Allow me to recommend this NYT interview, in which one-time Tennessee congressman and would-be New York senatorial candidate Harold Ford Jr. reveals that he’s set foot in Staten Island once, when his helicopter landed there. He’s marginally familiar with one section of one subway line. He opposes Obama’s health care bill. He has a history of opposing gay marriage. He also has a history of supporting proposals to give local police the power to enforce immigration laws: a disastrous policy in a city where two-thirds of the residents are first- or second-generation immigrants.
His plan to encourage hiring is to slash corporate taxes and give employers a payroll tax holiday. He approves of the massive bonuses the bailed-out Wall Street banks paid a handful of their employees. And while it’s not surprising that he’s against capping executive compensation—it’s estimated that he’s getting paid at least a million a year—the rationale he gives is astounding:
“I am a capitalist,” he said. “I believe that people take risk, and there are rewards if they do well; they should lose if they don’t.”Uh-huh. Risk takers. Rewards for doing well.
So read the interview already. It’s a work of art.
Suggestions for further fun: Glenn Greenwald blasts Ford’s privileged status, and his twisted notions of what constitutes capitalism. Campaign Diaries dissects Ford’s missteps and flip-flopping policies. Huffington Post characterizes the interview as “the New York Times basically allowed Ford to stage his own political autoerotic asphyxiation.” Politico dishes. Brooklynbadboy at Daily Kos takes his turn at the piñata. And Ford’s hoped-for opponent, incumbent NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, says “Bring it on.”