Of color and candidates, &c.


I was in a lobby on Monday, and they had CNN on. I heard an anchorwoman ask a correspondent, “Will the Republicans now have black candidates, or will they just pay lip service to diversity?” I am paraphrasing, but that is essentially what she said.

If you are a regular reader of this column, you know what I thought — for the anchorwoman had touched a nerve of mine: Republicans nominate black candidates; white Democrats beat them (fair and square); and the world is able to say, “Ha ha, you have no black officeholders.”

Last November — I’m going from the top of my head — Mia Love was beaten in Utah and Allen West was beaten in Florida. Okay.

One cycle, we had Lynn Swann as our gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania, Michael Steele as our Senate nominee in Maryland, and Ken Blackwell as our gubernatorial nominee in Ohio. They were all beaten, by garden-variety white liberals.

You can nominate a black candidate — but that doesn’t mean the people have to vote for him. I wish CNN anchors and other people would realize this.

Saw a headline: “Chicago, Honolulu are competing for Obama library.” Don’t much care. I won’t be visiting that library in either case. I’m not against presidential libraries — but I’m living through this presidency, you know?

The Obama library would get more visitors in Chicago. That is an easier place to visit, for the world at large. But Hawaii? Oh, are there ancillary benefits . . .

Regular readers are probably sick of seeing this — I’ve been saying the following for many years now: A Khmer Rouge monster has died in bed. There is no real Nuremburg in Cambodia. There is a feeble U.N. process. As Pol Pot slipped away in old age, they’re all slipping away in old age.

The latest? A monster named Ieng Sary, who slipped away at 87. Before long, they’ll all be gone — except maybe for some centenarians lurking in South America. (Oh, sorry, wrong genocidal regime.)

Do you remember the Tirana Index? It was invented by Charles Krauthammer a long time ago. Tirana is the capital of Albania, as you know. And Enver Hoxha, the dictator of that country, would win his “elections” by 99.6 percent, something like that. (You always wondered about the .4 percent.) Krauthammer said you could measure the democratic legitimacy of a country on a “Tirana index”: The higher the percentage, the less free the election.

I thought of this when news came from the Falkland Islands: Fully 99.8 percent of the people there voted to keep the Falklands a British territory. Out of 1,500 votes cast, three were against. Unlike in Albania — and a thousand other places — this vote was legit.

Kind of amazing.

I read a headline, and I was kind of relieved. The headline was, “Egypt justice minister dismayed by lynchings.” I was relieved that he was dismayed.

I’m pretty sure it was a “he” — I didn’t look.

Have you heard about the newest resident of Bezons, France — an honorary resident? I heard about it from Tom Gross, here. The new honorary resident is Majdi Rimawi, whose real residence is in an Israeli prison. Our hero is a Palestinian terrorist, of course. The most glorious of his deeds was the murder of Israel’s minister of tourism, Rehavam Ze’evi. The mayor of Bezons, Dominique Lesparre, explained why his town was honoring Rimawi: all part of a “tradition of peace, solidarity, and cooperation with the Palestinian people.”

Our own Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia cop-killer, is an honorary citizen of Paris. No piddly little Bezons for him. The City of Light itself.

Maybe someone should take a mission civilisatrice to France.

I’ve been listening to Saeb Erekat for what seems all of my life, and maybe you have too: He is the PLO spokesman and negotiator. A news report quotes him as saying, “The rhetoric about peace is one thing and doing peace is something else. Doing peace requires deeds.” I couldn’t agree more. Of course, Erekat was talking about the Israeli government. The world is so weirdly upside down, so much of the time.

I’m not sure what to make of this news, but maybe you know — and I’m fairly sure the news isn’t good: “A record number of U.S. counties — more than 1 in 3 — are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere.” (Article here.)