The Spectacle Blog
Dave: Cornell had a bad spin with "ghetto fabulous" parties too. See this Cornell Daily Sun article. My old residence hall director said that while it was okay for David Chapelle to make fun of ghetto lifestyle, the mostly white kids in the frat house were crossing the line:
[Chappelle] is coming from an informed perspective, so he is a cultural satirist. These party-goers are not. Really, they are not making fun of hip-hop, they are making fun of you and me. They are trying to cover it up by saying it is a hip-hop party.
Or, you know, they were planning a party, and they were brainstorming themes when a G-unit video came on the air.
I received a perplexing email last night from the president of the University of Chicago (as an alum I still get some emails):
... On the evening of October 14th, in a student residence hall room, a private party was held with a theme that parodied racial stereotypes based on assumptions about economically disadvantaged members of society. The premise of this party caused substantial offense and has generated vigorous discussion among students, faculty and staff across campus. Members of the Office of Undergraduate Student Housing and the Office of Minority Student Affairs have been working closely with all students involved in the incident.
The issues at stake, however, are larger than this one distressing episode and raise questions about the campus climate for minority students, faculty, and staff. The University has already begun to focus on these concerns and remains fully committed to exposing and addressing the factors that negatively affect the quality of life for some members of our community.
White House surrogates who should be ashamed of their actions during the Miers nomination are now attempting to spin a fiction that somehow their service enabled them to help conservatives with the White House. This could not be further from the truth.
We have it on good authority that as late as Tuesday, those same surrogates were still on Capitol Hill desperately vouching for Miers' bona fides and claiming past, personal ties should be used by staff to sway their bosses on the Miers vote.
In the end, it was the Senate who impressed on the White House that the Miers nomination was failing. It was not the White House team speaking truth to power. When everything is said and done, a number of people will have a lot of explaining to do about their activities and behind the scenes comments in the past three weeks.
Say what you will about Harriet Miers's haters, her withdrawal went exactly according to the exit strategy graciously proposed by Charles Krauthammer last week:
Sen. Lindsey Graham has been a staunch and public supporter of this nominee. Yet on Wednesday he joined Brownback in demanding privileged documents from Miers's White House tenure.
Finally, a way out: irreconcilable differences over documents.
...But there is no way that any president would release this kind of information -- "policy documents" and "legal analysis" -- from such a close confidante. It would forever undermine the ability of any president to get unguarded advice.
That creates a classic conflict, not of personality, not of competence, not of ideology, but of simple constitutional prerogatives...
Right at the top of the AP dispatch on Miers's withdrawal we have the President in his statement practically reading from Krauthammer's column:
The Journal editorial page gives Bush a merited scolding for reversing on Davis-Bacon (sub. req'd):
The move can only increase the cost and slow the pace of reconstruction. And as an act of unprincipled political calculation it ranks right up there with the decision to impose tariffs on imported steel during Mr. Bush's first term.
Is opportunity knocking at the president's door. Now that Miers is gone, I expect that the president will nominate someone of such stellar credentials and proven conservative judicial philosophy that we can all unite behind him (or her). This is a recognition of the reality that conservatives have fought for three decades for this moment, when the court can be turned from judicial activism, from the trend to look to Europe for "enlightentment" and back to originalism.
Both White House and Senate sources now confirm that while the President did meet with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist yesterday, it was a call between Frist and the President last night that doomed the Miers nomination.
According to White House sources, Frist informed the President that the nomination simply was not holding up and that it was placing Republicans in a difficult position. The news was not taken well, but the speedy withdrawal is a sign that the White House understood the situation.