Barack ’n’ Bill, &c.

The president and former president in April 2012


So, Obama has said that he probably knows more about Judaism than anyone else who has ever been president. I don’t know: Thomas Jefferson knew a lot about a lot, right?

Obama reminded me of Bill Clinton — who said he was the only one who ever became president who knew something about agriculture. Remember that? Conscious people said, “What about Washington, Jefferson, and Carter, for three?”

Almost everyone brags, and major politicians brag more than most — but there is a way of bragging that is not completely implausible and absurd. Obama and Clinton, in my evaluation, are often implausible and absurd.

One of the great right-wing talking points is, “Obama is much more radical than Bill Clinton, that good ol’ moderate Democrat. Obama is a Bolshevik, and Clinton a regalur Amurrican.”

I dissent from this view, thinking that Barack ’n’ Bill are very much alike. Don’t let the latter’s southern accent fool you . . .

(I will write more about the 42nd and 44th presidents — if you can stand it — later.)

This phrase “war on women” gets awfully tiresome, I know. It was tiresome pretty much the first time it was uttered. But if anyone has the right to use the phrase — don’t you think it’s those who oppose “sex-selective abortion” (if I have the term right)? Think of the routine killing of unborn baby girls in China.

Is “war on women” so hyperbolic in that context?

When I was growing up, people hated it if you used language like “unborn baby girls.” The going phrase was “meaningless blob of protoplasm.”

I don’t know who came up with that phrase. He or she ought to be rich from royalties.

I’ll tell you why political journalism becomes boring — the same issues, the same stories, come up again and again. Nothing changes.

Why, even this point of mine is a repeat! I have made it many times, here in this column. I wouldn’t blame you for dozing off.

An article this week began, “Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the ‘sacred’ right to vote is under assault nationwide . . .” Yeah, what else is new? Liberal demagogues tell black voters this in every election. I remember 1998 as particularly bad. Janet Reno was all over the place, promising black people that she would protect their right to vote, which white Republicans were bent on snatching away.

In 2006, I wrote a piece called “‘Poll Tax!’ They Cry: The Democratic response — written in stone.” Whenever someone proposes electoral reform, to curb cheating, the Democrats cry “Poll tax!” I imagine they’ll do that forever.

Zzzzzz . . . (yet so important).

In a Roger Clegg post, I read about this article from The Hill. It begins, “The Commerce Department is considering naming Arab Americans a socially and economically disadvantaged minority group that is eligible for special business assistance.” It continues, “The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) petitioned Commerce earlier this year . . .”

You know, everyone roots to be a victim. Or so it seems. If you’re designated a victim, you’ve won the lottery or something. “Woo-hoo! We’re victims!” Is this not a tiny bit sick? Is it not, to use an old-fashioned word, and one that smells of McCarthyism, un-American?

When I was growing up in southeastern Michigan, we had the largest Arab community outside the Middle East. At least I always heard this. The Arab Americans were famous for their entrepreneurial skills — for business.

Now they have to be granted a special status as “socially and economically disadvantaged”? Have any of them taken offense? Do any of them feel insulted? Can this country, so soft and stupid, possibly survive?

From the Hill article, I notice that “Asian Indians” are specially designated victims too. You mean, the best motel-owners, pharmacists, engineers, and doctors in the entire country? Victim folk?

Friends, I may be missing something here. Otherwise, we’re in Kafka territory.

Speaking of Kafka territory: The U.N. has asked Robert Mugabe to be a special leader for international tourism. Mugabe is a merciless, murderous dictator, of course, who, to boot, is under a travel ban.

In various places around the world, particularly in Europe, I am often asked, “Why don’t Americans have more respect for the U.N.?” I simply recite a few facts — usually related to the “human rights” council.

For an article about Mugabe and tourism, go here.