Monday, May 05, 2008


What's the subject of William Kristol's column in today's New York Times?


Kristol didn't write the column to talk about the possibility of a John McCain/Bobby Jindal ticket. Kristol wrote the column because the GOP Prime Directive right now (and probably until November) is to find fresh new ways to say JEREMIAH WRIGHT JEREMIAH WRIGHT JEREMIAH WRIGHT JEREMIAH WRIGHT as often as humanly possible.

* Number of times, in the text of a column ostensibly about Jindal, that Jindal's name is mentioned: 5.

* Number of times Wright's name is mentioned: 10.

It's really hard to imagine that Jindal will be McCain's running mate -- if you're going to go after the Democrat on brownness, apparent foreignness, youth, and relative inexperience, and if you have a guy at the top of the ticket who seems more likely than any nominee since Ronald Reagan to suffer health problems while in office, why the hell would you want a 36-year-old guy named Piyush Jindal as a running mate?

But mentioning Jindal -- that's different. Republicans will probably mention Jindal (and the much-mentioned Sarah Palin, Alaska's governor) as often as humanly possible between now and the day McCain picks someone else. They want to scare some voters by playing the race card (or gender card if Hillary nabs the nomination), but they fear that, to other voters, bitch and black might be the new straight white male.

In a race against Obama, the point of mentioning Jindal is to say: Look -- we have brown people, too, and ours are polite and well-behaved. No hanging out with scary rad preachers. No consorting with commies. Not like the brown people in some political parties we could mention.

And, yes, the 'pubs do want to point out that someone in their party is not pink-cheeked -- after all, as Frank Rich noted yesterday,

In the 21st century, the so-called party of Lincoln does not have a single African-American among its collective 247 senators and representatives in Washington.

Apart from Jindal and Condi Rice, what other marquee names do Republicans have? They've got a guy non-Republicans hate (Clarence Thomas) and a group of electoral losers (Ken Blackwell, Michael Steele, J.C. Watts).

Oh yeah, I forgot: they've got 2000 prime-time convention speaker The Rock.

No comments: