Stories by Jay Gatsby
January 5th, 2012 at 12:15 am
I have always been weary of the whine regarding the purported “liberal media”; having won 60% of presidential elections over the last 40 years, near-complete dominance of the radio airwaves, and a cable news behemoth with ratings greater than the aggregate of both its nearest competitors, conservatives are hardly the most suppressed segment of our society. Yet even for a skeptic like me, MSNBC’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses was truly a sight to behold.
December 20th, 2011 at 12:59 am
In a New York Times piece ostensibly characterizing Eric Holder’s Justice Department tenure as tenacity in the face of partisan beligerence, the US Attorney General gives opponents the equivalent of manna from Heaven: “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him…both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
November 29th, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Newt Gingrich has a voluminous history of misdeeds as a public figure. But since he is now emerging as the consensus alternative to Mitt Romney, we should pause to appreciate how he is succeeding where others have failed in auditioning for that role.
I write this not as a Newt Gingrich fan, but in grudging admission that despite the mistakes he has made, his opponents have done worse.
November 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am
Liberal pundits attributing Herman Cain’s unlikely rise to his role as racial scapegoat may now rest their voices: Conservatives themselves will prove their case from here.
After the sexual harassment story broke, Cain saw the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter rush to his defense. Coulter immediately invoked Justice Clarence Thomas in his own words: “This is another high-tech lynching.” Another already? It’s only been 21 years!
October 4th, 2011 at 7:34 am
After a story this weekend unturned the most famous rock in the recent history of presidential politics, some made a prediction which I hoped would prove incorrect: The person most at risk of harm from a racial controversy in the GOP race would prove to be Herman Cain. Cain has thrived in part by reassuring Republicans on race. The speech that won him the Florida CPAC straw poll passionately denied that there was any racial component to opposition to the Obama administration. But what would happen if Cain deviated from this script?
He deviated this Weekend. He said of the painted stone on the Perry Hunting tract: “Since Governor Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.”
The next day Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves to blast Cain: (more…)
September 30th, 2011 at 12:11 pm
When it comes to issues of race, the nation’s first black president makes us question one of the hoariest axioms in American politics: If both the left and the right are mad at you, are you doing something right?
On September 29th, Politico documented rising criticism of a weekend speech Obama gave to the Congressional Black Caucus, during which he beseeched his audience to: “Stop complainin’! Stop grumblin’! Stop cryin’!” Putting aside for the moment the condescendin’ g-droppin’, the performance has drawn sharp rebuke from figures ranging from Tavis Smiley to emerging gadfly Maxine Waters.
July 27th, 2011 at 7:54 am
On Tuesday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann took to Iowa to call Washington “out-of-touch” in the current debt ceiling struggle, instructing: “What we need is a fundamental restructuring of our economy.” She went on to insist that in the course of her campaigning, she hears nothing but repeated calls to flat-out reject any move to raise the debt ceiling, period.
March 3rd, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Laura Ingraham this week criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his apparent intention to sit-out the 2012 presidential campaign. She asked on air “(If) Chris Christie and these guys think the country is going to hell in a hand basket, isn’t it incumbent upon all of them…to step in now regardless of whether it is personally convenient for them?”
While talk radio is urging Chris Christie to enter the race, it is demanding that Mitch Daniels exit. The Indiana governor drew accolades from many for his CPAC performance — but Rush Limbaugh and other talkers have blasted him for his talk of a truce on social issues and his decision not to insert a brand-new right-to-work initiative at the top of his agenda.
Why is Chris Christie the heartthrob of the radio right, while Daniels is suddenly an intolerable RINO? Christie is not more conservative than Daniels, and arguably even less so. Christie told the Newark Star-Ledger that while personally pro-life, he won’t use his office to “shove that down people’s throats.” He supports New Jersey’s restrictive gun laws. And like Daniels, he has decided it’s tough enough to face his public-sector unions that he does not need to start an unrelated fight over right-to-work with private-sector unions. Yet the most acid-tongued of all right-wing commentators, Ann Coulter, has championed a Christie candidacy, asserting that if he declines to run, “Romney will be our nominee and we’ll lose.”
The difference is this: talk radio is not much interested in the substance of a politician’s views or the reasons for decisions. Talk radio wants a confrontational style, and unlike the soft-spoken Daniels, the fierce Christie meets the test. The rule seems to be: it’s OK to be a Republican moderate – provided you are belligerent enough about it.
September 15th, 2010 at 6:24 am
As Republicans nationally continued to show a propensity for self-destruction Tuesday night, the Party’s New York faction eagerly did its part to ensure the Empire State remains a Democratic lifeline.
