It used to be said that Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Now that’s been rereleased as Girls Just Want to Be Dumb. They’ve come a long way, from Ms. Cyndi Lauper to Mlle. Miley Cyrus. We expect the former Hannah Montana will now cluck her tongue at us for daring to argue against exposure. My, what a wicked smile she has. Not bad for someone who is regularly carded.
Ms. Janet Napolitano sure dodged a bullet there. Once the spitting image of the young Ms. Cyrus, she swallowed her vanity and chose a more productive form of public performance. Indeed, some would say she went on to become the nation’s leading problem solver. Her crowning moment came the other day in what was advertised as her farewell address as Secretary of Homeland Security. (Why it wasn’t delivered before a joint session of Congress we’ll leave for another occasion.) In dead seriousness, or maybe simply out of a deep Romantic sensibility, she said she’d welcomed the many disasters she faced during her tenure, including hurricanes, oil spills, prostitution scandals, terrorist plots, and the Boston bombing. Responding to these kept her department “flexible and agile,” she teased, and then delivered her full spiel about how these events “presented new opportunities for us to learn, grow, and get better at what we do as a department and a nation.” As Ann Landers and Dear Abby used to advise most of their readers, this woman needs to seek professional help. And we can be sure she’s going to the right place to do just that. Dr. Napolitano (we presume) is moving on to become president of the University of California. Miss Cyrus will have to finish high school before she can dream of doing that.
If we may continue in the women-we-love vein, it has come to our attention that the former governor of Ohio, John Gilligan, has died. The Washington Post declared that his most lasting accomplishment was the state income tax he selflessly imposed on his state. Call us old-fashioned, but we rather think that his most lasting accomplishment was his kindly daughter, the demure former governor herself Kathleen Sebelius, a.k.a. Secretary of Health and Human Services and matronly executor of Obamacare. No state income tax can ever begin to repay its costs.
Let us also pay tribute to the reportorial skill displayed the other night by Ms. Judy Woodruff during her and PBS NewsHour co-anchor Gwen Ifill’s smoochy interview with the current president of the United States. To say that sycophancy filled the room is to assume that their perfume and his cologne had agreed to a non-compete clause. The most fragrant moment came when Ms. Woodruff caressingly offered, “And let me just pick up on that, because … you’ve been able to do -- help the country in many ways. We didn’t go into the economic abyss after the financial collapse…” and he not only did not disagree but raised her one, saying that in his first term, “my job was to make sure, as you said, that the economy didn’t just completely collapse. It collapsed, but it didn’t go into a deep depression.” So that was his achievement. Why then is everyone so deeply depressed? Maybe because he also revealed, by way of explanation, that one reason depression was averted was that “we were also able to initiate expansions of Pell Grant programs.” Spoken like a true Keynesian in moronic mode.
At least he did not call his interlocutor an “idiot” and a “dope,” which were among the milder epithets every Rubin conservative’s favorite Republican, Chris Christie, hurled at a sports reporter who dared to disagree with big-bellied New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, with whom it’s said Christie is joined at the waist. “Let’s be realistic,” Christie later shrugged, “I was on a sports show. I wasn’t on Meet the Press.” Which is precisely the problem with our political discourse. If Christie won’t lower the boom on David Gregory, who will?
You can forget all the talk emanating from Wednesday’s commemorations of the 1963 March on Washington. Yes, Bill Clinton was there, talking about how that march opened minds, melted hearts, and moved millions -- “including a 17-year-old boy watching alone in his home in Arkansas.” Bill Clinton, home alone? Since when? Another aging performer at the Washington festivities was Mr. Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame. He participated in the singing of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” but apparently not of “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” which had inspired the former 17-year-old Arkansas kid’s “didn’t inhale” song and dance of 1992. And there’s no reason to link that young man to Mr. Yarrow’s own three-month jail stint for taking “improper liberties” with a 14-year-old fan back in 1970. If only Ms. Cyrus had a sense of history.
Before we stray to discussion of Al Sharpton’s presence at this week’s anniversary activities and Tawana Brawley’s absence, let us return to the event’s real scandal. Where were the marchers? Fifty years ago, there were 250,000. On Wednesday, there were 20,000, if that many, giving new meaning to the notion of “liberal leave.” That’s an even smaller number than attended that evening’s meaningless Washington Nationals baseball game, which drew all of 24,394.
Great jobs, march organizers and speakers—our unanimous EOW. Who will believe you if you claim Republicans suppressed turnout?