- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Flat beer

The big story of the week — the White House beer summit — mostly produced “so what” shrugs among conservative bloggers, with Jimmie Bise being typical in dismissing it as “a non-story.”

“The President obviously stuck his foot so far into his mouth he’s tasting his own knee and he needed a semi-graceful way out of the situation. The MSM, always eager to provide a first-class bootlicking, was right where it usually is, curled up at his feet and when CNN and MSNBC and the rest realized they could help the President, they leaped right to it. … Nothing got resolved and neither man apologized. [Harvard professor Henry Louis] Gates still thinks [Cambridge Sgt. James] Crowley is a power-hungry bigot and Crowley still thinks Gates is a class and race-baiting twit,” Mr. Bise wrote at his blog Sundries Shack.

However, the popular conservative blogger did see the beer summit as an object lesson in President Obama’s diplomatic skills and/or the limits of “conflict resolution” in dealing with such anti-American regimes as Iran and North Korea.

“It does make me wonder, though. If President Obama can’t broker peace between Gates and Crowley (and remember, Gates is supposed to be the President’s friend) why should we believe him when he said that his soothing words will cause Mad Mahmoud and Kim Jong-Il to lay down their nukes and become our buddies?”

There was a fun upside, Mr. Bise noted, linking to Dan Collins at his new site Piece of Work in Progress, who imagined himself as “a fly on the tomato bush” and “overheard” the following.

“Obama: So, Sgt. Crowley, these are my daughters, Malia and Sasha. Hey! Want to see their birth certificates?”

“Obama: What’s the name of the place where the Sox play? Crowley: Fenway? Obama: No, it’s like … Comersky, or something. Wait.”

“Gates: I loved her, and she left me! Crowley: Dude, she wasn’t right for you. Obama: I know it hurts. Have another.”

“Biden: There was this one time when I was …; Obama, Gates, Crowley: Shut up, Joe.”

Auto breakdown

The beer summit wasn’t the only event last week widely taken as a metaphor. The unexpectedly popular “cash for clunkers” program quickly burned through its appropriation in hardly more than a week — it was news to some that providing a subsidy to do something makes people more likely to do that something. And several bloggers saw a lesson for government health care plans.

Elizabeth Scalia at her First Things blog the Anchoress asked, “You know what might really be immoral? Putting the health care of the nation in the hands of people who can’t manage a car buy-back program for ten days without going broke.”

She linked to a post by popular red state blogger Moe Lane that explained government efficiency in putting auto dealers on the hook for the federal government.

“Note that the program started on July 1, they only published the actual rules Friday and they’re still working out how to get the dealers their money … what’s essentially happening here is that car dealerships are giving $4,500 interest-free, unguaranteed loans to the federal government … and the determination of whether or not those loans get paid off is more or less going to be at the discretion of mid-level bureaucrats at the [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration],” Mr. Lane wrote.

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