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Sunday, November 14, 2004

NYT's confusion on the basic concepts of government

According to an article in Monday's New York Times entitled "Southern Democrats' Decline Is Eroding the Political Center," those damn dumb conservative Texans have shot off one of Dubya's toes (boldface added):

This [dwindling in the number of remaining conservative southern Democrats] could also have important implications for Mr. Bush's domestic agenda. He needs bipartisan support to achieve major changes in Social Security, for example, but two Democrats considered most likely to work across party lines for entitlement "reform" will not be there: Mr. Breaux and Mr. Stenholm. Some Democrats on Capitol Hill said last week that the Republicans, who campaigned hard against Mr. Stenholm, had perversely cost themselves a potential ally.

Oh, dangnabbit! How will Denny Hastert and Tom DeLay ever get Nancy Pelosi and Lloyd Doggett and Sheila Jackson-Lee to vote for Dubya's programs now that Charlie Stenholm's not around to sweet-talk them into it?

Feh. The fact of the matter is that Charlie Stenholm couldn't sweet-talk any hard-left Dems into anything — past, present, or future. The real world doesn't work that way now, if it ever did. And on the few issues in which remaining "moderate" or so-called "conservative" Democrats in the House could be persuaded to vote with Dubya and the Republicans in the last term, they'll be just as persuadable again without Stenholm as a "bridge." As for his own vote, Stenholm sometimes, but far from reliably — whether because of his own views, or because his constituency was indeed solidly conservative — would vote with the Republicans. His successor, Randy Neugebauer, campaigned as both a conservative and a Republican who'd methodically support his party and its candidate for President.  This was a straightfoward case of voting for someone straightforward.

If there were any realistic chance that in the foreseeable future, the bulk of the Democratic Party might swing back toward the center — if there were a chance that it might regain control of the House, and if its moderate and so-called conservative elements were then in a position to actually dictate the Democratic Party's positions — then an old warhorse like Stenholm might have been a useful ally for Dubya and the Republicans. But that ain't gonna happen anytime soon, friends and neighbors, and the folks like Pelosi who actually do run the show within the currrent Democratic Party are no more sorry to see Stenholm leave than Tom DeLay is.

The fact of the matter is that the voters of Stenholm's district — as redrawn in 2003 to eliminate the gerrymandered advantages that kept him in office despite the state's growing Republican trend — replaced an unreliable conservative who was member of the minority party's increasingly irrelevant fringe with a reliable conservative who's a mainstream member of the majority party. They may drive pickup trucks in a cherry-red state, but as I see it, they seem to have a better handle on this "democracy" thing than the brilliant political reporters of the New York Times — who clearly think that political gamesmanship and duplicity is business as usual, and that straightforwardness is "perverse."

Posted by Beldar at 10:53 PM in Mainstream Media, Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to NYT's confusion on the basic concepts of government and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» How dumb is the NY Times? from Commonwealth Conservative

Tracked on Nov 17, 2004 10:33:42 PM


(1) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Nov 15, 2004 3:58:09 AM | Permalink

What an asinine piece of junk.

The House is not like the Senate. It's just a question of whether the hardline rightwing extremists or the hardline leftwing extremists will exercise unilateral control over the place. Right now, it's the rightwingers who are running the show, and they don't need, or want, the help of a single Dem.

(2) Dave Schuler made the following comment | Nov 15, 2004 7:31:44 AM | Permalink

Interesting. Replacing moderate Democrats with conservative Republicans weakens Bush's hand? Where I come from that's called “increasing your majority”.

The NYT is whistling in the dark. Now that it's apparent that the Democratic Party will not regain control of the House it's pretty likely that a number of of House Dems will retire. It's not nearly as much fun being in the minority as being the majority. And quite of few of those incumbents represent districts that have become increasingly Republican. They'll be replaced by Republicans further increasing the Republican majority there. The same may hold true in the Senate and Bush may get his filibuster-proof Senate.

If the Times really wants to help their guys, they'll stop giving bad advice.

