Alex Massie

Clinton Derangement: 43rd St Edition

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Reihan Salam, in characteristically excellent form, dismantles the New York Times' lazy and baffling endorsement* of Hillary Clinton and, as a bonus, comes up with the best line I've read today:

Clinton must sorely regret that she can’t use proxies to pointedly accuse Obama of fathering a black child — because, after all, he has two of them, and they are adorable.

*As a veteran of comfy days writing editorials myself, might I also suggest that you could scarcely hope to find a better example than this of the stuffed-shirt pomposity that plagues the genre. The Times' leader is simultaneously platitudinous, banal, witless and appallingly written. To wit, for instance:

"this country faces huge problems, and will no doubt be facing more that we can’t foresee."

Well fancy that!

Also, this paragraph on John Edwards is worth pondering:

"We have enjoyed hearing Mr. Edwards’s fiery oratory, but we cannot support his candidacy. The former senator from North Carolina has repudiated so many of his earlier positions, so many of his Senate votes, that we’re not sure where he stands. We certainly don’t buy the notion that he can hold back the tide of globalization."

This makes no sense. If one may presume "enjoy" to mean, in this context, "we agree with" then the Times is declining to endorse Edwards because he was, to its mind, wrong in the past. Who cares about now, eh? Equally, that final sentence is telling: the paper would seem to think that holding back "the tide" of globalisation is a good thing.The Times, then would seem to be like King Canute's courtiers who believed the monarch omnipotent: he should tell the waves to recede because he could. Well Canute knew better and set up his famous demonstration to demonstrate the limits of his power. in as much as one may apply this modesty to the Imperial Presidency, this would appear to be a lesson the Times has yet to learn.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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