Thursday, January 13, 2011

McGurn’s WSJ Column Compares Cuomo with Quinn and Pat is the Loser. …Can We Dispense with Abe Foxman? Please? More.

       A column Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal by William  McGurn, the paper’s chief editorial writer, points out  far more expressively than most—not all-- Chicago commentators the tale of two Democratic states and of two Democratic governors.  “Andrew Cuomo [the newly elected Governor of New York] and Pat Quinn offer strikingly different visions of the future,” is the subhead.  I thought I might quote it at some length.  
     “At yesterday’s inaugural in Springfield, Gov. Quinn delivered himself of an address that made ample use of someone’s Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations…I counted references to two presidents (Lincoln, FDR), two poets (Carl Sandburg and one-time Illinois  poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks); his mother and father;’ the Book of  Wisdom; Isaiah; and St. Paul and the third verse of  ‘America the Beautiful.’
      “Apart from promising that `we will stabilize our budget,’  there was little hint that the taxpayers of Illinois  need any larger reform in the way the politicians handle  their money.
       “By contrast, before the first week of this new year was out, Gov. Cuomo had delivered separate inaugural and state-of-the-state addresses that would have drawn cheers at a Tea Party. Notwithstanding the occasional nod to certain progressive canons (e.g. same-sex marriage and public financing of political campaigns) the thrust was clear. If Mr. Cuomo were a Republican some of his metaphors—property taxes `killing’ New Yorkers, citizens feeling `betrayed’ by government—would  have him accused of contributing to America’s `climate of hate.’ He even used his first inaugural as governor to swipe from the Gipper’s first inaugural as president the quip that government today is more the problem than the solution.”
          McGurn notes how differently the two Democratic governors treat the House Speakers of their party saying it’s clear Cuomo can team with a Republican senate to offset the Democratic speaker “who remains the main obstacle to fiscal sanity in New York.”   In contrast,  Gov. Quinn “seems content to play junior partner to Illinois  House Speaker Michael Madigan whose iron grip over the public purse has put Illinois deeply in the red.”
           Bill McGurn gives us a taste of Cuomo tough rhetoric which sounds not  unlike Chris Christie: “[I]t cannot be underestimated.  Young people all across upstate New York who are leaving because they believe there is no economic future left.  The taxpayers on Long Island who are imprisoned in their homes because they can’t afford to pay the property taxes anymore but the value of the home has dropped so low that they can’t afford to sell the house because they can’t pay off the mortgage.  The laid-off construction worker in Brooklyn who can’t find a job and is fretting about what he’s going to do to feed his family when the unemployment insurance runs out.”
         In contrast McGurn cites the filmy rhetoric from Quinn, an outdated version of Kennedyesque dream-stuff, the worst example having been the cotton candy fluff spun up by Bob Schrum for Teddy’s 1980 convention  puffery which carries no nutrients at all: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die” …a quote from poet Gwendolyn     Brooks: “Today is our giant hour and nothing less than giant-hood will do for us in Illinois to confront our awesome challenge.” That’s same-old, same-old Quinn whom you are stuck with reportedly…not my view but the establishment media’s… courtesy of greying, over-privileged North Shore matrons drinking  mid-morning café latte at Starbucks, their reading glasses perched atop their expensive coiffeurs…who were scared that Bill Brady would steal their abortion rights by Personal PAC’s robo-calls  (notwithstanding  most of them are beyond the baby-bearing age and—most important—banning abortion is a federal not a state issue thanks to our dear Warren Court).
       Make it a point, will you to drop Personal PAC a line to thank them for giving us a Governor who as the willing tool of Mike Madigan is pledged to sign the  67% tax hike?  While you’re at it write and/or call Madigan’s and liberalism’s chief newspaper defenders— Carol Marin who’s just ecstatic with college girl auburn-head tossing excitement about everything liberalism does…and Mark Brown  who faithfully repeats the liberal line but who only yesterday, on discovering what it will do to his paycheck, complained about anonymous “pols” who overspend…not forgetting Neil Steinberg the yeah-yeah-yeah wise guy who at least has something the aforementioned don’t—a flair for writing. 
                                         Dishonest Abe.
       Abraham Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, is the ad hoc chairman of the group that scans the news everyday to determine what is offensive to the Jews.
       Occasionally good old Abe sees his job as a hunting license to support gay marriage, blister The Passion of the Christ and zero in on conservatives…even pro-Israel ones…if they offend his personal liberal sensibilities. .
      Of course Abe took out after Sarah Palin because in defending herself from the left-tilted mass media she did a TV statement mentioning “blood libel.” It would require a jingo Dem partisan like Foxman to feign cardiac arrest because she used a term from the medieval ages insulting to Jews—and so he issued a press release that strived to keep Palin animosity alive.  He was immediately joined by Andrea Mitchell of MSBC.   Happily however they were contradicted by Judaism’s greatest modern defender, Alan Dershowitz the Harvard lawyer who has come late in life to the truism that the Right is more sincerely friendly to Israel and the Left…particularly the Obama administration is abjectly pro-Palestinian. 
       Abe had to reach back to medieval times to call Palin anti-Semitic. In doing this he almost ties….almost but not quite…a black critic of Washington, D. C. mayor Anthony Williams….himself black…who was elected to his post in the 1990s.
      Williams was a notably successful mayor, an accountant, a fiscal conservative, a supporter of educational vouchers who would have been a splendid addition to any large corporation as a top financial officer.   One day at a news conference he stressed how much he had cut the city budget.  But…he stressed…he wanted to be sure that in so doing he had not shortchanged the city’s poor by slashing key social services.
      So in explaining the budget, he said We will not be niggardly to the poor.   The proper meaning of its etymology is, of course, “grudging or unduly sparing in spending.” Nothing to do whatsoever with race.
         The TV cameras showed this black mayor saying he would not be “niggardly” nd within an hour and a half a demonstration was held at his office, fortified by a number of council members protesting that he had tossed around the “n”word.
         It was very interesting to see Washington’s TV anchor people explaining the genesis of the word “niggardly.”  Finally their station managers told them:  Stop; it, will you?  People still don’t get it and they’re flooding our phone lines saying you’re justifying what Williams said! 
       Poor Williams never lived it down and his second term was his last.   Believe me after that no black…or white…or Hispanic…or Asian politician will use this honorable word again.
       All of which means that Abe Foxman and Andrea Mitchell are so sensitive they belong  with the group that demonstrated in Mayor Williams’ anteroom.

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