Stories by Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby is the pseudonym of a writer resident in New York City.

MSNBC Joins the Anti-Romney Bandwagon

January 5th, 2012 at 12:15 am 52 Comments

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.


Criticizing Holder is Not Racist

December 20th, 2011 at 12:59 am 77 Comments

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.”


Gingrich Passes a Very Low Bar

November 29th, 2011 at 7:54 pm 68 Comments

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, sickness 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, view but in grudging admission that despite the mistakes he has made, mind his opponents have done worse.


Herman Cain is No Clarence Thomas

November 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am 38 Comments

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, treat 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!


Limbaugh: How Dare Cain Find “Niggerhead” Offensive

October 4th, 2011 at 7:34 am 127 Comments

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…)

Obama Won’t Indulge Black Frustrations

September 30th, 2011 at 12:11 pm 19 Comments

When it comes to issues of race, troche 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.


Bachmann Content to “Lead” From the Bench

July 27th, 2011 at 7:54 am 12 Comments

On Tuesday, for sale Congresswoman Michele Bachmann took to Iowa to call Washington “out-of-touch” in the current debt ceiling struggle, clinic 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.


Talk Radio’s Love Affair with Christie

March 3rd, 2011 at 12:46 pm 17 Comments

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.

Palin Gives Dr. Laura’s Racial Rant Thumbs Up

August 21st, 2010 at 8:57 am 163 Comments

Just when it appeared that a whole month might pass without Republicans becoming involved in a racially-tinged episode, case 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, advice 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, recipe 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?

Dems Running Against Bush, Again

August 5th, 2010 at 7:49 am 14 Comments

Greg Sargent recently wrote on The Washington Post’s “Plum Line” blog: “Democrats have lately been banging away harder than ever at the message that a vote for Republicans this fall is a vote for none other than George W. Bush.” Amazing—this new tack by the party in power could render 2010 the third straight election cycle in which Democrats run against George W. Bush. Yet it’s Republicans who are said to be bereft of ideas.

But maybe the real problem is that Democrats have too many ideas – unpopular ones?

So while Republicans are debating a rollout of a Contract with America style agenda in September, Democrats are now preparing for an idea-free attempt to tie their opposition to the Bush years.

President Obama himself recently said of Republicans at an Atlanta fundraiser, “(They) don’t have a single idea that’s different from George W. Bush’s ideas. Not one. Instead, they’re betting on amnesia.” Well which is it, Mr. President? Do Republicans lack for ideas, or are they too infatuated with ideas deemed inadequate? The Democratic leadership knows that a campaign vague on specifics can be a successful one. Their aim now is to characterize their opponent not as lacking for ideas, but as promulgating ideas more unpopular than their own. When it comes to their most recent electoral victories, Democrats certainly aren’t betting on amnesia. A campaign against President Bush has proven a strategy that works—but that doesn’t make it an idea.