Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Personal Asides: What a Dirty Trick on Kirk. More.

       St. Bede the Venerable*      
                                  Is There No Decency Left? 
     I’ve never been a fan of Mark Kirk but even I…even I…wouldn’t pull the trick played on him yesterday by Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.  
       The biggest political question today is this: why would Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. think of endorsing Mark Kirk for the Senate over Alexi Giannoulias? 
       And the second is this: what can Mark Kirk do to avoid Rep. Jesse Jackson’s endorsement given Jackson’s precarious position as federal probers investigate connections he may have had with Blago to get appointed to the Senate? 
        Only one answer to Question 1 makes sense. Forget this stuff that down deep Jackson has a deep respect for Kirk’s service.  That has nothing to do with politics as they are played here.   The only possible one is that Jackson feels he has been dissed…ignored…by The Squid…in Washington and Chicago… since his troubles have surfaced anent Blago.  Which means he wants to get even.  If he can survive the current trouble, Jackson will have nobody to thank but his lucky stars.  Obama and his coterie are very-very distant; Daley and his followers are barely on speaking terms with him.    
         In response to Question 2, nothing can be done to ward off an endorsement if Jackson is determined to convey it.  One thing is certain: the idea that the endorsement will trigger a flood of black votes for Kirk in November is preposterous.  African Americans are the most indentured of Democratic voters.  They feel they are untrue to their race by voting Republican.  An endorsement by Jackson would start a series of wild, highly unrealistic, unbelievable but nonetheless acceptable rumor among blacks that somehow, somewhere a “fix” is in—which might have something to do with warding off a likely indictment from Patrick Fitzgerald who was named by a Republican president as U. S. attorney. It wouldn’t do Jackson any good and certainly wouldn’t help Kirk.  
         The only value an endorsement would have is that Jackson is serving notice that he should not be counted in the Squid fold if he happens to beat the rap.  Not for the Dems or for Obama in 2012.  But then again, Jackson could sit on his hands and the floodtide of black Democratic votes would continue to go for Obama.  So the purpose is pure “stick-it-to-my-enemes”—or revenge against his party for treating him during these days of watching and waiting as if he were radio-active. 
                                   The Obama-ites Get Scared. 
         The huge oil spill in the Gulf is not just a regrettable incident. It wreaks of irony. It’s been the Republicans who have pressured to drill oil under the ocean.  Not Obama.  Obama decided to toss the Republicans a bone when Cap and Trade was foremost.  That will teach him!  No good deed goes unpunished. 
      The Republicans generally have clammed up with the exception of Bobby Jindal but the Obama people are absolutely terrified since one of their captive interest groups, the Greens, are outraged at what they feel was the unutterably dumb thing Obama did to approve the drilling…and furthermore incensed at what they perceive as the ungodly long time BP has taken to try to get a handle on the thing…and not a bucket of oil has been drained off. 
         No one is more panicky than Ken Salazar the Stetson-hatted Interior Secretary.  Yesterday he was making noises that the big powerful federal government should elbow BP out of the way and take over the cleanup itself.  But when Gibbs the White House press secretary got the Commandant of the Coast Guard to go to the rostrum, this guy…Thad Allen…showed a powerful command of the facts and contradicted Salazar from the start.  
         The fact is this: The Feds don’t know a thing about cleanup. The only people who have the equipment to do this is BP.  There is no chance the Obama administration can salvage itself from the political tactic it used to mollify conservatives earlier…which has resulted in the biggest eco disaster in the history of the country—maybe the world. 
    *: St. Bede the Venerable [AD 673-735]. Not just a biblical scholar for the first historian of Britain, he was born near Sunderland on land owned by a Benedictine monastery.  He was ordained priest in 703 and kept his nose stuck in scriptures the entire time living a life that for all of us would have been exceedingly boring. But without Bede we would not have the finest commentaries on the scriptures which have served as a basis for everyone else. He produced 25 books of scriptural analyses.  But beyond that…in the secular realm…Bede wrote the first cogent history of the British isles, “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” in 731. 
         When he died, Saint Boniface wrote: “The candle of the Church lit by the Holy Spirit was extinguished.”  The poet Dante impressed by the scope of Bede’s works named him in the “Paradiso.” In 1899 Leo XIII gave him the title of Doctor of the Church and set his feast for this day.

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