All the President’s White Men

The way they were, not the way they will be.

The way they were, not the way they will be.

Washington is such a “me too” town.   Once the professional pundits and news makers decide what the story de jure is going to be, they pound it home with all the quiet subtlety of a jack hammer breaking up concrete.

This week the story was someone looked around and said, “Hey!  President Obama sure is picking a lot of White guys for his Cabinet vacancies.”

Looking to shape his second term support team, the president announced his choices of Senator John Kerry as his new Secretary of State, John Brennan to replace the disgraced David Petraeus as head the C.I.A., elevated his White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to Treasury Secretary and tapped former Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican to be the Defense Secretary.

Out came the long knives.

Margaret Carlson, Bloomburg News columnist: At the rate he is going, Obama is going to have a Cabinet that looks more like the Augusta National Golf Club than America.

Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY): “It’s embarrassing as hell. We’ve been through all of this with [2012 GOP presidential nominee] Mitt Romney. And we were very hard with Mitt Romney with the women binder and a variety of things and I kind of think there’s no excuse with the second term.”

Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy columinst:  To use one of President Obama’s favorite phrases, “Let me be clear”: I have nothing against white guys. I have a white guy for a father, two white guys as brothers, and a white guy husband. I love them all. But all the same, it sure would be nice to see a few more girls in the club. In particular, President Obama missed a historic opportunity to be the president who appoints the first female secretary of defense.

John Dickerson, CBS News politics contributor: If the president is being judged quickly on race and gender issues, it may be because he taught people to do that. In his campaign there was not a race or gender issue that the Obama campaign didn’t jump on when it came to Mitt Romney and the Republicans, and so now he’s feeling a little bit of that heat himself.”

Mike Huckabee, former Republican governor of Arkansas: Now a lot of those females who supported Barack Obama are scratching their heads, and they’re saying, ‘Whoa! How come there is so much testosterone in the Obama Cabinet and so little estrogen?’” Because if you look around, all of these high-powered appointments that he is making are all white guys.”

A loser like  Huckabee is as White as a Kleenex and he’s taking pot shots at the president over “diversity?”   Oh, hell no.

Take a moment to soak in the sublime hypocrisy of the overwhelmingly White and predominantly male mainstream media criticizing the Black man who happens to be the President of the United States for not having enough diversity in his appointments.    Like everyone else, I would like to see more women, more people of color and more than White guys sitting around Obama at Cabinet meetings.  Lisa Jackson is leaving the Environmental Protection Agency and Hilda Soltis has stepped down as Secretary of Labor.   There’s two more chances for an infusion of diversity.

However, it shouldn’t make eyes roll every time Obama chooses testosterone over estrogen.  Sometimes the best man for the job happens to be a man and a White one at that.   Isn’t that what a colorblind society is striving for?  Content of character over the color of skin and all that jazz?

I do wonder how many of the self-styled experts on diversity were around when Susan Rice (who is still U.N. Ambassador) was looking to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department.    Were they equally outraged then when the Republicans smeared her without mercy over the Benghazi debacle?

Maybe, just maybe, all the critics should withhold judgment until Obama finishes filling the vacancies in his Cabinet before ripping him for hiring too many White guys.
When you get right down to it, Obama isn’t obligated to select who he wants in his Cabinet based upon whether it includes all the proper colors of the rainbow.   What matters most are these are the guys the president wants carrying out his initiatives and that trumps the grumbling Obama isn’t putting enough non-White men out in the open where everyone can see them.

Sometimes the best man for the job actually is a man and even a White man at that.

Chris Christie’s Plus-Sized Problem

A contrast that won't be ignored by comedians

Another day and another Republican “thinking seriously” about getting in the race. Chris Christie, the first-term governor of New Jersey has become the darling of the Tea Party, Karl Rove and other GOP insiders for his blunt speaking ways, union-bashing policies and tough style of governing.

Christie says he’s not running, but he seems to be enjoying all the attention he’s getting from Republicans imploring him to do so.   They see him as their Last Best Hope of denying President Obama a second term.  He sees himself sitting out 2012 and waiting for 2016 when there may be a wide-open contest without the formidable challenge of being an incumbent.

