Monday, July 07, 2008

Are the Editors of the New York Times Rubes?

When Barack Obama asks us to believe in one of his changes, it is never quite clear whether the rubes to be fooled are the Great Unwashed who agree with the Flop or the naifs who agreed with the Flip. The eternal question always is, "who are the rubes"?

Well, in what is obviously a gust-busting turn, the editors of the New York Times are beginning to worry that they are the rubes. In this morning's lead editorial ("New and Not Improved"), they detail and denounce many of Obama's post-Hillary pivots to the center. As their irritation builds, I'm thinking that there are only three positions that could explain this editorial. First, that the editors genuinely believe that Obama could win the general election with his primary season policy ideas. It is believable that they think this because they live inside a Manhattan cocoon, but silly. Second, that the editors would rather that Obama lose than compromise his principles. This seems unlikely in the cold light of a November morning, however satisfying it might feel to spew such romantic drivel on the Fourth of July. Or, third, the editors know that Obama's pivots will be much more believable to the swing voters if the Times denounces them. This theory holds that the editors are pretending to be outraged so as to further deceive the rubes who prefer the Flop to the Flip.

It is so hard to know which explanation to believe.

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