On the eve of the one year anniversary of the most recent Iranian presidential election, the Web site for The New Republic gave space to Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to lament the Obama administration's feckless response to the corrupt Iranian regime's crackdown on protesters and its continued quest for nuclear weapons and terrorist sponsorship under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In response two days later, Time's Joe Klein resorted to his typical petulant bluster to berate the generally liberal magazine and divert attention from the real issue of Obama's leadership:
The New Republic perplexes me. It has some of the best and smartest writing around. And then it allows John McCain, whose lack of knowledge about Iran is encyclopedic, to hold forth in its pages.
Klein's June 13 Swampland blog post at Time.com focused on one brief excerpt of McCain's item, launching into how he felt McCain was not nuanced enough and hence lacks credibility to address the issue:
It seems that, in the wake of the liberal celebrations over the passage of the Senate ObamaCare bill, their former vociferous, opposition to it has been tossed down the memory hole. And woe betide anyone who points out how much they used to hate it. Such was the case of The New Republic senior editor Jonathan Chait who castigates your humble correspondent in this article for pointing out this inconvenient fact:
P.J. Gladnick at Newsbusters accuses yours truly of hypocrisy:
Remember all that hype from the liberals until last night about how horrible the Senate ObamaCare was? Yes, they admitted it was a terrible piece of legislation but it was necessary for the House of Representatives to pass it in order for the Senate to somehow improve it via reconciliation. Well, toss that all out the window. Suddenly, sans any change in that formerly detested bill, it has suddenly become a "brilliant" piece of legislation as you can see in this gushing ode to the current unchanged ObamaCare bill by Jonathan Chait of the New Republic...
A "masterfully crafted piece of legislation?" If so, why even bother to try to improve this brilliance via reconciliation in the Senate? Of course, Chait's article makes absolutely no reference to reconciliation. That pretense seems to have been dropped. It will be interesting to see how many other liberals suddenly discover the "brilliance" of what was previously considered a lousy Senate ObamaCare bill and drop their former urgency over the necessity for improvement via reconciliation. For Jonathan Chait all that matters now is that the once hated Senate ObamaCare bill has passed despite the consequences to come.
Remember all that hype from the liberals until last night about how horrible the Senate ObamaCare was? Yes, they admitted it was a terrible piece of legislation but it was necessary for the House of Representatives to pass it in order for the Senate to somehow improve it via reconciliation. Well, toss that all out the window. Suddenly, sans any change in that formerly detested bill, it has suddenly become a "brilliant" piece of legislation as you can see in this gushing ode to the current unchanged ObamaCare bill by Jonathan Chait of the New Republic:
Historians will see this health care bill as a masterfully crafted piece of legislation. Obama and the Democrats managed to bring together most of the stakeholders and every single Senator in their party. The new law law untangles the dysfunctionalities of the individual insurance market while fulfilling the political imperative of leaving the employer-provided system in place. Through determined advocacy, and against special interest opposition, they put into place numerous reforms to force efficiency into a wasteful system. They found hundreds of billions of dollars in payment offsets, a monumental task in itself. And they will bring economic and physical security to tens of millions of Americans who would otherwise risk seeing their lives torn apart. Health care experts for decades have bemoaned the impossibility of such reforms--the system is wasteful, but the very waste creates a powerful constituency for the status quo. Finally, the Democrats have begun to untangle the Gordian knot. It's a staggering political task and substantive achievement.
It appears that The New Republic senior editor, Jonathan Chait, is a bit irked at your humble correspondent for pointing out that he seems a to have gone off the deep end on the subject of ObamaCare:
Some of us realized all along that there was no rational reason that the Massachusetts election had to kill health care reform. Fundamentally, the main barrier -- getting sixty votes in the Senate -- had already been crossed. The remaining obstacles are puny. All the Democrats needed to do was have the House pass the Senate bill. If they insisted on changes, most of those could easily be made through reconciliation, which only requires a majority vote in the Senate. Most conservatives paid no attention to this basic reality, though they did indulge in some gloating mockery of those of us who pointed it out. (I've "gone off the deep end." "It is all rather pathetic." Etc.)
