We stop by RealClearPolitics once a day to get a sense for the national conversation. Sometimes you find something interesting there, and honestly we have found some of our favorite writers there over the years.
Yesterday however was not red star day at RCP. We found two articles that were so mindbendingly retrograde that we had to pinch ourselves to remember what decade, er century, we are living in. What’s even sadder is that the two organizations publishing these opinion pieces are The New York Times and The Washington Post. One might hope that if nothing else we could get modern thought in one or both of these publications. One might be disappointed.
First up was a hit job in the Post about Governor Rick Perry’s Texas record. Here’s a taste:
Consider the Texas that Perry holds up to the rest of the nation for admiration. It has the fourth-highest poverty rate of any state. It tied with Mississippi last year for thehighest percentage of workers in minimum-wage jobs. It ranks first in adults without high school diplomas. Twenty-six percent of Texans have no health insurance — the highest percentage of medically uninsured residents of any state. It leads the nation in the percentage of children who lack medical insurance. Texas has an inordinate number of employers who provide no insurance to their workers, partly because insurance rates are high, thanks to an absence of regulations.
You get the point? If you consider yourself a fair, decent, kind-hearted person you must cringe to read this, right? How could anyone vote for a person who wants this uneducated, uninsured, uninspired life for their fellow human beings?
Well, my family wanted it for ourselves, actually. Yeah, we came over in steerage and made a beeline for pre-WWI Detroit. There were loads of manual work jobs from farms to factories. We were young, completely uneducated and had no idea there was such a thing as insurance. In 1925 we owned a business, had a brand new 2 story brick home built, with a car in the driveway, and raised our family. There were millions more like us, making a life for ourselves without a single progressive helping hand. Amazing, right?
Yet here we are in 2011 and a writer from the Post thinks it all smells a little off, a little rancid. (Just a guess, but I think his grandparents met my grandparents in steerage.) The great defenders of illegal immigration, their poor hearts bleeding for their fellow man, look at Texas, a state that has absorbed more immigrants than any other state in the nation, and see nothing but the unwashed, the sordid, the illiterate. Just mouths to feed and backs to clothe; never minds to create, or dreams to fulfill. If you are a middle class suburbanite from the Northeast, you despise Texas now. Your name might be Finnegan, or Gugliamatti, or DeBusschere but the 20th Century is long forgotten now, and you’re appalled that a place like Texas exists. Just appalled.
By the way, when Perry for President rumours first started, Paul Krugman, who is a Economics Nobel Laureate in case you forgot, took a swipe at Perry’s record on education in Texas. Same slant as the article in the Post. But the hilarity was just starting. David Burge at Iowahawk completely disemboweled Krugman’s article on Krugman’s turf. If you haven’t read it, you really must.
But the Post has competition for the hearts and minds of the progressive nation. Over at the Times, they were not going to sit idly by, or lead from behind. They were going to get out in front with a Field of Dreams reference. Yeah, yet another reference to the romantic, day dreamie movie from 1989. The writer thinks the President hasn’t been Obama enough. Just a little more fight in that Obama and we could dream again. It’s not the progressive agenda, pushed so hard by Obama, Pelosi and Reid, that’s to blame; only that the President is insufficiently aggressive. They said the same thing about Jimmy Carter.
The thing that strikes you about both articles is that either of them could have been written at several other points in our country’s history, and nobody would have noticed. The article from the Post could have been written by a progressive from 1918, looking at the problems of any American city. The article from the Times could have been written after any recession since WWII, and especially after Carter’s presidency. Who would know? Both writers we sense came of age in the 1970s and they carry that template with them everywhere they go. Nice suburban kids trying to figure out why the world doesn’t seem as orderly or organized as they would like.
The problem is that the President is not their Mom, and the economy is not the lunch they forgot. The President and his party might sit on the economy, but they can’t deliver it. Economies are built by the very people that the Post finds so disturbing, when the progressives the Time’s so admires get out of their way.