Stop in the name of love. God, I know Rick Perry had a shitty week at the debate last week, but between him and Mitt Romney, that’s a pretty good one-two punch for the Republicans. Sorry if they aren’t perfect, but I can’t believe how fast the rats abandoned the Perry ship after his debate swan dive.

Christie getting in would lively up the base–for about a couple of weeks until his considerable flaws as a candidate are exposed. One of them is his weight.  He’s too fat to win.

This is not to say Christie wouldn’t be a good candidate and a formidable challenger for Obama, but America is a weight-obsessed country. The hefty Christie would be chided as being undisciplined and appearance does matter.  It shouldn’t matter, but everyone knows it does.

Pretty trumps ugly, thin trumps fat, a headful of hair trumps a bald scalp and sexy always trumps frumpy.   These are some of the biological hurdles  Christie is not built to clear.  Hate me for saying it, but prove that I’m wrong.

Christie would be picked apart by commentators cruelly focusing on his size, not his standards. He would be a punchline for every lame comedian looking for an easy and cheap laugh.

This country is never going to choose another ugly, obese, or short president. Why do so many of her supporters think Sarah Palin would be a good president despite her total lack of qualifications for the job?   Because she looks good to them.  Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson would be considered too unattractive to head a presidential ticket.   The media consultants would tell them to get some plastic surgery and don’t come back until then.

It is said the weight of the world rests on the shoulder of the President.  In Christie’s case it looks like it’s slipped to his waistline.   It’s not right and it’s not fair, but it’s not right or fair there’s never been a plus-sized Miss America either.

If you think I’m picking on Christie’s weight just because it’s a soft target you probably think I shop at Casual Male because I like the fashions so much.   I feel for the guy.  I don’t like his politics, but if some naysayes thought Barack Obama was too skinny to be president, Christie doesn’t have a prayer.
Christie should consult with a former paunchy GOP governor who ran for president.  Mike Huckabee dropped 100 lbs before he decided to run for president.

He should give Huckabee a call, drop some lbs and stay in Trenton until 2016 comes around. Christie’s time will come, but it’s not going to be in 2012.   If you don’t look like you could run for the bus you’re not going  to convince the majority of voters you can run for president.

Is America ready for a president that looks like America?

Mike Huckabee’s Wingnut Week

You see a cute squirrel. Huck sees lunch.

There are things to like about Mike Huckabee even if you dislike his solidly conservative politics.  He doesn’t hate President Obama.  He defended First Lady Michelle Obama from idiots like Sarah Palin from the cheap shots they directed at her anti-obesity efforts (a topic near and dear Huckabee’s own heart having shed 110 pounds).  Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister who pressed for all-White churches to allow Black members and says it is wrong that inner-city Blacks get harsher sentences than Whites for the same crime.

Huckabee is a smart guy whose smarts are underrated due to his “aw shucks” Forrest Gump speaking style, hanging out with aging tough guy Chuck Norris and admissions he once fried squirrel meat in a popcorn popper.   Misunderestimate him at your peril.  Huckabee is extremely perceptive when he wants to be. He can even be a nice guy.  What he can’t be is both at the same time when he goes into initial presidential campaign mode as some polls have him as the slight favorite for the GOP nomination.

Yet, he has wisely observed the difficulty any Republican candidate will have in defeating President Obama when he said on ABC’s Good Morning America, “You don’t beat presidents easily and this idea he’s just an absolute one-term and easy to beat—this race is going to be like climbing a ladder, pointing toward you, because Barack Obama is going to start this race with a billion dollars, he’s going to have no primary opponent.”

Huckabee wants to have it both ways on the “Obama wasn’t born here” Birther nonsense.  At one point he’s saying in the same interview on ABC, “I just don’t think it’s completely necessary for us to delve into such extraneous matters.   And I’ll tell you, the idea that he’s not a citizen–you know why that’s nonsense?  Because if there was a shred of truth to it, Hillary Clinton and her wonderful investigative opposition research team would have found it and used it.  And for Republicans to be even bringing it up, I think it’s a waste of energy and time.  Let’s focus on the issues with which we have disagreement, not on really the extraneous personal things that are immaterial.”

"Freak On A Leash?" You got it!

Sounds like a reasonable man, but, you can’t count on Republicans being reasonable for long.   A few weeks after saying Birther rap was “nonsense” and “immaterial” he goes on a conservative talk show and in response to a question whether the former governor of Arkansas was troubled that “we don’t  have a health record, we don’t have a college record, we don’t have a birth certificate” for the president.

