Sunday Show Wrap-Up
10:28 AM, Apr 14, 2008 • By SONNY BUNCH
The most striking news to come out of the Sunday morning talk shows was Stephen Hadley's dismissive response when asked whether or not the United States should boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. On Fox News Sunday, Hadley said the following:
To a certain extent, Hadley is right: as Christopher Caldwell implied in his Financial Times column a couple weeks back, a boycott of the opening ceremonies is little more than an empty rhetorical gesture--a cynical attempt to gain the moral high ground without incurring any cost. But the "quiet diplomacy" so proudly trumpeted by Hadley will, in all likelihood, have the same effect of a boycott or a semi-boycott: none whatsoever. As former Olympian Joey Cheek (a founder of genocide awareness organization Team Darfur) said after Hadley's appearance, "quiet diplomacy takes place while people are being slaughtered." China's atrocities cannot go unchallenged by the West, but neither has anyone resolved upon an appropriate response.
The biggest political news of the weekend was undoubtedly Barack Obama's gaffe late last week in San Francisco, when he went out of his way to insult working class Pennsylvanians to the delight of his upper crust, liberal donors. George Will struck at the heart of the problem on This Week, noting the two distinct questions that have arisen as a consequence. "First is he condescending, b.) is he out of touch? Condescending: It's an old liberal tradition to explain away cultural and political conservatism as a personality defect, a mental disorder--some kind of irrational flight from reality, hence â€˜clinging' to religion not â€˜embracing' religion. Out of touch: this is a man who went to Iowa and commiserated with Iowans over the cost of arugula at Whole Foods stores, of which there are none in Iowa."
Mary Matalin believed that Obama's biggest problem is that this wasn't really a "gaffe," per se: it's what Obama and the Democrtaic elite actually believe. "Well, the damage here is that what he said accurately reflects the current Democratic party. It's more affluent. It's more liberal. That's the way it's moving. He was saying it to San Francisco Democrats, rich San Francisco Democrats, and it reflects the kind of Democrat that loses at the presidential level. In the last half century--greater than the last half century-- Democrats have not won at the presidential level unless they have a centrist southern--a centrist Southerner."