Or left, as it were.
Last week, if you recall, MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann was suspended without pay after admitting that, without telling his boss beforehand, he “maxed out” his contribution limits to three Democrat candidates in the recent general election. In explaining his decision, MSNBC president Phil Griffin said the following a prepared statement: “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
Wow. NBC has “policies” and “standards” purporting to guide their employees’ actions? Amazing. The real story here is that they took any action at all, so far off the left-hand side of the dial has that “network” become.
On the other hand, as it turns out, “indefinitely without pay” only meant two days — last Friday and this Monday. In a statement issued over the weekend, Griffin said that “after several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy.”
Fair enough. Granted, since there are important First Amendment issues presented here (as exhibited by the correct reaction of numerous conservative commentators and bloggers coming to Olbermann’s defense), and since there is no federal statute prohibiting such donations, MSNBC is free to craft and enforce its political donations policy as it sees fit. And the fact that Olbermann saw fit to “max out” his donations to three Democrats merely underscores his First Amendment right to express his political preferences. Fine. And there is, of course, that pesky “double standard” problem.
The more interesting story here, though, is exactly where Olbermann’s donations went. Olbermann made maximum donations ($2,400.00 each) to the campaigns of Democrat Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway – loser to Rand Paul – as well as two Arizona Democrat congressional incumbents, Gabrielle Giffords and Raul (“MEChA- Boy”) Grijalva. And while the nation can probably survive with Giffords now relegated to minority status, not quite the same can be said of Grijalva, both incumbents having survived robust challenges thanks to donations from supporters to pay for pricey television ads.
First, understand that Grijalva is not your ordinary congressman. He is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and, following enactment by Arizona of SB 1070 – the “Fighting-the-illegal-immigration-battle-the-feds-refuse-to-fight” law now being challenged by Eric Holder and the Justice Department – he called for people to support a boycott of his own state.
Grijalva, of course, would prefer that the flow of illegal aliens over the border continue unabated under the feckless auspices of the federal government. Indeed, he has compared patriotic Americans concerned about the illegal immigration problem as – I am not making this up – “cockroaches.” In this respect and in terms of ideology and partisan bitterness, Grijalva is not that far from President Obama, who recently described his political opposition as “enemies.” While Obama recanted that slur, don’t hold your breath for any similar action from the congressman. Those committed liberals and progressives who don’t find themselves under the constant scrutiny brought about by the presidency don’t stoop to such apologies.
Second, understand that as a student at the University of Arizona, Grijalva was a participating member of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or “MEChA.” The MEChA movement was, and remains, an aspect of the “reconquista” movement to “re-establish” and transform most of the southwestern United States back into “Aztlán.” That “nation” was (and is) viewed by MEChA proponents as the place of origin of the pre-Columbian Mexican civilization, subject to re-conquest and recapture from the United States.
So, as Keith Olbermann and his trendy eyewear settles back into his seat in front of the 263 viewers enjoyed by MSNBC, a better understanding of what happened during his temporarily indefinite suspension is warranted: Olbermann supported, through his donation, a person who has in the past advocated the expropriation and cession by the United States to Mexico (or MEChA-friendly jurisdictions) of territory consisting generally of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and the southern third of Colorado. Whether this continues to be one of his objectives or preferences remains to be seen. But if he was willing to call for a boycott of his own state, would a call for a boycott of the United States and a “reconquest” of the southwestern portion of the nation be that far-fetched?
When all the dust has settled, while Olbermann was completely within his First Amendment rights to “max out” his donations to these Democrats, including Grijalva, what does that tell you about his true sentiments with respect to the United States? Then again, given the lunatics now running the asylum called “California” – a circumstance brilliantly captured by cartoonist Michael Ramirez – there are some who might argue that a partial cession of the Golden State back to Mexico might not be all that bad an idea.
After all, there are already parts of Los Angeles where English is no longer spoken and the currency of the realm is the peso.