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NYT – What A Difference 4 Years Make

A reminder of the golden days of bi-partisanship and cordiality from the archives of the New York Times:

The Difference Two Years Made

November 5, 2006

On Tuesday, when this page runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible.

Good one.

That is why things are different this year.

To begin with, the Republican majority that has run the House — and for the most part, the Senate — during President Bush’s tenure has done a terrible job on the basics. Its tax-cutting-above-all-else has wrecked the budget, hobbled the middle class and endangered the long-term economy.

Remember how hobbled the economy was back in November 2006? When there had been a record period of job growth and record low unemployment – and a soaring stock market?

By the way, Mr. Obama and the Democrats have just agreed to extend Mr. Bush’s disastrous tax cuts — to try to save the economy.

It has refused to face up to global warming and done pathetically little about the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Notice how the Democrat Party has used their time in control of Congress to make us less dependent on foreign oil – especially by outlawing drilling in our own country. They have also, at least so far, failed to do anything about ‘global warming’ — to their credit.

Republican leaders, particularly in the House, have developed toxic symptoms of an overconfident majority that has been too long in power. They methodically shut the opposition — and even the more moderate members of their own party — out of any role in the legislative process. Their only mission seems to be self-perpetuation.

Mind you, The Times is talking about the GOP here. Not Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, who literally cut off the microphones and lights and locked the doors on Republicans. Not Mr. Obama, who never even met with the GOP leadership until late last month.

The current Republican majority managed to achieve that burned-out, brain-dead status in record time, and with a shocking disregard for the most minimal ethical standards. It was bad enough that a party that used to believe in fiscal austerity blew billions on pork-barrel projects. It is worse that many of the most expensive boondoggles were not even directed at their constituents, but at lobbyists who financed their campaigns and high-end lifestyles.

Luckily the Democrats have drained the swamp and we don’t have any more Congressmen enjoying high-end lifestyles. And there have been no more pork-laden budgets. But it wasn’t for lack of trying — as they did once again during the lame duck session.

That was already the situation in 2004, and even then this page endorsed Republicans who had shown a high commitment to ethics reform and a willingness to buck their party on important issues like the environment, civil liberties and women’s rights.

For us, the breaking point came over the Republicans’ attempt to undermine the fundamental checks and balances that have safeguarded American democracy since its inception. The fact that the White House, House and Senate are all controlled by one party is not a threat to the balance of powers, as long as everyone understands the roles assigned to each by the Constitution. But over the past two years, the White House has made it clear that it claims sweeping powers that go well beyond any acceptable limits. Rather than doing their duty to curb these excesses, the Congressional Republicans have dedicated themselves to removing restraints on the president’s ability to do whatever he wants. To paraphrase Tom DeLay, the Republicans feel you don’t need to have oversight hearings if your party is in control of everything.

An administration convinced of its own perpetual rightness and a partisan Congress determined to deflect all criticism of the chief executive has been the recipe for what we live with today.

Congress, in particular the House, has failed to ask probing questions about the war in Iraq or hold the president accountable for his catastrophic bungling of the occupation [sic]. It also has allowed Mr. Bush to avoid answering any questions about whether his administration cooked the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. Then, it quietly agreed to close down the one agency that has been riding herd on crooked and inept American contractors who have botched everything from construction work to the security of weapons.

After the revelations about the abuse, torture and illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Congress shielded the Pentagon from any responsibility for the atrocities its policies allowed to happen. On the eve of the election, and without even a pretense at debate in the House, Congress granted the White House permission to hold hundreds of noncitizens in jail forever, without due process, even though many of them were clearly sent there in error.

In the Senate, the path for this bill was cleared by a handful of Republicans who used their personal prestige and reputation for moderation to paper over the fact that the bill violates the Constitution in fundamental ways. Having acquiesced in the president’s campaign to dilute their own authority, lawmakers used this bill to further Mr. Bush’s goal of stripping the powers of the only remaining independent branch, the judiciary.

Lest we forget, the only thing for which Mr. Obama gets passing grades is his handling of Iraq and Afghanistan. In which he is literally following the Bush policy, word for word, even on Guantanamo. For which the New York Times now sings his praises.

But way back in 2006 these same policies were "a breaking point" for the New York Times. They were enough to make the editors at The Times throw a hissy fit and decide to withhold their endorsement from every Republican candidate for Congress. They sure showed us.

This election is indeed about George W. Bush — and the Congressional majority’s insistence on protecting him from the consequences of his mistakes and misdeeds.

Mind you, this is the same newspaper that insists that the 2010 midterms were not a referendum on Mr. Obama or how Congress helped him ram through his unpopular socialist agenda.

Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and proceeded to govern as if he had an enormous mandate. After he actually beat his opponent in 2004, he announced he now had real political capital and intended to spend it. We have seen the results. It is frightening to contemplate the new excesses he could concoct if he woke up next Wednesday and found that his party had maintained its hold on the House and Senate.

Isn’t it hilarious? The New York Times doesn’t seem to realize that almost all of their nightmares have been fulfilled to the letter by the Democrat controlled Congress and Mr. Obama. It’s almost as if for them the actual policies mean nothing while one’s party affiliation is everything.

What a difference four years makes.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “NYT – What A Difference 4 Years Make”

  1. tranquil.night says:

    The 2010 Shellacking was as much to the Slimes and the Liberal’s Media as it was a vote of no confidence or credibility with the rest of the Ruling Class. It was the most thorough, peaceful rejection of an established political party’s platform and propoganda machine likely in history. Every day since in the aftermath has been a more and more public demonstration of how twisted and bent they are to hold onto control over the people.

  2. JohnMG says:

    Whoever wrote that comedy is the most difficult form of literature to write, evidently has never read a NYT editorial. Especially this one.

    Since this article from 2006 remains in the public domain, Saturday Night Live could use it, (with the exception of changing Republican to Democrat and George W. Bush to Barack Insane Obama) totally un-edited.

    What a howler it would be. The only thing that would make it funnier would be giving attribution for its source.

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