Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Surprise: New York Times Writes Daft Article About Republicans

The New York Times has an exceedingly stupid piece (linked to by Drudge) today illuminating the cool relations between former President George W. Bush and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry, both Texans. The motivation behind this is pretty transparent and the device only slightly less so. The Times is going after Perry as it appears Perry will run for, and stands a good chance of winning, the Republican nomination.

So what does the NYT want it's readers to know? If you're skimming it wants you to know that Rick Perry is George W. Bush, so that the very mention of our 43rd President in the same breath as Rick Perry will have the intended dog whistle effect on liberals the world over (George W. Bush being the apotheosis of all that is evil, wrong and to be hated on this Earth in the liberal canon). If you're actually reading the article, the NYT wants you to know that Rick Perry is GWB only more so, even more BushHitlerian than the original article. They broke from each other, the NYT helpfully tells us, because Perry thinks Bush 2 is a squish, a loser, one of these unpure "compassionate conservatives". So if you thought George W. Bush was bad...wink wink.

From a lefty's point of view, this is a plausible case. This is not what renders the article so silly. What makes this article so daft is the NYT's logical progression from 1) Bush and Perry don't get along, to 2) Bush will impede and thwart Perry's chances via his considerable control of the Republican Party.

Balderdash all of it. The logical mistake emanates from the NYT's caricatured notion of the "inside baseball" of Republican Party politics. We don't expect the NYT to understand rank and file Republican attitudes and we certainly don't expect the fading paper of record to know the dark inner secrets of elite Republican strategery. This is, after all, the paper that relishes giving away the nation's secrets to the world, there is no chance they are in possession of any meaningful understanding of the GOP's inner workings.

In reality, Bush has almost zero interest in being a GOP kingmaker and relatively little power to be such. What Bush does have is broad and deep connections and resources that he can add to a Perry campaign or not add. Bush can augment Perry's arsenal but not really detract from it. Finally, what the NYT suspects, but has no real appreciation of due to its limited worldview, is that Barack Obama has united all the various petty fiefdoms within the Republican spectrum. There is no greater mission right now than to defeat this clown and everybody understands it quite well. When push comes to shove, when the chances of defeating Barack Obama look more and more like a reality, Bush will allow any and all resources he commands to be put into the fight in assistance to a Perry campaign.


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