It is still pretty much under the radar but the leftwing nutroots now want to replace the Senate version of ObamaCare with a public option bill to be passed via reconciliation. The completely unrealistic push for public option, currently opposed by President Obama, is now all the rage in the leftwing blogosphere as you can see in yesterday's Daily Kos thread. So before we find out the hard reality of why their reconciliation efforts for public option are going nowhere, break out the popcorn and enjoy the comedy entertainment provided by their fantasies:
It's been a great day on the front lines! We've now got public support from over 20 senators and plenty that are "still considering." Let's give them plenty to consider. Keep calling. And call the president at at 202-456-1111 and tell him to get on board. Leadership for a Change!
The liberal meltdown as a result of the last week's election in Massachusetts continues apace.
And the latest victims of the Bay State choosing Republican #41 for a Senate seat are the editorial staff of The New Republic. Anybody who follows The New Republic, such as your humble correspondent who has kept the NewsBusters Eye of Sauron focused on that liberal outpost knows they are a bunch of policy wonks who have spent the better part of the past year obsessed over every arcane detail of ObamaCare as well as closely following its passage in its various versions through the House and Senate. In fact the two New Republic Jonathans, Chait and Cohn, are so emotionally invested in the fate of ObamaCare, that I fear for their mental health should that legislation, as now appears likely, fails to pass.
You want an example of how depressed The New Republic has become on the topic of the Obama presidency? Well, just check out this meltdown money quote from their latest editorial:
How does this president handle a crisis? Thus far, the answer is not at all encouraging. The current crisis is the election in Massachusetts of Scott Brown, now the forty-first Republican senator. His arrival in Washington has sent Democrats into panic mode--fearful that they too will be swallowed by a seething electorate--and caused many of them to flee in the other direction from health care reform. In short, Barack Obama faces a moment where his presidency just might collapse or, rather, risks heading into a wilderness where it would accomplish next to none of its ambitious goals.
Few liberals have been more insistent on the inevitability of ObamaCare than The New Republic editor Jonathan Chait (along with his TNR colleague Jonathan Cohn). He is stubbornly clinging to the notion that ObamaCare can be a done deal despite the results of yesterday's election in Massachussets giving Republicans the 41st vote to block it in the Senate. To give you an idea of how far Chait has gone off the deep end, take a look at his money quote on the topic of liberal Democrats who consider the Mass. election a referendum on ObamaCare in his ironically titled column, Mass Hysteria:
Still, it's fairly amazing to me to see the Democrats reacting with such hysteria. It's not just moderates trying to position themselves to the center. Barney Frank and Anthony Weiner are acting like pathetic, emotional cowards. They seem to think that one very attractive candidate beating a hapless foe amounts to a national referendum to which every other member of Congress is bound.
If I were to ask you to list just one way in which things could go wrong at the Copenhagen climate conference, the answer that would leap to the front for most of you would be "ClimateGate." Yet The New Republic lists three things that could mess up the talks at Copenhagen and guess what? ClimateGate appears in none of the answers.
Given that there's virtually no chance a finished climate treaty will come out of the upcoming talks in Copenhagen, one might be forgiven for asking what, exactly, the world's diplomats are actually going to do these next two weeks in Denmark. Already, further talks are scheduled for next year—including yet another big climate summit in Mexico City in 2010. But with only so many negotiating sessions to go around, most climate-policy experts agree that tangible progress needs to be made at Copenhagen if there's to be a chance of a new global treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012.
Jesse, one might be forgiven for asking why you wrote an article on the subject of how things could go wrong at Copenhagen without once mentioning the scandal that dare not speak its name.
A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.
Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.
So the Post's E.J. Dionne's complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable...if that president is a Democrat.
While the New York Times house "conservative," David Brooks, continues to shower love upon President Barack Obama, editor-in-chief Marty Peretz of the liberal New Republic has become highly critical of The One. Just how critical? Well, here is Peretz using a Financial Times report on the humiliating Olympic snub of Obama in Copenhagen as the platform to launch a withering critique of the president's self-defeating attitude:
As the FT went on to say, the IOC "delivered an astonishing snub" to the president "by eliminating Chicago in the first round of voting." Chicago was dumped before Madrid was dumped and before Tokyo was dumped. Had the Obama folk not done any canvassing which would have alerted them to the fact that they were jet-setting to a humiliation? Maybe Michelle's presence added to the over-confident sense of invincibility. Moreover, how could they lose with Oprah Winfrey in tow?
The Atlantic's often-silly list (Paul Krugman is #1!) is not completely without value, however, as it provides a cautionary tale of how foolish we can look when we pretend there is no such thing as a conflict of interest.
