Diary

Connecticut Post: Don't Question Dodd (or Anti-War Folk, or Atheists, or Homosexuals, or Obama, or Socialists)

As if Chris Dodd’s lack of leadership, failed oversight and misguided fiscal principles weren’t enough to make Connecticut look bad, the Connecticut Post decided to remove any doubt when it comes to the intelligence and professionalism of our journalists.

What was once a useful and even an honorable profession has been reduced to this. For a surprisingly high number of reasons in such a brief piece, Hugh Bailey, Assistant Editorial Page Editor, demonstrates that he is at least as unintelligent, partisan and bigoted as he accuses the Post readership of being.

He starts by patronizing his readers with a line that his letter demonstrates he doesn’t believe.

I love our letter writers. Really, I do. They’re informed, loyal, passionate and thoroughly infuriating.

The rest of his letter explains why he doesn’t love his readers, and why he believes they are ill-informed. That’s the whole point of it. I guess he thinks that since we are all a bunch of ignorant fools anyway, no one would notice he was being so blatantly disingenuous.

All letters are welcome. But there are code words hidden in some that are signals to stop paying close attention — “Chris Dodd” and “Barney Frank.” According to one school of thinking, these two, more than anyone else in America, are to blame for our current troubles.

If you want to castigate their decision-making, fine. If you want to sya that they and they alone are to blame for the recession, that’s crazy. They didn’t even take over their congressional committees until early last year, and our problems started long before then.

So first, all letters are welcome, except the ones that mention our elected Senator. At least he’s honest about their lack of journalistic integrity on that point.

Then he indicates that the only people who could possibly be responsible for the recession are the chairmen of the two congressional banking committees the day “our problems started.” If Mr. Bailey believes that, then he is even less intelligent than he portrays himself to be, which is no small feat. And by the way, Chris Dodd has been on the Senate Banking Committee for 26 years according to his website. That’s almost three decades, Mr. Bailey. I’m no economist, but I’d venture to guess our problems started sometime in the last three decades. And maybe when others (like John McCain, for example) were pointing out the problems, Dodd and Frank shouldn’t have been denying their existence while running for office on campaign donations from the very people they were protecting. Are those the types of things you find so infuriating, Mr. Bailey?

His Iraq analysis is overly-simplified for a third-grader, and anyone who considers Iraq a “disaster” stopped paying attention a long time ago. His analysis of the letters from those crazy Christians is at least as bigoted as he imagines those who dare to believe in objective truth are.

He goes on:

This is a big one — socialism. Really? Did I miss Obama’s plan to nationalize the oil industry?

No, but apparently you missed his plans to socialize the health care industry. Or maybe not, since you acknowledge it below.

The notion that the tens of billions of dollars we spend killing people in Iraq could be better spent on schools and hospitals in this country is not radical. Huge majorities in this country support a robust social safety net, so that people who experience a run of misfortune don’t lose everything. All other industrialized nations on the planet have some form of universal health care. None of this is controversial.

Maybe those correspondents who fret about our economic choices are happy with the fact that while this is the richest country in the world, there are 41 nations with lower infant mortality rates. At the same time, most workers in “socialist” Western Europe get four to five weeks vacation to start with. What are we supposed to be scared of again?

After reading these two paragraphs, I am fairly certain this guy does not have the mental capacity to operate anything as complicated as a sharpened pencil. He can’t even decide if his argument is whether a) Obama is not a socialist, 2) socialism is good because a lot of people aren’t upset about it, or c) socialism is good because it is the answer to all of our problems.

He grossly mischaracterizes the nature of social services in this country as a safety net for victims of tragedy rather than the government-as-mommy system it has turned into. He observes that other countries have socialized medicine, but forgets to mention that they all come here to actually get the treatments they want and need. He concludes by suggesting that if the government required that everyone get 4-5 weeks of vacation, we should be happy to be poor and oppressed. Of course, suppression of dissenting speech comes with the socialist package too, but Mr. Bailey has already expressed his opinion on that topic.

Ahh, journalists. I love ’em, I really do. They are so well informed, so loyal, so passionate, and so infuriating, you know what I mean?

Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.