Granting that The New York Times is still the nation’s newspaper of record, in spite of its notorious left-liberal bias, its commitment to fabricating news when not reporting much news fit to print, and its abandonment of all pretence of objective journalism, it would be fair to claim that it speaks for presidential candidate Barack Obama, for the Democrats, for most Republicans, and for every collectivist and altruist who ever wished he was in charge of “running” the country so that he could pilot it in his own preferred direction.
For decades the paper has served as the unofficial house organ of Big Brother, vetting and approving in the best “democratic” tradition and with few reservations every federal program that answered the needs and demands of virtually every parasitical group that has voiced them. On October 24 it endorsed Obama and explicated the reasons why the South Side Chicago Messiah should govern the nation. What follows are rebuttals to some of the paper’s main editorial assertions, together with an explanation of each as a form of line-item veto:
“The United States is battered and drifting after eight years of President Bush’s failed leadership.” True, the U.S. is battered and drifting, but why is it battered and in which direction has it been drifting, and for how long has it been in that condition? The absence of a competent captain can be arguably plotted as far back as JFK and can include him and every president since him, including Bill Clinton and the two Bushes. The direction has been towards fascism, the “f” word no one dares let escape from his lips or onto the front or editorial page lest it send the electorate into a panic or at least alert its more discerning members to the means and ends of proposed policies (modern journalists consistently exercising the rule of thumb that if one refuses to identify a thing, it can’t exist or isn’t real). George W. Bush is merely the latest anti-intellectual, morally rudderless captain, one who has charted the course of his ship of state, not by calculating longitude and latitude by the position of the stars, but rather by consulting his political horoscope, a ghost, and a popularity poll.
“After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.” Grueling? One supposes it must be grueling, flying around the country on someone else’s dime and going hoarse repeating the same banalities to crowds of awestruck, dumbed-down Americans whom one is certain he secretly despises. Ugly? The campaign has been not so much ugly as enervating in the dishonesty of all the candidates and in the absence of any discussion of fundamental political and moral issues. And, as far as Senator Obama having proven that he is the right choice, that is because the Times agrees with his plans to reinvent America as a European-style welfare state, even though Obama’s rhetoric is deceptively vacuous — deceptively, because Obama is a master of Orwellian double-speak. Ergo, he is the right choice.
“Given the particularly ugly nature of Mr. McCain’s campaign, the urge to choose on the basis of raw emotion is strong.” And the Times has apparently succumbed to that urge. The paper accuses McCain of “running a campaign on partisan division, class warfare and even hints of racism.” Here the paper confesses that it is the one-eyed man leading the halt and the blind, because Obama’s campaign has been nothing but a theme of partisan division (those damned Republicans will just give you four more years of Bush!), class warfare (soak the rich, or anyone making more than $250,000 a year), and racism (I am posing as “black” even though I’m about 90% “Arab” or more or less Semite).
John McCain, on the other hand, cannot be credibly accused of running an “ugly” campaign, which instead has been meek, mild and wall-flowerish. McCain has stubbornly refused to hammer Obama with the facts of his sordid record of service to the worst of the masses before he entered the Illinois senate and after that. If his advisors and speech writers had any imagination, McCain would have at some point said something like, “Senator Obama is William Ayers’ vengeance on a country they both hate and wish to destroy through ‘change.’ Barack Obama in the White House would be more destructive than any bomb assembled by Ayers and his fellow terrorists years ago.”
McCain has not once insinuated that he actually shares Obama’s political philosophy, that America, not Washington, is in need of change, and that the best vehicle of change is Washington. He and Obama view themselves as modern versions of Plato’s guardians, ready to inform the ignorant minions below of the best course of action and the best direction to take, not as individuals, but en masse. McCain cannot hurl stones at Obama’s glass house in respect to corruption, being beholden to special interests, and his own brand of national socialism without inviting a barrage of stones hurled in reply. If the Times had any perceptive editors imbued with a smidgen of honesty, the paper would have pointed this out a year ago and endorsed neither man.
However, the Times has an odd notion of what is “ugly.” “Ugly,” to the paper, is naming issues and engaging in ideological dispute. The few times McCain has ventured to broach Obama’s Marxist, socialist background, including Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, the Weatherman terrorist, and his association with ACORN and un-probed connections with some Islamists, he has been slapped down by the news media, and has backed off. If “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher had not spoken back to Obama outside Toledo, Ohio and questioned the meaning of his rhetoric, and if Obama had not committed the revealing gaffe of replying to Joe that he wants to “spread the wealth,” McCain would have had little else to say for the balance of the campaign. By the criteria of the Times, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and most of the Founders engaged in “ugly” campaigns for liberty and against tyranny.
