Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Southern Beale to the Rescue but First Read the Worst Endorsement Ever

"Too Many Mitts" says the Salt Lake Tribune as it tossed it's support to President Obama.
From his embrace of the party's radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?" . . .
The Tampa Bay Times also endorsed the president:
. . . Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.
In their endorsement of President Obama, The Denver Post lays out equally well reasoned arguments for supporting the president.
From running to the far right on immigration and women's health in the primary and then saddling his campaign with Rep. Paul Ryan's extreme and unrealistic budget, the Romney of this election cycle is not the man elected in Massachusetts.
Instead, we must judge him on the menu of options he has repeatedly put forward during this campaign. On policies ranging from tax reform to immigration, from health care to higher education, none of Romney's numbers add up. Moreover, he has been unwilling or unable to outline for voters specifics that demonstrate his math works — probably because it doesn't.
All well written endorsements. All logical in their assessments of Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney. All perceptive, thorough, and accurate - point by point.

So, I was eagerly awaiting my newspaper's endorsement, which once had a tradition of being liberal and which supported Mr. Obama in 2008, so readers can imagine my utter horror, my stunned fury, when The Tennessean came out for Romney!!! As if that isn't bad enough, it is the most convoluted, nonsensical, bizarre, absurd and badly written endorsement for any candidate I've ever read in my entire life.

I don't think I recall an endorsement that basically praises one candidate, criticizes the other, and then endorses the one they criticize, saying at the end:
Gov. Romney: This endorsement was not an easy decision. You owe the American people more details about how you will keep taxes low, preserve social programs and build up the military, all while reducing the debt. You must be your own man, and not kowtow to special interests whose millions helped propel you to the Republican nomination.
Be the man who governed Massachusetts, and you’ll reunite America.
By the time I reached the end, I was so furious I could have spit nails. It was an emotional moment, my friends - a very emotional moment. When I get that angry (I'm still livid), I have to look elsewhere for the appropriate sentiments that capture my own feelings because I have been rendered utterly speechless and all I can do is spew and sputter.

Southern Beale to the rescue, someone who can say it better in three words than I can in three paragraphs. She compares the endorsements from the Salt Lake Tribune with that of The Tennessean, pointing out that "Both editorial boards see Romney as a shameless political opportunist, yet they come to different conclusions."

She then offers up a "news flash", explaining why there will be no reuniting of America, "not under a Republican or a Democratic one!"
Why? Because the failure is not in our leaders but our institutions. Until that is fixed, the foot-dragging and fillibustering and recalcitrance will continue. 
Our government is corrupted by money — the “politico-industrial complex” I wrote about last week. These people need our country divided for their game to work. The money comes from flooding everyone’s inbox with hysterical e-mails about how that Scary Mooslim Kenyan Usurper Obama is going to ban Jesus and force abortions on teenage virgins while handing the White House over to the United Nations. That’s where the money is, and companies like Gannett are profiting from it because someone needs to broadcast the scary-voiced announcer dude spreading all of those lies about the candidates.
But the very best part of SB's delightful rant, and the one that resonates the most with me, is when she dumps the blame for the division squarely in the laps of the Tennessean and the media in general.
You guys mainstreamed the crazy. You gave it a microphone and normalized it. This partisan rancor is as much the media’s fault as anyone’s. Don’t whine about how the country needs to be “reunited” and we need a “return to civility.” For that to happen we need a grown-up to admit that one of our political parties is barking mad. The media had its chance to serve as truth arbiter but that ship sailed when they let “death panels” and “a bureaucrat coming between you and your doctor” substitute for factual policy discussions during the healthcare “debate.”
So don’t cry for me, Argentina. And by all means, don’t tell me Mitt Romney is the guy who’s gonna fix this mess. The very fact that The Tennessean would suggest Multiple Choice Mitt as the solution to this problem it created tells me everything I need to know about our dying newspaper industry.
Music to my ears. But back to the editorial and part of one of the comments I made at Southern Beale's that, now that I think about it, more or less plays into that whole corporate thing:
This was so bizarre, convoluted and badly written, even by Tennessean standards, that I couldn’t help but think while reading it that the orders came from on high. I got the feeling that whoever wrote it was drowning himself in a quart bottle of Jack Daniels and was choking on every word of it.
Further Reading: a list of newspaper editorial endorsements.