When one first looks at this article in The New Republic speculating about if Ted Kennedy's son, Patrick Kennedy, could grow into a great political leader, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking it was a satirical story written by either Scott Ott or some other humor columnist. However the name of the author is Jason Zengerle and he is being dead serious which actually makes it funnier than any intentionally satirical story could be. What makes Zengerle's article especially funny is that he provides absolutely no proof that Patrick Kennedy displays the slightest bit of political leadership. In fact, Zengerle lays out reasons why Patrick Kennedy, who is in and out of rehab, has dismal political abilities but somehow concludes he could grow into greatness:
Of all the politicians I’ve encountered in the course of doing my job, there have been some that I’ve admired and some that I’ve loathed. But there’s only one politician I’ve ever pitied, and that’s Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
ObamaCare supporter Anthony Wright has a suggestion for TV networks in their coverage of the town hall protests: treat the protesters the way ESPN covers unruly sports fans. In other words, avoid pointing the cameras at them. Here are some of Wright's thoughts about censoring the town hall protesters published in The New Republic:
The Fox network has done more than any other network to showcase the protesters at health care town halls. And the coverage has been a lot like Fox’s reality shows: The more outrageous, the more likely you’ll end up on TV or YouTube. A sign referencing Nazis will get you on the local news. Shouting in a Senator’s face gets an radio interview afterwards. Bring a gun, and you get your full interview on a cable news program. After the first gun-toter made the rounds, the question wasn’t why there was a dozen folks packing outside the next presidential event, but why weren’t there more?
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith teased an upcoming segment on dispelling myths about health care reform: "There’s so much anger, this vitriol that we see day after day in these town meetings across the country....We’re going to try and determine this morning whether or not some of these bold statements are, in fact, true or not."
Smith turned to Jonathan Cohn, senior editor of the left-wing magazine, The New Republic, to find the "truth" about the President’s health care plan. Smith made no mention of Cohn’s political affiliation or the magazine’s liberal leanings but did find time to promote his guest’s latest book: "Jonathan Cohn is senior editor of The New Republic and author ‘Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis And The People Who Pay The Price.’"
On Wednesday, Cohn wrote an article for The New Republic entitled: "The Swiftboating of Health Reform," in which he attacked conservative critics of the health care plan: "It’d be one thing if the lunatics on the right had a coherent argument for why these initiatives might be ineffective or counterproductive. But they don’t even bother to acknowledge them, preferring instead to throw out scare quotes like this one from [Sarah] Palin: ‘Who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course.’"
Harold Pollack dispenses with them (and their sources) here.
Tumulty failed to mention the liberal bent of either TNR or Dr. Pollack (Ph.D., not M.D.), which would have been helpful considering her terse blog post practically amounted to an unqualified stamp of approval of Pollack's August 4 item.
Albeit in kinder, gentler language, Pollack posited that opposition to socialized medicine among American senior citizens was due to racism, xenophobia, and homophobia (emphasis mine):
The left can try to brush off articles in the Wall Street Journal or the National Review about the "coup" in Honduras as "rightwing propaganda." However, they will have a much harder time applying such a label to an article about the ouster of Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya (in photo with Hugo Chavez), which appeared in the very liberal New Republic.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should have read Festishizing the Presidency by Francisco Toro before being so quick in joining Chavez in denouncing the removal of Honduran strong man Zelaya who was acting unconstitutionally:
Sunday's coup in Honduras has been portrayed as a throwback to the bad old days when Latin American armies got drafted in as the ultimate umpires of political conflict. But in arresting president Manuel Zelaya in his pajamas and putting him on the first plane out of the country, Honduras's generals were acting out of fear of a genuine and growing threat to Latin Democracy: the looming prospect of unchecked, hyper-empowered executive power held for life by a single, charismatic individual.
Seen in context, Sunday's military powerplay was different in important ways from the traditional Latin American putsch. The generals move came at the unanimous--yes unanimous--behest of a congress outraged by Zelaya's not-particularly-subtle attempts to extend his hold on power indefinitely. It followed a series of clearly unconstitutional moves on Zelaya's part, including his attempt to unilaterally remove the chief of the army, which, according to Honduras's Constitution, can only be done by a congressional super-majority.
