Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Personal Asides: Huntley’s Right on the Job for the Democratic Newspaper of Record


Since Steve Huntley went to the Middle East on a junket once, we can acknowledge his stature as foreign policy columnist for the “Sun-Times” but when he doubles as political prognosticator, it’s too much. Take, for example, his view expressed the other day that Republican candidates are “light on ideas” and “need leadership.” It evinces the views of Newt Gingrich who…50% genius and 50% nuts as Henry Hyde called him…believes no one is equipped to be president but he—although he isn’t quite ready to join the list. Sure, that’s right. Nobody has any creative ideas but Newt.

As one who knew Newt as a House backbencher, I freely acknowledge that he is a fountainhead of ideas…but the man has been utterly unable to manage to keep a majority which he had as Speaker organized. He is the one who, having become a Republican Speaker for the first time since Joe Martin in 1946…allowed himself to fall into materialistic excess and seek to build up his estate by writing books with one hand, taping university courses at the same time, dickering with publishers about fat royalty rights…all the while conducting an extra-marital affair with someone else’s wife…and issuing orders based on the whim of the moment which caused unutterable chaos. Newt is getting by with a good number of kudos for his innovative ideas but what is not being stressed is that this man has been utterly incapable of organizing a three-car funeral.

Of course if anyone is light on ideas, it’s Huntley for being suckered into writing the column that plays into Newt’s hands. You’re telling me that Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain are “light on ideas” having engaged in far more administrative tasks that Sir Newt? Give me a break.

One thing that I may have overlooked, of course, is that Huntley probably got a pat on the back for criticizing Republicans from the twin Canadians, Michael Cooke and John Cruickshank, who are busily converting what used to be a worthwhile newspaper into a rag hardly worth more money than the “Reader” which to its credit is distributed free.

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