Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Silly Michael Steele

It's a long way from Senator Claire McCaskill (D.-Mo.) and Caroline Kennedy to the disreputable Michael Steele, newly-elected chairman of the Limbaugh National Committee. Still....

Many of us on the left treated the latest pronouncement from Mr. Steele with loud guffaws when he told the Washington Times' Ralph Z. Hallow

We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings....

It will be avant garde, technically. It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone - off the hook.... I don't do 'cutting-edge'.... That's what Democrats are doing. We're going beyond cutting-edge.

Now, you might find that silly, superficial, and condescending. And you'd be right. But this frivolous appeal to youth has its antecedents in the presidential campaign we've just been through.

Here is Time Magazine's explanation from January, 2008 of how a member of that great deliberative body, the United States Senate, thoughtfully determined which individual could best serve as leader of the Free World:

But there's something about an 18-year-old that can't abide careful hedging and cautious steps. The Senator's daughter Maddie Esposito had seen the way her mother teared up whenever she heard Obama speak. And now it was happening again as mother and daughter sat side by side on the family-room sofa in a suburb of St. Louis, watching the results of the Iowa caucuses on TV. "You know you believe in him," Maddie admonished her damp-eyed mother. "It's time to step up." The next morning, Maddie, a college freshman home for the holidays, added a threat: "You have to do it, or I'm never talking to you again."

McCaskill endorsed Obama — a big boost in an important Super Tuesday primary state.

And also in January, an extremely high-profile endorsement from the scion of the ultimate Democratic family:

And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals....

He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process....

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

Iraq; Iran; nuclear proliferation; health care; taxes; trade; immigration; Social Security; education; housing. No, decide because a teen-age daughter told you what to think or because the spirit of the deceased has transferred to one candidate the ability to inspire young people.

(And watch John McCain here pander to ill-informed young voters on Social Security.)

True, Michael Steele is (insert adjective here; numerous apply). What he says is nonsense, but give him this: he didn't start the fire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Admit it, you need the urban "hip hop" community to win the white house now...ha. I like to think Claire McCaskill didn't pick Obama simply so that her daughter wouldn't disown her forever; but maybe I'm a naive college student.


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