uot;My first response was I should have been No. 1, not No. 7,” he told the Tulsa World. "I am serious about that. I have spent now literally years on this thing, and it has been a long, involved thing.” And he shows no sign of easing his foot off the gas pedal.
It’s been awhile since Pat Robertson last erupted, so it’s not surprising his latest outburst was a doozy — linking the devastating earthquake in Haiti to some kind of deal he says the Haitian people made with the devil in the 1790s to shed the yoke of French colonizers. "They were under the heel of the French,” Robertson said Wednesday, "and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’” Besides being of dubious scholarship, Robertson’s remark was off the charts offensive given the death toll and destruction in Haiti. Of course, Robertson is notorious for interpreting contemporary events as the works of God or Satan or both. He blamed the 9/11 attacks on the country’s ban on public school prayer and said Hurricane Katrina was retribution for abortion. For conservatives the hard thing is a number of Americans still think Robertson speaks for a large segment of their movement. They can only hope for another kind of miracle — that next time some calamity occurs Pat Robertson will just keep quiet.
Sense of entitlement
There’s a big special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the passing of Ted Kennedy. Actually, the seat’s not vacant. The Democratic machine in the Bay State put party retread Paul Kirk in there to keep it warm, presumably for the state’s Democratic attorney general, Martha Coakley, who faces Republican Scott Brown and independent Joseph Kennedy (not that Joe Kennedy!). The three debated Monday night, and judging by the account in the Boston Globe, it was pretty lively. Easily the best comeback of the night came from Brown, who’s running in a state where Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats 3-1. Asked by moderator David Gergen whether he felt comfortable taking Kennedy’s seat and becoming the vote that would stop health care, Kennedy’s signature issue, Brown pounced. "With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedys’ seat, it’s not the Democrats’ seat,” Brown said. "It’s the people’s seat.” That, as they say, is bearding the lion in his own den.
New Jersey won’t be joining the short list of states allowing undocumented students to attend college at in-state tuition rates. The effect, supporters said, is that children will be punished for the actions of their illegal immigrant parents and likely won’t attend college at all. The measure’s failure is rightfully disappointing although the in-state tuition denial has become a politically popular choice in many states. While higher education isn’t a right, it is an opportunity that ought to be as widely available as possible for those who want it. Banning students who were young and had no say when their family immigrated slams the door of opportunity for those who simply can’t afford the much higher price tag of out-of-state tuition. What good comes from that?