Mike Kueber's Blog

September 5, 2012

Brit Hume’s Destitution Derby and Julian Castro

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 3:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

Brit Hume is one of my favorite pundits.  I remember, as a high schooler, reading his column more than 40 years ago in the Grand Forks Herald.  Currently, he is an analyst for FOX News and can be counted on to consistently provide remarkable insights.  Though he is not as brilliant as FOX’s Charles Krauthammer, his punditry is certainly infused with more sardonic, wry humor.  As a regular guest on Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor show, Hume regularly deflates O’Reilly’s bombast. 

Last night at the Democratic convention, Hume discerned something that seems to have eluded all of the other pundits.  Like my parents’ generation, which bragged about walking through three miles of snow to get to school, the current crop of convention speakers seems to be competing for coming from the most destitute background. 

Hume’s comment was prompted by Michelle Obama bragging in her convention speech that President Obama had dumpster-dived for his favorite piece of furniture during their courtship and that his courting-car had rusted-out floorboards. 

President Obama’s destitution compares favorably to the preceding speech by keynoter Julian Castro, whose grandmother was an orphan who emigrated from Mexico as a young girl and “spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook and a babysitter, barely scraping by.”

Some bloggers have criticized Hume’s insight as a partisan slight, but this morning Hume responded that Republicans – e.g., Ann Romney – are just as guilty of this charge.  He might have added Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to the Republican list of self-described Horatio Alger stories. 

Whether you call it a Destitution Derby or a Horatio Alger story, the evening’s storyline caused Julian Castro to emphasize his grandmother at the expense of his heretofore sainted mother, albeit college-educated, Rosie.  This could be a part of Castro’s long-term political strategy because radical Rosie, as suggested in a recent Breitbart column titled, “Julian Castro, A Radical Revealed,” could easily become a significant liability in a state that is more proudly patriotic than any other.     

Hume failed to note that Mayor Castro’s keynote speech contained a mammoth inconsistency.  On one hand, Castro said:    

  • In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. My grandmother never owned a house. She cleaned other people’s houses so she could afford to rent her own. But she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. And my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.

One the other hand, he makes fun of Mitt Romney for suggesting that kids enlist the help of their parents:

  • Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn’t get it. A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. “Start a business,” he said. But how? “Borrow money if you have to from your parents,” he told them. Gee, why didn’t I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn’t determine whether you can pursue your dreams.

You can’t have it both ways.  Yes, government can help increase individual opportunity, but there is no substitute for having family support and we shouldn’t begrudge those who receive it.

p.s., Julian Castro’s speech revealed energy and charisma that I hadn’t previously perceived in the man.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thank you!! I was thinking the exact same thing as I was listening to this man. He admitted he was accepted to an Ivy League college not based on merit but on affirmative action, yet claims the phrase “pulling oneself up by his bootstraps”. He’s just full of inconsistencies.

    Comment by Michaele Frederick — September 6, 2012 @ 8:17 am | Reply


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