- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dodd ‘dohhh’

Moe Lane at Red State says “you almost have to feel sorry” for Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat. Almost.

In a post at the popular conservative site, Mr. Lane poses a rhetorical “brief intelligence test”: “Question: If you are a Senator who has spent the last week bashing lobbyists in a desperate attempt to look like a populist, would you or would you not attend an elitist DSCC retreat designed to put Democratic politicians and K Street checkbooks in the same room?”

“If the answer is ‘you would not attend,’ congratulations: you’re smarter than Chris Dodd,” Mr. Lane wrote, going onto cite a report from The Hill that Mr. Dodd “after distancing himself from lobbyists in campaign ads … was on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend meeting with some of the most well known names on K Street.”

An ever-understanding Mr. Lane went on to say of the Connecticut senator, who is running for re-election in 2010: “Not that he has much choice: when MSNBC is admitting that you’re a Democrat and you have a polling problem, you needs lots and lots of money.”

According to that report at the MSNBC site, a Wilson Research Strategies poll of 400 likely voters showed former Rep. Rob Simmons leading Mr. Dodd by 47 percent to 38 percent. Even against a little known potential Republican candidate, Peter Schiff, the quarter-century incumbent has only a statistically insignificant 42-38 lead.

Ted love

After having turned itself over to guest editor Steven Colbert, Newsweek used the cover of its latest issue to plug a lengthy personal essay by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, “written with Robert Shrum, Senator Kennedy’s friend and longtime speechwriter,” about “the cause of my life” — nationalizing health care.

“They are pulling out all the stops,” said Steve Gilbert at Sweetness and Light about the increasingly liberal newsmagazine. “After all these years, they finally cut the middleman,” snarked Jim Geraghty of National Review on his Twitter feed.

Conservatives also noted the essay’s inevitable pickups on the nightly news and the lack of coverage of the anniversary of something else important in Mr. Kennedy’s political profile.

Wrote Brent Baker of the Media Research Center at the group’s Newsbusters site. “ABC and NBC on Sunday night dutifully championed his cause as World News anchor Dan Harris highlighted how ‘Kennedy is using his own battle against brain cancer to make an emotional pitch for health care reform’ and NBC reporter Mike Viqueira touted: ‘Today, another dramatic push, this time from an ailing Ted Kennedy, absent from Washington but appearing on the cover of Newsweek.’ ”

“Though this weekend was the 40th anniversary of Chappaquiddick, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts haven’t uttered a syllable about it,” Mr. Baker wrote.

Mr. Gilbert made the same juxtaposition, before going on to note something else about Kennedy legislation.

“But if you remember only one thing about Mr. Kennedy, remember he is the same man who brought the nation ‘immigration reform,’ of the Immigration And Nationality Act Of 1965. About his bill, Mr. Kennedy promised: ‘First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.’ ”

“And look how that turned out,” Mr. Gilbert concluded. “The lesson is that Mr. Kennedy and the rest of the Democrats will promise anything to get their nation-changing legislation passed. They seek to remake our country to suit their own fantasies, and they will say or do whatever it takes to get their way.”

Race cards

When Harry Alford, CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), testified against a cap-and-trade bill before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Sen. Barbara Boxer questioned him by entering into the record statements from the NAACP and 100 Black Men of Atlanta that she said backed the legislation.

Mr. Alford called the tactic “condescending, and I don’t like it. It’s racial,” saying Mrs. Boxer was trying to pit him against other blacks on racial grounds, rather than discuss the merits of the bill.

Conservatives weren’t even that kind. Dan Riehl of Riehl World View titled his post on the video “Boxer: But You’re Black!”

“Senator Boxer didn’t see Mr. Alford sitting in the witness chair as someone with a viewpoint to have a debate with. She saw an African-American man that opposed her, and proceeded to then cite a NAACP resolution and a 100 Black Men of Atlanta endorsement,” wrote Duane R. Patterson at Hugh Hewitt’s Town Hall blog.

Added Ed Morrissey at Hot Air : “I just love it when white politicians set themselves up as arbiters of racial authenticity, especially when they try to scold minorities for drifting off the political reservation. It belies a ‘soft’ bigotry, if you will, when Barbara Boxer assumes all black people think the same and hold the same opinions - or even worse, that they should.”

B. Daniel Blatt at Gay Patriot remembered another recent Boxer kerfuffle. “First, note how my junior Senator doesn’t object when … Alford calls her ‘Ma’am.’ Guess she worked hard for that appellation.”

Brad Johnson at the liberal blog ThinkProgress defended Mrs. Boxer, noting that the NBCC had unsavory ties and saying that Mr. Alford’s mentioning his group’s role in the black community makes the comparison relevant.

“Alford, whose organization has received at least $275,000 from ExxonMobil, spoke on behalf of the ‘black community’ in his opening statement. As Boxer noted, it seems ‘relevant’ that other organizations with ‘a deep understanding’ of the ‘black community,’ such as NAACP and 100 Black Men of Atlanta see the threat of global warming and the opportunity in a clean energy future,”

Speak no ill …

“De mortuis, nil nisi bonum.”

Conservative blogs last week treaded around that Roman admonition on speaking of the dead with the death of former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, who was not enamored by (or of) conservatives while alive. But Roger Kimball at Pajamas Media wasn’t even trying.

“How he loathed President Bush, how he admired President Carter, the ‘smartest’ president he ever met,” Mr. Kimball wrote, calling him “World’s Most Overrated Reader of the News.” “He was a partisan news reader whose reputation for impartiality survived only because he espoused the same ideology as those in the media who determine who is awarded points for impartiality. Liberals like Cronkite suppose they are objective because they are secure in the belief that their opinions represent a neutral state of nature. It is (they believe) only those who dissent from those opinions who bring politics into the equation.”

Allahpundit at HotAir saved his criticism for the current coverage, saying he had “no reaction aside from the basic human sympathy one would feel for anyone who’s died. But as I said after Jacko passed: If you’re in the habit of watching cable news, you’re in for a very rough, very hagiographic week. Good luck.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes .com.

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