“The American financial system is the victim of decades of Republican deregulatory and anti-tax policies.” No, it is a victim of regulatory and tax policies proposed, endorsed, and supported by Democrats and Republicans alike for decades — nay, for nearly a century. The trouble began with the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 with the power to “manage,” “fine tune,” and manipulate the economy according to the crisis of the moment, in conjunction with Treasury Department policies and the eclectic agenda of whoever occupied the White House or sat in Congress.
“Both candidates talk about repairing America’s image in the world. But it seems clear to us that Mr. Obama is far more likely to do that — and not just because the first black president would present a new face to the world…Mr. Obama wants to reform the United Nations, while Mr. McCain wants to create a new entity, the League of Democracies — a move that would incite even fiercer anti-American furies around the world.” Like a high school ingénue, the Times obviously is concerned about whether or not the world likes America. There was a time when most of the world respected it, if not from admiration, then from a knowledge that America was not a country to be toyed with. That is not what the Times means. The Times means that America should aspire to be just another one of the guys, a socialist paradise that cares for its citizens and entertains no presumption of superiority because it is still freer and better off than other countries.
It would be interesting to know how Obama would “reform” a club of tyrants, looters, medieval monarchies, dictatorships, slave states, and ninety-pound collectivist weaklings, when they are all living off the largesse of American productivity and tax revenues and so see no need for reform. The United Nations can be best reformed by America leaving it and evicting it from American soil to headquarter in friendlier climes, but doubtless Obama would simply offer it more money in exchange for more smiles. McCain’s League of Democracies idea is equally harebrained. Apparently neither he nor the Times has any acquaintance with the League of Nations and just how efficacious it was in putting the cuffs on Hitler, Mussolini, and other tyrants.
“The next president will have the chance to appoint one or more justices to a Supreme Court that is on the brink of being dominated by a radical right wing. Mr. Obama may appoint less liberal judges than some of his followers might like, but Mr. McCain is certain to pick rigid ideologues.” The Times, of course, does not define what it means by a “radical right wing,” but implies that such a movement is scary and undesirable. It has eluded the paper’s editors all these decades that there is nothing “radical” about the right wing; it is religious and traditionalist, on a par with Ralph Kramden’s Raccoon Lodge or Groucho Marx’s Knights of Pythia. And, what are “liberal” judges if not left wing, and very rigid in their own ideology?
“Under Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the justice system and the separation of powers have come under relentless attack. Mr. Bush chose to exploit the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, the moment in which he looked like the president of a unified nation, to try to place himself above the law.” This is all true, except that the “tragedy” of Sept. 11 was a declaration of war by Islamists, which Mr. Bush admitted but did nothing about except to commit the country’s blood and treasure to spreading “democracy” in places that were already practicing it in theocratic and secular tyrannies, and in the meantime laying the groundwork for a thorough-going police state in this country.
But, to the Times, President Bush placing himself above the law somehow differs morally from Mr. Obama wishing to place himself above the law. It is not known what McCain thinks of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, except that he believes in violating the freedom of speech, but Obama has stated in public that he regrets that the Founders placed limitations on government power, and that these limitations are a fundamental flaw. Obama’s campaign has telegraphed how his administration would deal with any newspaper or radio station that questions his character, record, affiliations, or intentions. For the time being that action is limited to harassment, intimidation, and black-listing. With the cooperation of a Democratic Congress, Obama would employ not only a revived Fairness Doctrine, but other legislative and extra-legislative means as well, to silence free speech and make virtually every political utterance a “hate crime.”
For the Times to express concern about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is laughable, since the paper would applaud their being finally torn up and the pieces tossed into its notion of the dust bin of history, and replaced with an Obama-style “social contract,” which would be indistinguishable from a McCain one.
“This country needs sensible leadership, compassionate leadership, honest leadership, and strong leadership. Barack Obama has shown that he has all those qualities.” Well, John McCain has also shown that he has them. Woe to anyone who states that he doesn’t want leadership, but to be left alone to live his own life. The Times does not go into much detail — just as neither Obama nor McCain has dared go into much detail, but they are on the same path — about where that leadership would lead the country. But all indications, and all evidence, comprehended by cool observation not swayed by raw emotion but by a rigorous fealty to facts, make it certain that it would be to a place the Times would too late disapprove of: censorship and totalitarianism.
But perhaps the Times would not mind that at all. It would, after all, be the newspaper of record, serving for other newspapers and the news media as the touchstone of official and correct thinking, not to be questioned or deviated from, and taking its guidance from its imperious masters.
Just like Winston Smith’s Times in Nineteen Eighty-Four.