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May 25, 2005

The NYT Contrives a Majority Out of... Well, a Minority

Typical screeching column about "extremists" on the bench, "overbearing Republicans," and the need for "centrist" (read: dogmatic liberal) nominees for the high court.

It ends oddly:

While the idea of letting the majority rule is at the heart of much in American democracy, it has little to do with the Senate, where some members represent 10 times as many people as others. There is absolutely nothing unfair about allowing a minority that actually represents more American people to veto lifetime appointments of judges who are far outside the mainstream of American thinking.

Yes, darlings, but that is the scheme of the Constitution, isn't it?

Further, this paragraph makes little sense. Sure, I suppose if you added up the populations represented by liberal Senators they might exceed the populations represented by conservative Senators; but then, most of those big states tilting liberal have lots and lots of people who voted Republican, whose interests are being thwarted by this maneuver.

In other words, the New York Times doesn't like Bush because he only won 52.5% of the vote and yet presumes to act on behalf of the country at large. He has no national mandate.

But the New York Times also thinks that Senator Clinton, who received (guessing) 58% of New York's votes, ought to be able filibuster, because she did, apparently, receive a "state mandate" to act on behalf of the majority of voters who actually voted for her, while ignoring the wishes of the rest.

It makes no sense, of course.

But the New York Times op-ed page never really does. As its own "Public Editor" (called an "ombudsman" by everyone else) Daniel Okrent leaves, he delivers this parting shot to the NYT's editorial page:

Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults. Maureen Dowd was still writing that Alberto R. Gonzales 'called the Geneva Conventions "quaint"' nearly two months after a correction in the news pages noted that Gonzales had specifically applied the term to Geneva provisions about commissary privileges, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments. Before his retirement in January, William Safire vexed me with his chronic assertion of clear links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, based on evidence only he seemed to possess.

No one deserves the personal vituperation that regularly comes Dowd's way, and some of Krugman's enemies are every bit as ideological (and consequently unfair) as he is. But that doesn't mean that their boss, publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., shouldn't hold his columnists to higher standards.

I didn't give Krugman, Dowd or Safire the chance to respond before writing the last two paragraphs. I decided to impersonate an opinion columnist.

Ignore the attack on Safire, of course; Okrent's a liberal, and as such, feels that evidence linking Saddam to Al Qaeda -- such as Saddam inviting Al Qaeda to make a base in Iraq -- is not any evidence of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. It's his attack on fellow liberals which stings.


Thanks to David of Precision Plain English for pointing out that the NYT's idiot op-ed columnist, as usual, makes no freaking sense at all.


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posted by Ace at 12:03 PM

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