Sen. Bullhead from Illinois is hooked on outrage
Outrage drove Captain Ahab relentlessly after that great white whale, and apparently, it drives Sen. Dick Durbin too.
Durbin, the unctuous Democrat running for re-election in President Barack Obama's political home state, is consumed by outrage. This time Durbin is outraged by an unidentified Republican who may have disrespected the face of the president, even if the White House says the insult that Durbin is outraged about didn't happen.
Durbin expressed his outrage on Facebook last week, saying a Republican congressman meeting with Obama about the shutdown told the president: “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
Unfortunately for Durbin, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he looked into Durbin's story, even spoke to someone at the meeting. “It did not happen,” Carney said.
It would have started to fade away, except we learned last week that Durbin had sent out a fundraising letter, citing the apparent outrage to Obama's face, but suggesting he'd feel better if Democrats sent him $16.
In his fundraising pitch, Durbin writes: “Please, click here to send my campaign $16 — one dollar for every day of the reckless and irresponsible Republican Shutdown — or whatever you can afford.”
Sixteen bucks to assuage a mythical insult to a president's face? How noble is that?
When reporters kept asking last week, the White House issued another statement saying that there was “miscommunication” about what was said at the meeting. In other words, an unnamed White House aide fell on an unseen political sword to protect Durbin.
Then Durbin put out yet another statement, again on Facebook, thanking the White House for its “clarification.”
Durbin tried to use something that didn't happen to manufacture anger in a fundraising letter. He not only baited his own hook, he swallowed it whole like a bullhead in some Illinois pond. Then Durbin started wiggling and the White House, taking pity on Sen. Bullhead, cut the slimy fish loose.
Unfortunately, while Durbin was engaged with mythic presidential face disrespecting, he missed two other outrages. Both involved liberal racism ignored by much of the media and by many Democrats.
During a broadcast, CNBC showed a photograph of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. And CNBC reporter Steve Liesman said this: “Can we get some music to go along with that? Some Mexican music, maybe.”
Some Mexican music, Mr. Liesman? With trumpets and sombreros?
Liberals weren't outraged with Liesman's racism, because, to put it simply, Cruz is a Republican.
Liesman issued an apology, saying he wanted to “sincerely apologize if my remarks were insensitive.” If?
And Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson from Orlando, Fla. compared the tea party movement to the Ku Klux Klan. In a campaign email, Grayson used a photograph of a burning cross with Klansmen around it. The cross became the “T” in “Tea Party” in Grayson's message.
Grayson wouldn't apologize. His spokesman sent out this response: “If the shoe fits, wear it.”
That's how outrage works in American politics. When conservatives say stupid things, they're rightfully and loudly condemned. But when liberals do it? There is no outrage. There isn't even much media noise.
It's about as loud as the sound of one fish fin clapping in a muddy creek. Right, Sen. Bullhead?
John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some White Oak students arrive home an hour late
- West Mifflin mayor names business, citizen of the year
- Two wild-card format hurting Pirates in short term
- Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Starkey: The kick returner and the grizzly bear
- Plan to air Tuesday in McKeesport
- Suspect in 2 bank robberies arrested
- Wilmerding moves to fix Ice Plant
- Gorman: East Allegheny’s Edwards performs juggling act
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld