In further evidence that this city knows what to do with molehills (suggested Trenton-style motto: “what Washington makes, the world re-tweets”), much has already been said and written about Newark superman (and mayor) Cory Booker’s unhelpful criticism of Team Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital, the private equity firm that made Mitt Romney a quarter-billionaire and taught him “how jobs come and how they go.” For those who missed it, Booker declared on Meet The Press: “I have to just say from a very personal level I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” he said.
Plenty of liberals and other Americans of good conscience no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when AmeriTrade founder and Chicago Cubs co-owner Joe Ricketts distanced himself yesterday from the $10 million racially-tinged Jeremiah Wright ad blitz that the New York Times had reported he was considering buying. But it would be a mistake to consider that any sort of significant victory against the disproportionate power wielded by super PACs.
My colleague Tim Noah and many others are rightly lampooning the aborted effort to resuscitate Jeremiah Wright for another go-round. But it’s worth noting that this trial balloon did accomplish something for Republicans, intended or not—it drew scrutiny away from the anti-Obama attack ad that is running, a minute-long broadside from Crossroads GPS, the group co-founded by Karl Rove, that went up this week in all the big swing states with a $25 million buy. Folks, that is a lot of dough, even in this day and age. And who’s behind that money?
The Super PAC crankocrat Joe Ricketts has already disavowed the $10 million plan prepared for his consideration to tar President Obama all over again with his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright--a plan that Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg reported on in the May 17 New York Times. Ricketts could hardly do otherwise. The proposal, spelled out by Fred Davis of Strategic Perception in a 54-page document that has to be read to be believed, was so obviously racist that it included a chapter titled "Fending Off Racism" (by which the authors meant fending off charges that they're being racist).
There are many reasons to be glad that President Obama has finally decided to stop dissimulating and openly advocate gay marriage. Not least among them is that he is no longer giving tacit approval to a prejudice in the African-American community that becomes more awkward and regrettable by the year. Homophobia, to be sure, is a sadly universal phenomenon. But it is one with especially deep roots among blacks. Polling numbers bear this out.
I am no Gandhian. And neither is Barack Obama. But he is the president of the United States, and he can get his speechwriters to put into speeches any nonsense he wants. As Jim Yardley indicates in his New York Times dispatch from New Delhi, already in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance address Obama set Gandhi as "the North Star that sets us on our journey." Yardley also reminds us that the president once said that Gandhi was the person he most would have liked to have "dined" with, although his reason was perhaps a bit incoherent. No, it was more than incoherent.
Intrepid reporter-researcher Tiffany Stanley is at the Values Voter Summit and is reporting on some of the speeches. You will not be surprised to learn that "thoughtfulness" is not one of the values that the Values Voters value. Mike Huckabee, for instance, is still recycling some of his 2008 material: I don’t know about you but I hope that Jeremiah Wright looks out his window on November 2 and finally sees those chickens come home to roost. ... We have a President that has never run so much as a lemonade stand or snow-cone machine, and we nominated him to the Presidency. "Nominated," eh?
I've written before about Journolist, a liberal email list that conservatives have claimed was the center of a liberal media conspiracy but in reality was anything but. The Daily Caller, a conservative website, has a new story claiming to have obtained evidence that Journolist was everything conservatives feared: the epicenter of a deep liberal plot to control media discourse. "It's everything you may have suspected," comments an excited Sarah Palin.