, with full honors at the Presidential Palace with the Iraqi band playing the national anthem of the United States of America. I think that is far more salient than one guy who decided to throw a shoe."

(HT Rick Richman)