Friday, July 23, 2010

Wouldn't Want To Question Obama

There really is a good reason cable news programs frequently feature someone from the left and someone from the right or a Democrat and a Republican. When an unsubstantiated and counter-intuitive (much more polite than saying "idiotic") statement is made, it usually is rebutted.

Otherwise, Chuck Todd can play the role of a bobble head doll and nod as he did Thursday evenig on Hardball with journalist E. Steven Collins and former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown discussing the Breitbart/Sherrod affair (while Andrew Breitbart's role is completely ignored). One portion of the exchange (transcript here, video below, from Firedoglake)):

BROWN: She sued them. And, believe me, I think it`s worth at least President Barack Obama checking his Agriculture Department to see whether or not they are frankly responding to getting rid of her as requested by the bureaucrats and as advocated by the bureaucrats because she`s such an effective person on behalf of the downtrodden and the have-nots.

I think that`s the real story.

COLLINS: Mayor Brown is right, I mean, if you consider, Chuck, the fact that her father was killed by a Caucasian and was never prosecuted --

TODD: Right.

Willie Brown makes a charge against federal employees- pardon me, "bureaucrats"- fails to provide any evidence, and Collins agrees with him while Todd fails to follow up. (Presumably, Todd's "right" comment referred to Mr. Sherrod's murder by a white man which resulted in no prosecution.)

Collins and Sherrod couldn't praise Sherrod enough, but

the former Georgia director of Rural Development said she received a phone call from the USDA's deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook on Monday while she was in a car. Cook told her that the White House wanted her to call it quits.

"They called me twice," Sherrod told the Associated Press. "The last time they asked me to pull over the side of the road and submit my resignation on my Blackberry, and that's what I did."

This hardly sounds like the Agriculture Department "responding to getting rid of her as requested by the bureaucrats and as advocated by the bureaucrats because she`s such an effective person on behalf of the downtrodden and the have-nots." It sounds a lot more like a political appointee acting in the manner her boss expected, and thereby asking for a bureaucrat's resignation. And it seems like a department undersecretary and a department secretary understanding if not the will, at least the sensibilities, of the department secretary's boss. That would be the President of the United States.

And that is the same President about whom Obamaphile Eugene Robinson yesterday wrote

The Sherrod case has fully exposed the right-wing campaign to use racial fear to destroy Obama's presidency, and I hope the effect is to finally stiffen some spines in the administration. The way to deal with bullies is to confront them, not run away. Yet Sherrod was fired before even being allowed to tell her side of the story. She said the official who carried out the execution explained that she had to resign immediately because the story was going to be on Glenn Beck's show that evening. Ironically, Beck was the only Fox host who, upon hearing the rest of Sherrod's speech, promptly called for her to be reinstated. On Wednesday, Vilsack offered to rehire her.

Shirley Sherrod stuck to her principles and stood her ground. I hope the White House learns a lesson.

Then, perhaps, Collins, Brown, and others can stop making excuses for this president's acquiescence to his enemies on the right.

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