Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (3/18/10) returns from his excursion into mocking right-wingers to return to his natural role of ridiculing single-payer advocates. His target today is Rep. Dennis Kucinich. You know what's funny about him? He's short! Or, in Milbank's words, he's a "little man," a "little guy," a "diminutive figure" and–because he announced his support for the healthcare bill on St. Patrick's Day–a "leprechaun."
Milbank also includes a sneering reference to how Kucinich "led the city into default" when he was mayor of Cleveland. Yes, that's true–he stopped the plan to privatize the city's power system, which caused some banks to play hardball with the city's credit. He didn't blink, Cleveland still has municipal power and it saved the city and its residents tens of millions of dollars. It's hard to find many people in Cleveland who think Kucinich did the wrong thing.
But also… he's short! Like a leprechaun!
What most struck me as most strange, though, about Milbank's column was this line:
Our Kenyan Hawaiian commander in chief evidently has the luck of the Irish.
First of all, it's weird to refer to a president's state of birth as though it were an ethnicity. Who would anyone describe Bill Clinton as an Anglo Arkansan? Ronald Reagan as an Irish Illinoisan? It's as if, like Cokie Roberts, Milbank doesn't really consider Hawaii to be part of the United States.
Secondly, Obama is part Irish on his mother's side–he's got Kearneys and McCurrys in his family tree. But Milbank was apparently too struck by the hilarity of being "Kenyan Hawaiian" to look that up.