“I would love to know more,” Huckabee replied, “What I know is troubling enough.”

“If you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather,” Huckabee continued, “their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different that ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”

The president was born in Hawaii in 1961 and grew up there.  He would later spend several years in Indonesia and did not visit Kenya until later in life.  His father abandoned him and his mother when Barack was two years old. 

A Huckabee mouthpiece said his boss didn’t mean to infer the prez wasn’t born in America and “clarified his remarks.”  Problem solved, right?  Nope.  Huckabee, who’s pimping a book about small government nobody is going to read, went on another right-wing radio show and gave a “what-you-think-I-said-is-not-what-I-meant” explanation.

Bryan Fischer:  Well, Governor, what got lost in all the shuffle was the legitimate point that you were making which is that we may have a president who has some fundamentally anti-American ideas that may be rooted in a childhood where he had a father who was virulently anti-colonial, hated the British, might have something to do with the President returning the bust of Winston Churchill back to England.  You know, I was struck by the fact that when he made his tour to Indonesia, he made a point of going to an Indonesian memorial that celebrated the victory of Indonesians over British troops–again, part of that anti-colonial thing.   And so, I’d like you to comment on that; you seem to think there is some validity to the fact that there may be some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president.

Huckabee:  Well, that’s exactly the point that I make in the book and I don’t know what these reporters—maybe they can’t read, I guess that’s part of it because it’s clearly spelled out and I’m quoting a British newspaper who really were expressing the outrage of the Brits over that bust being returned and the point was that they felt like that due to Obama’s father and grandfather, it could be that his version and view of the Mau Mau Revolution was very different than most of the people who perhaps would grow up in the United States.   And I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different worldview, and I think it is, in part, molded out of a very different experience.  Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.

How much clearer can you say, “Hey White folks, this Barry Obama guy?  He’s a militant Black guy who didn’t grow up here, hates the Boy Scouts and Rotary Clubs and White people too!” 

As regards Obama removing the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office and sending it back across the pond to the Brits?  It didn’t happen that way.  It was loaned by ex-British prime minister Tony Blair to ex-President George Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.  When the Obama Administration came in they replaced Churchill with a more decidedly American hero.  Was it Martin Luther King?   Malcolm X?   Rick James?

Close, but it is a bust of the Great Emancipator (and Republican) Abraham Lincoln now adorning the Oval Office.  Boy, that Obama, First it’s Reagan and now Lincoln; he’s always co-opting Republican icons.

First Huckabee “clarifies” his remarks about Obama, then doubles down with the Muslim dog whistle and now he’s picking on tiny preggers Oscar winners.  The Huckster hit another right-wing radio show (this is becoming a running gag now) and found a new enemy of American values.  Natalie Portman. 

Natalie Portman causes unwed pregnancies. Huh? What?

MEDVED:Well this was a – this was a low audience. However, there was – there was one moment where a very brilliant and admirable actress named Natalie Portman won Best Actress, and she won for a movie which I loathed called Black Swan. But in any event, she got up, she was very visibly pregnant, and it’s really it’s a problem because she’s about seven months pregnant, it’s her first pregnancy, and she and the baby’s father aren’t married, and before two billion people, Natalie Portman says, ‘Oh I want to thank my love and he’s given me the most wonderful gift.’ He didn’t give her the most wonderful gift, which would be a wedding ring! And it just seems to me that sending that kind of message is problematic. 

HUCKABEE: You know Michael, one of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.

You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids — across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.

MEDVED: It’s tremendously staggering.

What’s even more “tremendously staggering” is neither of these moralizing morons know that Portman is engaged to marry her fiance in a matter of weeks.   On one hand Huckabee is perceptive enough to know the distressingly high rate of out of wedlock births, but dumb enough to suggest it’s all Natalie Portman fault.

If Huckabee is going to continue running off at the mouth without knowing the facts before he does, let’s just stop now and change the first initial of his last name from an “H” to a “F” because he’s fucking up royally this week. 

Huck’s never been accused of being the smartest guy in the room, but this week he’s laying claim to being the dumbest.

"Fried squirrel on a stick? Pass some over here, dawg."