Saturday, February 26, 2011

Don't know much about...

I've been stuck at home sick for most of the week, and I've had time to read and think (things I would never ordinarily do). There are plenty of interesting observations just in the Opinion section of today's New York Times.

• From Gail Collins: Mike Huckabee, whom I used to like, has published a book in which he compares the Obama administration to "the kid in school who waves his A test score in front of the entire class but never gets picked to play baseball. He’s an arrogant nerd, and no matter how smart he is, he can’t hit, he can’t throw and he can’t run." Thanks, Mike. I didn't see myself as arrogant, nor did I wave any of my grades in front of the class, but I never got picked to play anything, and the ritual of watching every single classmate chosen before me for every single game we ever played was humiliating in a way I'd never expect you to understand. Thanks for trying.

• From Bob Herbert: "Among the many heartening things about the workers fighting back in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere is the spotlight that is being thrown on the contemptuous attitude of the corporate elite and their handmaidens in government toward ordinary working Americans: police officers and firefighters, teachers, truck drivers, janitors, health care aides, and so on. These are the people who do the daily grunt work of America. How dare we treat them with contempt." So it's not just us nerds who get treated that way. Good to know.

• From Charles Blow: "It is savagely immoral and profoundly inconsistent to insist that women endure unwanted — and in some cases dangerous — pregnancies for the sake of 'unborn children,' then eliminate financing designed to prevent those children from being delivered prematurely, rendering them the most fragile and vulnerable of newborns. How is this humane?" I don't know, Charles. It seems pretty consistent with the last two observations.

Police officers.
Truck drivers.
Health care aides.
Mothers with sick children.

Put us together and we make up a pretty large swath of the population. What do we all have in common? It's interesting that nerds are the only ones that Huckabee (whom I used to admire) considers fair game for public ridicule. Imagine if he had said that the Obama administration is like "the kid in school who waves his firefighting abilities in front of the entire class but never gets picked to do anything else because no matter how good he is at rescuing people from burning buildings, when you get right down to it his job is expendable." Doesn't have quite the same ring to it. That's why you need to read between the lines.


  1. Boy can I relate to this! I too was always the last one picked for jump ball, volleyball, kick ball, softball, whatever. I always hated phys. ed. class precisely for that reason.

    I also used to like Huckabee--at least a little. But this quote from him has given me one more thing to think about, given the penchant that he and his ilk (Palin especially) have toward labeling people with brains as elitist. His comments about Obama make me wonder just who has the elitist attitude here.

  2. I'm completely baffled by Huckabee's appeal. He's basically a hard-right conservative with a heavy dollop of Christianist sanctimony.

  3. When I say I liked him, I don't mean I ever would have voted for him. I just mean he seemed like a decent guy. Just like John McCain used to seem like a decent guy. Now it just seems like they're working overtime to make me dislike them. Is that what it takes to get the Republican presidential nomination? Don't answer that.

  4. This is an interesting blog, particularly for its political content. Musicologists don't often do that overtly. I am wondering what your opinion is of the approaching AMS convention and the labor dispute that it might encounter?

  5. Thanks. All I've heard is a little noise on the ams-list about this. Perhaps you can fill me in on what you know about it.

  6. More on your man Huckabee:

  7. Not an enlightened person, your man Huckabee: