Sunday, October 17, 2004

This just in: Water is Wet

In an editorial that will come as a surprise to nobody, the New York Times published it's endorsement of John Kerry today (John Kerry for President) for the office of President of the United States.

Now - this is hardly a shock. The Times is the bastion newspaper of the left here in the US (though it's reputation for being a leftie paper is rather overdramatized by the right - it is nowhere near as partisan as The Guardian in the UK, or even the Washington Times here in the States - it was particularly harsh on Bill Clinton during his Presidency, for example), but...despite the high statures of the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, none of them have the stature of the NYT and while this is not an unexpected endorsement, it is an interesting read as a complete and total indictment of the Bush Administration.
There is no denying that this race is mainly about Mr. Bush's disastrous tenure. Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right.
It goes on to criticize just about every aspect of the administration's four years in office, from the disastrous tax cuts that disproportionately cut taxes for wealthy Americans, the terrible environmental damage done to the EPA, the assault on civil rights, the nomination of hard-right ideologues to the courts, failures in education policy, his failure to fully fund homeland security after 9/11, his failure to press home the advantage in Afghanistan, the disastrous mess in Iraq, and a "Nixonian obsession with secrecy, disrespect for civil liberties and inept management" as well as the fact that "None of the president's chief advisers have ever been held accountable for their misrepresentations to the American people or for their mismanagement of the war that followed (in Iraq)."

The critique includes this priceless bit of analysis:
The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages. We get the radical goals but not the efficient management. The Department of Education's handling of the No Child Left Behind Act has been heavily politicized and inept. The Department of Homeland Security is famous for its useless alerts and its inability to distribute antiterrorism aid according to actual threats. Without providing enough troops to properly secure Iraq, the administration has managed to so strain the resources of our armed forces that the nation is unprepared to respond to a crisis anywhere else in the world.
Now...I've never seen much evidence that newspaper endorsements for political office provide much of anything. However, in this case I think that the news that they've endorsed Kerry (which makes the front of CNN.com, MSNBC.com, etc.) and the critiques do an excellent job of bringing into focus just exactly what's wrong with El Presidente's administration. It's an interesting read - one I suggest everyone make the time to do so.

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