Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Not Exactly "North and South"

After a long weekend, the Counterpoint catches up!

Continuing his non-coverage of the GOP convention in New York, Mark Hyman used the appearance of Michael Reagan to muse about "sibling rivalry"

He began by noting that Ron Reagan spoke at the Democratic convention, but “stopped short of endorsing Kerry.” This suggests that Reagan is undecided about which candidate to support. True, Reagan, a self-described political independent didn’t overtly endorse Kerry at the convention. But if you have even an inkling of doubt about who the youngest son of Ronald Reagan supports in this race, all you have to do is look at the scathing critique of George W. Bush he recently penned for Esquire, or recall his eulogy of his father in which he pointedly said that the 40th president didn’t wear his religiosity “on his sleeve,” a clear reference to Bush’s continual invocation of the divine.

There’s no statute of limitations on Clinton-bashing, apparently, so Hyman goes on to compare Bill Bennett who, according to Hyman “wrote the Book of Virtues” to his brother Bob who, in Hyman’s words, “defended a president showed no virtue.”

Quick fact check: Bennett did not write the Book of Virtues; he compiled a series of stories other people had written. He apparently spent much of his profits as editor of the book at the gaming tables in Sin City, having admitted to squandering millions to feed his gambling habit. Meanwhile, President Clinton created an economy that lifted all boats, enforced environmental regulations, put thousands of police on the streets, made it easier for young people to go to college, advanced peace in the Middle East and Ireland, cooperated with European allies to end the fighting in the Balkans, among a host of other accomplishments. No virtue?

Then we have more Hyman-esque wordplay. Kerry-supporter Alec Baldwin is a Hollywood “agitator” and “sometime actor,” while brother Stephen receives no epithets (perhaps “no-time actor” would be appropriate).

Maureen Dowd, the “liberal” columnist for the New York Times is “out of step” with her family because of her support for John Kerry—a rather pointless observation until you see that it gives Hyman a chance to juxtapose the words “liberal,” “out of step,” and “John Kerry.”

Finally, Hyman says that although most of the Heinz-Kerry children are actively supporting their father, but a third son “wants nothing to do” with him. Actually, John Heinz simply wants nothing to do with the campaign. An intensely private man, he studiously avoids the limelight. Hyman wants you to think there’s some sort of family squabble involved, but in reality, Heinz simply wants to keep his anonymity. As for his political leanings, Hyman probably wouldn’t approve: records show he gave to Ralph Nader in 2000.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


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