Friday, November 15, 2013

Did the New York Times Abandon Obama?

At first glance, it appears that the New York Times is turning against President Obama. When the Times compares Obama’s handling of the roll out of the Affordable Care Act to George Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina it is not casting a vote of confidence.

Here’s the Times news analysis:

President Obama is now threatened by a similar toxic mix. The disastrous rollout of his health care law not only threatens the rest of his agenda but also raises questions about his competence in the same way that the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina undermined any semblance of Republican efficiency.

But unlike Mr. Bush, who faced confrontational but occasionally cooperative Democrats, Mr. Obama is battling a Republican opposition that has refused to open the door to any legislative fixes to the health care law and has blocked him at virtually every turn. A contrite-sounding Mr. Obama repeatedly blamed himself on Thursday for the failed health care rollout, which he acknowledged had thrust difficult burdens on his political allies and hurt Americans’ trust in him.

But, the New York Times is still the New York Times. Ann Althouse questions the analogy and shows how, in the end, it is meant to shift the blame to Republicans.

In an excellent post Althouse counts the ways that Obama’s current problems do not compare with Bush’s.

For example:

The health care screwup isn't a natural disaster. Obama and the Democrats made their own disaster, stepping up to do something they should have known they weren't going to be able to do well, and they lied about what they were doing to get it passed.

And yet they meant well. They wanted to help people. Unlike Bush, who — what? —asked for that hurricane?


What if Bush and the Republicans had created the hurricane, and the Democrats adamantly believed it would be better not to have a hurricane? Would the Democrats have been "occasionally cooperative" to Republicans who smugly announced that they won the election and they've been wanting this hurricane for 100 years and canceling the hurricane was not an option?

Then. Althouse offers a list of the ways in which Obamacare does not compare to Katrina. It is a devastating, and well deserved takedown of the New York Times:

1. Bush's political party didn't design and enact Hurricane Katrina.

2. Bush didn't have 5 years to craft his response to the hurricane.

3. Bush didn't have the power to redesign the hurricane as he designed his response to it.

4. The Republican Bush believed he could not simply bully past the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic Governor of Louisiana and impose a federal solution, but the Democrat Obama and his party in Congress aggressively and voluntarily took over an area of policy that might have been left to the states.

5. The media were ready to slam Bush long and hard for everything — making big scandals out of things that, done by Obama, would have been forgotten a week later (what are the Valerie Plame-level screwups of Obama's?) — but the media have bent over backwards for years to help make Obama look good and to bury or never even uncover all of his lies and misdeeds.

6. If Bush experienced a disaster like the rollout of Obamacare, the NYT wouldn't use its front page to remind us of something Bill Clinton did that looked bad.



Dennis said...

I do like the NYTimes' ability to twist and turn almost any word into something it is not.
lie = incorrect promise
I still wonder, given the NYTime's history, how any thinking individual would believe that the NYTimes is the paper of record?
Still amuses me that the "media," which resides in the Northeast corridor, thinks the governor of New Jersey has a political following outside that corridor without an iota of proof.

Sam L. said...

NYT: The newspaper of very bad record.