Michelle Malkin and Neil Cavuto seem to have trouble understanding that Robert Reich's stated (and eminently reasonable) desire to ensure that the jobs stimulus doesn't just primarily affect white males is not the same thing as suggesting that "white male construction workers need not apply". It simply means that more nonwhite/nonmale workers should be included.
It's a typical Malkin gambit, twisting sound progressive arguments into neat little reverse-racist strawmen. But Malkin, as we've come to expect, ultimately goes careering over a cliff by the end of the segment, echoing Rush Limbaugh's defiant call to obstructionism:
Malkin: [...] I think that acting like a lemming in Washington is not a demonstration of leadership. And if you want to call that obstructionism, fine. Let's do our own redefining. Obstructionism is the new responsibility, and we need more people like that in Washington to stand in the way, and say, 'What the hell are you doing? Are you crazy?'
And I've said before that this stimulus amounts to generational theft. Um, and I think that is the definition of leadership in Washington. Standing up and making sure that this money is not going to be stolen from the pockets of our children and our grandchildren.
Memo to Malkin: As Obama pointedly noted yesterday, he won. You and yours lost. You not only lost, you were thoroughly repudiated.
In other words, you don't get to do the "leadership" thing anymore. You had your turn, screwed it up like a monkey in a nuclear plant, and now you get to go sit back and let us have our turn. Sure, you can throw hissies and pout and call us socialists. It's what we've come to expect. It's as predictable as night and day -- and as relevant as the Jurassic Period.
I remember when the roles were reversed, particularly after 9/11. Democrats had no leadership role to speak of. In much of his first term, they generally threw their weight behind Bush and his programs in the spirit of national unity. Even the Bush tax cuts passed with some Democratic support. People like myself opposed him, and while I fully expected him to fail -- because his policies were predictably doomed to failure -- I did not wish for it or hope for it. Indeed, I fought his re-election precisely because I saw it coming and understood the consequences. And I was hardly alone.
But somehow, I am not surprised that when the shoe is on the other foot, ideology still trumps all for the Malkins of the world. They'd rather see the nation go up in flames than ever admit that Conservatives were wrong.
Of course, it's clear that Obama and the Democrats will welcome conservative input and ideas, because frankly sometimes they are right. If conservatives want to help get the nation out of this mess, they need to willing and able to offer constructive criticism as the loyal opposition ought. But they won't be calling the shots or setting the agenda, and they won't be leading.
Most likely, if they follow the thinking of their punditocracy, they'll just be obstructing. Which, you know, is pretty much what we've come to expect. It's also what dooms them to a downward spiral into complete irrelevance.