Hell freezes over: Mindseye defends a Republican

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by mindseye, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. mindseye

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    Preface: My political partisanship is no small secret on this site. I've been quick to blast away at the abuses of the GWB administration. That said, I've tried to be scrupulous about checking my facts, and providing sources to back up my words. I'm sorry to admit that sometimes my comrades take things a bit too far. Here I'm documenting an unfair smear campaign against Richard Riordan, who is Schwarzeneggar's Secretary of Education (and who was once a candidate for governor himself). There are a *lot* of things I don't like about Riordan's platforms and policies -- but this particular incident is being distorted and misrepresented:



    The story unfolds:

    On Thursday, July 1, Riordan visits a Santa Barbara library to read to children to promote a summer reading program. During the visit he reads two books to the small group of children in attendance, and then opens the floor for discussion.

    During the discussion, 6-year-old Isis D'Luciano asks "Did you know my name means 'Egyptian goddess'?" However, other children were talking simultaneously. Riordan, unable to hear the entire question, thought the girl was asking him what her name meant.

    Jokingly he makes a guess: "stupid, dirty girl?" Witnesses present were taken aback; but agree that the tone of voice, facial expression, and laughter all indicated that he was teasing the girl and was not at all serious. (I've linked at the bottom of this post to video of the event so you can judge for yourself.)

    Sure, it was terrible judgement to tease a girl you don't yet know. Siblings can call each other "douchebag" and "dickface", and mean it gently; for Riordan to do this to someone else's daughter whom he'd just met was a real mistake.

    And Riordan realized it. He apologized to the girl immediately; and then publicly in a press release the next day.

    The furor brews:

    However, the next day began the fourth of July weekend -- a slow news weekend by most accounts. The Associated Press picks up the story, and the story quickly spread from there. By July 7, the Sacramento Bee carries the story, but there is no longer any mention of joking or teasing on the part of Riordan. In the Bee's version, Riordan is dead serious about calling Isis D'Luciano stupid and dirty.

    Readers are outraged and call for his resignation. In response, the governator denounces Riordan's remarks as "unacceptable under any circumstances", but stops short of asking for Riordan's resignation. Letters pour into California newspapers vilifying Riordan.

    And then the furor goes a little too far:

    Leading the call for Riordan's resignation, Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton) schedules a news conference outside the state Capitol, along with representatives of the state NAACP. "Would he have done that to a white girl?" he asks.

    However, Dymally jumped to a racist conclusion based on the 'exoticness' of her name: Isis D'Luciano, is in fact white. She's also not half as outraged as state Democrats seem to be: (Source: CNN)

    There's a big difference between having poor interpersonal skills, and being unfit for office. Although there are a flurry of valid criticisms of Riordan; this wasn't one of them.

    Video of the original incident
     
  2. SpeedoGuy

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    Good on ya for being fair minded, mindseye. I admire the ability of anyone to call foul when rhetoric, posturing and theatrics go over the top, especially when it involves a political foe.

    As for myself, I'll join you in calling a foul. I'm no admirer of GWB but during the 9/11 crisis he was criticized heavily for jetting around the country in Air Force One from military base to military base. Opportunistic critics said GWB was "fleeing" in fear and leaving Washington open to more terrorist attacks. I disagree because I don't think he was running in fear at all. In fact, I think national defense plans have long called for the commander in chief to move away from obvious targets during an attack. The president retains complete communication in Air Force One and can excercise command and control just about as well from there as he could in the White House situation room.

    SG
     
  3. jonb

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    Well, this is California, birthplace of animal rights. Need I say more?
     
  4. BobLeeSwagger

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    I agree that it was perfectly legitimate for the president not to return to Washington until the security situation could be investigated.

    But I was appalled to hear how pathetic the protection measures were as the rest of the day unfolded. At one point Cheney believed that another hijacked plane was heading toward Air Force One. (There wasn't.) It took nearly an hour after Bush was told of the second tower being hit before Air Force One took off from Sarasota. The president's plane then circled above Florida for about 40 minutes while they decided whether to go back to DC, but still no fighter escort.

    Many of these things aren't Bush's fault, but you have to wonder if the military and Secret Service had their heads on straight.
     
  5. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I doubt very seriously that the little girl's feelings are hurt.

    I can imagine that she and her friends are still joking about it.

    The sillier, grosser or more idiotic a response a child can elicit from someone, the better they like it.

    Kids don't know P.C., God bless 'em.
     
  6. Imported

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    wvalady1968:
    Wish more adults had the common sense of children.
     
  7. mindseye

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    I think adults are burdened with a long-term memory. Kids can forget faster than we can -- and thus live "in the moment" more easily.

    If Republicans ever tune into the fact that kids have forgotten all about the WMD remarks, Abu Ghraib, the PATRIOT act, Enron, etc., then I bet you'd see them clamoring to lower the voting age to three! ;)
     
  8. Imported

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    BRMSTN69: maybe if we let children run everything the world would be a better place.
     
  9. jonb

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    What? You never heard "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" from your parents? Of course, with PC, it's "If you can't say something mind-numbingly euphemized, don't say anything at all." My favorite still is "homicide bomber".
     
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