In today's "Will Bush Derangement Syndrome Ever End" segment, CBSNews.com published an article from The New Republic comparing Iran's crazed leader who believes the holocaust never happened and Israel should be wiped off the face of the planet to -- wait for it! -- America's 43rd president.
Isn't that special?
In a piece hysterically titled "Meet Iran's George W. Bush," author Laura Secor said Iran's upcoming elections (this is from last Monday) were similar to ours in 2004 for reasons that every American save the REAL Bush haters -- and you know who YOU are!!! -- should find thoroughly offensive (h/t Gateway Pundit via NBer Blazer):
Keep in mind this is supposed to be a "modest," not laughable, proposal by the New Republic: replace Roland Burris in the U.S. Senate with Michelle Obama. And if she is not available, then send Barack Obama's mother-in-law to the Senate. I kid you not. Stand by for yet the latest chapter in Obama worship as you read this "modest" proposal by Jason Zengerle of the New Republic titled, "A Modest Proposal to Solve the Burris Problem":
Roland Burris is obviously going to put "U.S. Senator" on his mausoleum, but I can think of another entry that might belong there, as well: "Destroyer of the Illinois Democratic Party."
Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned due to his involvement in a prostitution ring, is slowly attempting to edge himself back into the public eye with his new column in Slate. The problem from the POV of The New Republic is that Spitzer is trying to make himself relevant again much too quickly without showing the proper remorse. As a result, The New Republic gives Spitzer some atonement advice written by Jacob Gershman which does the former governor no real service since anything he does now will come off as a cynical attempt to return to the public eye:
Mark Pinsky, writing for the New Republic, has an idea of what to do with all the journalists currently being laid off by the dying newspapers around the country: put them on the public payroll by hiring them for a resurrected Federal Writers Project. This was the New Deal project which provided funding for works which were primarily of a leftwing nature. And any current version of this government program is likely to have the same political ideology as its predecessor. Pinksy explains his dream of subsidizing unemployed journalists (emphasis mine):
Barack Obama sounds like he wants to reach back to the New Deal's Works Progress Administration to jump start the economy with an economic stimulus proposal featuring infrastructure repair. If so, it may be time for the man who would be FDR to take a look at another successful--but largely forgotten--jobs program from the Depression era: the Federal Writers Project.
Most liberal commentators have preferred not to dwell on Barack Obama's broken promise to accept public financing of his campaign. For years, liberals have been at the forefront of demanding such public financing with pious lectures about the corrupting effects of money on politics. So the McCain-Feingold public financing law was passed and guess who was the first presidential candidate to opt out of that system? The Lightworker who flat out lied to the public when he earlier pledged to accept public financing. So when Obama announced he was breaking his public financing pledge a few months ago, there was some minor grumbling from liberals but since then they have entered the cone of silence on this issue due to their embarrassment about this topic. However, one liberal has spoken out about Obama's broken pledge. To condemn him?
The New Republic associate editor, Eve Fairbanks, needs to send a royalty payment to her senior editor, Michelle Cottle. Actually, Fairbanks might as well bypass Cottle and send the payment directly to your humble correspondent since The New Republic senior editor ripped me off when she wrote that the Washington Post compared Todd Palin to Hillary Clinton just a half hour after I made the same suggestion. Since the Washington Post story never mentioned Hillary, where do you think Cottle got her story idea from? The following update to my September 22 blog post explains:
Your humble correspondent is of the opinion that, without even knowing who wins the election in November, one can easily determine the winner by simply looking at the screen shots of liberal members of the MSM on the day after the election. Are the faces of Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, etc. mournful? That will pretty much tell you who won the election the previous day. Likewise, simply by reading an analysis of last night's debate in Oxford, Mississippi in liberal publications, one can determine who won that debate without even watching it. It is called reading the liberal tea leaves and, since the NewsBusters Eye of Sauron has been upon them lately, The New Republic has been chosen as an example.
