Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Short Takes on Out-of-Bounds Politics and Purple Airplane Sitings

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Short Takes on Out-of-Bounds Politics and Purple Airplane Sitings

Article excerpt

Ed Martin is back at it (thumbs down)

Noted St. Louis Republican gadfly Ed Martin is getting a tryout as Trump defender-in-residence on CNN's AC360, hosted by Anderson Cooper. It's a role that suits his glib and combative personality.

Martin appears to be filling the CNN slot vacated by Trump apologist Jeffrey Lord, who was fired for tweeting "Sieg Heil!" On Wednesday, Martin got crosswise with both liberal panelist Paul Begala and never-Trump Republican strategist Ana Navarro.

"Try to control yourself from interrupting me because you're a little too close and you're getting into my danger zone," Navarro told Martin.

Martin is a St. Louis lawyer who got Gov. Matt Blunt into trouble while serving as his chief of staff in 2007. He lost a race for Congress in 2010 and another one for Missouri attorney general in 2012. He was Republican state chairman in 2013 and 2014 but left the party with only $235 in its bank account.

He found his next meal ticket in nonagenarian conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, whose family accused him of manipulating her. Last September, on the day of her death at age 92, Martin formed a federal super PAC called "Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle PAC." The family said he was trying to monetize her name.

Given Martin's track record, President Trump might want to be leery of his support.

Forest Park disappearance (thumbs up)

While all eyes were gazing upward at the eclipse Monday, demolition crews quickly got to work erasing all vestiges of Confederate Drive in Forest Park. It turns out that Board of Aldermen efforts to rename it Scott Joplin Drive were a lot of wasted energy because, according to Mayor Lyda Krewson's spokesman, Koran Addo, "It was always the plan to put in a green space" where Confederate Drive had been. That was news to a lot of folks.

To its credit, the city deftly handled the controversy surrounding the dismantling of the Confederate Monument in Forest Park by negotiating a contract that allowed for its quick removal in June. Tensions were rising amid protests and counterprotests there, and the nation saw how rapidly these controversies can get out of control when deadly violence erupted on Aug. 12 over the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in central Charlottesville, Va.

Stealth under cover of darkness (including during the eclipse) isn't the most transparent way to conduct public business, but it's a far cry better than the results we saw in Virginia.

Wrong name, wrong place (thumbs down)

The sports network ESPN faced what it thought was a tricky issue as it prepared to cover the University of Virginia's opening football game on Sept. 2 at the university's Charlottesville stadium. The network had chosen an Asian-American to provide play-by-play coverage of the game: Robert Lee.

Out of an abundance of caution or ridiculous liberal bias, according to conservative critics ESPN decided to reassign Lee to another game rather than risk public derision over the similarity between his name and that of the Confederate general. …

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