(3) Skip McRae made the following comment | Nov 15, 2004 8:36:13 AM | Permalink

This comes from one who lives in District 19, the location of that "terrible" ousting of Charlie Stenholm. I, along with other folk who watch the House proceedings on C-SPAN, knew that the Charlie Stenholm we saw on the House floor following the line of Pelosi and others, was not the same Charlie Stenholm who came home to the district and was a different person. As a matter of fact, I created some mischief with Stenholm's campaign a few weeks back, when I called and asked if he had changed parties and had become an Independent. They replied "No, why do you ask?" I said because I had noticed in every one of his TV ads that the word "Democrat" was never uttered or appeared. Chagrined, they replied that because of the creation of the new district, there were people who really did not know Charley Stenholm, and the campaign did not want to confuse his identity. What a spin! The fact is, the people in this district do know Charlie Stenholm, and we turned him out just as was done with Martin Frost in Dallas, Nick Lampson in Beaumont, and Max Sandlin in East Texas. Those "yellow dog" Democrats should have learned that dog no longer hunts.

(4) The Old Coot made the following comment | Nov 15, 2004 10:35:57 AM | Permalink

Shocking revelation about the thought process @ the NYT; next thing I'm gonna read is that Dan Rather doesn't always tell the truth. (Beldar: Thanks for rubbing their collective noses in it.)

(5) Quadraginta made the following comment | Nov 16, 2004 8:56:18 PM | Permalink

We always wondered how Pravda could wander so easily through the Looking Glass. The devolution of the Times suggests how it can sneak up on you.

I submit this is an occupational hazard of being a postmodernist moral prig. If you act according to religious belief but you deny the very existence of religion, you become increasingly detached from reality. This is the essence of the NYT quandary. They are unable to recognize the existence of their own religion of the left, which would be a pre-condition for re-organizing their practical behaviour.

It's like a man who denies the existence of fat people. He could easily get in the position of being overweight yet completely unable to lose weight, because he denies reality at Step 1. He can't admit he's fat.

(6) Warrior made the following comment | Nov 18, 2004 11:02:36 AM | Permalink

Quadraginta, excellent analogy to weight gain and loss. I would care to say that their secular religion of statism is collapsing like a house of cards. They don't see it as a problem and they don't even believe that it is failing them. Only that the gods of popular culture and political correctenss have been denied their suzerainty over conservatism (dare I say Christianity?), probably by unfair and nefarious means (Al Gore, call your office.) This explains both their incredulity at the results of the '04 election and all the baffled and bewildering "interpretations" of events since.

This clueless hydra reaches into every liberal heart - just read a few posts from leftist sources (not to mention the MSM, Wa Po, etc.) The religion of victimhood and post-modern deconstructionism is being revealed as the sham that it truly is, but they will never see it. They have too many vested interests in it(political, financial, personal). It's a phenomenom in pschological study known as "escalation of commitment". For instance, the radical flower child of the sixteies is vested in casting the government as both the cause of and the solution to many of the country's ills (political). He has become a reporter and now editor at the NYT (financial). He dodged the draft, promoted abortion, and smokes pot (personal). Now approaching 60, he realizes that personal responsibility is far more important than the gubment in solving most problems; that he is unwilling or unable to secure a less "ideological" position; and that he really wishes his teenagers would quit smoking pot. What's a liberal to do? Few have the moral courage or the intellectual honesty of a David Horowitcz to make a major shift in belief systems at this late stage of their lives. So, they must suspend reality and continue to tow the line. Sad really. But with the healp of Beldar and others, maybe we can make converts of them eventually!

Evil flourishes when good men do nothing.

(7) Quadraginta made the following comment | Nov 18, 2004 3:05:05 PM | Permalink

Well, it's not the case that none of them change. If you look closely, you'll see that there are a lot of recovering leftists out there. Many of them are in W's 60 million votes.

What's happening is that the more reasonable ones are abandoning ship, and consequently what's left becomes more radical and more detached from reality.

I call it the "evaporating salt lake effect." As a salt lake evaporates, what remains gets a lot more salty. As the reasonable people evaporate from the left, what remains gets a lot more nutty.

(8) UML Guy made the following comment | Nov 18, 2004 4:30:55 PM | Permalink

Quadraginta: "evaporating salt lake effect." Perfect! I've been describing this effect for a while, but I didn't have a handy, self-explanatory name for it. Now I do. Thanks!

(9) Warrior made the following comment | Nov 18, 2004 7:23:21 PM | Permalink

Evaporating salt lake effect - let me also add my congratulations for that one. Maybe the old adage about no brains after forty if you're not conservative is working in our favor! Time conquers all.

Evil flourishes when good men do nothing.

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