Out of the many commentaries I have seen on the Massachusetts Senate upset and the national political scene, the one that is the most newsworthy is the Times' editorial today, The Massachusetts Election. Read it and wonder:
There are many theories about the import of Scott Brown’s upset victory in the race for Edward Kennedy’s former Senate seat. To our minds, it is not remotely a verdict on Mr. Obama’s presidency, nor does it amount to a national referendum on health care reform . . .
You can stop reading there. Not remotely??? Not just a bit? While the Times bans cigarettes, maybe they are smoking more potent stuff there. Does the Times not even know that Brown signed his name "Brown 41", meaning that he would be the 41st Republican vote in the Senate?
If you read on, you will find irrelevancies and inaccurate statements such as:
Mr. Obama has done many important things on the environment, and in foreign affairs, and in preventing the nation’s banking system from collapsing in the face of a financial crisis he inherited. . .
Mr. Obama was right to press for health care reform. But he spent too much time talking to reluctant Democrats and Republicans who never had the slightest intention of supporting him.
Scott Brown did not run against Martha Obama Coakley on the environment. He did run against Barack Obama on waterboarding (Brown is for) and treating the Pantybomber as a terrorist rather than a criminal suspect, thus nationalizing that aspect of foreign affairs/national security. Brown also argued against the president's recently-proposed bank tax. As an aside, the bulk of the bank bailouts occurred before the inauguration, so the Times has it wrong when it credits this president for saving the system.
Re the second paragraph, given that there are 58 Democrats in the Senate plus one socialist and one independent, how can the Times argue that he spent too much time talking with reluctant Democrats? The truth is that major social legislation traditionally passes with bipartisan support and generally with heavy majorities.
In other words, the Times is aiming for an outpost beyond Deep Space Nine.
A much better comparison than the Times' head-in-sand delusional conclusion is that Ronald Reagan just beat Walter Mondale again in Massachusetts. Reagan won Massachusetts by 3% in 1984; Brown by 5% Tuesday. It is indeed winter in America for the Democrats after this loss. The idiocy of the Times in ignoring numerous voter interviews and polls that the swing voters wanted to send a message to Washington bodes poorly both for its future and for the ability of the Democrats to quickly and decisively get real.
Unfortunately, an unreformed Republican party that is licking its chops at big gains due primarily to the incompetence of the Democrats is bad for the country.
Will the country take up tea drinking and get some real reform such as shrinking the debt culture? We have driven cigarette smoking down. We can do the same with credit expansion. Not that the Times would understand that the tea partiers are descendents of the Perot movement. For them it's all liberalism all the time, infused with a New York/Big Finance tilt.
With the death of the Kennedy seat, one of the last liberal bastions to fall is likely to be the New York Times. As a Yankee TV announcer would say, going, going, gone. Perhaps sooner rather than later. Not to the point of losing the name, but the Times is moving quickly toward irrelevancy. Deep Space Nine is long off the air. Its moving toward Deep Space 10, which will not be a surprise hit, from the looks of this editorial.
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