Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Decider's "inexplicable" confidence; the mainstream media's continuing crush on McCain

No damn fair! Too many smart writers out there thinking about the same things I do . . . only they're better at it and quicker to the punch (or the computer!).

Dan Froomkin, who writes a great column on politics for the on-line version of the Washington Post, has a great piece on President Bush's "inexplicable" confidence in . . . of course, himself. Despite having screwed up everything he's touched in the last seven years, and seen his "ideas" for Social Security and immigration "reform" go right down the toilet, he is still convinced, as much as ever, that he is right about everything. Stunning.

In Salon, Joe Conason wonders if the mainstream news media will ever get over its ga-ga crush on their own Dr. McDreamy, John McCain, as it becomes clear that he will be the Republican nominee this November. Probably not, he concludes, because it would require the Washington pundit class to tear down McCain's image as the "straight-talking" maverick that he's not and never has been, an image they built and have nurtured with tender loving care.

Dean Baker, writing in the on-line version of The Guardian (U.K.), notes the Washington Post editorial board sounds more and more like the old Soviet news service, Pravda, in its pronouncements on economic matters and pretty much everything else. The Post views itself as closely allied with mainstream policymakers, regardless of political party, as its perpetual quest for "moderation" and a "sensible center" immunizes it against any real interest in challenging the Washington status quo, of which it is an essential part. Need another example? Read the Post's slack-jawed reaction to Attorney General Michael Mukasey's testimony earlier this week on waterboarding. The same man who was heralded as the "best" chance Americans had to retreat from torture as part of the techniques of U.S. interrogators working for the C.I.A. or other agencies charged with extracting information from suspected terrorists being held abroad now comes under criticism for "mimicking" his predecessor, the hapless Alberto Gonzales.

Tune in at 11, Post editorial board, for a riveting news story on dogs that bite mailmen.

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