Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Singer changes, song stays the same

I was at a meeting last evening and did not get to watch the president's State of the Union Address. I did get home just in time to catch Sen. Marco Rubio's Republican response. And as he began with his litany of what government can't do, I found myself thinking that the GOP may change the complexion or the accent of its speakers, but the message always stays the same. And that's not a compliment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

All the news--before it happens

I was on my way to catch the train this morning and heard on the local NPR station an invitation to engage in a "real-time chat" during the president's State of the Union address tonight.

Whatever happened to listen, then think, then react?

A giant exercise in missing the point

Rob Manker's column today on Page 2 of the Chicago Tribune ("Aside from anti-obese bigotry, no reason POTUS can't be XXL") reads to me like a giant exercise in missing the point. He writes off the recent public discussion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's weight as mere bigotry against a fat person. He even quotes an expert, Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University, in support of his case: "If you're looking at someone as a presidential candidate, of all the things to worry about, you're going to worry about their body weight? What about their ability to govern? What about their ability to balance a budget?"

But the concern over Christie's weight is not frivolous and bigoted. It's about the man's health, and whether he can be depended upon to live through a presidential term. It was in that context that the issue was raised by an Arizona doctor and former White House physician.

Christie's weight is no less legitimate an issue than would be an elderly candidate's age.