On the Opinion Page: May 4, 2008 (Special OMG Four-Pack Edition!?)

04May08

In which The Gay Recluse scores OMG four wtf!? selected opinions in The Times.

Franck Rich/The All-White Elephant in the Room

The Short Version: The Maverick’s preacher is just as crazy as Obama’s!

In his words: “But he did say that God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled ‘homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.’”

Score: B+ (Belligerent)
Rich puts the smackdown on The Maverick and exposes a double-standard in MSM coverage of Obama, which Rich quite rightly attributes to racism. Our only quibble is that Rich could have gone even further: if, as he rightly states, a candid conversation on race has yet to begun in this country, at least it’s a conversation that has been recognized as needed; the same conversation about homosexuality, by contrast — and which is no less important — is not even on the radar screen of most, as this column makes sadly clear.

Thomas Friedman/Who Will Tell the People?

The Short Version: Oh noes! The U.S. is a failure!

In his words: “How could this be?”
The Score: D- (Dumb)
Friedman treats us to a hilariously earnest and overwrought piece about America having lost our way, without once considering the distinction of the haves versus the have-nots, who obviously exist in separate Americas. Whenever we read lines like: “We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country,” we basically feel like eighth-grade delinquents whose only desire is to head outside for a cigarette, knowing full well it causes cancer.

Nicholas Kristof/A Prison of Shame, and It’s Ours

The Short Version: Conditions in Guantánamo are a disgrace.

In his words: “But over time — and it’s painful to write this — I’ve found the inmates to be more credible than American officials.”

The Score: D (Delusional)
While we don’t disagree with anything Kristof says, we’re annoyed that he seems so shocked that the American government could be brutal and unfair. In the history of the world, has there ever been a serious power rooted in benevolence? Somehow we don’t see the United States being an exception to the rule; this should be the starting point of any prescriptive analysis, not a revelation.

Maureen Dowd/This Bud’s for You

The Short Version: Obama is being painted as an elitist.

In her words: “Why does Obama, the one with the bumpy background and mixed racial heritage, the one raised by a single mother who was on food stamps, seem so forced when he mingles with the common folk?”

The Score:D (Dated)
Although we give Dowd props for trotting out “ensorcelling,” we are less impressed by the meandering column, in which she sounds sadly befuddled. If she’s going to get back in the game, she’d better start reading Wonkette, whose treatment of the elitist label is 100 times more scathing toward everyone involved (and oh yeah, 100 times more entertaining).

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