Talk radio update

Limbaugh and Hannity were in love with Rand Paul for filibustering. Setting aside the obvious reality that they would never in a million years praise a Democrat for doing exactly the same thing to Republican president, they nevertheless had a point here. I have long been an admirer of Rand’s dad and have been looking for some reason to feel the same way about his son. Maybe now I have found something.

Still, although I admired the old-fashioned gumption of the deed, I thought he was making the wrong case at the wrong time. Many reasonable questions can be asked about the propriety and wisdom of drone attacks, but the concern he raised — about attacks on noncombatant Americans on American soil — is so improbable as to be almost pointless (not too pointless for Aaron Flint’s radio show, though, where a couple of callers seemed to be convinced that they might be only minutes away from being attacked by a drone just because they own guns and speak out against the Kenyan oppressor). And drones have nothing really to do with the appointment that was actually before the Senate.

If Huckabee mentioned drones, I missed it (always a possibility). Instead, he went on about how great George H.W. Bush was. The occasion was an interview with Andy Card that apparently had something to do with this book although I never quite figured out what the connection was. Now, I happen to agree that the elder Bush was a fine and decent fellow and a better president than he is often given credit for, even by his own party. He presided over the dismantling of the Soviet Union and had the political courage to raise taxes, which led to the only string of balanced budgets in my lifetime. His coordination of the first Iraq War was a textbook example of how to get one’s ducks in a row, then shoot the ducks. Maybe he could have done a better job of raising his kids, but raising kids is harder than being president.

Huckabee, however, is such an incredibly lame interviewer that he managed to avoid getting anything interesting at all out of Card, who seemed game for a candid talk. As a journalist, Huckabee is just a disaster.

And Aaron Flint wasn’t much better in his off-the-cuff comments about coal development on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. His take was that only federal bureaucratic do-gooders are in the way of making the Cheyenne a coal-rich people. I haven’t followed this issue closely in recent years, but at one time I did a lot of reporting on Cheyenne coal, and unless things have changed dramatically, Flint is just dead wrong about this.

When I was covering this, there was plenty of Cheyenne opposition to coal development, much of it based on the idea that it was basically sacrilegious to ravage the earth. Attitudes may have changed somewhat since then, but I will bet those opponents are still around, and still outspoken. Blaming bureaucrats totally misses the boat.


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