Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Quick Hits

Over the weekend in San Francisco, Elizabeth Edwards revealed that she is "comfortable" with gay marriage. The San Francisco Chronicle reported this position was "markedly" different than her husband's position, which is in support of civil unions, but not marriage. Question: how does such a distinction qualify as "marked"? (Which means "strikingly noticeable".)

Answer: It doesn't. The media has no clue how to objectively report on the legal realities underlying civil unions and gay marriage, without relying on hyper-emotional rhetoric and superficial differences. There are real legal distinctions between the two positions, but to label them "markedly" different is dishonest within the context of the 2008 campaign. GOP candidates like Romney, Huckabee, or most definitely Fred Thompson, who support no legal rights for gay couples at all, are holding positions markedly different from all Democrats. There's the "marked."

Meet the Press had lovely Gwen Ifill this weekend, who had me at "Hello" and then lost me the minute she said, "I bow to David Broder and his assessment." Yikes. Broder has become the Larry King of political journalism; he had just finished chastising the panel and Tim Russert for being "much too dismissive" of public sentiment and that in the current environment an independent could "absolutely" get elected President. The majority of the American public cannot even get our current President to listen to Congress, or get our Branchless Vice President to follow the rule of law. The high level of public discomfort with the political parties does not lead to the conclusion that an independent run would be automatically viable. We were all told in 2004 that the public wouldn't elect Kerry because we were afraid to switch leaders during the War on Terror but now we're to believe we'll switch to, say, Bloomberg? I would hope Ifill would reconsider her Broder love. Soon. The guy has been so wrong for so long, he should be running the Justice Department.

Fortune Magazine has Hillary on the cover and an article that includes a mind-boggling quote from the wife of Merrill Lynch CEO John Mack, "You have these preconceived ideas about people you see in the public eye. But we were extremely impressed with her ability to connect with every single person. She was an amazing listener, with tremendous warmth."

Aren't the "preconceived ideas" most of us hold purely based upon Hillary's actual public performance for the past 14 or so years? Do the Democrats really want to nominate another "personable and warm behind closed doors" candidate? Because voters never see that hidden side, then, well, doesn't that persona become irrelevant for election purposes?

Angelina Jolie's A Mighty Heart tanked at the box office this weekend. After all her preachy political condescension and way-too-public husband-stealing and baby-buying, this seems to be a reasonable public response. I hope she takes A Mighty Break from the movies.

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