  1. Where have you gone John Seigenthaler?, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

    1. I'm sure he's flipping out over this and the Evans family are probably turning over in their graves.

  2. Their endorsement is proof that details are not important. Saying it is enough...and given Romney's flip flopping, he is on every side of every issue, and thus pleases 100% of the one time or the other.

    Hail to the Flopper-In-Chief!

  3. "Hail to the Flipper-In-Chief" -- I have to remember that one, so I can steal it from time to time.

  4. Love it..."Hail to the Flipper/Flopper-In-Chief" it! Unlike the subject that inspires the phrase, it has a certain ring to it.

    As to the endorsement...what Jerry said.

  5. The Tennessean's endorsement could be the result of the publisher or editor's personal preference. My local paper is owned by a very wealthy, very Republican family. Its editorial board meets weekly, and during election years discusses and votes on endorsements. But only one vote, the publisher's, counts. Thus, after all that was known about George W. Bush by 2004, and regardless of how obviously better suited and qualified John Kerry was, the local paper predictably endorsed Bush. I experienced a wave of nausea as I read the endorsement.

    But Southern Beale might have hit on the reason for the Tennessean's endorsement of Romney with this:

    "The very fact that The Tennessean would suggest Multiple Choice Mitt as the solution to this problem it created tells me everything I need to know about our dying newspaper industry."

    The editor who wrote the endorsement might well have made a calculation of how many angry subscribers would cancel the paper, and how many angry local businessmen would quit buying ad space, and decided a Romney endorsement was a no brainer. Simple as that. Given the political climate in Tennessee, exemplified by the likes of right-wing hack Rep. Marsha Blackburn, there's no mistaking which side of the bread the newspaper's butter is on. I'm surprised it endorsed Obama in 2008.

    That's a sad commentary on the state of things, but that's the way it is.

    1. I'm sure you're right. It's just so heartbreaking to see a newspaper that was so bold during the Civil Rights era change their colors. The editorial is by no means a ringing endorsement of Romney but, of course, the folks who are cheering don't have the ability to see that. Nashville-Davidson County was the only county that voted blue in 2008.

      Marcia Blackburn is a disgrace and I suppose you've read about this pig who no doubt will be re-elected.

  6. The truth is, our institutions are broken, in particular our government's structure. In their efforts to prevent the ascension of a king, our forefathers built so many checks and balances into the system that has become a malaise and easy pickings for the capitalists. We need, like every other successful democracy in the world, a parliamentary system of government that avoids this ridiculous presidential campaigning altogether. Parliamentary systems work because the Prime Minister has to form a majority coalition in order to become Prime Minister in the first place and the elected ministers (congressmen) must are directly answerable to the electorate. Of course, money still corrupts, but not nearly to the degree as in a democratic republic.

    1. I was going to say this thing that's just above my comment, and I have to go to bed sometime, so I'll just go--what HE said.

  7. Leslie, Trying to fathom the kind of logic offered up by The Tennessean (motto: "Running a new photo of Taylor Swift each and every day, front page, above the fold!")is a fool's folly. They opine that because Republican intransigence has stymied all efforts to solve the nation's problems, the country should embrace the GOP to unite government. That's like saying because the Taliban insists upon bombing the schools Afghan girls attend we should tear down the schools for them and stop the violence.
    The Tennessean is one of the few major papers in the state that consistently leans leftward, although much less so in recent months. But this is a redder than red state, and the paper is struggling with circulation issues, rising print costs, and has become irrelevant to a vast majority of Republican readers. Hence the capitulation to the Dark Side.
    It's yet another sad testiment to the corporate mentality of consolidated media outlets bowing to the Big Money Boys in Belle Meade and Brentwood.
    And you're dead on the money about Marsha Blackburn... a source of great embarrassment to the state every time Faux News points a camera her direction.
    (heavy sigh...)

    1. I think what really bothers me about any endorsement of Romney is that in my mind it carries an endorsement of greed, lies, racism and war. It legitimizes punks like Sununu and cretins like Ryan. It endorses the war on women and tells the middle class to go fuck itself. In short, it endorses extremism.

  8. It is interesting, Leslie. You are right, the Republican Party is the party of extremist. There are people who call the Democratic Party a party of extremism also. But there is a big difference. Democratic extremism is in the name of the people. It is for the betterment of the people's situation and opportunity. Republican extremism is just the opposite. It is for the betterment of the wealthy fews' situation and opportunity and corporate power.

  9. The fright-wingers are convinced that it is the Mooslum half-breed anti-Christ who should be feared; they are simply too dumb to understand that if the GOP wins, they will be next.