Route to the heart
President Obama broke bread recently with several leading Washington conservatives at the home of columnist George Will. Prominent liberal bloggers blew their stack when they learned in recent days that those conservatives were … still conservatives.
Ryan Powers at Think Progress cited reporting at the time that "the beltway conventional wisdom suggested that Obama's aim was to 'neutralize potential adversaries' by way of a 'charm offensive.'
"Just one week later, Obama's right-wing acquaintances have already shown the futility of engaging in a good-faith dialogue with them. While Obama pushes his vision for the economic recovery package … the dinner's attendees are on a no-holds-barred offensive against it," Mr. Powers wrote.
He cited such passages from dinner attendees as "one of the worst bills in galactic history" (Charles Krauthammer), "the worst of each approach — rushed short-term planning with expensive long-term fiscal impact" (David Brooks), "so much bad stuff in it … a pork-laden bill" (Bill Kristol).
Pseudonymous liberal blogger Down With Tyranny described the meal thus: "He was reaching out. They were sharpening their knives."
For most conservative bloggers, the worst part of last week's inauguration ceremony — apart from who was inaugurated and what will follow — was the benediction by the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.
At the close of his prayer, he said "Lord, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."
Because he listed only whites as people whom God needs to move toward rectitude and defined every other ethnicity as put upon, his prayer was widely attacked as a stuck-in-the-'60s racist screed.
Mark A. Rose at Right Minded called the prayer "a slap in the face to us white folk … Where has it been established that in 2009 we caucasians haven't learned what is right? … What if a white pastor finished off a prayer with the plea that 'black will learn what is right'?"
Rogue 109, in a post at the group blog Peach Pundit, said in the post's very title that "Lowery seems to not realize what decade it is."
"Is he not aware that over 60 million people just elected Barack H. Obama to the office of President of the United States? Does he not realize that the majority of those people were, point in fact, white?" Rogue 109 asked.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit remembered another of Mr. Lowery's moments of public class. "This is the same liberal hack who attacked President Bush at Coretta Scott King's funeral while Bush was sitting on the stage," Mr. Hoft wrote.
We reported here last week about the arrest on prostitution charges, some involving the coercion of a minor, against a longtime liberal Catholic activist who was head of Ohio's Office on Faith-based Initiatives during 2007.
Catholic blogger Carol McKinley now asks about the timeline related to her blowing the whistle on Eric McFadden, who had a series of affiliations with liberal Catholic groups — Catholics for Kerry, the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, and Ohio religious outreach for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's primary bid.
Mrs. McKinley wonders why Gov. Ted Strickland later brought Mr. McFadden onto the Clinton Ohio campaign and what was uncovered by any state investigation of Mr. McFadden's computer use.
"If your employee had a leadership problem in a dinky faith-based outreach operation, you wouldn't recruit him to run the Clinton/Strickland faith-based operation in the important state of Ohio, would you. … Strickland's staff certainly did not act upon what I provided them with because they were skeptical it was some kind of political ploy. They conducted their own investigation of his activities.
"Whatever Strickland's staff found … they shuffled him quickly out of the office for faith based initiatives. To say now that they were ignorant of any suspicious or threatening activity does not comport with the facts on record," she wrote.
Bo knows …
Bill Kristol's departure from the New York Times brought predictable hosannas from the liberal end of the blogosphere.
But perhaps the most interesting metaphor came from football fan Ta-Nehisi Coates, at least the first part of which is pretty indisputable.
"Kristol never seemed to have much respect for the Times before he got there. That didn't change while he was there," he wrote at his eponymous Atlantic blog.
Mr. Coates compared Mr. Kristol to "an overrated draft pick" who knows that "his time is short, and thus out to bed all he can in the meanwhile. Thus in the parlance of our time I say one great thing came out of all this — Like Bo [Jackson] crushing [Brian] Bosworth, Bill Kristol has been exposed."
If you don't know the play in question, you have my sympathies (can't speak for Mr. Coates).
One is reluctant to convict others of schadenfreude. But conservative bloggers have spent much of the week highlighting how hope and change haven't spread to the Middle East.
Michelle Malkin linked to news reports of a gun assault on the U.S. embassy in Yemen by reminding her readers that "the incident comes on the heels of al Qaeda's latest love letter from two Gitmo recidivists who are now top al Qaeda leaders in Yemen — and in the wake of business ties between AG nominee Eric Holder and his Yemen Gitmo detainee-representing law firm, Covington & Burling.
"How's that restoration of America's good name going, President O?" which she illustrated with a picture of Obama-adorned flags being burned by Palestinians.
Separately (or maybe not), "Kyros" at My Pet Jawa picked up on more reports of ethnic Somali U.S. citizens (whom he calls "traitors" throughout) turning up in Somalia to engage in jihad.
"Somaliland authorities arrested 11 Somali-Americans in connection to the smuggling of anti-aircraft weapons. The 11 Somali-Americans were trained by al-Shabaab, aka the African Taliban, and according to authorities were supposed to carry out attacks in the capital," he wrote, adding that 15 Somali-Americans have been arrested, with at least five more missing and presumed on the loose.
His co-blogger Rusty Shackleford updated the post by noting that the arrests came shortly after federal authorities closed down the al-Shabaab U.S.-hosted Web site, which it suspected of engaging in recruiting. "There is some speculation that the two events are related," Mr. Shackleford wrote.
• Contact Victor Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org