Monday, August 08, 2005

Three Lame Horsemen

So I picked up a page to proofread, and just my luck it was our editorial page for tomorrow. Then I looked at the column sigs and saw the line-up. Sigh. A murderer's row of flailing hacks strung out on Bush Derangement Syndrome.

First we have E.J. Dionne, in a column our editorial page editor headlined "Bush’s bad summer." Why is Bush having a bad summer? Well, it's like this: Because his Republican party won the election in Ohio.

Yes, you read that right. The Republican victory is "the culmination of doubts about Bush that have germinated below the surface of public opinion for much of his presidency."

The winning Republican, former state Rep. Jean Schmidt, ran a poor campaign and still won. In Dionne's eyes, that proves "the GOP knows something is badly wrong." And that "something?" It begins with "I" and ends with "raq."

Bush's obvious problem is Iraq. The sharp rise in casualties over the last fortnight has pushed the war back into the television news and aggravated opposition.

Which could as easily have been written like this: "The media ignores Iraq until something goes dramatically bad for the Americans, and then floods the TV screen with images of grieving survivors. And when that happens, Bush's poll numbers go down. The media seems to enjoy this game immensely."

Before long, Dionne is writing as though Hackett, the Democrat who lost the Ohio election, won it. "Iraq certainly played a role in Hackett's showing in Ohio," he boasts. "But the closeness of the contest may also have reflected disaffection among moderate Republicans and independents."

Here's where the logic gets more strained than Rafael Palmeiro's explanation of what he told Congress. Why are moderates disaffected? Because outsider social conservatives intervened in GOP primary election. Yet the social conservatives' first choice, as Dionne writes, was former Rep. Bob McEwen, who lost the primary, not Schmidt. But ... but ... but "Schmidt was closer" than the third candidate in the primary "to the conservative camp." [Here insert peasant shouts of "She's a witch; burn her!"]

What a straw. What a grasp.

It got worse. At the top of the page was that Helen Thomas, with a column sig head shot that made me remember "Throw Momma From the Train."

"Historic voting law in jeopardy," her headline shouted. What's wrong? "There is apprehension among civil rights groups that some key parts of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act may be diluted or eliminated when the law comes up for renewal in 2007."

It looks like that Shrubbie McChimplerburton is up to his old tricks! Why, the evidence is staggering, according to Helen.

"White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration will work with Congress on legislation to renew the law, but he has been vague on the touchy question of whether President Bush would support the renewal of the tough parts of law."

But wait, it gets worse. Bush designated Saturday as a day of celebration in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

The law reaffirmed "this bedrock commitment to equality and justice for all," he said, adding that "America is a stronger and better nation" because of it.

Earlier in the week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales commemorated the anniversary at the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas. ... Gonzales praised it as "one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted."

Gonzales has said the Justice Department has set a goal to "make voting easier and cheating harder." The department currently has 124 election-fraud investigations underway.

Er, wait, no that's not the evidence. Rewind the tape, it's in there somewhere. No? It seems that this positive talk from the administration is, in fact, the basis of Helen's drumbeat warning. Doesn't matter. All you need for a Helen Thomas attack column is the words "Bush" and "Gonzales" and "civil rights legislation." The rest of the words are irrelevant. A brainwashed moonbat will see the cards turn up and know what to do.

The third column? Paul Krugman telling us, again, why America's economy is doomed. Don't even get me started.