Sunday, February 19, 2006

Remains of the Week

Trims and ends from an eventful week. [Edited to add some omitted links]

Hacked Off

Naturally the big story has been Hackett’s withdrawl from the race. Bloggers upset on behalf of Hackett are easy enough to find. A few contrary opinions float out there, most notably Bill Callahan and Kyle Kutuchief. Political writers in the papers have been scratching their heads over the brouhaha.

I’m most upset at the Dem leadership’s tone-deafness. I don’t need to repeat my feelings about Hackett’s actual chances, but DSCC needs to understand that sometimes you have to suck it up and let the primary happen. And oh, by the way, it’s the DSCC, not ODP, with fingerprints on this one.

Yesterday's PD carries a story about the “internal pressures” that may have helped scuttle his campaign. Pounder is not amused. Please read the article; there’s an awful lot of information there. I had been wondering to myself why a Marine had such a problem with rules and hierarchy. I don't know the Marine culture. But I do know the legal culture and Paul Hackett is a solo practitioner trial attorney in spades.

Finally, Mother Jones ran a by-now famous story about the controversy. That made me think; wasn’t there an earlier MoJo story? And didn’t Hackett come up with the bizarre theory that the Democrats should emulate the Republicans’ party discipline and take Sherrod Brown out of the race? And wasn’t there a blogger who suggested that if the Democrats were to force someone out of the primary it wouldn’t be the untested novice. Oh yeah, that was me. Hackett needs to be more careful what he wishes for. He may not like the look of the Democrats’ discipline, but ORP chair Bob Bennet is envious.

Racing Form.

Thursday was petition day, so our fields are now set. You can find ABJ's various candidate summaries in this search and a revised list here. A few notes

-William Green is out in House 44. He explains why in his blog. He promises to keep blogging. I hope so. Blog world could use the diversity.

-Jeff Seeman is in, despite alleged money problems.

-I’m at a certain age – an age when contemporaries are running for office. I personally know three people in the legislative races.

--Tom Mason, a friend from college, running for Congress in the 16th.
--Christine Croce, who worked at the Sheriff’s Office when I was a prosecutor, running for Representative in House
--Tom Cousineau (not actually a contemporary) running for Rep. in the 41st.

Getting their Bok up.

With all the blog drama, few have noted the controversy over this cartoon by ABJ’s Chip Bok. MedPundit, doesn’t see the big deal. The big deal, if you haven’t been paying attention, is showing any disrespect to the Prophet Mohammed. Bok was clumsily satirizing CNN pixilating Mohammed’s face in the infamous Dutch cartoons. Which CNN did to show respect. So Bok is satirizing an attempt to show respect, but means no disrespect. Gotcha.

If Bok was going to do something this insensitive, pity he couldn’t at least be funny.

The context with Bok’s many cartoons about Muslims doesn’t help his cause. I’m sure Bok would say that he doesn’t equate Islam with jihadism, but his word is the only evidence we have.
My point is not to justify the rioting that the Dutch cartoons touched off. Nothing justifies that. But as Slactivist notes, the overreaction to the offense doesn’t negate or justify the offense. The fact that we don’t understand the degree of the offense doesn’t justify it either.

Meanwhile, stepping away from Medpundit and Bok, I’m amused that many of the people who are appalled by Muslims’ intolerance for free expression, who cheer on all those who continue to publish the cartoons, are the same people who organized boycott’s to kill off The Book of Daniel and who criticize the media for publishing Abu Graib photos. In some contexts, apparently, they understand to difference between “can say” and “should say.”


Ohio 2nd said...

I'm not sure why Hackett needs to be careful of anything. He's got nothing to lose. Brown has a lot to lose. Strickland and Redfern have a lot to lose.

I don't see much discipline in backing one person and then backing another and screwing the first. Democrats are acting like old school thugs and given the light shining on their house; it would seem to be a big mistake that we will be paying for for many years.

Maybe you see it as a sign of Democrats being tough. I see it as Democrats alienating thousands of voters tired of backing a team playing to lose.

Unity starts with leadership. Where is it?

Anonymous said...

We, Ohioans, have a lot to lose.

Chas said...

Regarding offensive images. I think showing the Abu Gharib photos are vitally important, and I didn't give a piss about the TV show. I'm not speaking for everyone, but I think more people have a problem with the blatant hypocrisy being shown by the media with the cartoons. To wit, Tim Rutten of the LA Times:
Nothing, however, quite tops the absurdity of two pieces on the situation done this week by the New York Times and CNN. In the former instance, a thoughtful essay by the paper's art critic was illustrated with a 7-year-old reproduction of Chris Ofili's notorious painting of the Virgin Mary smeared with elephant dung. (Apparently, her fans aren't as touchy as Muhammad's.) Thursday, CNN broadcast a story on how common anti-Semitic caricatures are in the Arab press and illustrated it with —you guessed it — one virulently anti-Semitic cartoon after another. As the segment concluded, Wolf Blitzer looked into the camera and piously explained that while CNN had decided as a matter of policy not to broadcast any image of Muhammad, telling the story of anti-Semitism in the Arab press required showing those caricatures.

He didn't even blush.,0,7556376.column?coll=la-news-columns

As has been oft-mentioned. Is it about offending religious sensitivity or just fear that leads to such editorial decision making?

Ohio 2nd said...

Absolutely Anonymous,

That's why Ohioans need to fight hard to get the Brown campaign back on track. That means reaching out to Hackett supporters instead of pissing on them.

Many feel that lines were crossed. Lines that make them question their allegiance to the Democratic Party. That is a dangerous problem to leave unanswered.