If ever there were a year that New York could begin a return to its days as a bastion of moderate Republicanism, this was it. With the appointment of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand resulting in an odd confluence of both Senate seats facing election in the same cycle, Republicans faced a unique opportunity to change the face of at least half the state’s delegation. Gillibrand, in addition to being appointed by the woefully inept Governor David Paterson, also faced charges of flip-flopping from previously conservative positions on guns and gay marriage. Despite her deep-pocketed fundraising prowess, Gillibrand offered a rare opportunity for Republicans to pick off a Senate seat in deep blue country. Amidst controversial stewardship by State Party Chairman Ed Cox, the Republicans recruited to take up this challenge were a veritable all-star lineup: former Port Authority Commissioner Bruce Blakeman, former Bear Stearns executive David Malpass, and former Westchester Congressman Joseph DioGuardi. The latter of the three emerged victorious, a CPA who can run on name recognition as the father of a former American Idol judge.
To take on Senator Charles Schumer, Republicans tapped political consultant Jay Townsend and former FBI agent Gary Berntsen. Townsend emerged with the dubious honor Tuesday night, a meaningless nomination in a race with no hope of victory. Schumer, perhaps the Democratic Majority Leader pending the fate of Harry Reid, has absolutely no chance of losing. Schumer is now virtually entrenched as a Senate institution, remarkable considering his surprise 1998 victory came at the expense of a three-term Republican incumbent. Given the opposition, Schumer is guaranteed a third term of his own.
In the race for Governor, New York Republicans picked up on the national trend line for self-immolation by nominating Buffalo real estate developer Carl Paladino. Defeating former Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio—famous for handing Hillary Clinton her Senate seat after attempting to shove papers at her during a debate in 2000—Paladino kicked off his campaign with a somnolent rendition of the classic line from Network: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.” Shortly thereafter, he nearly cost himself any electoral hopes after it was revealed that he’d circulated racist and obscene e-mails concerning President Obama. Before his recent surge in the polls, Paladino made headlines by suggesting that New York’s vacant prisons be used as temporary housing for welfare recipients, where they could learn valuable job skills and personal hygiene. The Party would face long odds of defeating Andrew Cuomo no matter who they nominated, but Paladino is the perfect tonic for those of us in New York who had been wishing for our very own Sharron Angle.
In a telling result Tuesday night, 20-term congressman Charlie Rangel won the Democratic nomination to defend his seat, defeating four challengers despite facing well-known ethics charges which are still under investigation. Meanwhile, on the Upper East Side, Rep. Carolyn Maloney walloped her competition from 34-year-old lawyer Reshma Saujani. In an anti-incumbent, anti-establishment, tidal wave election, New York Democrats seem willing to take their chances with the status quo. Rather than take full advantage of the favor by recruiting top tier candidates, the state’s Republicans are instead inexplicably taking a pass. If the days of Javits and Rockefeller couldn’t return to New York in 2010, they likely never will.
August 21st, 2010 at 8:57 am
Just when it appeared that a whole month might pass without Republicans becoming involved in a racially-tinged episode, along comes Sarah Palin’s Twitter account to help meet this unfortunate quota.
Much has been said over the last week about President Obama’s needless interjection into the “Ground Zero mosque” debate, but the former governor of Alaska was not to be outdone. Palin inexplicably felt the need to defend the incendiary radio outburst of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a media caricature so dated she was lampooned 10 years ago on The West Wing. This during a week in which the country received yet more bad economic news in its latest unemployment numbers, and the president’s own once-vaunted communications apparatus scrambled to salvage the White House mosque message.
Politico ran an extensive piece this week on Haley Barbour’s emergence as de facto leader of the Party. Unfortunately, leaders like Barbour are repeatedly preempted by ad hoc Palin musings. Here is a party that has nominated candidates like Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Meg Whitman, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina – and over there is a former vice presidential nominee championing the right to shout the n-word over the public airwaves.
Can Republicans please quit the evading and rationalization? A party that aspires to lead a multi-ethnic country must not degenerate into the voice of white racial panic. Whether the topic at hand is the merit of the Civil Rights Act or the allegation that American Muslims are all secret jihadists. The racial messaging from Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed meets with pathetically meek resistance from elected leaders. Tragically, some who ought to know better – such as former speaker Newt Gingrich – have apparently decided, “If you can’t beat Palin – copy her.”
And if American blacks or Hispanics or Muslims or whoever is targeted next are insulted and alienated? It will never occur to Palin that any offense caused by her words might be legitimate. Instead it must be political correctness run amok, unleashed to deprive “real Americans” of their “First Amendment rights”. So there will be no retreating, no reflecting, no apologizing: only more “reloading”. When will Republicans understand that the ammunition Palin is firing is aimed at their own heads?