Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Personal Asides: Government Shut-Down, Just What Blago Wants No Betsy Hart in the Sun-TimesBut You Didnt Expect Her to Survive, Did You?...Welcome to Steve Huntley Foreign Policy Impresario and Selected Messages.
The looming government shutdown is just what Blago wants. Imagine the scene: The mop-headed governor leaps atop a desk and makes an impassioned plea, past the news cameras, to the Great Unwashed, urging they help him by putting the pressure on to restore needed services to the poor. The p. r. stunt will show the legislature at a disadvantage. Mike Madigan will look like a shrewd, poker playing pol; Emil Jones will add a few words of support for the governor but the movie stills will show a supposedly dynamic young governor at odds with the old system the dynamics of a visionary ala Mr. Smith Goes to Washington where all the cast members except Blago look bad and the public not caring a fig for details will see Blago and say, lets help this young man! And in the general mishmash Blago will get much of his health care through and will be seen as a swashbuckling, non-traditional leader helping give health care to all Illinois. What a scenario! Mr. DeMille: Im ready for my closeup!
No Betsy Hart.
The new-new-newer-newest Sun-Times, the so-called liberal, blue collar Democratic party newspaper which pleases only Roger Ebert, has evidently dropped Betsy Hart the local columnist who wrote traditionally about matters concerning the family. This after having dropped Mark Steyn who wrote about a fast-growing apparent lack of will in the Democratic party and among liberals to see the war against terrorism through. Now if Cheryl Reed, the new editorial page editor, would add say Pat Buchanan or Joe Sobran or any of the true blue-collar paleos who criticize the War and the president, it would at least be innovative. . But no, these people are awful to contemplate pro-life a no-no with the newspaper whos new motto lets get into it means the Left. Views different from Cooke, Cruickshank or his wife Jennifer Hunter cannot be allowed to show up. On foreign affairs, though, Steve Huntley gets a pass speaking of whom--.
When I wrote Op Eds for the Sun-Times, the drill was always to phone the then editorial page editor, Steve Huntley, and bounce a column idea off him. Once I suggested a foreign affairs topic.
Somehow I dont think of you as a foreign affairs type, he said which in his droll North Carolinian editorial page editor drawl meant, forget it. When he asked a question like that, any idea was a dead letter. Pro-life was, of course, off the table for consideration. Now so was international relations.
I complied. Steve, who later moved after ten years as editorial page editor to columnist, writes often of foreign affairs. He gives readers his sagacious views on the Middle East and the world. As a journalist he made a trip to the Middle East. He is the newspapers ranking foreign policy expert. To his credit he is middling sensible. Although that doesnt keep the kid with the Sta-Comb, Neil Steinberg, from exhibiting his ignorance.
It would have been nice to write about foreign policy. But then what do I know? A former top staffer for the ranking Republican on House Foreign Affairs during the Cold War who helped with his research and saw from his vantage-point (which I still appreciate) a great view in the early days of the Cold War with his dealings anent John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and others including Mme. Chiang kai-Shek, Anna Chennault, Thomas Corcoran (an FDR aide to helped found the Flying Tigers). Later became a foreign service officer and number three in the U. S. Peace Corps, its spokesman and ran its school partnership program whereby college students were familiarized with Peace Corps activities seeing them through the eyes of selected Peace Corps volunteers around the world.
Then returned to private life, supervising government relations for a multi-national corporation with offices in Europe and South America. Went on two working task force trips overseas under the aegis of the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs (now the Chicago Council on Global Affairs) meeting with Green Party representatives in West Germany, meeting with Communist leaders in East Berlin then to Japan where we met with key members of the Japanese Diet including one prominent and belligerent woman member who attacked the food industry for not sufficiently respecting the Delaney Clause (the banning of carcinogens) all the while puffing on an unfiltered cigarette. Oh well.
We all do what were best suited for in this life, I guess.
To Jim Leahy (m.s.s. or My Spiritual Son): I was in Springfield last week but did not talk with a single accredited state party leader including Tom Cross. Talked with David Dring about the budget and certainly not about presidential candidates. About grassroots experts eager to pitch in, Im sure youre right. But you and a lot of the others came along long after Roger Keats. Do you think he knows who you are? He was my field man in 1972 in the Nixon campaign in the then 10th district. How old were you in 197235 years ago? Dont you think Thompson ought to have someone whos a little more au currant? And whos the sage whos calling the shots in Champaign? Do you think Thompson can go all the way with just an exploratory committee? And if Mrs. Thompson isnt the problem, what is, Jim?
To Dan: Its my belief that Tom Cross is an excellent state House of Representatives Republican leader even though I disagree with him on social issues. I must say his predecessor as House GOP leader with whom I agreed on social issues was in my estimation not as effective: this from pro-life legislators who feel they are being more fairly treated. The popular election of State Central Committee members is okay but a definite taste-of-the-month of one variant of conservative so far as I am concerned. Id be willing to see it come if for no other reason than to have this debate cease. To insist that no progress can be gained in the GOP without this particular platform plank accepted is as fallacious as saying nothing utterly nothing can be done without Bob Kjellanders removal (which I also favor). And, Dan, we know your feelings on him as well. Nothing utterly nothing from election of a Republican president to a Congressman in the 14th to state legislative victories utterly nothing can be done until we get rid of Bob Kjellander. Just think: I detect an establishment move to replace Kjellander with Mike Stokke.
What happens then, Dan? Ill tell you. Nothing can be done utterly nothing until we get rid of Mike Stokke. Oh, if life were really that simple.