Sunday, October 22, 2006

Barron's, Enquirer Follow SWNIDish Wisdom

This morning's news brings indications that wisdom of the SWNIDish variety still can be found in the MSM.

Barron's (not to be confused with Michael Barone, y'all), the venerable investment weekly famous for its commitment to a dour view of the economy (Motto: "Sell stocks, buy bonds, it's 1929!") is prognosticating two Republican leaders, albeit with reduced majorities, in our bicameral national legislature in 2007. Their analysis is state-by-state and district-by-district and takes into account the Rs' historic and current advantage in dollars. This accords with our SWNIDish hope and, as we have noted, a sliver of other analysis and polling out there.

Meanwhile, the Enquirer, not known for the conservatism of its editorial opinions since Peter Bronson's retirement from the editorial board chairmanship, endorses both Mike DeWine and, most surprisingly, Ken Blackwell.

DeWine they celebrate for his thoughtful influence on Senate deliberations and Republican party policy. Blackwell gets kudos for his aggressive positions on reforming educational and governmental finance with a view to addressing Ohio's most acute economic problems. They also don't miss criticizing his recent campaign tactics. We agree, and we can't get over the fact that we do.

What surprises us about both endorsements is how the normally bland local opinion writers summon some uncharacteristically sharp criticism of the Democratic candidates' positions, or lack thereof. To wit, on Brown:

Brown echoes the talking point that seemingly has been fed to every other Democratic congressional candidate this fall - that his or her opponent is a "rubber stamp" for President Bush. This simple-minded toting up of roll-call votes is nonsense. You could just as easily - and unfairly - argue that Brown is a rubber stamp for Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi.

But it is especially nonsensical where DeWine is concerned. If you look beyond the raw percentage of votes supporting the leadership's stance, you see how DeWine has influenced his own party's position on those issues and has worked with members of the other party on finding consensus.

Most troubling about Brown his how he exploits Ohio workers' fears with his faux-populist, anti-free-trade rhetoric. He posits cause and effect where such relationships are not clear. He says he's very pro-trade yet opposes efforts to free up tariff structures that often have disadvantaged American firms more than those of other nations.

He pits large corporations - Procter & Gamble is one - against small businesses. This is especially crass. Small businesses, where most of the new jobs come from, are beginning to flourish in our state because of expanded opportunities for trade - both directly and through their supply relationships to the P&G types.


And on Strickland:
Strickland also talks of making Ohio an oasis of alternative energy research, a key point in his "Turnaround Ohio" plan. Yet he offers little in the way of specifics on how he will execute that turnaround. "We can fund initiatives simply by taking advantage of available federal and other funding or reordering our present priorities we've ignored in the past," he says on his campaign Web site. "Programs and budgets aren't leadership. Leadership is all about people and results."

We're not sure why that last sentence is marked as a quote. Are the Enquirer opinionists quoting Strickland again to hoist him by his own proverbial petard? Or are they ridiculing the vacuousness of Strickland's un-positions? Either way, we thank them for announcing that there's really only one set of policies to consider in the governor's race.

So our political self goes forward today hopeful that the eternal pessimists at Barron's are correct and that the Enquirer's opinions can have impact well beyond its declining readership.

And so on this Sunday morning, we will venture a cheeky political sermon (note to those inclined to comment: admittedly brash overstatement and oversimplification ahead), with the immortal Harry Truman supplying our text:

Truman was fond of saying, "If you want to live like a Republican, vote for Democrats." We say, if you want everyone to get rich like a Republican, vote for Republicans.

Update: We thank intrepid Barron's blog-searcher Christine for alerting us that the article in question is the free feature of the week. You can access the whole thing here.

We do admit that in the big picture it is not altogether comforting to realize how powerful an indicator of political success is a candidate's success in raising campaign funds relative to her opponent's. But we find every imaginable alternative to be even worse in their suppression of free speech.

1 comment:

Christine said...

FYI -- the Barron's article link in your post goes to preview page, not the full article. We made the cover story a Free Feature this week, here's URL:
http://online.barrons.com/public/article/SB116138396438799484-uMRQ4ejl3lonVnJ_TXy6k9fPXls_20061121.html?mod=9_0002_b_free_features