Friday, June 15, 2012

“Political Balderdash in the New Yorker”

Sydney M. Williams

Thought of the Day
“Political Balderdash in the New Yorker”
June 15, 2012

Rip Van Winkle slept through the American Revolution, according to the wonderful tale written by Washington Irving in 1819. Ryan Lizza, a political reporter whose article “The Second Term” appears in the June 18th issue of the New Yorker, must have slept through the last three and a half years of President Obama’s Presidency. It is a long article based on a hope that nobody was paying attention during the last few years, and helps spread the illusion that his hero will still be able to evoke the change he so desperately seeks.

The New Yorker was once a great magazine, founded by Harold Ross in 1925. Mr. Ross had an eye for talent. E.B. White, in my opinion the best essayist the country has ever produced, was an early hire, as were Wolcott Gibbs, Edmund Wilson and Katherine S. White (E.B. White’s wife.) The magazine employed cartoonists like Peter Arno and Charles Addams, and published stories by John Cheever, James Thurber, John O’Hara and J.D. Salinger. Sadly, it has become a politically correct, ideological organ for the Left. Even the cartoons have lost their bite.

Ryan Lizza’s article typifies the magazine today. Here is a sampling of his not very incisive and often inaccurate observations. It reminds me of another politician who once spoke of putting lipstick on a pig:

          “But a President who has won reёlection can also feel less tied to his political base and more free to shift toward the political center.” Really! And what’s with the German umlaut?

          “Notwithstanding Boehner’s antics, there is a possibility that a second term could begin with major deficit reduction and serious reform of taxes and entitlements.” If it’s so easy, why wait ‘til now?

          “Over in the Senate, there is a hint that the ice could thaw if Obama wins.” Yeah! When Hell freezes over!

          “If President Obama can indeed guide the parties toward an agreement that puts the federal government on a sustainable fiscal path, it would be a substantial achievement and would vindicate his early promise as a bipartisan leader.” It would indeed be a substantial achievement, but if you believe if we give Mr. Obama the keys to the car again that this time he will drive safely, I have bridge to sell you. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

          “Much of the talk of bold contrasts is a strategic necessity. Obama wants the voters to cast their ballots based on the platforms of the two candidates, not on the record of the first term.” No s**t, Sherlock!

Mr. Lizza quotes his idol:

          “My hope, when I came into office, was that we could have Republicans and Democrats coming together because the nation was facing extraordinary challenges. It turns out that wasn’t their approach – to put it mildly.” None of the fault, of course, lies with the President who decided that healthcare reform, card check and green energy were more important than economic recovery!

Mr. Lizza begins his piece by writing of Mr. Obama’s ambitious goals for a second term. The fact that he has “ambitious goals” for the second term should scare any sensible person away. Does Mr. Lizza not think the Affordable Care Act, throwing our money at losing businesses like solar panel companies and $100,000 electric-powered cars and card check were not ambitious?

He writes: “The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change, one of the few issues that he thinks could fundamentally improve the world decades from now.” Hello! Climate change! Decades from now! What about the fact that there are 23 million Americans unemployed and under employed today? What about the global economy that needs growth now?

It’s curious that Mr. Obama has chosen his second term to focus on climate change because he told his Denver audience, in accepting the Democratic nomination in 2008 (in a less than democratic venue and using decidedly sanctimonious language) that his victory marked “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” In stating that he needs a second term, is Mr. Obama suggesting that “the moment” did not arrive? Does he think the Gods were just waiting for his reelection?

But, if that acceptance speech didn’t scare the “bejeezus” out of you, Mr. Lizza’s article will, if his 10,000 word essay doesn’t first bore you to death.

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