Wednesday, October 10, 2007


News flash: Steven Pearlstein is probably not voting Republican

Few columnists offer as reliably consistent a target as Steve Pearlstein, the Business Columnist for the Washington Post. So I am grateful that he has finally found something besides giving Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac a bigger role in our economy to write about. This time it’s “this sad pack of candidates” that makes up our current Republican field of presidential candidates.

Now Pearlstein readers surely know that his liberal credentials are rock-solid but just in case you don’t, he offers up his take on yesterday’s GOP debate:

“Instead, for two hours yesterday, the nine white men who would be president were each peddling the Big Lie that the only way to ensure economic growth is by cutting all the taxes ever created -- and when you're finished with that, cutting them some more.”

(See, by identifying them as “white men”, he lets you know that he is sensitive to diversity issues and is otherwise down with the struggle.)

I know that last bit of Pearlstein sarcasm was meant to ridicule the “nine, white men” but I find myself simply sighing: “If only...” If only I could be convinced that all of these “nine white men” could be counted on to continue to keep the pressure on for a reduced tax burden and perhaps even reign in spending…but I don’t think that’s the reaction Mr. Pearlstein is looking for.

His admitted lack of any economic training is obvious by his apparent confusion of the difference between tax rates and tax revenues. I know of no major Republican candidate (Ron Paul therefore not included) that is promising less federal government revenue but that apparently is what Mr. Pearlstein is hearing.

But maybe I’m giving him too much credit – perhaps this apparent confusion is willful. The bulk of his column is made up of a slew of one-liners that have no discernible basis in fact (except perhaps from a consensus of thought on the Daily Kos). This one especially stands out:

Two hours, nine candidates, every one professing his support for the right of workers to form a union, but not one willing to acknowledge that that right no longer exists because of rampant employer intimidation.” (Ed. Note: He must have been especially pleased with that “Two hours, nine candidates” literary device as he used it most of the column.)

To quote Mr. Pearlstein from this same column: “Who writes this stuff, anyway?” The most obvious right that many American workers do not enjoy is the right to not join or be forcibly compelled to support a union – you know, the whole Right to Work ideal.

But his column is replete with such baseless generalizations and accusations, all seemingly designed to be rally cries for a class-warfare mentality. Should that revolution come, I have no doubt that Mr. Pearlstein would be an excellent candidate to fill the role of the NY Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Walter Duranty.

Side Notes I: Mr. Pearlstein’s column has at least provided me additional affirmation that my instinctive aversion to Mike Huckabee’s candidacy is well-grounded:

“Judged by who can offer a serious approach to economic policy, the hands-down winner in the Republican race so far is Huckabee, who combines intelligence, candor and comfortable familiarity with the issues and a practical approach anchored in solid conservative beliefs. If only the political press were as impressed with the quality of a candidate's program as with his name recognition, it would be Huckabee, not Thompson, who was energizing the Republican contest.”

Mr. Huckabee is a nanny-stater of the first order whose actual economic policies have shown little compatibility with any “solid conservative beliefs” that I’m aligned with. The Club for Growth does an excellent job of analysis on this so-called conservative.

Side Notes II: “Two hours, nine candidates, all eager to hurl the scurrilous charge of "government-run health care" against Hillary Clinton but not one willing to call for an end to Medicare as we know it."

“Government-run health care” is a scurrilous charge against Senator Clinton??? Is he even familiar with her body of work?

Thanks, I continue to appreciate the public service you do, reading them so I don't have to.

Unions affected by corporate intimidation? Has he ever heard of Walmart in Maryland that nearly decided not to add a few hundred jobs to the economy because of union intimidation?
great point about Wal Mart here in MD
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