September 18, 2010

At NYT, Kate Zernike’s Clueless Advice to GOP Candidates: ‘Enlist (Tea Partiers), but Avoid Speeches on the Constitution’

ZernikeIt’s almost tempting to just run a few paragraphs of Kate Zernike’s latest item in the New York Times and simply have folks take their rips, but a bit of background would be helpful.

Zernike (pictured at right) is the Times reporter who seems to have made it her mission to somehow singlehandedly discredit what may when all is said and done come to be seen as the most significant grass-roots movement in America in a long, long time. Earlier today, Clay Waters at NewsBusters reviewed Zernike’s new book, “Boiling Mad — Inside Tea Party America,” noted that she “evinces little sympathy or feel for conservative concerns,” and is intent on “finding racism everywhere she looks in Tea Party land.”

In a late March post (at NewsBusters; BizzyBlog), I noted a Zernike item (“With No Jobs, Plenty of Time for Tea Party”) which cynically questioned “whether the movement can survive an improvement in the economy, with people trading protest signs for paychecks.”

This is the same Kate Zernike Andrew Breitbart memorably called “a despicable human being” after she claimed to have found racism that really didn’t exist at CPAC in February.

With that background, the paragraphs that follow from Kate’s latest calamity won’t surprise anyone too much, but they will as usual disappoint if you’re foolishly expecting anything resembling fair treatment (bold as mine):

So you’re a Republican candidate and you want to take advantage of the Tea Party energy that jolted once-sleepy primaries. But you aren’t sure whether that means you have to take a stand against masturbation or urge your supporters to gather their bayonets — tactics that seem to have worked for a few Tea Party candidates so far. You’re not certain most Americans share the Tea Party enthusiasm for repealing the 17th Amendment (or even know that it established direct election of United States senators by popular vote). You don’t have Sarah Palin’s phone number.

Not to worry. There’s no doubt that the Tea Party is a double-edged sword: a New York Times/CBS poll last week found that while most Americans had not formed a view of the Tea Party, the percentage of independent voters who view it negatively had increased.

But the Tea Party has brought a swell of new participants to the political process, and historical and economic trends are working in favor of the party out of power — that would be you, G.O.P. The trick is to take advantage of the Tea Party passion and stay away from its extremes. Celebrate the genius of the Constitution, but don’t get into the particulars. Tea Party activists, Republican moderates and independent handicappers all agree that the road for Republican candidates is to talk about the debt and concerns about the new health care legislation — areas where Tea Party sentiment is more aligned with the views of most Americans.

… Tea Party activists — and their candidates — pose a problem when they move the discussion into a broader one about the role of government.

“You see these rallies and the signs are all about the Constitution,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of a nonpartisan political report. “They want it to be about these big ideological ideas, when I don’t think most voters think that way. It’s very clear that what’s best for the election is to make it about Obama, Pelosi, health care, the deficit.”

Rothenberg is about as “nonpartisan” as Larry Sabato, i.e., give me a break.

He also doesn’t get it if he really thinks that enough voters to matter aren’t worried about the Constitution and how its limits on Executive Branch perogatives are being ignored. You’ll note that Zernike didn’t quote a bona fide Tea Party member about her novel suggestion to “not get into the particulars” of the Constitution.

Zernike? The arrogant condescension continues. Remember in November.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

The Sore Loser Party

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:10 am

From Captain Ed at Hot Air on Thursday:

… The Republican Party establishment and the center-right commentariat have no problem lecturing conservatives when it comes to unifying behind establishment candidates that win primaries — and conservatives have had no problem uniting for the sake of a Republican nominee in a general election. However, when given a chance at reciprocity this year, and not just in Delaware, the establishment figures have a poor record of getting behind the candidate chosen by the Republican voters in the states. The GOP is in danger of becoming the Sore Loser Party and destroying its credibility with grass-roots activists in the process.

Scratch the “in danger” part, Ed — at least in several states.

Does anyone seriously doubt that the reactions we’re seeing from the GOP establishments in Delaware and Alaska would have been the same in Ohio if Seth Morgan or Sandy O’Brien had won in May?

(Yeah, I know I received a ritual e-mail stating the contrary from a person from ORPINO, the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only, who felt compelled to counter-challenge about Dave Yost — who I will support — and who I believe was in no position to truly speak authoritatively on behalf of ORPINO. I’ll bet there were several such e-mails in Alaska too. But when crunch time came, look what happened.)

In fact, we don’t even need to ask. All we need to do is look at a little history.

Sandy O’Brien herself told yours truly, Matt Hurley and Mark on the TIB radio show a few weeks before May’s primary that ORPINO provided her no meaningful support in her general election run in what should have been a winnable race (yeah, even in 2006; see “Mary Taylor“) after she defeated Jennette Bradley in the 2006 GOP primary for State Treasurer.

They were sore losers then, and the’re no reason to believe they aren’t sore losers now.

You can also virtually write it down: If Jon Husted, who deserves to lose, indeed loses, ORPINO will say that it’s the Tea Partiers’ and blogs’ fault, not the fault of those of us who expect a candidate to live in the Ohio House and then Ohio Senate district he has pretended to “represent.” It won’t be because ORPINO did everything it could to clear the field for a fundamentally flawed, objectively unfit candidate. Uh, if it happens, guys, yes it will.

If John Kasich wins, his first order of business should be to use his newly-found leverage to clean house at ORPINO from top to bottom. His running mate Mary Taylor will be entitled to more than a little bit of satisfaction if that indeed occurs:

Positivity: Yanks stars give fan tour of NYC sites

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New York:

Sierra Leone native Kamara tours NYSE, other landmarks

08/18/10 8:53 PM ET

A morning’s jaunt to the New York Stock Exchange, City Hall and the United Nations would be noteworthy enough in any tourist’s album, but to be the guest of honor at all three locations, accompanied and toasted by an entourage of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, Brian Cashman, Reggie Jackson, Curtis Granderson, Marcus Thames and the Sierra Leone ambassador to the U.N. is beyond anyone’s dreams. Amazingly, that was what the Yankees had in store for Mohamed Kamara on Wednesday, a glorified episode in a life all too ravaged by unspeakable hardships.

Kamara was the third beneficiary of the Yankees’ 2010 HOPE Week campaign, the second year of a program in which players surprise exemplary members of the community and treat them to whirlwind experiences. Kamara was especially deserving of this good fortune, considering what he has faced; he was born into civil war, was forced to leave his family and native Sierra Leone, and endured such poverty that he had to forego his mother’s funeral. But rather than dwell in despondency, Kamara took it upon himself to do everything possible to support his family back in West Africa.

“I saw a lot of things,” said Kamara. “I saw people getting killed, their hands getting cut off right in front of my face, pregnant women having their stomachs cut out. You had to step over dead bodies in the street.

“At a young age, my family depended on me to go into the forest for food. That’s why I was able to grow up fast.”

Kamara could spend his weekends socializing, but instead he travels several hours a day to earn a few extra dollars, working as a golf caddy in Alpine, N.J. He founded the Sierra Leone Gentleman, which raises church funds to give children in Sierra Leone an education. He treasures his schoolwork, performing in the top quarter of his class and earning a college scholarship. For an adolescent whose every move has been rooted in selflessness, it was only fair that the tides be turned for a day.

“Mohamed’s whole story really struck me,” Sabathia said. “That he does well in school, to be able to provide for his family — it’s a remarkable story that I read about and I wanted to do this event.”

When asked what it meant to be there, Sabathia said, “It means a lot. To be able to get out in the community to give our time for a kid like this, it means a lot.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.