The first story chosen for this liberal tea leaf reading is titled, "They Both Lost." This was way too easy. What the title really tells you, without even having to read the story, is "McCain Won." The article itself merely confirms what was pretty much shouted out in the title (emphasis mine):
The New Republic has come up with a new way to drag conservatism through the mud---Simply describe racists as "racially conservative." Get it? They are implying that if you are a conservative then you must somehow be a racist. Your humble correspondent caught them using this term in a story headlined on The New Republic front page as: "Are People Who Hang Up On Pollsters More Racist Than Those Who Don't?" The story itself pretty much goes nowhere since no voting trend by people who refuse to talk to pollsters can be discerned. However, the story does link conservatism with racism (emphasis mine):
Martin Peretz, the editor-in-chief of The New Republic, didn't make many friends with the hard core left which nowadays makes up a large part of Democrat activists with his latest article: "Red Dusk: The Rosenberg bombshell." It is about how many in the American left, despite the evidence that Julius and Ethel Rosenburg were indeed Soviet spies, still can't accept their guilt just as they can't accept the culpability of communists and communism in general (emphasis mine):
In America and in other Western societies, however, there still remain coteries of intellectuals and other high-minded people who have trouble absorbing the simplest historic truths, truths which ordinary workers in highly ideological Labour England, say, have had absolutely no difficulties absorbing. Even more so among unionized workers in the United States. The blindness of these meta-minds does not quite absolve Stalin of his crimes--but it willfully looks away from those of Castro or Che, who still hold a special place in the hearts of people calling themselves progressives.
Jonathan! Oh Jonathan! Paging Jonathan Chait! To paraphrase a certain wide stance senator, you've been a bad boy, a naughty boy. In fact, you're probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy. You see, you've written a long smear of Sarah Palin in the New Republic where you are The senior editor and yet a certain name was missing in your attack. What was that name? Why, Joe Biden. And why is Chait so reluctant to so much as mention Biden nowadays except in passing? Simple. When it looked like Biden had not a chance in the world of ever being nominated for president, Chait felt free to write what he really thought of the verbose senator last year (emphasis mine):
First we had a former national chairman of the Democratic National Committee laughing over the effect of Hurricane Gustav hitting New Orleans would have on Republicans as they prepared to hold their convention this week. Now we have a writer for The New Republic, Nate Silver, worried in the other direction in an article titled, "How Gustav Could Benefit the Republicans." Silver lists the ways he perceives that Republicans could benefit from this storm:
1. Allows McCain to Appear Magnanimous. By potentially delaying or canceling his "date" at the GOP convention, McCain appears as though he is giving something up to tend to the Gulf Coast. Sympathetic and neutral-to-sympathetic media outlets may view this as underscoring McCain's "America First" theme.
What a difference a few weeks make. It wasn't too long ago that the liberal media were already congratulating themselves on Barack Obama's "inevitable" victory. Many of those reports crossed the line into flat out gloating in which the election itself was a mere formality on the road to the coronation of the Lightworker. Well, that was then and now it appears that Obama's halo of perfection has become quite tarnished to the extent that the liberal New Republic is worrying if their erstwhile messiah is heading towards a "long, disappointing fall." John B. Judis, a senior editor of The New Republic, bites his fingernails with a revealing article titled, "Avoiding A Long, Disappointing Fall." Dr. Judis gives his diagnosis along with suggestions for a cure as to what is ailing the Obama campaign (emphasis mine):
AP political reporter Charles Babington, who recently touted "ample evidence that Obama is something special," is now warning that Obama is bracing against "race-based ads." Recent examples of "racially tinged" TV images like Obama wearing a turban and native Kenyan gear are "harbingers" of conservative 527-group ads to come. Babington then typically recounted the usual liberal-media suspects on racial politics – the Willie Horton ad and the crumpled-letter ad from Jesse Helms.
But he typically ignored acidulous race-baiting liberal commercials like the NAACP in 2000 suggesting that George W. Bush was dragging black victim James Byrd to death behind a pickup all over again, and the Missouri Democratic Party ad in 1998 that claimed: "When you don’t vote, you let enough church explode.When you don't vote, you let another cross burn." Babington implied that the history of nasty racial politics is a one-way avenue:
Like choosing Rosie O'Donnell to vouch that someone isn't a 9-11 conspiracy nut?
Of all the people Mika Brzezinski might have selected as a character reference for her father when he was portrayed as a problem for Obama with Jewish voters, Pat Buchanan isn't the first one who springs to mind. Yet that's who Mika [subbing as host for Joe Scarborough, home in Florida awaiting the birth of a baby] called on to defend her dad on today's Morning Joe.
The odd endorsement came at about 6:35 AM EDT today, after Mika highlighted an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal by Global View columnist [and former Jerusalem Post editor] Bret Stephens entitled Obama and the Jews. Stephens's item contained these lines [emphasis added]: