American Royalty – OK If You Agree With Me, I Guess

(I know Jules Crittendon already has this kind of handled, but I saw this on my newsfeed and couldn’t resist).

Sockpuppetmeister Glenn Greenwald (yes, our sins do stick to us) just slammed the hiring of Jenna Bush as a TV personality in a post titled:

It’s time to embrace American royalty

The lede is:

They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.

Go read the whole thing, if you haven’t already. Then go read Crittendon’s scathing takedown.

Then go over to ABC News and read this:

Another Kennedy May Head to the Senate:
Will the Famed Family’s Legacy Linger on?

The race to succeed Kennedy has been effectively frozen in place as a handful of ambitious Democrats wait to see what Kennedy’s family members might do.

As reported by George Stephanopoulos today and confirmed by Patrick in a news conference in Boston this afternoon, Vicki Kennedy, the senator’s widow, is not interested in an interim appointment, if state law is changed to allow the governor to appoint a stand-in until the election.

and

With Kennedy’s widow apparently out of the running, attention has turned to the senator’s nephew, Joseph P. Kennedy II, who was a House member for Massachusetts for 12 years, in the emerging race to fill out the rest of the late senator’s term. One Massachusetts Democrat with close ties to the Kennedys said Joe Kennedy would make up his mind by the end of this week, and that he’s “about 50-50″ on whether he will run.

Now I’ve got to tell you that I’m deeply disturbed by the notion that elective office is somehow heritable; but you know it’s funny – I don’t limit my disdain for those who politically agree with me.

In Update III, Greenwald hides behind a figleaf:

That said, today’s post is about a particular strain of royal succession: those who inherit their position and and whose achievement is attributable to their mommies and daddies and yet ludicrously purport to be Stern Advocates for (and Beacons of) Meritocracy and become righteous opponents of “unfair” affirmative action on the ground that only merit should determine advancement. Not everyone who inherits their influence is guilty of that.

So if you’re left, it’s OK to practice dynastic politics because, you know, you don’t really believe in freedom or achievement or anything like that. What an utter pile of crap.
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16 thoughts on “American Royalty – OK If You Agree With Me, I Guess”

  1. Yeah, I concur. (And in my opinion, Greenwald had been on a role lately. Oh well). Still, I notice my generation has a much lower affinity for the Kennedy’s than my parents generation does. I would like to believe this is changing, but until we have less than 90% reelection rates, it probably isn’t.

    In reality, I am bothered by “name recognition candidate” of all stripes (familial, movies, football or other). I feel like… if you can get a name that reminds people of something, it’s actually worth more than the platform you stand on. I also feel like alot of this stuff boils out of (& into) partisan division between parties.

  2. I do want to say that Greenwald is likely right about one thing… she was almost certainly hired for name recognition (and to make an appeal towards republican viewers). I’m not bashing Jenna or anything, I have no personal knowledge of her ability….

    …but she’s doing a segment on teaching experience, after 2 years as a public school teacher. She’s got no experience working in television. Really, I’ve got no idea what she could possibly bring to the show. (Then again, morning shows are just fluff anyway….)

    He’s right that we live in a name recognition society (both R & D), but it’s ridiculous to claim that a “Bush dynasty” has started based on this job.

  3. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that she was hired for name recognition, but TV is a celebrity thing anyway.

    after 2 years as a public school teacher.

    Well, Bill Ayers got a Ph’D for writing up the three days of interviews he conducted with friends of his who were kindergarten teachers. So I think Jenna’s qualifications put her in the first rank of educational scholars.

  4. “Crittenden”, isn’t it?

    I do want to say that Greenwald is likely right about one thing

    That’s almost certainly true, though I haven’t read everything he’s ever written to be sure.

    So 2 years as a public school teacher is not remotely enough experience to qualify someone to go on tv for 6 minutes a week and talk about being a public school teacher, but 4 years in the Senate is obviously more than enough experience to qualify someone to run the federal government.

    The fact is, experience has nothing to do with it – the guys making the decision wanted a young, pretty face to get the public to buy what they’re selling.

    Come to think of it, Jenna was probably hired for the same reason.

  5. bq. _”The fact is, experience has nothing to do with it – the guys making the decision wanted a young, pretty face to get the public to buy what they’re selling.”_ [bgates, #4]

    You are, of course, referring to the decision to put George W. Bush at the top of the ticket, in order to elect Dick Cheney to run the country, right? ;-)

    Since your snarky comment was obviously aimed at Barack Obama, I was wondering how you reconcile the long, very hard-fought Democratic primary campaign with your implication. Furthermore, if the hidden power-brokers were looking for a “young, pretty face” to serve as a figurehead and carry them into the Presidency, don’t you think they might have noticed that he is _black_?

    This is a prime example of the “Rove Strategy” — if your guy has a serious vulnerability, get out in front by viciously attacking your opponent (through proxies) in a totally over-the-top way for exactly the same thing! Get your media buddies to bang the drum over it. Then when your opponent hits back at your guy for his genuine (but not quite so over-the-top) problem, it looks like a weak response. Win-win!

    Keep an eye out for it. Once you know what to look for, it’s pretty obvious when you see it.

  6. Furthermore, if the hidden power-brokers were looking for a “young, pretty face” to serve as a figurehead and carry them into the Presidency, don’t you think they might have noticed that he is black?

    In case you haven’t noticed, urban black culture has been all the rage for about 20 years now. You might have noticed at some point that power brokers may be slow, but they tend to be not-stupid.

  7. *I also feel like alot of this stuff boils out of (& into) partisan division between parties.*

    _Bill Ayers got a Ph’D for writing up the three days of interviews he conducted with friends of his who were kindergarten teachers._

    _but 4 years in the Senate is obviously more than enough experience to qualify someone to run the federal government._

    _This is a prime example of the “Rove Strategy”_

    Thanks for making my point for me!

  8. Greenwald loses on his own ground he has staked as well. Aren’t democrats the party of the little guy? The party against individuals garnering huge ‘undeserved’ windfalls? The party that supposedly believes we need different colored faces and genders, particularly in government? The party that believes health care is a right?

    If Kennedy didn’t exist, you would have to invent the hypocrisy that is his status in the Democratic party. Consider this, a man who’s wealth and fame came entirely inherited, as WASPY as they come, who used his vast inherited fortune for his cutting edge healthcare and bed side, 24 hour care that would be literally impossible to dole out to even a portion of the nation. Oh, and his fortune will pass right down to the family, perhaps including a senate seat. And lest we forget, he killed a young female subordinate he was driving off to bone. Drunk. Not far from the elite sailing grounds he blocked windfarms on.

    He’d have to join the clan to be any more a model of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ stigma attached to liberals. But of course Senator Byrd has that angle covered for them.

    The fact that Kennedy is the pinnacle of liberalism instead of an embarrassment says quite a lot for exactly how nanny-statists think.

  9. For those complaining that he’s avoiding libs, see the attached update:

    bq. For those complaining that there are many other examples of political nepotism and dynastic succession other than those mentioned here: this was a two-paragraph post in which I stated explicitly that, beyond the identified examples, “there’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.” When saying that, I linked to this post of mine from “last December”:http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/03/aristocracy/ , which, unlike today’s post, was intended to be a very comprehensive discussion of American political aristocracies and royal families. Anyone who thinks I’m somehow being selective in this critique should read the first paragraph of that post. And yes: [a Kennedy friend moved into his senate seat] would absolutely be an example of the same syndrome.

  10. as WASPY as they come

    Except for the AS and P.

    I was wondering how you reconcile the long, very hard-fought Democratic primary campaign with your implication.

    Either (a) If the Democratic party proves anything, it’s that there’s more than one group of shadowy power brokers with conflicting thoughts about how best to enrich themselves while destroying America, or (b) I was making a joke.

    don’t you think they might have noticed that he is black?

    I guess my joke-world shadowy evil power brokers don’t have the same racial hangups you do.

    This is a prime example of the “Rove Strategy”….it’s pretty obvious when you see it.

    Oh, like if I had zero executive experience, I’d describe my opponent’s deputy as mayor rather than governor.
    Really, though, how is calling Obama a vapid, arguably telegenic young thing “a prime example of the Rove Strategy”? Who is “my guy” in this scenario, Jenna Hager? Do you really think it’s necessary to come up with some plot to make Obama look like a lightweight in comparison with her?

  11. “Sockpuppetmeister Glenn Greenwald”

    What laziness Marc.

    And never, ever post a comment from the MGM grand. Trust me, there could be 6,000 people sharing your IP address.

    If you think Jenna is a qualified commenter make the case.

    If you think the people of MA shouldn’t have ELECTED Kennedy’s by all means tell us about it.

    So if you’re left, it’s OK to practice dynastic politics because, you know, you don’t really believe in freedom or achievement or anything like that. What an utter pile of crap.

    Or if your last name is Bush. Or if your a holier than all contrarian which it appears you are.

  12. Oh, goody – meetings are over, and I can blog a bit.

    Let’s go down the comments…

    Thanks, Alchemist – it’d be nice to get fewer “name recognition” candidates for sure…

    Beard, c’mon…a few problems here. First, the backhand “Rovian strategy” is a squirrel (“look! squirrel!”) argument. If bgates’ arguments are so weak, step up and show us all why.

    And, Beard – Obama won in the caucuses, where organizational muscle mattered a whole heckuva lot.

    mark, I’ve gotta agree.

    Alchemist (#9) – I dealt with Greenwald’s figleaf at the end of my post.

    But davebo, he is a sockpuppermeister, along with Mike Hiltzik and John Lott. Each of their credibility is going to be tied to their juvenile behavior for quite some time.

    And I’m looking out my hotel window at the Hyatt on Capitol Hill…so your IP-fu is weak tonight, sadly…

    My case is clear, and I’ve been making it for years. We’re at risk of becoming a two-class society, and a big part of that is the ever-increasing notion that political office is property that can be handed down.

    It shouldn’t be…or don’t you agree?

  13. I still think that you’re basically talking about the same thing. The “uproar” over Jenna is the smallest example of this (compared to senators/mayors/presidents of note), but it still instills the idea (along with Meghan McCain) that just by being related to a major politician, your opinion must be worth touting.

    I think you two agree more than you disagree.

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