Perhaps the Secret Service picked up some bad habits protecting John Edwards back in 2004.
For months, the Obama campaign and its media militia harped on the story that Mitt Romney once put the family dog Seamus in a carrier atop the station wagon for a vacation road trip. New York Times columnist Gail Collins mentioned Seamus in every Romney-related column, and David Axelrod recently tweeted a photo of Obama and Bo riding together in a presidential limo: “How loving owners transport their dogs.” Then Jim Treacher of the website the Daily Caller posted this paragraph from Dreams from My Father, Obama’s first memoir, recalling his Indonesian childhood: “With Lolo [his stepfather] . . . I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy).” Dreams was written as a postmodern account of racial displacement and resolution, but by 2008 it had become the gospel of Barack Multiculti: born in Hawaii, raised in Indonesia, schooled at Harvard and the Chicago projects, searching for his Kenyan roots . . . The dog treats were a detail of his multifaceted worldliness. How times have changed. The Romney campaign leapt on it: A senior adviser re-tweeted Axelrod’s unctuous tableau with the tag, “In hindsight, a chilling photo.” The blogosphere sprayed one-liners like shrapnel: How does Obama get Bo to roll over? With a rotisserie. Congrats to Romney and Right/Net jokesters for counterpunching. And condolences to the president, who ran as the savior of the world, but has found, after three years–plus of funk and failure, that all his attitudes and empty rhetoric are coming back to bite him.
Montana’s Democratic governor, Brian Schweitzer, in an interview that touched on the Hispanic vote, said that Mitt Romney could not talk about the Mexican origins of his father George because “then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune.” Women, he added, “are not great fans of polygamy. . . . I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist . . . but [and why give up a good smear?] his father was born into [a] polygamy commune.” Miles Park Romney, Mitt’s great-grandfather, went to Mexico, where he had plural wives. But his son Gaskell and grandson George each had one wife, as does Mitt. So the polygamy, of which women are not fond, ended three generations ago. Would women be less fond of Barack Obama, whose father, Barack Obama Sr., and grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, were both polygamists? In fact women are smart enough to judge candidates on their own accomplishments, which makes them a lot smarter than Governor Schweitzer.
Secret Service agents doing advance work for the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, were holding an after-hours summit of their own when one of them quarreled with a Colombian prostitute about her fee. She complained to the cops (prostitution is legal in parts of Colombia) and the whole affair went public. Consorting with prostitutes compromises security: If prostitution is the oldest profession, honey traps are the oldest ruse; agent-hookers might also filch codes or itineraries. Being caught compromises the entire agency. President Obama and every successor will be less secure because the Secret Service’s aura of sleek, slightly sinister omnicompetence is dimmed. And whatever happened to revulsion, and to human sympathy? Prostitution is a lousy way to make a living. Does the Secret Service have to support it?
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group that works on state-level reforms, has become the Left’s latest fascination: Call it New Koch. The group has been under assault by left-wing activists, Democratic politicians, and now possibly the IRS, with the result that many noodle-spined business members — Coke, Kraft, and Procter & Gamble among them — have abandoned the organization. This is part of the manufactured controversy over the Trayvon Martin case, which the Left is using as a cudgel against state laws empowering individuals to act in self-defense. It is not clear that these laws even apply in the Martin case — the authors of Florida’s “stand your ground” law have argued that the law does not protect the shooter — but it is a fact that ALEC has been a force, along with the National Rifle Association, in advocating such legislation, which is beneficial when prudently constructed and applied. In late April, left-wing activists filed a complaint with the IRS seeking the revocation of ALEC’s tax-exempt status and the imposition of financial penalties. ALEC is an organization that does good work (it is pressing to relieve the good people of Maine of their state income tax), and while Coke and Kraft are under no special obligation to stick their necks out for good works, conservatives should always keep in mind that, contra the Left’s version, big business can be a fickle ally.