Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Brian left me an IM last night that said, in essence, “Wow, I can’t believe he said something that stupid.” I never got back to him to find out who he was talking about; there were several choices yesterday.

First there was Charlie Black, the senior adviser to John McCain, who told Fortune magazine that another terrorist attack on the United States would be a big advantage for the campaign.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an “unfortunate event,” says Black. “But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us.” As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.

Mr. Black has since apologized for his remarks, but as Stephen Hayes, a writer for The Weekly Standard noted last night on MSNBC, if the Republicans can’t say it, they’re thinking it.

Then there’s Karl Rove, who told ABC that he knows a lot of guys like Barack Obama:

Even if you never met him, you know this guy […] He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.

Karl’s got a lot to learn about country clubs. My family belonged to one when I was a kid in the 1960’s, and I can safely say that Barack Obama is not one of those guys. In the first place, most country clubs wouldn’t have admitted Barack Obama as a member for the simple reason that he’s black. Second, Mr. Rove’s description of “this guy” sounds a great deal like the guy he got elected twice to the White House; the stuck-up old-money snob who slams down too many drinks and ends up giving uninvited back rubs to the wife of the club president, flicks ice cubes at the cleavage of waitresses, and calls the busboys “brotha” just to show he’s hip to the jive. And it sounds like Karl is a tad wistfully jealous that he never got the chance to do it himself.

And then there’s Don Imus.

On “Imus in the Morning” Monday, the controversial radio host Don Imus — who was fired last year for making racist and sexist remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team — made a racially freighted comment about another African-American athlete.

During the show, conversation turned to a story about how suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones now wants to drop his well-known nickname. In the course of the segment, Imus is told that Jones has “been arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005.”

Imus asks: “What color is he?”

“He’s African-American,” the host is informed by one of his on-air sidekicks.

“Well, there you go,” Imus said. “Now we know.”

It turns out that Mr. Imus meant that Mr. Jones was being picked on because he was black. So he was actually coming to his defense and standing up against racism. Uh huh. Pull the other one, Don; it jingles.

Maybe Brian was talking about all three of them.