Learned watching cable news, #2

Week of January 16, 2012

1.  According to Newt Gingrich, “The fact is that under President Obama more people have been added to the food stamp program than under any other president.”  (PBS Newshour, January 17, 2012)

The former Speaker forgot to say the American economy was heading for the brink of disaster, just as Obama was taking office.  Because of this second fact, it would be surprising if the first were not true.  Gingrich the historian is an abomination.  Gingrich the candidate is afraid of truth.

2.  Dick Morris, the master flip-flopper, believes both Gingrich and Romney are good presidential candidates.  (O”Reilly on Fox)  Enough said.

3.  The six vices of our uneducated nature are on display in the Republican primary race.  The GOP is no longer marching to the orders of Rove and Cheney, so Republican candidates are criticizing each other (PBS, MSNBC, CNN, even Fox).  Both Democrats and Republicans know they won’t be elected if they don’t demonstrate the six vices of:  (1) ignorance (aka) using sound-bites to explain complex issues, (2) intellectual incompetence (aka) staying on message, (3) weakness (aka) pandering, (4) fear of truth (aka) crafting an image that hides the real person, (5) pride (aka) being proud of the accident of birthplace, (6) selfishness (aka) assuring re-election before everything else. Nobody notices because the ugliness of American presidential campaigns is accepted.

4.  I grew up in Wisconsin for 37 years, so I am humbled by the Scott Walker recall efforts of normal, beautiful Wisconsinites.  During a time of middle class prosperity I learned the six virtues growing up in Appleton.

5.  Greta Van Susteren illustrated Wisconsinite beauty in her interview with Governor Walker (January 18, 2012).  Like me, she grew up in Appleton and attended Xavier High School.  I wondered how she would do, since she is on Fox.  She challenged the governor’s talking point about the recall being backed by national union financiers, reminding him twice that he relies on outside money, too.  You get integrity from a Wisconsinite, even one on Fox News.