David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post has won wide praise for his meticulous reporting on Donald Trump’s private foundation. Its deeds were overblown by Trump to put it mildly and remains under investigation by the New York attorney general for compliance with rules for such charities.
Had the reporting contributed to a defeat of Trump, I think Fahrenthold would have been a favorite for a Pulitzer Prize. He may still win one. In any case, he’s written a story for the Post about the backstory of his year covering Trump. It’s interesting. But a friend’s attention was caught by a reference closer to home. Farenthold mentions that he’d been covering the 2016 presidential race since 2014.
But I had the track record of a mummy’s curse: Just about every campaign I had touched was dead.
I had, for instance, covered former New York governor George Pataki’s (failed) attempt to get people to recognize him in a New Hampshire Chipotle. Pataki dropped out. I read the collected works of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and made a list of everything the old Baptist preacher had ever condemned as immoral or untoward. The subjects of his condemnation ranged from college-age women going braless to dogs wearing clothes to Beyoncé. Huckabee condemned me. Then he dropped out, too.
The collected works of Mike Huckabee? This is truly cruel punishment.
But for old Huckabee students here, for the record, are 81 things Farenthold listed that the Huckster had denounced at various times. Sone of them:
Dancing, twerking, same-sex marriage, U.S. Constitution, Obamacare, pop music, biscuits and gravy, New York women, the media (but somehow Fahrenthold overlooked Huckabee’s specific denunciations of the Arkansas Times), crude sexual jokes (but NOT potty jokes, of which Huckabee is a frequent user), halter tops on women at OBU, shirtless men, dogs wearing clothes, Beavis and Butt-head, the Arkansas Symphony for serving champagne at intermission, homosexuality, critics of his pal Ted Nugent.
Re Nugent: Huckabee is quoted as defending him, saying his lyrics (e.g., making a pussy purr with the stroke of a hand) were not explicit, merely suggestive.
I’d note that Huckabee is still busy condemning all manner of things, particularly President Obama’s criticism of Israel. The favored attack by Trump and his allies now is that Obama is anti-Semitic (even Sen. Marco Rubio jumped on that particularly odious bandwagon this week).
It’s worth noting there is NOT a singular view among Israelis, as Peter Baker noted in today’s New York Times. Israel, too, is red and blue. Witness John Kerry’s speech on Israel, criticized by some and praised by others.
To borrow an analogy, there is a blue, or more liberal-leaning, Israel that thought Mr. Kerry offered painful but necessary truths in the spirit of friendship that indicted the failed leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
And there is a red, or more conservative, Israel that thought the secretary of state was delusional and insulting, divorced from the harsh reality of the only real democracy in the Middle East struggling to preserve itself in a hostile neighborhood.
Just as in the United States, many Israelis cling to their own facts, retreat to their own media outlets, advance their own narratives, and basically just talk with people who think like they do.
The result is a politics that is almost as internally divided as the relationship with Palestinians is externally.