Two Articles in the LJS

July 29, 2005 at 2:21am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A couple quick comments about the front page of this morning’s LJS:

First, “State treasury jobs a Nesbitt family affair” is a really unfair, exceptionally biased article by Nate Jenkins. The core point of the article—that it is unusual that three related men all work in the same small state agency—is valid. It’s certainly something the public has a right to know about, although I, personally, would not have assigned it front page status. But that validity is tarnished by the fact that Jenkins’s article is very poorly written. He includes biased and inflammatory phrases like “the family gathering on the state’s dime,” for example. He apparently interviewed only one state senator while fishing for quotes. He makes no mention of any attempt to determine if this is the only political cronyism or nepotism going on in Nebraska. In short, whether or not it was his intent, Nate Jenkins comes off looking like a reporter giddy about the prospect of bringing down a politician by slinging a little mud. Grow up, Jenkins.

Also on the front page—in fact, dominating most of the front page—is a sappy piece about Chuck Hagel titled “Criticized for being HIS OWN MAN”. Gag. I could tell just by reading the title and looking at the “I’m a victim/feel sorry for me” photo that it was a column by Don Walton. I was correct. Don Walton, you see, is a liberal pissed off about living in a conservative state. He’s the type who just doesn’t understand why all those dang conservatives don’t “get it” and see how obvious it is that President Bush et al. are idiots.

To see him get on the Hagel bandwagon is rich. Chuck Hagel, you see, wants to run for president in 2008. He is no fool; he knows that in order to gain any name-recognition at all he must differentiate himself and generate early headlines. He is doing that by strongly o

pposing the Iraq War, or at least Bush’s handling of it. Democrats take that as proof that Bush’s foreign policy sucks rocks; Republicans take that as proof that Chuck Hagel is some sort of lefty sympathizer. Walton fills the article with assurances that Hagel’s publicity seeking has nothing to do with his presidential aspirations. Right. The argument goes that Hagel wouldn’t risk ticking off the right wing of the Republican Party if he really wanted to run for president. Folks who believe that are wrong. In order to generate the requisite attention in preparation for 2008 Hagel has to take gambles. This is one of them. He is gambling that there will be enough people around in 2008 who dislike Bush’s foreign policy so much that they will guide him through the primaries and into the general election. And besides, he’s safe on nearly every issue except foreign policy. Foreign policy is what gives him an identity through the primaries; in every other regard he is a perfect presidential Republican. Or so he hopes.

Hagel’s Iraq War disagreement is probably the only thing he has in common with Walton. Not that Walton cares. Walton is following the oh-so-stereotypical path of a Democrat drooling over Hagel. “See! See! A Republican—a Republican!—disagrees with Bush on the Iraq War! That means Bush is wrong! Hagel is a genius!” Whatever, buddy.

The headline’s assertion that Hagel is a victim for “being his own man” is hilarious. Hagel is hardly “his own man”. He votes with the president no less than 94% of the time, and with his party no less than 92% of the time. Of our two senators, Ben Nelson is by far closer to being “his own man” than Hagel who, based solely on these numbers, is closer to a party puppet than an indepent voice.

The whole article reads like a very transparent attempt by a bitter lefty (Walton) to spit on a powerful neocon (Bush) by embracing a single-issue ally (Hagel). In the process, Walton hopes other Lincolnites will join in the indirect Bush-bashing by feeling pity for poor, oppressed Chuck Hagel. Good luck with that, Don. You’re going to need it in this state.

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The Comments

Steve July 29, 2005 at 11:29pm

Ya’ know I keep yelling at all my liberal friends to quit acting like Chuck’s a Democrat just because he’s a critic of the war and then I point them to his voting record.  He’s all mouth when he knows it’ll get him on the Sunday morning blab-fests but when look for any proof of substantive opposition to the President, it’s not there.

Mr. Wilson July 31, 2005 at 12:01am

If your liberal friends are embracing Hagel, even if only on this one issue, then his plan is working perfectly. I give the guy credit, his early campaigning is pretty slick. I question its sustainability, in that I don’t believe he can cruise on foreign policy alone until the primary season in 2008. But in a way that’s beside the point; if he can put himself into the top 3 for the primary season, he’ll be sitting very, very well.

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